When You’re Down on Your Luck


If you’re feeling not-quite-at-the-top-of-your-game, researchers at Fordham University (oh hey alma mater!) found that listening to hip hop can boost your spirits, especially if the song contains lyrics you identify with, or that match up with a struggle you’re going through. The March issue of Self magazine reported that this particular style can boost your mood, and help you cope with your personal issues. So next time you feel like you have 99 Problems, crank some Jay Z to help you get through it.


Or, if hip hop isn’t your thing, try putting on that one song  that really gets you going. Back in the days before MP3s, I bought a lot of CDs. Most of them had a few good tracks and the rest were garbage. Then I found the one album that I loved every song, and it soon became my go-to morning music. Listening to Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits and singing along as I get ready for work is guaranteed to start my day off on the right foot, though it might not win me any bonus points with my neighbors.


Then if you’re still not feeling great try making yourself a get happy mixtape. I am a big playlist person to begin with (see previous comment about most songs on albums sucking), but having one full of upbeat, peppy tunes can distract you from all that bad stuff at least long enough to get through the work day. Here’s an insider tip – it’s pretty hard to stay upset when listening to songs about sunshine and love, and anything mo-town or by Hall and Oates. Here’s what’s on my mix:


  1. You Make My Dreams Come True: Hall and Oates
  2. No Rain: Blind Melon
  3. Only the Good Die Young: Billy Joel
  4. Dreaming on a World: Tracy Chapman
  5. Gold to Me: Ben Harper
  6. Wreckless Love: Alicia Keys
  7. Banana Pancakes: Jack Johnson
  8. I Am Not My Hair: India Arie
  9. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Marvin Gaye and Tammi
  10. Signed, Sealed Delivered: Stevie Wonder
  11. I Want You Back: Jackson 5
  12. O-o-h Child: Chi Lites
  13. Oh Happy Day: Mahalia Jackson
  14. Fantasy: Mariah Carey
  15. Suddenly I See: KT Tunstall
  16. Three Little Birds: Bob Marley


What’s music do you listen to when you’re down in the dumps?


One thought on “When You’re Down on Your Luck

  1. Pingback: Monday Reading | Glass Half Full

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