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If I didn’t have other life obligations, I would spend all of my time creating Spotify playlists. I currently have over 100 Spotify playlists, and simply discovering a new song or artist can spawn two or more new playlists. There is no such thing as having too many, which is why I created this guide to help you create the *Spotify profile of your dreams* (and give some song suggestions, because who doesn’t like discovering new music?). 


1. The basics: a playlist for each month/season

One of the simplest ways to up your Spotify game is by creating playlists based on the time periods that you listen to those songs. For example, I have playlists called “summer 16,” “college visits spring 2019,” and “septober 2020.”  Naming your playlists after periods of time can help you consolidate the music that you want to be listening to during that time, and they’re really fun to revisit. These playlists perfectly capture moments you won’t even know you remember, making you feel nostalgic as you relisten; you have your own musical diary.


Reptilia by The Strokes - “septober 2020”

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2. The more the better

I know people who consolidate their playlists as much as possible, even deleting the ones they deem as no longer necessary. This makes the inner hoarder in me extremely sad because I cherish my old, “outdated” playlists. Yes, my playlists from middle school are a little embarrassing, but they help me connect to my younger self and to rediscover old artists that I had forgotten about. 


Come Down by Anderson .Paak - “summer 16”


3. You can never have too many crying playlists

Everyone knows that you need a good old-fashioned crying playlist, but many people underestimate the power of having multiple to choose from. This idea has gained traction on TikTok, where users show their different crying playlists on “levels,” from level 1 (slightly sad) to level 4 (mental breakdown). I appreciate this, especially since I firmly believe that not all sad songs are created equal.  Phoebe Bridgers-sad is not the same as Lord Huron-sad. 


Funeral by Phoebe Bridgers - “sad girls read and drink coffee”

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4. Anti-crying playlist

You can’t wallow forever, that’s why it is equally important to have an anti-crying playlist.  These types of playlists are for songs that feel like hot cocoa or a warm hug. Think of songs that aren’t overly happy and upbeat, but have a generally optimistic sound and are comforting to you.  


Small Worlds by Rayland Baxter - “you are okay”

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5. Use visuals

Sometimes playlists encapsulate feelings that can’t exactly be put into words. I find that using emojis and playlist cover photos can sometimes help convey meaning on another level. I use groups of emojis as a playlist title when I can’t put into words how a certain playlist makes me feel, and playlist covers can be used in a similar way. Although most of my playlist covers are just the top four most aesthetically pleasing album covers in that playlist, I do appreciate carefully curated playlist cover photos. Similar to emojis, fun covers can convey the vibe of the playlist and incorporate another aspect of creativity into the making of a playlist.


Oh, What A World by Kacey Musgraves - “??✨???”


6. Don’t be afraid to be ultra-specific when naming your playlists

Playlists with interesting or super-specific names tend to grab people’s attention and hook them in. I’ve noticed this becoming a trend on TikTok specifically, and I’ve discovered a lot of amazing new music through playlists like “don’t talk to me I’m daydreaming” and “that scene in a coming of age film where the main character realizes they’re at the peak of their life.”  Don’t overthink it: just let instinct take over and let your mind figure out what to group the songs by itself. 


Happy Man by Jungle - “songs everyone should hear at least once”


7. Private playlists: for guilty pleasures and exes

Don’t let the thought that people will see your playlists stop you from making them to your heart's content. Private playlists are perfect for songs that you hate to love, or for playlists that are too personal for others to see. I like to make private playlists for each significant relationship in my life and fill them with songs that remind me of that person and the times that we spent together.


Love$ick by Mura Masa & A$AP Rocky - ???    


8. Don’t overthink it

Your Spotify playlists are your own, so what matters most is that you enjoy them. Use these tips to help you get started, but once you get the hang of it, don’t feel the need to follow any rules.  The most important rule for making playlists is there are no rules. Your playlists should be genuine, so don’t force anything. Remember that the most important thing is that they matter to you.

Neighbors by J. Cole - “rap to make you love rap”


Jayden is a junior studying English at the University of Michigan. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and traveling.
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