Today I cleaned up my playlist. The last time I downloaded new songs, I must have been in the darkest mood because I had songs like “born to suffer” by Lucky Dube and “where is the love” by Black Eyed Peas. Don’t get me wrong, I am still a big fan of the wise words in these lyrics but for someone who wants to be happier and embrace life, the music that I have been listening to the past months was not helping.
In 1992, Stack and Gundlach found that there was a link between listening to country music and suicide rate among white people. Though there wasn’t strong evidence proving that listening to country music directly affects people into committing suicide, there is a link between life circumstances and the effect of music on the mood of the subjects in the study. In 1994, Stack, Gundlack and Reeves found a link between metal music and youth suicide rate as well. They concluded that musical subcultures nurture suicidal thoughts that are already present in the people listening to it. Lester and Whipple made a similar study and found that though a preference for rap, heavy metal, rock, jazz and country music does not necessarily lead to suicidal thoughts but those who have a high preference for heavy metal music have most likely considered suicide in the past. The bottom line to these studies is that music affects our mood and helps deal with or sink into depression.
With that said, what you listen to either supports or rejects what you are already feeling. What makes you listen to music? what makes you choose the songs that you choose? how do you feel when you listen to those songs? Do you get the results that you wanted when you grabbed your phone or ipod? These questions will help you realise whether you need to change you playlist or not.
For example, I listen to “Young Forever” by Jay Z a lot because well! “the music is for the sad man” and I am sad. Recently, I changed my alarm ringtone into “Good Life” by OneRepublic and not only does this song make me nod my head and dance when I get up but it makes me appreciate the little things in life and forget the pity party.
So my growing happy message for you today is: Set yourself up to good mood every day, clean up your playlist and fill it up with feel good songs. Here is one that says to imagine one minute, an ambience of happiness and Africa united. let me know if it puts a smile on your face.