Look forward, not back – why I’m only listening to new music for the next few months

In my previous post, I wrote about the number of lists I maintain. One of those is full albums I’d like to listen to. I’ve been compiling this list for some time now and it contains 300+ entries which are a mixture of albums which have been recommended to me, I’ve read about, or supposed classics that I’ve never listened to.

I recently noticed that the list was expanding rather than reducing and I rarely listen to anything on it. I’ve frequently used the weak excuse of not having time to listen to any of them in full though, in my current frame of mind, I now realise that this is ridiculous. Whilst I think it’s better to listen to an album in full, it certainly isn’t essential. There are many times every day when I have time to listen to 4 or 5 songs together. Even a couple at a time will suffice – the priority is to listen to new music, no matter whether it’s 1 track or 12.

Another issue for me is that I always revert to my favoured old playlists. I guess this is reassuring as they contain songs I know I love – it’s the musical equivalent of a big hug. As beneficial as this approach is, it doesn’t broaden my horizons in the slightest.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I started to listen to new albums rather than playlists and it’s wonderful. Not everything hits home. Quite a lot of what I’ve listened to won’t make it into my beloved playlists. But I have an eclectic list and I’ve already discovered some wonderful new artists and songs. Surprisingly (or perhaps not…), there have been many opportunities to listen to 5-6 songs at a time, quite often full albums. Who’d have thought that my pre-conceived idea that I wouldn’t have time has turned out to be well wide of the mark.

This has made me consider other areas of my life where the same principle applies – that I do actually have time to seek out new things rather than returning to the tried and tested. Obvious examples are TV, films and books – three categories where I have huge lists of things to watch and read yet often return to old favourites. But what about other areas of my life where I could change things up with relative ease? Could I use new exercise routines to invigorate the battle to shed excess fat? Try new recipes / meals, for the same reason? Learn new songs every time I pick up a guitar, rather than revisit tunes I can already play? Try different walks when I get out with Rosie (my Jack Russell)? The list could be endless when I stop to think about it.

If I feel as invigorated in all those areas as I have done with listening to new music, it could make a big difference to my life and go some way to lifting me out of the gloom which seems to be affecting so many people at the moment. Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong in sticking with the tried and tested, particularly if it makes us feel comfortable, but it is certainly beneficial to change things a little. For me, it releases a few extra endorphins and reminds me that I can look forward rather than backward – something which is really important to me.

Try to think about new things you may be able to introduce to your life. How can you shake it up a little? Just a few minor changes may trigger some of those endorphins. As my favourite female singer said in one of her best songs, a change would do you good…

As always, thanks for reading and take care.

Best wishes.

Mick

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