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Op-Ed: Making Playlists Every Month Boosted My Serotonin

Music has always been therapeutic for me. The day that I got my first iPod Nano was the best because I could compile my favorite songs from different artists in one folder and play it on repeat.

I watched a TikTok in March 2022 of a girl who made a playlist on her Spotify each month and would add a picture on the cover to accompany it – to match the vibe. I was inspired by this and haven’t stopped doing it since.

Whether it’s driving with the windows down and cruisin’ or screaming your favorite lyrics to an early 2000s throwback, making your own playlists allows you to listen to music freely with no skips. 

So, what’s serotonin, and why does making a playlist every month boost it?  Serotonin is a chemical in the body that helps regulate anxiety and experience happiness. It can be difficult to “feel your feelings,” if you will, and just calm down from a stressful situation.

We’re human; it happens. 

Music has a powerful effect on our brains and has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, stave off fatigue, improve your response to pain, and work out more effectively. That’s why you’ll see playlists tailored just for working out, meditation, or study. To put it simply – music gives your serotonin a little boost, and creating playlists makes it that much easier. 

Of course, there are curated lists on Spotify that I could listen to instead of putting in the effort of making my own but tailoring it to my own taste is fun. Spotify will also recommend songs based on the ones you’ve added to your playlists, so I’ve discovered new artists and genres that I otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to had I not been making my own. 

I think the best part of making these monthly playlists is that I get to look back every month to see what I was listening to, and it’s like a little music diary. Much like journaling, I get a little sneak peek into what was going on during any given month in the past year. A few times, I’ve even forgotten about certain songs and kind of “rediscover” them, which is a really cool experience. Shout out to the girl on TikTok for the inspiration – I owe you a playlist.

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