Any emotion I have ever felt can be accompanied by a song, whether it’s happy, sad, angry, or in love. No matter the mood, there is a song that can fit it. Not only can songs help us put our feelings into words but they can help us to feel more confident in our emotions and how we feel them.
Personally, I am a Spotify user. The platform gives me the freedom of listening to virtually whatever song I want whenever I want and being able to create specific playlists based on whatever mood I am in. And not only mood playlists, but I can create vibe playlists too. One that I made that I am loving right now is called “the first chilly day of fall”. Pretty self-explanatory, but it really does put make me feel like I have been dropped into that first chilly day. That playlist may seem oddly specific but that isn’t even the most specific one I have. My playlist themes range from songs to cry to, laugh to, drive to, scream to, and even clean my room to.
Not only do playlists help me to better voice what I am feeling but the act of making the playlist is a very calming practice and can even be therapeutic. Being able to compile songs from different genres, artists, and decades makes it feel like even if I am alone in what I am feeling in the moment there is or was someone out there that can relate to me and know how I am feeling.
Making playlists became a favorite pastime of mine during quarantine when we were all feeling so much anxiety and uncertainty about what we were facing and what was to come, leading to many of us facing a decline in mental health. We are often told in times of grief or in times of doubt to surround ourselves with the ones we love but during the height of the pandemic that was not possible. This was also a time in which so many of us were finding new music or music that was new to us. These factors and an increase of time spent alone with fewer people caused music to be our new best friend.
Musicians and their songs became an outlet for me and playlist making became my favorite form of therapy. I was able to focus my negative energy or emotions on making something that will help me not only in the moment but also when I inevitably feel the same emotion again. I approach playlist making one of two ways. If I am making a vibe/setting playlist I start by picturing myself in that specific setting or specific moment, much like what I did with the first chilly day playlist. For a mood/emotion playlist, I try and find a song that feels exactly like what I am trying to voice.
Being able to express my emotions through something so accessible like music has made me realize that feeling the emotions that I do is valid and that I am not alone. Music is an art form and a form of expression and now for me, so is playlist curation.