Listening to music that you really like can have a life changing impact on you. Music amplifies a good mood, soothes you when you feel bad, changes the atmosphere, and helps you to relive your memories. So rather than just passively listening to the music you hear in the radio or in shops, what if you intentionally decided to give your life a soundtrack?
It could be the first step into the musical world for you, especially if you are an aspiring DJ for example. Plus, whilst you don’t need to do it now, you could end up looking at some dj equipment finance options down the line because of it!
Why would you want a soundtrack for your life?
Music is amazing. Upbeat music gives us energy when we feel tired, and most positive emotions simply feel even better when we listen to music that we like. It makes the time pass faster when we are doing something boring, like sitting in a bus, driving a car, or washing dishes.
Most jobs can be done while listening to music, and indeed it has been shown to calm people and make them concentrate better – nowadays many surgeons listen to music while they are performing difficult operations. Music helps to process difficult emotions: when we feel sad, nostalgic, depressed or angry, listening to music that reflects that state of mind makes us feel better.
These are all great reasons to me for listening to music, but I have one very important extra reason: to remember my life better. Have you ever been in a situation where hearing a song brought back a memory of an earlier time when you heard that song? That happens to a lot of people, and you can actively harness the power of music in memory.
What I do is that I create playlists that I listen to from one to roughly three months, before I create a new playlist for the next few months. That way the songs from one playlist get associated in my mind to a certain time period, and later when I revisit the playlist it typically brings back memories from that time. I have been doing that now for six years and I can confirm that when I listen to my first playlists it manages to transport me back six years! However, for that to work you have to listen to the playlist quite a bit.
When to listen to music?
You might now wonder how is it possible to listen to music so much that you have enough time to associate songs to a particular time, especially when my playlist might change as often as once a month. Many people don’t seem to realise that ordinary life is filled with occasions to listen to music. My phone alarm plays music from my playlist.
I have a bluetooth speaker that I take with me when I move around the house. I listen to music when I take a shower and when I get ready in the morning. Cooking is accompanied by music as well as any chores. Commuting definitely requires music, as well as exercise. And depending on the kind of work I need to do I listen to music.
Writing is possible if I listen to instrumental music – lyrics would make me lose my concentration. And simple admin types of tasks require music, typically upbeat electronic music, or otherwise I’d never get them done. In short, almost anything can be done while listening to music.
How to create your playlists
To have playlists that you can listen to all the time is not a given. First it depends on what kind of music you like. If you’re into pretty much anything and like to listen to mainstream radios, lucky you! But for pickier music fans or people who don’t yet know what they really like it requires a bit more work.
When I am creating a new playlist I simply sit and listen to albums I haven’t heard to find out whether they are good enough for me to want to listen to them possibly several dozens of times. Of course, you can delete songs from the list later, but you need to be sure that most of it remains or otherwise the playlist will become too short.
So rather than say, watching TV one night, focus on creating a great playlist of say, 10 hours of music. That should last you at least a month and you can start your journey on creating the first soundtrack of your life.