Written By Amanda Rosado, MMT, MT-BC

Music listening can be an intrinsic part of coping with the stress of everyday life. How many times, after a hard day at work, have you turned on your “go-to” song in your car and belted your heart out on your commute home? Or, if you’re wound up and stressed out, you know the soft and subtle song that you can turn on that almost immediately decreases your heart rate, leaving you feeling more grounded than how you felt just minutes before? 

Music is a powerful tool that can help change your mood, release your emotions, and give you a sense of empowerment when you need it most.

To use music as a wellness tool, allow yourself to bring awareness to your own physical and emotional responses to the songs that you choose. How often are you nodding your head to the beat of the music? How many songs bring up bittersweet memories? Perhaps you can write down those reactions, and recognize any patterns that may arise. Bringing this kind of awareness to your emotions can be a great mindfulness practice — a way to focus fully on yourself while connecting with the music you love.

Creating a theme-based playlist to match your mood patterns can be a simple and direct way to meet your emotional needs in the moment. Here are some recommendations to guide your own playlist creation:

-What are songs that help you feel calm and focused?

-What are songs that validate your experiences?

-What are songs that help improve your mood?

-What is a one-word intention or goal that you have?

-What is an emotion that you feel like you most need?

-What is an emotion that you often neglect to address?

Intentional music listening can be a healing experience — it can grasp onto something deep within you, it can challenge your own understanding of yourself, and it can help you keep going when times are tough.

What playlist themes have you come up with to support your own wellness? Comment below. Happy listening!

Amanda Rosado, MMT, MT-BC is a board-certified music therapist passionate about serving individuals with emotional needs. Learn more about Amanda and music therapy services at Argo!