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Feeling Pretty Bad

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Sometimes a musical phrase or a single line of lyrics can unlock those bad feelings we’ve tried to hide. Music can be a powerful way to capture the mood when we feel anxious, chaotic or a little bit numb. This episode features music about feeling bad from Olivia Rodrigo, Beyoncé, Radiohead, Hakki Bulut, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.

Stuff to think about after you’ve listened:

  • “Bad” can be a vague description of a feeling. What were some of the “bad”-feeling music selections that stood out to you from the episode? Would you describe the emotion in that music a different way? 
  • What’s a song you know that you associate with feeling bad? 

Ready to explore more music about feeling bad? Check out this playlist on

This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians express emotions through sound. You can listen in any order.

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Find more discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org.

Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: [email protected]

Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio.

Hosts and Producers: Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg
Editors: Jo Erickson and Dennis Funk
Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D.
Executive Producer: Brad Turner

Thank you: Monika Vischer at CPR Classical, Bruce Trujillo and Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, and all the teachers and students who shared feedback and attended virtual focus groups as we developed this podcast.

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