Alexithymia is a multifaceted personality construct which encompasses difficulties in identifying and expressing feelings along with an externally oriented cognitive style. We investigated whether congruent vs. incongruent emotional musical priming (happy and angry music) during encoding would moderate the effects of alexithymia on recognition rates. We found that high alexithymia scorers recognized fewer joy and anger words than low scorers. Angry music decreased recognition rates in high alexithymia scorers compared to low alexithymia scorers. The congruency and incongruency effects between music and words depended on alexithymia level. The anger deficit in high alexithymia scorers and the possible support provided by happiness cues are discussed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.