Whenever we start a new year, we often find ourselves making resolutions and goals. This is fine if it works for you, but it doesn’t have to be January 1st to start thinking about what you want to achieve.
There are probably plenty of changes you want to make in your life. The real question is: what do you want to accomplish in order to be the best version of yourself? How are you going to show up for yourself?
Music therapy is one way to support making the changes you want to make. You can use music to make a soundtrack for what you want to change. And one of the most useful tools for creating a soundtrack for the changes you want to make in your life is creating music playlists.
One of the ways that I use recorded music in music therapy sessions is by going over with you how to use music playlists. Playlists help you explore both different music and your achievements.
Listening to Recorded Music
Recorded music is a powerful tool for self-discovery. It can help with motivation. Listening to recorded music often brings up emotions and thoughts that you maybe didn’t know were there. There’s a difference between listening to music with intention and having music on in the background. It’s not always clear how to consciously listen to music and it can be hard to figure out how to use music playlists.
Listening to music supports you in accomplishing the things you want to accomplish. You may not think that music and achievement go together, but I’m here to tell you that listening to music is a great way to achieve your goals. Recorded music can give you a push in the right direction towards making the changes you want to make in your life. Music and achievement go together beautifully.
This is because music reinforces affirmations and motivation. As you listen to music, pay attention to the lyrics. What are they affirming for you? What resonates with you on a personal level? You can also listen to the instruments and the rhythm. These may speak to you in a way you hadn’t expected.
Music also motivates. Suddenly you find yourself wanting to exercise, clean the house, or dance. It gets you pumped up. It relaxes you so that you’re ready to start or end your day. Music is a form of motivation. However you use music, use it consciously and notice what a difference it makes.
How to Create and Use Music Playlists
When creating a playlist, you need to think about how you want to feel. Do you want a playlist that is going to get you moving? Do you need relaxing music to rev down from the day? People make playlists in a variety of ways. Sometimes people have playlists of their favorite music. While this is great to have, I encourage you to think about intentionally making playlists that push you out of your comfort zone and serve different purposes.
There are several ways to use playlists as part of your everyday routine:
- Choose music that pumps you up and gets you to work out or move your body.
- Find music that helps you do mundane tasks like cleaning and laundry that are hard to do when you’re feeling depressed.
- Select music that relaxes and de-stresses you.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Some of you may make playlists in order to evoke or express certain emotions. These ways of using playlists are more about how to manage the day-to-day realities and stressors of life.
No matter what kind of playlist you make, you should be intentional about it. Listen closely to all the components of a song. Find what speaks to you. Is it the lyrics? The melody? The rhythm? The instrumentation?
Identifying what aspect of the music resonates with you will help you create a soundtrack that reflects the changes you want to make in your life. Figure out what you want to put on a playlist to support your personal growth.
Music Therapy and Playlists
When I use playlists in music therapy sessions, it’s often as homework for my clients. We talk about what the purpose of the playlist is. We discuss the types of music that speak to them. And then I send them off to create their playlist and bring it back to our next session.
If that’s too difficult for them, we work together to create a playlist. Some people need help figuring out how to use music playlists. The playlist should come from the client, not from me.
The music therapy aspect of creating playlists is in the processing of the chosen music. I’ll ask you to share what songs you’ve added and why you chose them. You’ll share what it is about the music that you connect with and what speaks to you.
Sometimes I ask clients to create a “soundtrack of your life” playlist. This is often a good intervention with adolescents and older adults receiving hospice care. Making a soundtrack of your life can stimulate reflection and life review in the case of older adults. For adolescents, creating this soundtrack is a way for me to learn more about them.
Using playlists in music therapy opens people up to the idea of checking out music they might otherwise not listen to. I like using Spotify to create playlists if you’re feeling stuck. You can type in a keyword and it’ll generate a playlist or show you an album that will expand your musical horizons.
How Does Finding New Music Help You Discover Different Aspects of Yourself?
Listening to different types of music can open you up to all kinds of things. New music is refreshing. It teaches you things you didn’t know about yourself based on how you respond to the music or notice how the music affects you. You can make playlists to get you out of a musical rut. In this case, getting out of a musical rut just might help you get out of a rut in your everyday life! In this way, music and achievement go hand-in-hand.
By exposing yourself to new music you open yourself up to new perspectives and insights about yourself with something that isn’t totally familiar. New music pushes you out of your comfort zone. It gives you the opportunity to explore your thoughts and emotions in a new way.
Be intentional as you make your playlists. Think about music from a holistic lens. How does music serve your body, mind, and soul? After all, music is a full-body experience. Therefore, immersing yourself in music that fills you up affects your body in ways other things can’t.
Create a Soundtrack for the Changes You Want to Make in Life
At SoundWell Music Therapy I support your use of playlists not just in finding meaning, but also in finding ways to meet your goals. You can accomplish so much, and I’m here to use playlists in music therapy to help you create a soundtrack for the changes you want to make in your life. Together we’ll use recorded music to support your personal affirmations and goals.
If you’re ready to take the next step in achieving your goals, affirming your beliefs about yourself, and finding motivation through music, be sure to contact me. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation during which we can talk more about what your needs are. You can schedule here.