Bipolar Disorder Community
Coping with Music
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Coping with Music

Since I write music I'm naturally curious about other people's taste in music and other such things and thus I'm curious about how you guys feel about music.  Do any of you listen to music to try to help improve your mood when you're perhaps depressed?  Is it mood appropriate and depressing when you're depressed or is it the exact opposite?  Myself, I find that listening to music that is appropriate to the mood helps the most instead of listening to the exact opposite.
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Absolutely corlenbelspar !
I love music and it is always with me - I haven't gone the iTunes route but I have a special (big) usb to which I can attach earphones, plug into my car radio, tv or stereo at home etc.
I've got around 1500 titles.

I just love these artists - Madonna, Chris Isaac, Coldplay, Duffy, Joe Satriani, Kelly Clarkson, Lou Reed, Melanie C [playing now], U2.

I love Oz music intensely too - we have some great artists here - heard of Paul Kelly, Delta Goodram, Nic Cave, Jimmy Barnes, Sarah Storer?
If you need educatin' you can pm me for some music links!

While we're on music - does anybody have a Bipolar song?
The songs I have saved so far are :-

Because I got High - Afroman
This is Who I Am - Madonna
Crushing Day - Joe Satriani
Talking Back to the Night - Joe Cocker
See the Sun Again - Dido  
Dancing In The Dark - Bruce Springsteen

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Crazy by Patsy Cline ;-)
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Oh and also, Crazy by Niles Barkley which is my theme tune!
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I always thought Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd was a good for Bipolar disorder because it starts out all moody and depressed and then gets high and the lyrics can fit things that happen with the disorder.
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Wow what a thought provoking question! Yes I agree with you, the music has to 'fit the mood'.  When I was a student I listened to Pink Floyd alot but I can't listen to it now as it really brings back dark thoughts.

My Bipolar songs..

Bedshaped - Keane (sums up BP for me)
Closest thing to Crazy - Katy Melua
What if....Coldplay
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
All the Lost Souls - James Blunt (The whole album but particularly 'Shine On')
Bridge over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Somewhere over the Rainbow - Eva Cassidy

All songs which have made me cry but I will 'enjoy' wallowing in sadness listening to them

I'll probably go and think of loads more but I'll stop there.  Music can definitely intensify any mood for me, it has such a powerful effect and has done all my life. Need to think of Happy, high tunes now to balance it out!

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I added another song with 'Crazy' in the title for you :-)
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"Crazy" - I love it! - I fished around and found maybe 10 versions by some well known artists - but Gnarls Barkley definitely gets my vote.

Sorry corlenbelspar  - "Comfortably Numb" is a bit depressing for me - isn't it about dying?
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Comfortably Numb was about where doctors bust into Pink's hotel room and brought him out of a drug overdose in order to shove him on to stage to perform a concert.  Pink himself was always going through some kind of mental breakdown throughout the album and movie due to traumatic events that kept happening to him.

I always thought "Now I've got that feeling once again, I can't explain, you would not understand, this is not how I am." was one of the best lyrics I ever heard in my life.
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corlenbelspar  -  I'll bow to your superior knowlege!

Now..........for a "GET UP AND GO" piece,
how can you go past: Crushing Day by Joe Satriani (world's best guitarist?) - it just gets me up and going! - I'm still trying to figure out how to get it into my alarm clock!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbTYs-ajHUk
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Hi Farraway.  It would have helped if I'd spelt the guys name properly, lol.  I had a complete blank and went through Giles, Niles ... you get my drift ;-)  I used to sing it in the car with windows down, kids in the back laughing.  

Thanks Narnia :-)  yes that is a good song.

I have to admit to having a love of the vast majority of styles of music.  Here are my all time faves:  (not inc those I've already mentioned).

Every Breath You Take - The Police
Nobody's Diary - Yazoo
The Weakness in Me - Joan Armatrading
Underworld - Born Slippy - This ones makes me high, I jump round like a loony!
Insomnia - Faithless
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Mary - Dido
When I'm Gone - Eminem

Oh I could go on and on and on and on .......

