Home Reflections The Effect Some Good Old Music Can Have On Your Mood

The Effect Some Good Old Music Can Have On Your Mood

by Vidya Sury July 3, 2014 15 comments
vidya sury music

I admit I am partial to the ’60s, ’70s and the ’80s as my favorite decades and my memories tend to be wrapped around the songs and music I constantly heard.

Today, thanks to the internet, I no longer have to shuffle around my collection of 500+ audio cassettes to make a playlist (yes, I still have them). So I’ve got compilation tapes…and it is all good for when I play my bedside radio (yes, I still have one of those with a cassette player!)…still – the joy of digital music is something else! While my taste in music is eclectic, I am partial to the 80’s rock and pop.

I can’t live without music. It literally drives my day and my mood. I have a song for every emotion I go through. Sad songs, happy songs, fun songs. Do you feel that too? I associate everyone I know with some song or other. And it serves as a mnemonic to remember them.

My time management is more or less around song lengths. Since I have the privilege of working from home, I enjoy listening to music as I work. And oh yes, I have playlists for different types of assignments. Sometimes I enjoy singing along. When I feel super-energetic, I turn up those speakers and cheerfully tackle house maintenance.

Early music days

I grew up with radio, mostly until the ’80s. Then came TV. I remember how fascinated I was when I saw my first music video! I would eagerly wait for the one available TV channel to play that half-hour of “western rock and pop” music once a week. That excitement carried through the week building up the anticipation for the next episode.

We also saw some fabulous TV sitcoms around that time. My favorites were I love Lucy, Faerie Tale Theater and Diff’rent Strokes  – does anyone remember any of these?

As I go about my day, I hum my favorite songs and this always keeps me in high spirits. Sometimes I go crazy trying to recall the name of a song, even though the tune is stuck in my head. It is like seeing a familiar face and wondering where we know them from. Luckily, it is possible to go search online these days. And there are some lovely sites dedicated to old music. One of my favorites is obviously YouTube. I remember the first time I landed here and saw “I love Lucy” and I was ecstatic.

A fond memory – the folks in our apartment building, back in the ’80s, called me “Lucy” – after the sunshiny Ms.Lucille Ball. Funny how I found out. We were planning some festival celebrations with an entertainment program that included music, dance, and skits – and formed a committee to organize it. Someone was supposed to come up with the responsibility list and circulate it later in the evening that day. Under “Master of Ceremonies” and “fillers” – for those funnies and musical bits between items on the agenda, they wrote “Lucy”. I wondered who that was – and laughed my guts out to find out they meant me. So hilarious. Oh yes, those were fun times.

Sigh! So many memories. Music has always been my best friend. No matter how I feel, humming a song always lifts me up!

I found some amazing artwork by Princeton-based artist Erika Iris who has created various portraits of famous musicians using recycled cassette tapes. She imagines that humans are just like cassettes—our thoughts merely wrapped in our awkward ‘body’ packaging. I like it! Go on – click one and see the slideshow.


The effect some good old music can have on your mood!

Tell me – what is your relationship with music?

What’s your favorite?

And do you have that one song that always makes you smile?

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Corinne Rodrigues July 3, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Oooooo…loving this post, Vidz. I love old music too and all of the serials you mentioned, especially, Different Strokes. I can still hear Arnold going, ‘Whatchugoingtodoaboutit?’ Remember that?

The art work is fabulous! Thanks for sharing, Lucy! 😉

PS: What’s ‘my’ song?
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Beloo Mehra July 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Lovely post, Lucy!
I was never into rock and pop, but music was and still is very important for me. Mostly Indian music of various genres. The only western music I care for is Jazz and some Blues. But as far as the music for all emotions is concerned, I have a bias toward old Hindi film songs…one for each mood 🙂
Quite interesting artwork there! I heard of some group in Delhi also recycling old tapes to make some cool stuff. Wonderful creativity some people have!
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Kaarina Dillabough July 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Well, of course you will know…the Beatles! Every day:) But there are a few other tunes that always make me smile: Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock and Roll/ Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf/ Out in the Country by Lighthouse…oh, I could go on and on. Heartstring pulls are Unchained Melody and Ain’t No Sunshine. My fave Beatles song? In My Life. Cheers! Kaarina
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Shilpa Garg July 3, 2014 at 10:14 pm

The songs of 70s and 80s are my favorite too and usually listen to them on my laptop or ipod.
When we got our new music system, we gave the audio cassette player at Mother Teresa Home and guess what, I forgot to give the cassettes. So last month gave some 50 odd cassettes to my maid who was thrilled to have them.
And that’s some amazing artworks!! Lovely! 🙂
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Sebastian Aiden Daniels July 4, 2014 at 12:00 am

Those pictures are so impressive. That is amazing that they can do that with a cassette tape.

I am similar to you. I associate certain songs with periods of my life though. Like this song by Adam Lambert makes me think of a breakup and a tough period during my life because I always heard it on the radio during that time and really liked it. So if I here it now I think of that time.
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T Hopkins July 4, 2014 at 8:21 am

Hi Vidya!
Music is what makes my heart beat and my soul soar. I truly believe I could not live without it! Everything I do, whether mundane chores or creative projects, goes so much better with music. It’s as if my brain won’t function at full capacity without it. And when it’s not playing on the stereo, it’s playing through my mind–always, something. I enjoy most all genres, especially Classical and Rock.
It sounds like we grew up during the same era of music. I love so much music from those decades! I’m especially grateful that many artists nowadays have seen the light and are bringing back anew that whole era of great songs and great songwriting. And I’m very happy to know another audiophile such as yourself. Blessings to you!

simple girl July 4, 2014 at 10:08 am

The artworks are gorgeous …. and for me.. I am not much of a music listener. I only end up listening to music when I am watching a movie and I can never work with music in the back ground. Pretty weird because most people in my house enjoy listening to music…
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Shailaja V July 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

LOVE music and love all those series you’ve mentioned. My uncle had a video collection of it all and my growing up years were full of them! You are the PERFECT Lucy 😀 Don’t ask me why 😉
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Rajlakshmi July 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Music can make me feel of sort of emotions, happy sad mad 😛 I sometimes listen to old songs, I love the lyrics and innocence in those days.
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Eli July 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Great post Vidya! Im a music over too.. My teenagers go crazy when I (quite often) sing along on the happy songs from the 80-s … But I like alot of different types of music – from classical, reggae, rock … Have a soft spot for music that “fills” me up and makes me happy – then singing out loud is unavoidable…:-)
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Sheethal July 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Music of old times… that’s something to look up too. I usually listen to music only when driving… that’s the only time I feel connected with music.
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Proactive Indian July 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Well, Lucy, you’re always having a Ball, aren’t you!
I’m partial to the 60s, 70s and 80s too: Beatles, S&G, Jagjit-Chitra Singh, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, etc., and to some of the recent ones like Kailash Kher, Strings, etc..
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Sreeja Praveen July 8, 2014 at 2:07 pm

I’m not much into English music. For me it is K J Yesudas any time all the time everytime 😀 I love humming, especially while cooking…. Lovely post, Vidya 🙂
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Vidya Sury July 8, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Oh I love Yesudas too! His voice is straight from heaven!

Vinay Kumar Satyanarayan June 22, 2018 at 2:49 pm

My neighbours must be going crazy not only by the variety of music I play and not to mention the assortment of gadgets I use to play my tunes….it starts at 6 am every morning till 9 pm every night.
I remember only the tunes…names and lyrics are very hazy…
Music actually relaxes and at the same times helps you think lucidly….



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