The German writer Thomas Mann said once: “Time cools, time clarifies; no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.” Forget hours, I can’t maintain a mood for more than 20 minutes. Some people seem to be able to travel through various moods like a large supertanker, pushing through the waves of despair or joy and remaining fixed on the horizon in front of them. I, on the other hand, oscillate up and down like a crazy toddler on a playground swing. It’s not bipolar, just being a little oversensitive to external signals such as rainy days.

Some people choose to use mind-altering drugs to affect their moods, but I find the cheapest and healthiest drug to do that is music. If I am in a foul mood, down or dispirited or sad, there are two ways to go. One is to find a piece of music that will lift me out of it, or to find a piece of music that magnifies the misery, bringing the emotion to a head and allowing it to pass like a severe shower at the end of a stormy day.

We all have our ‘go to’ pieces of music that have...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now