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I Went 7 Days without Listening to Music… Here’s What Happened

For a few days, I would intentionally get ready each morning without music—yes, even showering without any dance-worthy tunes. My goal was to lean into the silence, to see what I was really missing out on. Are my thoughts even my own if they always stem from lyrics? After those first couple of days, I decided to go a whole week without any music, not just during my morning routine.


I sit here writing this on my fifth day without music, and I am finally feeling the withdrawals!


Let’s start with day one.


I was ready to take on the day as I had the opportunity to create my own thoughts. Well, not just create them, but also question them and open them into something further than a mere idea. Yet, my day didn’t fall into plan like that—I went to bed with an intense throat pain and chills, meaning the next morning was far from “getting ready.” I enjoyed lounging around and hiding under the covers in the silence of my own mind. I peacefully read my Bible and journaled out these thoughts. Because Homecoming weekend had just ended, the residence hall was hushed, and I felt no guilt as I took me-time instead of doing homework.


I ended up crafting because it had felt like an eternity since the last time I messily pulled out all my supplies. It was definitely uncomfortable to DIY in the noiseless environment at first, but I soon became so engrossed in my work that I didn’t feel the need to pack the space with a playlist anymore.


 “What is it about silence that makes people uneasy? Why do people only feel comfortable when they’re filling the air with words?” – Morrie, from Tuesdays with Morrie


I went about the rest of my week being quite cognizant of any area that had music playing. I noticed a common study spot on campus that plays music, as well as both of the outdoor playing fields and even an open conference room with no one in it. I already knew of these specific settings to consume the air, ever so gently, with their songs, but I listened harder.


I went about the week, and because I was sick, I only went to the gym twice. I didn’t find it terribly difficult to exercise without music, because I listened to a podcast instead. I decided to challenge myself the second time I went by riding the bicycle without earbuds—now that was a challenge! I had no motivation to get pumped up with music or to start a fire through a Jesus-heavy podcast; in fact, I could barely breathe through my clogged-up nose.



I took a break from working out and staying up late to study, and I truly believe my head cold made this week a lot easier. I got a portion of melodies through church service, Chi Alpha service and even other events I went to. These tastes of tunes were not feeding me but instead making me crave what I knew I was missing—some good ol’ jams in my eardrums.


So, here we are, back at day five. My health status has improved and my weekend has officially started… without the sweet sound of Lizzo’s “Good As Hell” coming out of a speaker. I miss having impromptu dance parties with myself as I throw on mascara and whip my curls back and forth. Not gonna lie, I did bust a move a bit even without music… you’ve gotta amp yourself up sometimes, ya know? This blue-sky Friday could’ve been a bop-’n-a-half, shucks!


Days six and seven were by far the most challenging. I tried to occupy myself with tasks that I didn’t usually need music for, such as homework readings and short quizzes. It’s not that I felt empty without music, but I definitely felt like I was missing something.


I can truthfully say, now that my seven days are over, music has never sounded so good. I feel in tune (pun intended) with life again. I never realized how much I missed belting lyrics to Lauren Daigle or trying to harmonize with Lana Del Rey. The first song I turned on, I listened to every single note, beat and combination of glorious voices and instruments. I have definitely taken these talented beings for granted.


I encourage you to go without music for even just one day… or seven. The way you perceive the world will become drastically different from a single behavior change. Get in rhythm with your own thoughts without the sound cloud coming from your earbuds. It’s quite amazing what you’ll hear when you’re not drowned in a song! 





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Gretchen is a junior at Winona State University majoring in Health Ed and Phy Ed with minors in Adaptive PE and Adventure Ed! She enjoys all things outdoors, she's a peanut butter fanatic, and Proverbs 31:26 is her favorite Bible verse. Gretchen is an RA in the resident halls and a Small Group Leader for a campus ministry, and she enjoys all the Lord equips her to do!
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