I find it fascinating how much music has an effect on my emotional state. Or perhaps music just brings out the emotions siting below the surface. For example, when I listen to upbeat fast paced music like trance I find it easy to walk or hike long distances. I once walked around the Princeton University campus for over 1 hour taking photos in the cold while listening to my favorite driving music. The music helped me deal with the cold and in a way acted as a muse1 for my photographic creativity.

Right now and I am listening to the Sound System station on Apple’s iTunes Radio. My emotions have ranged from I’m happy to be alive to “Why am I such a loser”.

Classic Rock such as U22 makes me nostalgic and pensive. I normally think back to the simpler days when it was just me and Bhavna. Back then we were busy trying to make it rich and missed on many opportunities to be a young couple.

Some music, like Listen to All My Love (feat. Ariana Grande) by Major Lazer is bitter sweet. I love the beat but the lyrics — she sings about mountaintops — with Ariana Grande make me feel melancholy. For this song I imagined myself alone sitting on a rock at the top of the mountain shown in the post image. It’s one of those pieces of music that make me feel like a loser. Why isn’t my life the sort of life where I can go hiking to places like this? Looking out the window at the cold still air and dull grey sky on this January morning I was struck by how far I was from the blue-green warm water and sunny skies of Caribbean islands where I spend my youth. I think I spend too much time in nostalgic thought.

I was listening to Light It Up (feat. Nyla & Fuse ODG) by Major Lazer when I wrote that sentence.

Sometimes I wish my life had background music. What sort of music would be playing? I expect I would have have a mix of music. Some upbeat and frenetic, some low, slow, and melancholy, and some for the times when I just feel .. meh. For those moments when I feel on powerful and on-top of the world,

I don’t listen to one specific genre of music. I enjoy music from all over the spectrum, from Jazz and Classical, to Reggae, Calypso and Latin, to Zydeco, Country and Punk. I also enjoy various forms of electronic dance music — trance, dub-step, chill out, drum and bass, house, and trip hop. I find that this kind of music has the most effect on my emotional mood. The song, This by Sander van Doorn & Oliver Heldens is energetic, maybe a bit frenetic. Great for running up a hill. While the song, Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo is more down beat and emotionally blue. The song, Silverlined by XYconstant on the other hand is the complete opposite. It has a feeling over “this is the best moment of my life”. Truthfully, tears come to my eye when I hear this song. It’s not melancholy. It’s happy joy.

The song, Cheerleader by Omi makes me think of my wife and all the reasons I love her. She’s my cheerleader.

All these songs are in an iTunes playlist I named Chill. Go have a listen. Tell me what do you think? What emotions did you experience listening to this music.


  1. Muse, that’s an interesting word that isn’t directly related to music. 
  2. I am so old, that U2 is now considered classic rock.