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C’mon, get happy

My therapist recently suggested that I create a playlist of songs that make me happy so that I could listen to it when I’m feeling anxious or depressed. She asked me to think about music I like. The first artist that came to mind was Neko Case. But with lyrics like “My true love died in a dirty old pan of oil/That did run from a block/Of a Falcon Sedan 1969” and “Carved your name across three counties/Ground it in with bloody hides/Their broken necks will line the ditch,” her songs are maybe not the best example of happy music. So I thought a bit more and came up with Aimee Mann (“Life just kind of empties out/Less a deluge than a drought”). Nope. Sleater-Kinney (“My falling shape will draw a line/Between the blue of sea and sky”). Uh-uh. Clearly, these are not artists known for their catalog of feel-good ditties.

When I couldn’t come up with anything that I was willing to say out loud, my therapist told me that a lot of her clients liked show tunes, which made me wonder if she treated a lot of gay men but didn’t give me anything to work with. I’m just not a fan of musicals. Finally, I told her I liked the Beastie Boys. I don’t think she knew what to make of that, and I suspect she wrote in her notes, “Shannon is so depressed and/or unintelligent she can’t even recognize happy music.”

On the drive home, I tried to think of songs rather than bands. I considered and quickly rejected a whole slew of songs, the most uplifting of which was “Ode to Billie Joe.” I don’t know if I was just confusing “good songs” with “happy songs” or if my taste in music is an indication of severe depression.

When I got home, I Googled “Feel good music,” and got songs like “Walking on Sunshine,” “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” and, of course, the ubiquitous “Happy.” Sorry, but that’s just not my groove. I looked at my iPod to see if I had any music that didn’t involve death, destruction, or despair. The Beatles. Okay, that works. They Might Be Giants. Of course. Barenaked Ladies. Now we’re getting somewhere!

I was finally able to come up with a playlist of songs that are perhaps not as peppy as “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” but they make me happy. Here’s a little sample of what’s on my playlist, which I had intended to share on Spotify, but because I’m technologically impaired I cannot figure the hell out how to make happen. I’ll keep working on that, but in the meantime, tell me: What songs make you happy?



4 thoughts on “C’mon, get happy

  1. Awful, awful hair metal. It’s high energy and totally stupid: in form and content, it’s the opposite of serious. And it’s impossible to take myself seriously when I’m listening to it. (We just won’t talk about the lingering shame over my crap taste in music.) I love The Darkness because they don’t even try to be serious about it, they just go way over the top.
    This one is awesome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeRY-jxKuqA
    Driving around in the car singing ‘THAT DOG DON’T GIVE A FUCK’ at high volume is very therapeutic. 🙂

  2. Quiet Riot!! Bang Your Head, Cum on Feel the Noize, Slick Black Cadillac. As loud as I can stand it for as long as I can stand it!!

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