Currently listening to Joan Armatrading.
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I think Joe Satriani could grow on me!!!  I love guitar.  Who played parisian walkways?  Absolutely adore the guitar solo in that song.
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Oooh ooh, Coldplay - which is the song with "when September comes" in the lyrics.  They played that at my son's leaving service (when he left junior school) - oh boy I still sob whenever I hear it!

Ok, folks I promise I'll shush for a bit now :-()
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Waking up with BP mania attack - Beautiful Day by Elbow
The end of it all - Hallelujah covered by Rufus Wainright.
Manic obsession - Obsession by Sarah McLaughlin
The world is too much to bear - Fantine's song from Les Miserables
My life story - Loser by Beck

This subject turns me on...I was supposed to be some where 20 minutes ago! Music is my language, my comfort, my passion. It puts me under a spell and can bring back a whole world that I loost track of and bring me to my knees.
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Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult lately, but I find most country or 60's, 70's, and some 80's tend to soothe my soul and give me peace. My theme song? They're Coming to Take Me Away! by Napoleon's Ghost of course!
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That's 60,70 and some 80's rock n roll, didn't finish writing my thought.
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My friend Josh introduced me to Elbow, I've only heard two of their songs and would like to hear more but never got around to digging it yet.  I was particularly fond of Mirrorball.  Music is obviously my language and passion too since I'm a composer.  I unfortunately can't write from emotion because I'm usually either depressed or don't have any emotions but I apparently somehow still write music that people think is good and sometimes even merits an emotional response which is cool.  Every once in a while people even say it's "beautiful".

Hell, I sometimes even convey things better through music than I ever could through speech.
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Actually when I encounter a state of depression or dysphoric mania most likely something depresive such as the Cure (early albums before they became too mainstream), Joy Division, Velvet Underground or Nick Drake (favorite is his first album "Five Leaves Left", most people have heard the song "Pink Moon" off his last album, same title). If I am euphoric I would say classic rock from the 60's, any of the latter albums by the Beatles or the Byrds. If I am stressed and want to chill out, some early electronica such as (very early) Tangerine Dream or contemporary classical such as Philip Glass. Anything by Miles Davis I'll play at all times though or jazz in general. The more interesting thing for me is not to play music that fits my mood but to be listening to music and then realize from it what mental state it shows I am in.
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I love the Gnarls (sp?) Barkley song too, have been known to dance round the kitchen to that one!

I think you mean ''Wake me up when September ends'' by Green Day? Not surprised you sobbed to that at a school leaving service...I'm an emotional wreck at anything like that...as for nativity plays, well I'm hopeless.

Parisian Walkways is by Gary Moore, classic song I agree.

Your September question's just made me think of a fantasic UPBEAT song by Earth Wind & Fire, cheasy I know but I like it :-)

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corlenbelspar....great conversation topic well done :-)

farraway...now looking for your link on youtube...instead of doing my college homework lol.  Doesn't take much to distract me at the moment!
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Mwa ha ha ha!  It was all part of my insidious evil plan to start a massive discussion topic to unleash upon the world!  Now my evil plan has come together.
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Yeah music helps me alot
I also notice that because my moods change I have very diverse taste in music
when I'm angey I listen to slipknot killswich disturbed mudvane,puddle of mud
alot of the more heavy modern stuff stuff (too many songs to list)
If I'm slightly elavated I listen to techno or rap
like ATC,Basshunter,BT,Freezepop,Prodigy,The chemical brothers,Okenfold,Lords of acid,Daft punk,Snoop dogg Tech n9ne ludachris,eminem,mystikal,Dr dre
When i'm depressed I listen to whiney crapthats normally in the pop genera or really  depressing RnB songs
NLT, nysnc, O town, backstreet boys, savage garden, Burtha, Usher,
Styl Plus
to name a few
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I forgot to mention 'Purple Rain' by Prince and 'When the Doves Cry'.

Thanks Narnia - how could I get Green Day and Coldplay mixed up,   my son would disown me, lol!

In my late teens early 20's it was electronic/techno/dance.

I also like the Beetles as my dad was always playing them - a personal favourite was 'Nowhere Man'.

If this is a Master Plan then I like it, lol!!!!
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Well let's see here, I'm the only one so far who didn't list stuff I listen to and I started this so here goes.

