Change your playlist. Change your life.

When things change inside you, things change around you.

@bella.montreal Instagram

When life isn’t exactly reflecting the one you wanted or want to have, it’s easy to become stuck in patterns that won’t let you move up and forward into something desired. Even if you want change, you might not know how to–or where to–begin.

I am a researcher. I love looking things up and learning about anything and everything. I make weekly pilgrimages to the library. My search history on my computer could easily raise an eyebrow or two on any given day of the week. (An oh-so-common thing for writers.) It’s one of those simple pleasures in life that brings me joy–putting some random word or phrase into the Google search engine and seeing what pops up.

When I feel stuck in a moment that my heart and mind won’t let me get out of, I go searching to identify some new path of direction I can take. I bring my long list of questions to the desktop and begin my quest for something I don’t yet know that could change my life for the better.

One of the latest tips I discovered was a simple idea that got me thinking differently about raising myself up into a more positive level of energy: CHANGE YOUR PLAYLIST.

Have you ever been in an elevator or at a grocery store and heard a song that transported you to another time and place in your past? One such song for me, is “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds. Made famous by the movie Breakfast Club, it was chosen by my 8th grade glass to be played at our graduation ceremony. Computers were just entering the classroom and the choices for “streaming” music to an audience of parents and friends was limited to a cassette tape or a vinyl record. On this fateful day, it was the latter that was chosen. It should’ve been a heartfelt moment of celebration for the friendships made, but instead, it became a memory of an entire pre-teen class being embarrased, stifling nervous giggles when the record began to skip–ultimately getting stuck playing the words “forget about me…forget about me…forget about me…” over and over until a teacher ran over and brought the music to a screeching, abrupt end.

When I hear that song now, I still feel a twinge of the public humiliation I once felt, but a smile always wins over. Even that many years ago, I can easy apply the phrase technology is great when it works!

How powerful it is, to associate music with a time, a place, and an emotion. It’s also very powerful to connect music to a purpose.

I once took on a huge goal of studying and working in Los Angeles. (No easy feat for an introvert.) My journey began in San Diego, and at the time, U2’s album All That You Can’t Leave Behind had entered my life. I listened to it every day during my commute from my apartment to the station where I’d catch a red trolley into downtown. It became such a ritual, that by the time I reached the track “Wild Honey”, I would leave my car and reach the platform just as the trolley slowed for the waiting passengers to board. There was something magical about the process. The CD, with songs like Beautiful Day and Walk On, put me in the mindset I needed to be in to enter an extremely competitive and stressful enviornment. To this day, when I hear any of the songs from this album, I feel a swell of accomplishment and pride for the dreams reached that year, and the new skills I obtained.

So in my search for elevation now (slight pun there), the suggestion of changing my playlist made perfect sense and it was something so simple and easy to accomplish. It forced me to look at my existing catalog of music and realize that 90% of it brought unhappy origin memories that I wanted to move away from. I found myself asking how much of it even represented who I was now and where I wanted to go/who I wanted to become.

Springing into action, I found a favorite image, I created a clever title, and a new iTunes playlist was born. Like this blog, it represents the stages of transformation and growth I’ve gone through and am still experiencing. I’m choosing music that speaks to me in some way. Some of it is current, some of it has existed long before my awareness of it, but I’m enjoying the process of discovery!

Here are a few that have been added to my playlist and if you’re feeling stuck, I hope they serve you in some hopeful, positive way.

You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen

I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS

“Rescue” by Lauren Daigle

Reason this is on my list: When I hear it, I reflect with gratitude, on those people who entered my life at exactly the right moment and helped move me forward in unexpected and amazing ways.

No, I’m not twenty anymore
Don’t try to make me feel insecure
‘Cause I’m aging like wine
I get better with time, yes, I do
And, oh, I’m not twenty anymore
The lines on my face, they weren’t there before
But I’m wiser, I’m stronger
From all of the life I’ve been through
Oh, and if one thing’s for sure
I don’t want to be twenty anymore

“Not Twenty Anymore” by Bebe Rexha

Reason: I’m grateful to look back and say, whew, have I lived through some interesting times but I’m better and stronger for it. The best is yet to come.

How has a song lifted you up? Share in the comments below.

Wishing you wonderful days ahead.

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