Let’s take a little trip down memory lane. I was a teenager in the late eighties and early nineties. And as a teenager, during those lovely years, one of the signs of friendship and affection, and sometimes more was creating a mixed tape for someone else. Mix tapes were the best. It was a collection or a compilation of important or meaningful or carefully curated songs in a specific order. Plus, let’s talk about cover art, right?
People would get super creative. There was a lot of time and attention and intention that went into these beautiful, personalized, meaningful musical gifts. And when I think about the mixed tape version that we have today, I guess for a while, there were people making mixed CDs for each other, but really, the closest thing that we have are playlists. I don’t think we necessarily make playlists on music software programs nowadays as gifts or presents or signs of affection or interest in another person.
Huge Playlist Fan
I am a huge fan of making playlists. I make them all the time and I make them for a lot of different reasons. So, I thought today I would share with you my life in playlists:
- what kind of playlists I make
- why I make playlists
- how I use the playlist
- how I plan to use more playlists in the future.
If this piques your curiosity, and if you think this sounds fun or interesting, maybe you will make a playlist too, or make more playlists if you already have a few. Maybe we’ll all share our playlists with each other.
A Note About Technology
I love technology. I am a huge fan. I am so grateful for what technology does for me in my life, how easy it makes so many things.
I am not tech resistant, but I am change resistant – so I’m not an early adopter. When a new software program comes out or a new streaming service or a new anything comes out, technology-wise, I am not the first person to jump on the bandwagon. I wait until critical mass has been reached and most people are using it. And I’m actually kind of one of the stragglers, the tech stragglers. That’s when I finally get on board.
So there may be other current softwares and programs, and I might be using an old school system that everyone has moved on from, but I’ll just tell you what I use. Then you can let me know if you think I should use something else. Basically, what I use is YouTube and Spotify.
Everything Always Changes
I was using YouTube first to create my playlist and loving it and being so grateful for it. And then just like everything, things change YouTube has changed. It’s not the same as it was back when I first started making my playlists on YouTube, but I adapted, I still use it.
I just make allowances for the changes in YouTube. I am so grateful that it is still a free service for me. So, I use YouTube and Spotify. I am fully aware that these may not be my choices in the future, that these may not work the way that they work for me right now in the future. I know that things will change. I know that technology will advance. Maybe I’ll advance with it. Maybe I won’t. I’m okay. I just love what I have for now. I also recognize it’s temporary and it’s evolving.
My First Playlists
So I think one of the first ways that I got into creating playlists for myself, (this history that I’m going to give might be slightly chronologically out of order, but in general it’s probably pretty accurate) was Youtube.
The first way that I got into making playlists for myself was because I was using another older, maybe not as current music streaming service Pandora. I would sit at my desk, back when I worked at a desk in an office and listen to Pandora, just like the popular or the current music. It would just give me a pretty good variety and mix of music. If I ever wanted to change it, I could just choose a different genre, but I pretty much just listened to whatever was current and popular.
There were certain songs that, because I listened to it 8 hours a day, every day, I noticed myself really enjoying or finding catchy or wanting to listen to later. I knew that these songs were an emblem of that time in my life.
I decided to make playlists representing each summer. I would notice the songs that really popped out to me and that I heard myself humming along or singing along to. Or songs that would jump into my head at other times in the day. Then I would go into a playlist on YouTube and collect all those songs together so that when I played that playlist (called the summer of 17) it would just bring back all the memories from that summer because all of those songs would have been songs that I was listening to frequently during that time period. I loved that.
Going Back Years Later
I love, even now, going back into my YouTube library and pulling up the summer of 2018 and just taking myself back on that little trip down memory lane.
The next way that I started using playlists more frequently was for parties. Back in the day when I used to be – okay, let’s just say it- I used to be a super host! I used to pride myself on planning every detail of a party. It was themed. There was a menu, there was a decor/design situation.
And of course I had a playlist. My preference as a hostess at a party is to have a video playlist. That way, people have something to look at. It provides the soundtrack and the backdrop. It’s a conversation starter. It puts us in the mood. I am all about having a video playlist, specially curated and specially timed, and sometimes thematic for a party.
For a more casual get together, I might just use one of my existing playlists. Like the summer of 2018 would be a perfect playlist for a summertime party. But if I was having a special, special party…
A Roaring 20s Playlist
One year, we had a roaring 20s party. (Oh, how little did we know how roaring the 20s would start?) But anyhow, going back to that roaring 20s New Year’s Eve party (before 2020): we planned costumes. I planned decorations. I just went all out on everything, including the playlist. I spent hours on that playlist and it was epic. I pulled movie scenes from different movies and TV shows like the great Gatsby and from the TV show Boardwalk Empire, where it was all during that prohibition time. I chose music- specific music that matched, and I really planned the music so that it would start in high energy.