I'm really into Pink Floyd, I liked the album 666 by Aphrodite's Child which is loosely about the book of Revelations.  Bob Seger is pretty cool.  David Bowie, Flogging Molly with the song Float in particular.  Gorillaz and Beethoven and Mozart and many other classical composers such as Carl Orff and his Carmina Burana.  Kayak, which is a band from the Netherlands that sings in English for some reason.  Led Zepplin, Metallica, Rush, some of SEAL's stuff, STP, The Beatles, Wednesday 13 and many others.  I'm also into video game music probably because I only had it and random rock music to listen to when growing up since my great grandparents never bought me tape cassettes to listen to for some reason.
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Thought I'd put in my two cents.  If I need to cheer up I usually listen to Britney Spears.  I know, so bubblegum.  Can't help it.  The mindless pop keeps my thoughts nice and superficial.  I also love Pink, but some of her music can stir stuff up.  She's definitely got some mood issues.  Matchbox 20 makes me feel normal, since so many of their songs, like Unwell, sound like they were written for bipolars.  If I'm in the mood to move, Eminem always gets me going. Also love Nora Jones, Justin, and Michael Buble.

Does it seem like bipolars tend to have more of an eclectic taste in music more often than others?
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I've seen this question crop up before about people with BP possibly having a more varied musical interest.  I suppose the only way to find out is to ask people without BP, lol.

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i find music to be perfact therepy for me. i carry my ipod every were i go because when im feeling manic or like i want to hurt someone it calms me down. kinda keeps me sain... lol

Heidi
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I LOVE JOE SATRIANI TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Always with me, always with you :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yc8xyL0Xxo

I am a depressive writer, I blog to myself! On my blog I put a playlist that has the artist - Karunesh - No words - just music, helps me write :) Anything that has good meditation value, that helps me breathe!

I also enjoy Stevie Nicks, the last episode I had a couple years ago meant disaster almost for a relationship, the song Wild Heart I especially like! Ummm...also Sheryl Crow Are You Strong Enough to Be My Man, sounds stupid I know but its true. When you're a true blue crazy woman, not many men are strong enough to stay with me :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok4SRFbxALQ

I've most recently heard a song on the radio by Pink called Sober I think. I put it in to terms of not drugs and alcohol but moods also. I don't drink or do drugs anymore but can relate from when I did and even now when I don't.

I also love some good old booty shakin' music when I'm feeling good!!!!!!!!!!

What a great subject!
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Wow, I'm down for a few days...thanks Carlenbelspar for the help on my a.s.a.p.
Ok, I like music that relaxes, most of the time.  Or, both of my girls are musicians.  One sings old hymns and opera the other sings contempary Christian and contempary music.

But my favorites when not listening to them are:

Josh Grodin
George Winston
Bethoven
Bach
Peruvian/Andes non vocal music
Selah
Keith Green
Sandy Patty
any country western song that deals with loving family, country and God
the song It is well with my soul, look it up on the net for and when it was written

My mom, the memory of all that she played from the time I was a baby until about three years ago, still here, she plays music in her sweet head now not on the piano
in teens, Cat Stevens, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Loverboy, Simon and Garfunkle, Eagles, Cher, Barbara Steisand, some Pink Floyd, Journey, Beetles now and forever.
I use Pandora to find all these songs.  And seriously, read the story of the man that wrote IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL...GUTWRENCHING
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Knowing the number of musicians who have bipolar (as well as the number that have but haven't disclosed) I would say so. Musicians and artists are more likely to have bipolar and there does seem to be a link between that and creativity. If one could take the good aspects of that without the severe problems mania and certainly depression causes one would think we would be better off lol. Today is the first day of the Clonidine patch so the listening will be more cheerful. Yesterday it was quite depressive. I certainly find music to be quite therapeutic. I usually have my stereo on at all times that I am awake in the house as its effect is calming on me.
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I also like the 80's into 90's waver music! The Cure yes, mood music, old stuff, not new. I was thinking about my present music choices, I have never-ending music changes with the different stages of my life, I guess that's w/ everyone, BP or not. Has anyone heard Summerland by everyclear, I listened to that a lot when I was young. It was me and my best girlfriend's song. I still have that friend, she's one of my main supporters :) :)
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Twelvesgirl:
"No one cares about us anyway..." (Summerland) Doesn't that just some up teen age angst? Especially for us just beginning to be sucked down into the depression of our BP condition.
  All:
Does anyone else share the experience of hearing a particular song for the first time and having a strong physical reaction - heart palpitations, widening eyes, intense concentration and then an exact memory of the time and place you first discovered it? Feelings of ownership and "no one really "gets" this song but me"? Hopefully I'm a little more rational about these things now that I'm older but I still can feel these emotions trying to surface. Songs that I can remember my first time include, "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, "Your Own Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode, and "Possession" by Sarah McLachlan - NOT "Obsession" which is one of my symptoms and my sister's favorite perfume.
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Oh! And most defeinitely "Hate Me" by Blue October. In that video I am that mother for my oldest son and it was my dearest wishes that he had written those words.
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That's what I love about music, the way it can transport you back to a different time, place, situation.  Cher "If I could turn back time" has that effect on me.  Prince's "Purple Rain" also and Tina Turner "Whats Love Got to Do With It".

