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How to Make a Playlist

I want to help you make a playlist, but first I want to explain why I’m writing this. I don’t have any special qualifications for picking music and I definitely don’t know exactly what kind of music everyone likes. I do, however, know that I love my music and I think it’s important to make playlists and have music available that you really like. You can do this on any music platform you like. Spotify is my favorite because it allows you to listen to music for free, with some ads, and create playlists.

One of the first things I do when I create a playlist is decide on the theme. Do I want it to be sad, motivating, or just songs I like? The theme doesn’t have to be specific at all, and that’s the beauty of music. Once I’ve picked a theme, let’s say I chose “Throwbacks”, I want to first brainstorm the songs I already know that I like under that category. These could be songs ranging from “Even Flow” by Nirvana to “The Best of Both Worlds” by Miley Cyrus. Anything that you think could contribute to the theme of your playlist you should add. Next, once you’ve brainstormed these, you can create the playlist, give it a title, and start adding those songs. It sometimes takes time to create a great name for your playlist, but that is totally fine because this is very low stakes. After that, it’s time to search for new songs or songs you forgot about. Personally, I do this by searching for playlists on Spotify using the name of my theme. So, for “throwbacks”, I would search “throwbacks” or “oldies but goodies” or even “blast from the past”. I look through these playlists and find songs that I forgot I liked that I know will benefit my playlist. If you are using Spotify you can click on the songs to hear a short sample of them to jog your memory. Then, begin to look for new songs you haven’t heard. Listen to the samples, or whole songs, and if you like it, add it to your playlist! Part of expanding your music taste is taking a chance on songs you don’t already know. This can be kind of uncomfortable sometimes because we don’t know the words and we can’t predict what’s coming next, but that’s a good thing. 

After you have brainstormed and searched through playlists you can focus on changing the name or cover photo to get you excited to listen. The most important thing to remember is that this is all up to you and no one is going to like exactly what you do. Also, when you create a good playlist it will encourage you to listen to it more often, which I think helps with my productivity and overall happiness. Sometimes I want to cry and I listen to my sadness playlist. The songs are depressing, so it helps me express my emotions, but the songs are also just good. That eventually helps my mood increase because I’m enjoying the feeling they invoke. Other times I want to listen to 90s and 00s rap, so I listen to my playlist with lots of Biggie Smalls and Tupac. Then maybe I want to study or focus, and don’t want to listen to words, so I play my modern classical music playlist. The sound of the instruments helps me focus, but doesn’t hinder my understanding of what I’m reading. 

One of my favorite things is finding music and sharing it with others. I have to understand that sometimes other people don’t like my music, but that’s okay because I do. I think our brains enjoying different mixes of instruments and vocals is super interesting. I hope this will inspire you to take some time for yourself to find music that you love and put it all in one place. At the very least, I hope you go out and find a playlist that somebody else created that you really like. 


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