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Deezer one-ups Spotify with playlist mixes that match your mood

The new Deezer Flow Mood wheel on a phone screen, motivation has been selected and is playing Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits
(Image credit: Deezer)

Music streaming service Deezer is adding a new Flow Mood wheel, so it can choose tracks that match how you are currently feeling – whether you want to double down on some angst or get yourself hyped with the most motivational tracks possible.

Flow is like your own infinitely-playing personalized soundtrack; once you’ve started using it, Deezer’s algorithm will not only blast out some of your favorite tracks but mixes in new choices that it thinks you’ll like, like if Spotify Discover weaved its way into your own playlists. It bases these decisions on your favorite tracks, as well as any songs you’ve been listening to recently.

The new Flow Mood wheel, however, will let you give in-the-moment advice to Deezer so it can play the music you want to listen to, based on how you’re feeling right now. If you’ve ever found yourself skipping through tracks that don’t match the vibe you’re after, this Flow Mood feature aims to eliminate that.

The six Flow Moods you can choose from are: 

  • You & Me - Want to be living in your own Teenage Dream? These romantic tracks promise to bring a little extra love to your next date night.
  • Motivation - These tunes promise to balance joyful and powerful experiences so that your next workout won’t be a Problem.
  • Chill - Don’t Worry, Be Happy and take some time to kick back with these more relaxed sounds.
  • Melancholy - When the party’s over and you need a few minutes to wallow in your blues these songs will give you just that.
  • Focus - Enjoy 4’33” of silence or whatever helps you concentrate as you crunch for that final exam or get through your working day.
  • Party - Blast out your favorite Party Rock Anthem and get ready for the night ahead with this mood. 

How to turn on Flow Moods

To access the new feature you'll first need to turn on Flow, a feature available to both free and paid users. 

Flow is found in the Music tab on the app and Deezer website once you have favorited at least 15 tracks. We'd recommend thinking about these choices carefully as they'll have a big impact on the sounds you hear from Flow. Once you've started your Flow you'll see the Flow Moods rainbow wheel icon above the cover art of the current track. Tap it and you can set the right mood from the six options above. 

Flow Moods is rolling out worldwide to users on iOS and Android via a new update and should now be available to all users via an update.


Analysis: in the feels

Playlists organized by mood are nothing new: anyone who's put on a motivational workout playlist, or played some calm evening acoustics, can attest to that. 

But a feature that lets you current mood grow and change individual playlists is wonderfully personal, with the wheel allowing for a more holistic and ever-changing view of the emotions you're currently feeling – and want to be feeling too.

At a time when we're assessing the role of technology in our mental health, it's clear that the big players are looking for ways to get to know us on a deeper level, and calibrate their services in response. 

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal even claims that Apple is working on enabling future iPhone models to detect depression or anxiety before the wearer might be aware of it. We've heard similar claims about voice assistants and even smart necklaces one day tuning in to the emotion in our voices too – but with Deezer's Flow Moods we at least feel like we're in charge.

Hamish Hector

Hamish is a Staff Writer for TechRadar, having previously written for the site and Gfinity Esports as a freelance writer. He has been writing about tech and gaming for multiple years, and now lends his experience to cover news and reviews across everything on TechRadar (from Computing to Audio to Gaming and the rest). In his free time, you’ll likely find Hamish humming show tunes while building Lego or playing D&D with his mates.