I used to love Depeche Mode, my favourite track was "Everything Counts".

Madonna "Crazy For You" - oh dear it's that word again, it seems to be a bit of a theme for me, lol!
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Purple Rain, makes me feel really nostalgic too...I had the album and his posters on my bedroom wall lol!

Along the 'crazy' theme....don't forget Prince's ''Let's go Crazy'' ?!
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lol, but I don't like that one very much :-o

Was it Dr and the Medics who sang "You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round ... like a record baby, right round round now" - that's been me today!
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Dead or Alive did You Spin Me Right Round I believe.
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You are so correct, sir. You are too young to know all this. My night has been "Red Red Wine" by Bob Marley. Not blotso, mind you, but just a little more than I should have had on an empty stomach - in front of people I am always so tempted to tell what I really think about them.... I'm safe at home now. "One More Song" by the Killers - "When there's no where else to run, is there room for one, one more song, one more soooong, when you can't hold on, when you can't hoooold on.................hold on.
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every heard of the Mood Swings, a Chrissy Hynes band back in the 90s I think....
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OMG how weird is that!  I was just thinking of Chrissy yesterday evening and went on youtube to find "brass in pocket" - after I'd sung it to my husband to find out the title, lol.  That was when she was "The Pretenders".
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So, the list so far is:

Afroman                       Because I got High
Beatles                       Nowhere Man
Elbow                       Beautiful Day
Bruce Springsteen       Dancing In The Dark
Coldplay                       What if....
Dido                         See the Sun Again
Eva Cassidy               Somewhere over the Rainbow
Gary Moore               Parisian Walkways
Rufus Wainright               Hallelujah
James Blunt               All the Lost Souls
Jeff Buckley               Hallelujah
Joe Cocker               Talking Back to the Night
Joe Satriani               Crushing Day
Katy Melua               Closest thing to Crazy
Keane                       Bedshaped
Loser                       Beck
Madonna                       This is Who I Am
Napoleon's Ghost       Take Me Away!
Niles Barkley               Crazy
Patsy Cline               Crazy
Pink Floyd                       Comfortably Numb
Prince                       Purple Rain
Sarah McLaughlin       Manic Obsession
Simon & Garfunkel       Bridge over Troubled Water

Just love Gary Moore, Katy Melua & Kean! - Thanks!
Corlenbelspar, shouldn't you have done this?  Where do I send my account?
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Shouldn't I have done what and where do you send your account for what?
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Well it's your string!  
You requested our music favourites......so aren't you supposed to keep us updated??  
You can compensate me with a song sometime!

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Guess veggie tale songs are out! lol
Velveteen Rabbit music by George Winston and naration by Meril Streep was the best to send kids to bed on...um and the tired parents.
Purple Rain and any music by one of the best musicians still alive Prince is great.
the music score in Wicked, Les Miserables and a little in Phantom are good.
The guy who wrote it is well with my soul was not bp. He lost everything and at a point of pondering, where his wife and daughters had gone down in international waters in a steam liner after so much pain and loss, he wrote one of the most moving hymns....look it up.

