Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted a playlist of musical tracks to put you in a certain mood — for example, to motivate you to work — but were unsure how to find it or put it together?

Soon, it may become easier to find music to suit your current emotions or kickstart you into action, thanks to a new study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

The research, which doctoral student Alan Cowen led, used more than 2,000 music samples to gauge how different types of music influenced emotion in cohorts from two different countries and cultures: the United States and China.

“We have rigorously documented the largest array of emotions that are universally felt through the language of music,” says the study’s senior author Prof. Dacher Keltner. The study findings now appear in PNAS.

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