Then the playlist would give me some cues as we were getting close to the 3-hour mark. I knew exactly what time the party started and therefore what time I would start the playlist. Then I would notice when certain songs came on. I would know “oh, we’re getting close, it’s getting close to New Year’s Eve.” So, that’s one of those examples of a playlist that just added the chef’s kiss to the rest of the party (which was amazing by the way).
Another themed party that I remember really focusing on my playlist a lot after I had focused on all the other details, which were very, very detailed, was a sangria tasting party that my husband and I concocted. It actually started out -and we invited our friends- as a sangria tasting party. But we switched it at the end. It was actually a Sangria Making party. We had two teams: the red team and the white team. Each of them had their own sangria-making kits – but no recipe just directions on how to develop their own recipes.
Then they made their own recipes and we came together and we judged. We also compared to some store-bought sangria mixes. It was super fun and it was all sangria-themed. So, of course, my playlist had to be sangria-themed as well. That caused me to really search for some drinking songs and wine and fruit songs. It was just so much fun. It was such a lovely playlist! And it just really added that element to that party.
Those are just some examples so far of how I’ve used playlist for entertainment and for mood setting. And just to make people feel like they’re having a good time, but I also use playlists just for myself for my own personal memories and self-reflection.
I got this idea that it would be really, really interesting to create a playlist representing my entire life.
I started to think back to what were the earliest songs I could remember, you know, hearing on the radio or singing, or what were the earliest songs (like when I was 4 or 5 years old). Then I went through each year of my life to try to remember what song was meaningful or important to me during those years. And not just a specific song, but kind of a little handful of songs – some years had more than others.
This took a surprising amount of research to figure it out. The first thing I did was I just wrote down all of the years and then I tried to guess “okay, well, when I was in fifth grade, I remember this song, my friends and I used to sing it together.” Or “I remember that one summer vacation, we saying this song with my cousins” or whatever the story was.
First of all, I just listed all the years. Then I started to plot and map in the songs that I could remember off the top of my head. Then I started to actually research. So, if there were any gap years that I really couldn’t think of a specific song or if I wasn’t sure exactly which year a song belonged in, I went online and I started researching most popular songs in 1986 or important songs in 1992. I scrolled around and some songs reminded me of other songs. Then I saw that a song that was important to me in 2000 was actually released in 1998. I think now that I created it, it has over a hundred songs and it is over eight hours.
Listening to My Lifetime Soundtrack
I use this playlist in two different ways. Sometimes I listen to it chronologically. So the first song on it, I think, is Leaving on a Jet Plane. That’s the very first song I can remember. Then there are some other really fun and interesting songs there from the early 80s. Then it goes all the way up to basically present day.
I’m trying to be good about remembering to add to it, but I haven’t really added to it, certainly not in 2020. I just love having my own lifetime soundtrack. And I so recommend if this is at all interesting to you, I just cannot recommend it highly enough because it was such a fun experience. Now that I have that lifetime soundtrack, I love going back and listening to it either chronologically or just on shuffle and seeing where it pops in and what songs play next to each other.
it’s just a really fun, personal thing for me to have. I first created that on YouTube and then I thought, why not also create it on Spotify? So I did, I have it on both places. I’m really glad that I invested the time to do that. That’s the biggest playlist, the most important playlist, out of this whole post, but I have some other playlist to tell you about as well.
Playlists for Specific Purposes
I have made playlists for specific purposes, including non-music purposes. Back when I decided that I wanted to learn tarot and I threw myself into that full force, I made myself flashcards. I read books, I watched other teachers. I joined a study group – both in person and online. I did everything.
One of the things that I did was find a teacher who I really resonated with, whose style of reading I really appreciated. I made a playlist of many of his daily tarot readings that he had done in the past. I would play the playlist and I would keep my finger on the pause and play. He would flip over a card and say, “Oh, it looks like you got the 3 of Wands.” Then I would pause and would write down what I thought. Then I would play it and hear his interpretation of it. I would make notes of anything that was different or anything that I didn’t know, or a unique perspective that he shared that I hadn’t heard before. That was a really great learning tool: creating those playlists from one of my favorite teachers of his videos.
Playlist for Manifesting
Another way I use playlists now and I love it so much (and I really recommend) is I have a manifesting playlist.
I thought of and researched a little bit, but mostly these were songs that came to my mind. I thought of songs that put me in a high vibe that made me feel like everything is possible. Songs that had lyrics and ideas and melodies and songs that just felt very uplifting and “go after what you want and get it.” You can have whatever you want!
I collected all of these songs into a playlist that I call my manifesting playlist. I was very specific about how I ordered the songs. For a while there, I would listen to that specific playlist every morning while I was getting ready and I loved it. It just put me in the right mindset.I repeated the lyrics. It was basically like doing musical mantras every single day. I attribute that to helping me manifest many things that I wanted for myself during that time.
I still have that playlist available to me. I don’t use it very much right now, maybe just because I’m living the life that I created for myself. I’m doing pretty well. I always know that I could pull that playlist out in a moment if I needed to.