Ok, Patsy Cline's Crazy for loving you is great.  I like the Beatles, yellow submarine for just jumping around to it.
I must be a nerd, I prefer dark poetry but soothing, comforting and mainly mellow music unless cleaning the house...then it is peruvian music!

zzzmykids
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i used to write lyrics and play a little guitar back in the day. don't have much inspiration lately. but i love love love music! soooo theraputic. my favorites:
disturbed-sickness and get psycho
motley crue-just another psycho
killswitch engage, korn, eminem when manic or irritable
melallica-sanitarium and anything anytime! metallica rocks!
also like some punk like my chemical romance
without music i would be lost and very alone!  i stick to my favorites like disturbed and metallica no matter what mood i'm in. the others vary, i even like nelly some.
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I must add Bach's Brandenburg Concertos makes my brain feel healthy.  Just know its firing on all nerve ends and calibrated right when I listen to the concertos....

Usta hear full symphony playing and realize I was listening to the music in my head.  Not playing as much violin, and have not experienced that in years.....
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I know what you mean.  When I'm depressed I listen to music that makes me more depressed!  Sheesh!  Usually it's Celtic,,old Irish ballads.  There's this one fiddle tune called, "Border Widow" that I used to turn off the lights and listen to when I was a teen,no words to it,,but I would just marinate in this hog wallow of depression and go deeper and deeper until I would be actually tearing up.  I still do that to some extent.  But now I know that I have to avoid certain songs or tunes when I feel depressed.
Because I'm a folk musician, my "up" tunes can be just about anything, except of course the old Irish ballads.
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You should listen to windham hills music for the  folk stuff and any and all peruvian music without vocals.
I had the luxury of growing up hearing  piano played twice a day.  My mom was a concert pianist, church organist and lover of all music.  I miss it greatly.  I think she was the best musician in the world.  Oh and transposing on the spot was her thing.
Lol, when I bring,  her up here, if my piano is not tuned she gets angry and won't play at all...guess the hearing can go but not the perfect pitch!

You can query andes/peruvian instrumental music and come up with quite a few spots.
Again, I am the nerd in the crowd in here, love classical, broadway musicals, piano, opera, old hyms and todays artists that are instrumental.

I do like word songs sometimes but it takes me away from the place I am mentally enjoying.
Good Topic!!!
zzzmykids
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Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child
I am a Poor, Wayfaring Stranger
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

     These Negro spirituals tell the same story as I. I sing them to myself all the time.
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This is not music of the man-made album type but of the nature made type...I had a very hard, very depressive day yesterday...I'm not sure what was wrong, I was just very off. We planted trees (a mini weeping willow for me right in the corner of my yard) and I potted flowers and a plant that reminded me of Dr. Suess, just trying to bring my mood up. Nothing worked. Kids in bed, all is quiet, I went outside in my yard and sat. I opened up my mind and let it go, I let all of that chaos go to work, and instead of thinking about a million different things, I could hear every single noise in my neighborhood. It was completely amazing, the birds were all singing different songs and they seemed to all be singing to me, the CHAOS TUNE that I heard was so fitting to to my "normal" frame of mind. Eventually I fell asleep and was woke by my startled husband wondering what the h*ll I was doing sleeping in the backyard!!!!
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Music sooths the soul.
I love listening to progressive jazz to settle me out.
If I want to get moving I listen what my kids like or go to my favorite 80's songs.

When I was in my depressed moods when I was younger in my 20's I would waddle in my misery with depressive songs.
Pink Floyd is a real downer!

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I enjoy all forms of jazz. That can carry across mood and take me out of both mania and depression as its just even keel. My grandfather was just passed on played in the big bands in the 40's but I like everything from Charlie Parker and Miles Davis and John Coltrane up to anything modern as long as its not smooth jazz. If it has at least somewhat of an edge to it it takes me out of my shell.
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Perhaps you could share a bit more about your own music and what you play? I've ran into many people who composed music or were singer/songwriters on the poetry scene as both tend to perform in the same places. I have a virtual analog keyboard synth and on the first day of the Clonidine patch application can compose (at home mostly). Same with playing classical piano and my mother owns a Steinway. All this is a rarity though but its great to hear about other people's creativity and see it live as well.
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I have a physical MIDI controller keyboard and it's touch sensitive so it works pretty good in combination with the East/West Quantum Leap Symphony Orchestra Silver Edition's Steinway Model B piano or my Fender Rhodes patch that although is free it still sounds just like a Rhodes piano.

