Music Therapy

I’m bad at music. I have no rhythm, could barely play Hot Cross Buns on the recorder, and can absolutely not carry a tune. My brain just doesn’t seem to process and remember music information. Ask me about a book I read when I was eleven, and I could give you the entire plot with the title and name of the author. But ask me the name of the song I just sang along to, and I will just stare at you blankly. That’s not to say that I’m not listening to music constantly. With my busy work hours, I finally splurged for that Spotify Premium and got all those beats ad-free.

Does anyone else need to have their music suit their mood? Like, I listen to a pretty broad range of music types – country, pop, rock, rap, classical – but each has its own distinct mood assigned to it. You can tell a lot about my state of mind based on which playlist I’m listening to.

Upbeat Country (all country songs you can dance to) = Great mood; happy and vibing
Musical Bops (Disney and musicals) = Great mood and want to sing along
Good Times (fun pop hits) = Good mood
Rad Rock (indie rock) + Country Favourites = Just vibing
Manitoba Social (the best dance songs) = My extrovert side is making an appearance, and I’m antsy to go out
Throwback Party (Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, all those 90s and early 2000s faves) = Feeling off, but I want to cheer up
Weird Vibes (sad, break-up songs) = I’m having ~feelings~ of some sort that I want to mope around with
Dread (emo, 2000s rock) = Anxiety, my old friend 
Loud (all Billy Talent and Rise Against songs) = I have a deadline that I have been actively avoiding, and oh my god, it’s due in three hours
Classical Essentials = Actually focusing for once
La Hit Liste (French pop) = It’s 3am, and I need energetic music to keep me awake to meet this deadline, but I also can’t be distracted by lyrics

I’m not generally fussed about music when I’m with other people. Mostly because my music taste is pretty basic. I only started making my own Spotify playlists this past year, and this list above is literally all of them. I know that other people are much more particular about their music, so I usually go along with whatever they want to listen to. Unless the music is meant to do something, like dance music at a party should be danceable, I can normally tune the music out or go with it. Sometimes though, it can really bother me when the music doesn’t fit the mood I’m in, either bringing me down or annoying my anxiety.

Picking a playlist is a bit like affirming my emotional state. Each time I press play, I’m acknowledging how I’m feeling at that moment. It’s a way to check in with myself because sometimes the music doesn’t hit the way it normally would, and that’s a sign that perhaps I need to reevaluate. Sometimes I flip through a few different types until I can settle on one that doesn’t annoy me because even my favourite songs can be annoying when I’m not in the mood for them. 

It’s a lot of pressure to put on twelve playlists, using them like a journal for my emotions. It’s been helpful though, especially as I put in the work to acknowledge my emotions more and not treat ~feelings~ like the enemy. Channelling my feelings through Spotify playlists is not exactly what my therapist recommended, but a win is a win, right?

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