What kind of music captures your emotions, giving you that uplifting feeling of chills and maybe even bringing a tear or two to your eyes? In a fascinating  study, researchers at Queen Mary University of London, U.K., set out to answer that question by analyzing 988 songs and pieces that have been reported to give people this emotional reaction. Then they compared them with similar pieces by the same artists that don't seem to have the same effect.

Based on these comparisons, they found that certain specific qualities can cause a piece of music to give you goosebumps--or piloerections, to use the scientific term. Music like this has the best chance of improving your mood when you're feeling frustrated, sad, or emotionally exhausted. Use it to give yourself a quick boost when you need it most.

To help you do that, the study's authors Rémi de Fleurian and Marcus Pearce created a highly diverse playlist of 715 songs and musical pieces that are likely to give you chills and posted it to Spotify. Next time you're feeling down, try listening to a song or two from this playlist. It will almost certainly change your mood for the better.

What kind of music makes people feel good?

Music is one of the most powerful tools you have for creating or changing emotions. (If you doubt this, I suggest you choose one of your favorite movies and rewatch it, paying close attention to the musical background and what those sounds make you feel.)

But it's not always obvious how to use that tool on yourself. If you're sad, worried, or angry, it certainly doesn't help to listen to happy, upbeat music. That fact is beautifully illustrated by this disturbing excerpt from the 1989 film Roger & Me about General Motors' massive layoffs in Flint, Michigan. In it, an auto worker who'd been laid off five times in five years describes having a panic attack on the assembly line as he waits for yet another layoff. It causes him to walk out and drive away. He turns on his car radio to try to calm down and lands on the Beach Boys' song "Wouldn't It Be Nice." That sends him over the edge even further. To show the audience why, director Michael Moore counterposes the song with images of abandoned homes in Flint. The effect is horrifying.

Sad songs say so much.

If you want music to lift your spirits when you're feeling bad, you'll do better with something that reflects those sad feelings and rouses your emotions at the same time. Some obvious examples from the researchers' playlist are Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," "Over the Rainbow," and Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." What traits do all these chill-inducing pieces have in common? The researchers write that they tend to be, "sadder, slower, less intense, and more instrumental" than their less emotionally powerful counterparts. They're also more likely to be acoustic.

That's useful information if you're picking out music to help change your mood. But the playlist itself is a fantastic resource for finding tunes that will buoy your spirits. The most effective choices are, of course, the most personal ones. Two pieces that particularly work for me are Claude Debussy's "Claire de Lune," which my late mother loved, and James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James," which my best friend once gave me a recording of. You can pick out tunes that are likeliest to mean something to you. Seven hundred fifteen songs are enough to cover pretty much every musical taste.

There's a growing audience of Inc.com readers who receive a daily text from me with a self-care or motivational micro-challenge or tip. (Interested in joining? Here's more information and an invitation to an extended free trial.) Many subscribers are entrepreneurs or business leaders, and they tell me how much having the right emotional attitude can make all the difference in how they come across with customers, employees, investors, and everyone else. So next time work or life has you feeling beaten down, pop open the playlist. You're guaranteed to find something that will make you feel better.