The Soundtrack of your Life, Part 4: a song for your wishes and desires

To finish building “The Soundtrack of your Life”, I asked people which song they play when they want or need to feel something, or remember a special moment, because we all know music can change our mood.



The three previous articles showed how music can represent a special feeling or a special situation for someone. Here are the songs that you automatically play because they adapt to your mood or, on the contrary, help you get into another mood when you need it. 

That’s the key: songs can change how you feel or have a positive impact on a specific situation. I’m talking about music you choose on purpose for something in particular. 

To conclude the “Soundtrack of your Life” with this fourth and final article, I asked people to tell me about songs they play when they want or need something. For various situations, you will see that they mentioned very different kinds of music.


A song to focus


There are people who can’t focus with any kind of noise around them, and people who absolutely need something in the background because silence makes them anxious. The interviewees were almost all in the second category.

For Illeana (23, France), Morgan (26, United States), Lou Ann (23, France), Ella (18, United States), and Now (15, Turkey) instrumental or classical music does the job. Lou Ann told us about the music from the ballet The Nutcracker, when Illeana mentioned the American violinist Lindsey Stirling, explaining that she can’t focus with popular songs because “[She] would tend to sing along”. 

Ella chose specifically “Define Dancing” from the movie WALL-E, and Morgan preferred the South Korean pianist Yruma’s discography: “I put on piano with no lyrics so that the words I’m hearing don’t affect the words I’m writing”. 

Nox also mentioned piano with “The Ones Left Behind” by Martin Rapide. 

Other people, like Annie (18, England) and Kerry (17, Scotland), can work with lyrics in the background and it even helps them. Annie chose “Mama” by My Chemical Romance and explained that “I know the song super well so I can enjoy and sing along to it without really being distracted.” Kerry mentioned “Wake-up” by Black Veil Brides because “it is loud, which helps me block any other sound that could be going on”.  


A song when you’re looking for positive feelings 


Music has a relaxing power, and it doesn’t always come from calm noises one can think about. Meli (22, France) told me about “You’re The Conversation” from the French movie Sky Fighters “because of the wonderful vocals and the melody that can carry you up in the air”. 

Nox (15, Turkey) chose a song that was “made to make people feel less anxious”, “Weightless” by Macroni Union, when Malva (21, France) decided on “Shen’s Theme [Epic Orchestral Cinematic Remix]” from Kung Fu Panda 2: “no lyrics, just imagination… I love it and it give me goosebumps!”

In a calmer tone, Christelle (48, France) chose the French song “Le Sud” by Nino Ferrer, and Raine (14, India) surprisingly preferred “Lose Somebody” by Kigo and OneRepublic: “it is a desperate song, but it makes me feel calm”. 

Sometimes, you need songs that make you feel safe. On this topic, Abby (18, Germany), Annie (18, England) and Tyler (17, Germany) chose songs by Bears in Trees: “Laugh/Cry”, “Starting Fires”, and Keep Me Safe (album), because of their nice words and comfy vibes. 

Annie explains that this band’s power also comes from what they built:

“The fanbase of Bears in Trees is very inclusive and it reflects the attitude of the band members themselves, which makes me feel quite safe in fan spaces as a non-binary person”. 

Morgan (26, United States) mentioned “I’m Alright” by Jo Dee Messina because it takes her back to her childhood, “when everything was safe”, while Bear (15, Australia) preferred “Green Grass – live in Fingringhoe” by Cosmo Sheldrake which makes them feel like “someone is singing only for me and I know they will protect me”. 

To bring them positivity, people chose various kinds of songs: Meli (22, France) qualified “Pneumatic Tokyo” by EnV as “an ultra positive and light melody” and Morgan (26, United States) chose “Soak up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow because it “sounds like a summer day and can make me smile”.

Chloe (22, France) said that Harry Styles’ Fine Line (album) always make her feel better, when Lou Ann (23, France) mentioned “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John, maybe for the same reason Kerry (17, Scotland) answered “Charity” by Yungblud: “it is upbeat, it boosts you and makes you do a little dance”.


A song when you want to express yourself 


Talking about dancing, some songs just have this power to make you move your body. Abby (18, Germany) chose “Dance, Dance” by Fall Out Boy, Ella (18, United States) chose “Think About Things” by Dadi Freyr, and Raine (14, India) “Dear Maria Count me in” by All Time Low. 

Annie (18, England) mentioned “Hang With The Happiness” by Tall Dark Friend as a “super positive song” and Malva (21, France) decided on the famous “Samba do Brasil” by Bellini, for unsurprising reasons. 

Illeana (23, France) gave me a specific memory that comes with “Never Gonna Give you up” by Rick Astley. 

“With my sister, before every german class, we listened to it, each one with a part of the headphones,” she explained. “We danced a bit and then it was ‘Hallo, Frau… Guten morgen’!”

When dancing leaves its place to singing, Abby (18, Germany) sticked to Fall Out Boy with “Immortals” and Meli (22, France) chose “Chop Suey” by System of a Down to “scream the chorus” when Raine (14, India) preferred “Monsters” by All Time Low with the same idea: “it brings out the dying cat in me”. Don’t ask questions. 

Morgan (26, United States) preferred “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, because she “will always belt it out with Stevie Nicks” when Lou Ann (23, France) just mentioned a Hamilton playlist. Illeana (23, France) picked up “DNA” by BTS and Anaïs (22, France) said “Fear of the Dark” by Iron Maiden.


A song when you want to dive into your memories


I asked the interviewees which songs remind them of their childhood and teenage years, especially for the young adults. Abby (18, Germany) mentioned “Boyfriend” by Big Time Rush first because “it reminds me of the shows I would watch and then talk about with friends” and then “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana, as “a classic”. 

Annie (18, England) told me about “Disturbia” by Rihanna because it was everywhere during their childhood and “Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel in NYC)” by Fall Out Boy for their early teens, but they specified that these two just “stands out” among all the songs that bring their back to their younger years. 

Christelle (48, France) chose two French songs that remind her of these periods of her life: “1980” by Pascal Obispo and Mélissa Mars and “Je Marche Seul” by Jean-Jacques Goldman. Lou Ann (23, France) couldn’t choose specific songs and just mentioned Disney for her childhood and Superbus for her teenage years. 

Morgan (26, United States) decided on two songs that remind her of her school years: first “Dirty Pop” by *NSYNC because “it takes me back to being a kid and dancing on Britney, Backstreet Boys and more in preschool and elementary school” and second “Where is your Boy?” by Fall Out Boy from her middle and early high school, “when emo/pop punks were kings.”


This is how we finished the “Soundtrack of your Life”. Once again, the variety makes it interesting and shows us that music is special to each of us and worth sharing. And you, what are the songs you listen to for these wills and needs? Did you enjoy this “Soundtrack of your Life”? Let us know in the comment section! 

Laurine Tiran
Laurine Tiran

I'm a French student doing a Master's degree in International Politics at the University of Toulon, France.

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