CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Audio

Is there a musical equivalent to comfort food?

What do you grab when you just want to feel good? Like ice cream or pizza, what repeatable musical pleasure can you always count on?

I define "comfort music" as any tune or album that instantly makes you feel better. It might be music you loved in high school or college, and never tire of. Comfort music might be anything by your favorite band or artist. The Grateful Dead's music is the "drug" of choice for many, or a Michael Jackson tune that puts you in a good mood, Bob Marley rhythms that brighten your day or maybe it's a new band that just recently caught your fancy. Some find classical music soothing, comfort music is whatever works for you.

Yes, play some more!

Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Do you still have a couple of LPs or CDs stashed away somewhere, just in case? If you listen to vinyl or CD, do you hold the cover in your hand as you listen? Do you feel better right away? Or maybe it's a playlist on your phone that's ready to work its magic at a moment's notice.

For me, quirky folk singer Loudon Wainwright III is always a reliable choice, his mid-period sad/funny tunes from the 1990s really speak to me. Or I might play jazz pianist Dave Brubeck's "Time Out!" album, every track never fails to kick start my brain. And the Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street" album's odd mix of tunes wakes me up, every time.

I also have a few "guilty pleasures," (stuff that might be embarrassing to admit liking) such as James Bond soundtracks, especially "Goldfinger," and the early, really dated Moody Blues albums!

I once played the Beatles "She's A Woman" on repeat 72 times, it's like I couldn't stop. I eventually did, but not because I wanted to. I easily could have gone on for at least another 72 plays. Do you ever play one tune on repeat for hours?

What do you grab for inspiration? Share your thoughts in the comments section.