We compared the influence of music listening versus written reframing on mood regulation. Participants (n = 197) were randomly allocated to one of four conditions. A written, self-reflection exercise primed participants to be in either a positive or negative mood, which was assessed with the Multidimensional Mood State Questionnaire (MDMQ, 2011; Steyer, Schwenkmeger, Notz, & Eid, 1997). Half of the participants in the positive prime condition then selected and listened to music opposite of the induced mood. The other half engaged in a written reframing exercise, in which they revisited the event in their original writings but did so by reflecting on the event from the opposite emotional perspective. This process was repeated for participants in the negative prime condition. The MDMQ was used again to assess mood. Results revealed that music and writing changed both men and women’s moods from positive to negative or from negative to positive. Music exerted a more powerful influence than writing and exerted a stronger influence on women than men, especially when lifting participants from a negative mood to a positive mood. Our results also indicated that participants were aware of their mood changes.

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