I notice if I try to listen to upbeat music when I'm depressed it just annoys me and makes my mood worse so I'll listen to stuff such as the more depressing songs by Pink Floyd or songs such as Gimmie Shelter by The Rolling Stones have a note structure which makes me get depressed for some reason and I have to usually avoid them when I'm not depressed.

I also like the music my friend makes, give it a listen.  He unlike me has the self-esteem to think his work is good, which it is of course.  http://eternalinfamy.com/
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Oh I couldn't sleep (racing stress thoughts) and thinking of music is perfect to maybe soothe me.

-Mad World - Gary Jules and Michael Andrews: Melancholy
-The Resolution - Jack's Mannequin (which he wrote about surviving lukemia): Need a lift up
-Anything by Staind. I feel like he writes songs for me and me life. Especially It's Been A While.
-Angels on The Moon - Thriving Ivory: Just lets me sing something out.
-Whats Up - 4 Non Blondes: Strength. I survived rape the night I sang that song karaoke. Took me a year to hear it again and when I did I felt empowered.
Lastly, probably no one knows Patrick Park. I used to know him, he's bigger in California. But his song Honest Skrew is a comforting song. Dunno why.

I was just thinking about how much music affects me. I balled my eyes out when Michael Jackson died. He was a childhood friend to me because of his music. Thanks for this posting! I love music, and I love talking about it.

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Almost anything by Blue October. Some of my favorites are "A quite mind," "H.R.S.A," and "Chameleon Boy."
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I imagine you are very talented! I have an early 1900 Steinway "Upright Grand" and don't play a note! I can write poetry when super depressed.  BUT you, my funny cone friend must really have no idea how good you are, as your friend does with his music.
Neither daughters write, but both sing like crazy.  One was in all girl band that played their own music and has worked in the studio as the only white chick on all original gospel music.  The other leads worship.  What they would give to write music! Oldest daughter from 3 to 6 was the youngest pupil of Charles Lewis, a jazz composer and performer in mainly the Scottsdale, Az area.  Loved listening to him and his band.  Would love to listen to your music. God gave you a precious gift, know you are special and you can soothe the hearts of many with your music.  zzz
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Rudimentary peni all the time! The morose beats work well when im feeling down, and the fact that I love it so much works when in happy too, Nick Blinko puts so much emotion into it. It makes me want to create! (So I usually just start drawing and it distracts me) And old Nick Cave feels like a dream when i'm feeling a little more hyper (When he was doing The Birthday Party) :333. Sometimes I listen to Kommunity FK (Close one Sad Eye) when my mood is low too. And yeah, depressing music always helps when your depressed. Maybe its because you feel like your being understood? Someone is feeling the same way you do.
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Actually Nick Blinko has schizoaffective. Strange fact but true. He has his own website with his art work as well. I don't know if creativity is a part of bipolar as people say but there must be some connection.
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I find that if I listen to music it will change my mood, or at the very least improve my mood.  Izstrange mentioned Blue October and I have ALWAYS enjoyed their music.  After doing some research I learned that the lead singer Justin Furstenfeld is bipolar.  
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Brian Wilson is also another musician I know of off the top of my head who has schizoaffective disorder.
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What in interesting thread,,I seem to be different,,who isn't right?  When I get depressed, unfortunately I listen to music that seems to drive me further into depression.  It's a shovel for me, digging me deeper into a pit.  I am a musician as well, playing celtic, folk and bluegrass.  The Irish fiddle tune, "Border Widow" used to have almost tactile blackness to it for me.  The Irish ballad, "Sean O'Dwyer", almost the same. It's almost as if the minor keys are poison.  The minor tunings on a appalachian dulcimer are like brain candy for melancholia.  I've grown up playing this kind of music.  I play other kinds too.  "Little Wing" as played by Stevie Ray Vaughn is almost diagnostic for on oncoming depression.
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