RIP Mix CD’s, But the Art of the Playlist Is Still In

Girl listening to a playlist

Wake up. Brush your teeth. Stumble down the stairs. Pour yourself a cup of coffee. Okay, today is a really stressful day, so 2 cups is acceptable. It’s time to zip up your furry coat, grab your faded backpack, and head over to the chilly bus stop where you’ll awkwardly stand with a thermos filled to the brim containing more hazelnut coffee. From there, you’ll stick those little earbuds into your ears, jump starting the day with your favorite songs, a playlist at the ready.

Whether playing your music through iTunes or on an app like Spotify or Pandora, one of the best things you can do for yourself is make a playlist. Not only will it lift your mood, it’ll also give you a sense of accomplishment and routine because you’re prepared for anything and anyone! So, below are some tips to help you get started at mastering the art of playlist-making.

playlist studying
1. Make At Least 5 Playlists

Variety is everything, and one must be prepared. Sit down. Organize your day. What is your routine? What might be nicely accompanied by a bit of The Who or Simon and Garfunkel? The first step to making a playlist is figuring out when you’ll be listening to it.

2. Organize

Make playlists by theme and not genre! We all have our different types of days and ways of organizing them. Playlists that snuggle into our days are quite honestly the ones we listen to the most. Examples:  “ Wake Up!”, “Awful Science Tests”, “Snow Day”, “School Rebellion Songs”

3. Mix it Up

Can you imagine an entire Break-Ups Suck playlist being solely dominated by depressing 90s songs? No way. There have to be some mean Carrie Underwood songs too. How about having your entire Wake Up mixtape be hard rock? Nah, man! Throw some gorgeous Cat Stevens in there to help you relax while sipping all that coffee!

4. Get Creative

Somebody once said that nothing is ever new. The brain simply gathers various inspirations, and arranges them into its own unique configuration of knowledge. Kind of inspiring, huh? So, that basically means that to make anything that’ll truly represent you, it’s important to first understand and gather your inspirations.

5. Be Inspired

You can find great music anywhere! From other creators’ Spotify Playlists to strangely catchy commercials on TV, music and sound surrounds us all the time. As soon as you start paying attention, you’ll begin to realize how much it’s always influencing you.

6. Recreate those Infinite Moments

Look up your favorite TV show and/or movie soundtrack. Think about that time your best friend gave you a hug after a really bad day. Our brains automatically connect moments and memories to music. A lot of the time, you’ll completely forget about a song, and then it’ll come up years later and you’ll have a super emotional déjà vu moment.

Did you start crying tears of joy when Rory and Jess first kissed on Gilmore Girls? Listen to “Then She Appeared” by XTC, and you might just relive the moment all over again. How about that episode where Barb got dragged to the Upside Down on Stranger Things? Check out “Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles!

All in all, you want a playlist that you’re going to adore.

Likely, you’ll be visiting it like an old friend; over and over again. So, pick openly, freely, and without hesitation. This is going to be a reflection of you. It’s your mood, your interests, your day. It’s a bookmark of where you have existed and where you’re going to be existing. Don’t be shy; start that journey by configuring your music in a way that’s going to make your 40 year old self sigh with nostalgia. You’ll be happy now, and eternally thankful later.