‘Play It, Sam’: Soundtrack for a Better Day

I soundtrack most of the activities in my day. Get-up-and-go tunes for the journey to work, and usually angry ones for the journey home; experiments and new tunes for cooking and cleaning; audiobooks or cosy, comforting tunes for the bath; and when I’m writing a script I soundtrack the whole film and write to it.

My illness, or more precisely the bad days, have their music too. It’ll start off maudlin and wollowy, but it’ll soon turn to the brighter tunes on my mp3 player, ending in an all-out I’m-gonna-kick-your-arse-stupid-illness-and-get-my-life-back-and-live-every-second-to-the-fullest kind of rollicking playlist.

There is so much power in music, I can’t imagine not using it to get through the best and the worst moments in my life.

So here’s a teeny tiny section of a playlist, which forms part of one of my bugger-off-bad-day playlists – hopefully it will inspire you to make one too, and share it with us!

Get Better Playlist #1

  • Give Yourself a Fighting Chance – The Leisure Society
  • Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine
  • ABC – The Jackson Five
  • Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones
  • A Change Would Do You Good – Sheryl Crow
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin Groovy) – Simon and Garfunkel
  • Be Ok – Ingrid Michaelson
  • Proud Mary – Tina Turner
  • Little Bird – Annie Lennox
  • Mr E’s Beautiful Blues – Eels
  • Phenomena – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Alive – Daft Punk
  • Gloria/ Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger – Patti Smith
  • A Perfect Day, Elise – P J Harvey
  • You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three – Squirrel Nut Zippers
  • Let Forever Be – Chemical Brothers
  • Lust for Life – Iggy Pop

Does music play a role in helping you through your day too? Tell us what you listen to and how it helps – we’d love to hear!

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11 responses to “‘Play It, Sam’: Soundtrack for a Better Day

  1. If I feel glum and things are getting on top of me I like to listen to proper cheesy belting pop, like Christina Aguilera’s ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ or something bouncy and upbeat like ‘Soul Meets Body’ by Deathcab for Cutie (a much classier, more respectable choice than Christina). Music can change my mood, or start the feelings flowing round if I’m feeling rather mundane, and then – creativity happens! The best is when I’m travelling (by car or bus or train) and staring out of the window – the movement and the music does something magical to my mind. It makes me feel more alive or something. xx

    • That’s exactly it Holly, something magical happens, like a door to another world is opened and you get to spend some time there for a while, an island of pleasure during the rigors of normality!

  2. Hmmmm…
    Harder better faster stronger – Daft Punk
    Samson – Regina Spektor
    (This is for the) Better Days – The Bees
    Mermaid Parade – Phosphorescent
    Little Green Bag – George Baker
    Don’t let me be misunderstood – Esmerelda Suite (from Kill Bill)
    Sia – Breathe Me

    Oh dear. Getting too overexcited by it all. Best stop now. Any matches with anyone else?

  3. Oh my word… So very many songs

    Back to the start – Polly paulusma
    Rapture – Anthony and the Johnson’s (the orchestral arrangement is out of this world)
    Everyone’s waiting – missy Higgins
    Free – Beth Nielsen chapman
    This will be our year – nerina pallot
    Puncture repair – elbow
    Anything by Foy Vance

    There is always a perfect song for a moment…

  4. All these tracks I love for one reason or another …

    Upbeat: I Fink You Freaky – Die Antwoort
    80s: Soul Train 12″ mix – Swansway
    Disco: Le Freak – Chic
    Pop: Pop Muzik – M
    Rock anthem: Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty
    Love song: Pull Me Down – Mikki Ekko
    Chilled cheese: Nothing’s Real But Love – Rebecca Ferguson
    Cover: Crazy In Love – Anthony & the Johnsons
    Glasgow: Let’s Go Out Tonight – The Blue Nile
    Classic: Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
    Drug anthem: Mr Pharmacist – The Fall
    Sobriety Song: You Got The Love – The Source/Candi Staton
    Rarr: The Message – Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five
    Legend: Turn Blue – Iggy Pop
    Out of Love Song: Waiting For You – Josh Kumra
    Diva: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – Nina Simone
    Euro tune: Chemical Love – Yasmin
    Random: Away/Towards – Hookworms
    My song: Stella – Ida Maria 🙂

    Gosh, I could go on …

  5. Currently loving new single from The Juan Maclean, totally uplifting and perfect for dancing around the kitchen, a chair dancing if you’re feeling tired! 🙂

  6. I tend to listen to sad stuff when I don’t feel so good because it actually sort of helps even though it seems like it might make you feel worse? I think it helps to feel like other people have sung songs about things you’re feeling so you’re not alone, it’s comforting. And then later on I’ll listen to the energetic/upbeat stuff when that suits my mood better. Here are a few I go to often;

    Dogwood Blossom – Fionn Regan
    Heather Woods Broderick – Cottonwood Bay
    In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel
    Civilian – Wye Oak
    Apples – Efterklang
    Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap
    Hungry Face – Mogwai
    Sleeping Sickness – City and Colour
    My Girl the Horse – Fences

    Then something more energetic like

    Default – Django Django
    Genesis – Grimes
    Hummer – Foals
    Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    Goodbye, Goodbye – Tegan and Sara
    Standing in the Way of Control – Gossip
    Step Aside – Efterklang

    Now I’m going to check out the stuff other people have recommended!

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