Question of the Day: BiPolar Music

I've been noticing lately that when I'm manic, the music I listen to reflects that. It's like I'm being stalked by my mania. Thankfully it doesn't happen when I'm depressed, I don't think I'd make it if it did. Am I crazy? Well, yes, but you know what I mean. Has this happened to any one else? Or is it just me?

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I listen to way bouncier music when I'm on an upswing.

Pikachu42's picture


I'll be bouncing in the chair and moving a lot more than usual.

Tigger's picture


But I do find that my musical inclinations have a tendency to match my moods. I've also found, on rare occasion, that I can sometimes change my mood by listening to a certain type of music - which is a good thing, if it works and I happen to be down.

blwinteler's picture


But with my downs as much as my ups. My music has not been particularly cheerful lately.

Sook's picture

But it seems to be a common human trait that's more pronounced with folks who are. Sometimes, it's very intentional - I'll put on Blue Scholars or Native Guns when I head out to a rally or my local Occupy, marching band music when I'm by my old schools.

Other times, it's less conscious - I won't feel right unless I'm listening to something in a certain situation or place because I subconsciously associate the music with that place and that feeling.

Amy's picture


I think every body does that. It is said that music is the real language of the heart and soul. I'm not Bi-polar but the music I listen too changes with my mood just like every one else... when I am angry and upset if i start off by listening to the music that best suits me at that point and then after about 30 - 60 min switch to the music that is best for me when I am mellow, I can often help trigger a more mellow state of mind.

I have a patient who is also bi-polar.... she is currently experimenting with my methods.

RD_the's picture

I agree with Amy. I think everyone does that. There's a reason that "break-up music" is a thing. Music happens to be something that defines people as individuals, as cultures, and even as species. It is very much a part of the human experience, and music is used to deepen and expand many of our experiences. We have music at weddings, and at funerals. We sing at birthday celebrations. And there are songs/types of music that are used for all of these experiences, creating the proper atmosphere. When you're trying to get to know someone, one of the things that will almost inevitably come up is "what kind of music do you like?" Really, why wouldn't we use music to reflect or affect our individual emotions?

I know I certainly use music that way. I have music that makes me happy, I have music that I listen to when I am happy, I have music that calms me down, and I have music that I listen to when I'm not feeling happy. I get musical cravings where I need to listen to a specific group/song, although sometimes it takes a while to identify which group/song I need. Most recently I was craving Basia Bulat, although before that I was on a Travelin' Wilburys kick.

Kreyopresny's picture


...definitely reflects my mood, though someone looking in wouldn't understand. When I'm angry I tend to listen to classical, and the punk\metal (i.e. angry sounding music) is actually saved for when I'm nostalgic, since I was really into that kinda stuff in my early teens. Mostly though, I try to use music that will change my mood. Stuff that cheers me up, or makes me feel more sensitive or open.

Even stranger is when I PLAY music and it reflects my mood. Just noodling around on the guitar or piano, I seem to make up my best stuff when I'm super emotional in any way, though the sound of it never seems to match my moods. Find your muse and all that I guess?

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