That’s something that I recommend for you. If this sounds interesting, if you have a little bit of curiosity about it, what songs would you include on a manifesting playlist? And then why don’t you just go and make that playlist?
Personalized Zumba Playlists
The next way that I’ve used playlists in YouTube is for my Zumba workouts. I did an episode about this a couple of months ago when I talked about how to get whatever you want.
One of the ways that I get whatever I want for myself is basically just creating what I want. One of the things that I wanted was a Zumba class every day, at the time that I wanted, with the teachers that I wanted, and the soundtrack that I wanted. That was during the middle of COVID. The gyms were closed and even if they were open, I wasn’t going to go anyhow. I just decided to make a playlist with the songs that I liked and chose the teachers I liked. That way I could play it every day at the same time.
At first I started out with one playlist, then I thought, “Oh, wouldn’t it be great to have a different one for each day of the week?” Which I did. And then, recently I thought “I’m a little tired of those, let me make another one with more current songs.”
So this is like a never ending gift every day. If I wanted to, I could make a brand new Zumba playlist and play over and over again. I could have themes: all discos Zumba, or all hip hop, or all Latin or whatever. You could do whatever you want, all female singers, all male, singers, all boy bands- whatever!
Zumba Playlists for You
I’m so glad that I have those. I shared those with all of my favorite people. If you are on my email list, I would have sent you the list of the links to those playlists. You can still get them now because I have them linked in the companion workbook that goes along with my podcast.
Whenever you sign up and join my email list as one of “my favorites” you get sent a link to that companion workbook that has, among everything else that I’ve shared with my favorite people, that list of Zumba playlist too.
Balancing Chakras with Playlists
And now, currently, I’ve been using playlists for chakra balancing. One of my new things that I’m kind of curious about and getting interested in and researching and learning about is chakras. I noticed I had some tightness in my throat. I went through a list of possible reasons in my mind about what might be causing it. Maybe it’s allergies, maybe I’m getting sick. Maybe my throat chakra is out of balance. That’s the thing I decided to start researching. I got really interested in it. I have a little chakra activity book.
Luckily, it suggested possible songs to go along with each of the different energy centers (or chakras) that we have in our bodies. I made a playlist for each of the chakras based on the recommendations in this book, and I love them. Now I have these 7 chakra playlists on Spotify. They’re about 30 to 40 minutes each, and there’s just such a great variety of songs from the past, songs I’ve never heard before, songs I loved and haven’t thought of recently.
I just really, really appreciate that the author of the workbook took the time to put the list together. And then, I took the time to make myself these playlists on Spotify. I’ve really been enjoying listening to them.
Other People’s Playlists
I enjoy listening to playlist created by other people to one of my favorite writers, Alexandra Franzen, frequently makes playlists.
When she sends out her emails to her list, she’ll frequently send out and say, “use this playlist if you’re feeling moody, or use this playlist if you want to go zen.” I really appreciate hearing other people’s playlists.
What actually prompted this whole post was a friend of mine is getting married 4/3/21. She was telling us how she’s working with her DJ to come up with a playlist for her wedding. They are choosing the songs. Isn’t that lovely to share important songs with other people and to put songs in a specific order for meaningful reasons? It really made me want to share my own love of creating playlists with you. Maybe I’ll inspire you to create some playlists for yourself the way that I’ve just described.
Why I Love Making Playlists
I think part of the reason why I’m really attracted to making playlists is because it satisfies my desire to control the order and the timing of things. There’s just no doubt that the playlist will turn out exactly how I want. I can start it and stop it exactly how I want. Since we don’t get that opportunity in life, maybe I find that, in some small measure, just by creating a delightful little playlist for myself.
What Have I Not Done Yet?
I think I’m going to make myself a Surrender Playlist. If you’ve been following along with me, you know, I’m completely infatuated with the idea of surrender. I’m learning about it. I have a study group about it. I am researching. I’m experimenting. And just like I had that manifesting playlist a few years ago and it really helped me and it really worked. I think I want to create a surrender playlist for myself too.
So I am curious if you have suggestions for me? Is there a different platform or software besides YouTube or Spotify that you think I should be using to get with the times? What songs do you think I should include in my surrender playlist? I’m very curious to hear recommendations.
Suggestions and Your Experience
Can you think if there is a playlist I should make for another specific purpose that I’m not thinking of right now?
Do you have any playlists?
Do you listen to a specific playlist for cleaning, for working out, for driving, for settling down at the end of the day, when you’re with certain people?
Do you like listening to certain music? Have you ever curated a specific playlist for yourself?
How did you do it and why, and how did you choose your songs?
I want to know everything obviously, but if you have any questions for me about my playlist, please let me know.
Are you as delighted and invested as I am?
Or are you just neutral -you could take it or leave it?
Or do you have any resistance to creating and listening to playlists?