Day 4

“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss. The unhappiest people I know, romantically speaking, are the ones who like pop music the most; and I don’t know whether pop music has caused this unhappiness, but I do know that they’ve been listening to the sad songs longer than they’ve been living the unhappy lives” – “High Fidelity”

In December of 2006, my beloved iPod mini suddenly stopped working. In an effort to hold me over until Christmas, my mom lent me hers. As much as I enjoy the musical stylings of The Gambler, one day of commuting with Kenny Rogers propelled me straight to Best Buy. I bought an iPod nano and we have been together since for countless walks, subway and train rides and flights.

My morning commute consists of a (roughly) eight-minute walk and an (allegedly) 20-minute subway ride. From the moment I step out onto the sidewalk, to the moment I enter my office building, that trip is accompanied by random selections on my iPod.

The nano “only” fits just over 1,600 songs. As a result of this limitation, I have to play iPod Survivor; in other words, if I add a song, I have to take another one off. Still, you would think with 1,600 songs that I would have a decent variety.

Or not.

Yesterday, I attempted to play only upbeat (or loud) songs on my iPod during my morning commute, in an effort to boost my mood. My assumption was that playing The Cure, Get Up Kids and other not-so-uplifting songs about heartbreak and loss could be setting the wrong tone for my workday.

I should have made a playlist – I likely spent half of my commute hitting fast-forward on my iPod. Nevertheless, happy songs do put a bit more skip in my step. Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to replace a few of the really mopey songs with something a little more hopeful next time I play iPod Survivor.

(And for an added bonus: The 25 Most Exquisitely Sad Songs in the Whole World. The commentary is pretty funny.)