This (yes, another BBC news link, it’s useful for the basics of information) is interesting. I don’t particularly like the idea of being prescribed music, but I know for a fact this works. It would, however, have to be tailored to the individual – for example, my mother feels happier when listening to Gogol Bordello, but they don’t work for me (most heavy bands that don’t play doom, thrash, death or black metal, however, do).
I use music for this purpose a lot. Last term, when I was walking in the mornings, I used to listen to glam metal on my way up. Why? Well, it helped me walk faster and made me feel more energetic and awake (seriously, though, Kiss at eight o’clock in the morning is kinda weird). These days, I get a lift and they listen to pop music in the car, presumably for the same reason (doesn’t help me, but I can deal with it).
I also use it… when everything else has failed. When the screen is cold and hostile and I don’t feel able to talk to the people I’m close to and my bass is no comfort and I can’t write it all out, I listen to Smoke on the Water (Made in Japan version – if you think you know Smoke and you don’t know this, you don’t know Smoke), followed by Smooth Dancer, either Highway Star or Space Truckin’ and then anything else that comes up on Deep Purple menu shuffle. Almost three years ago I first heard that version of Smoke, and it helped me then to find a new meaning in life (to ROCK!) It still saves me now.
And I know I’m not the only one with similar experiences. Sometimes it’s not a happy song that does it, but frankly… if it works, don’t knock it.