The music in my mind

Almost every day of the week I wake up with a song in my head. Nothing causes this phenomenon – it just happens and paints a picture of how my day is likely to go. Very often, the artist of this song is not just anyone, but the greatest musician of our generation: Taylor Swift. Other times range from SZA’s chill R&B/soul bops to the trail mix and backwoods musical manifestations that are Noah Kahan’s folk tunes.

Some days, however, I decide to choose my “daily” song or album based on outside influences, from the weather in the season to my constant state of sleep deprivation. It helps me feel more connected to my emotions and the vibes that a given day gives off.

After each day is over, I go through all the music I’ve been listening to and pick the song that best represents how I felt that day or the one that stuck in my head the most. I then add that song to my Song of the Day playlist, a system I would highly recommend to anyone who absorbs as much music as I do from a diverse selection of genres.

Let’s say you take my advice and make your Song of the Day playlist. At the end of the year, you’ll have compiled a list of 365 songs that defined an entire year of your life. You can go back fondly (or maybe not) to key moments while listening to your carefully selected upbeat pop beats or seasonal depression anthems.

I’d like to be proud to say that I’ve more or less mastered the choice of music to listen to every day. To give some insight into this careful art, here’s a sampling of some selections I’ve made recently:

I added many songs by Taylor Swift 1989 as it is my favorite album of all time. A bible of modern pop music, this album fills me with insane levels of serotonin and just makes all the worst days better.

I have contributed many songs from SZA SOS—this is one of the greatest albums i have ever heard. Whenever I want to be transported to a scenic, picturesque, empty city at midnight or just want to sit on my couch and relax, this album makes me feel euphoric.

To Noah Kahan Season of the sticks and Taylor Swift red are also in the mix as we are currently in the season of fall (aka the season of chopsticks).

This list concludes that of Katy Perry A teenage dream is another frequent one on my playlist as this album “introduced” me to music. This was the first CD my parents bought for me back in 2010. They played it on every car ride and I get a huge rush of nostalgia every time I hear it now. It also makes me question my parents’ decision to let me flip through the lyric booklet for this album at the ripe old age of 7 – since it featured a naked Katie lying on a cloud of cotton candy.

To be constantly in a state of musical immersion, my AirPods are always in my ears, blasting sound emotion wherever I go. If you ever meet me in the wild, there’s a good chance I’ll be lip-synching and belting out whatever tune is slowly destroying my hearing.

If it wasn’t already obvious, music is one of the most powerful forces in my life. I love the connection and convenience of my favorite artists, but I’m thrilled whenever I discover a new artist whose music tickles my eardrums and becomes the newest addition to my current playlist. What’s more, music seems to have this unique ability to not only help me understand myself and the world around me, but also to ground and heal me. Music therapy is real and an exceptional support system for dealing with even the strongest emotions.

So spend some time fostering your own musical journeys. Make a song-of-the-day playlist to relive life’s musical moments. Take the text as if you were the main character setting off on your own three-minute adventure. And of course, listen to the music in your mind as it is extremely unpredictable where it will send you next.

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