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When My Spotify Wrapped Knows Me Better Than I Know Myself

A young biracial woman is sitting on her couch with her knees propped up. She is wearing a headset while listening to music with her eyes closed.

When My Spotify Wrapped Knows Me Better Than I Know Myself

A young biracial woman is sitting on her couch with her knees propped up.  She is wearing a headset while listening to music with her eyes closed.

In the age of digital self-discovery, there’s a peculiar revelation that many of us can’t help but marvel at every year. As the year draws to a close, Spotify users eagerly await the unveiling of their personal musical journey in the form of “Spotify Wrapped.” It’s more than just a recap of our favorite tunes—it reflects our moods, memories, and evolving tastes.

It’s a fun retrospective, in theory. But you might find that your Spotify Wrapped brings up a trove of memories, emotions, and feelings you’re unsure what to do with. If you feel that your Wrapped list is intensely personal, maybe even to the point that sharing it with others feels vulnerable, and you’re wondering why you’re having such a strong response to a list of songs, you may be surprised to learn that you’re not the only one.

What is Spotify Wrapped?

Spotify Wrapped is an annual tradition that transforms the streaming platform into a personalized time capsule of your year in music. It provides users with a comprehensive breakdown of their listening habits, showcasing their most-played songs, top artists, and even the genres that dominated their playlists throughout the year. Spotify Wrapped compiles this data into a visually engaging and shareable format from the first song you played to the unexpected genres you explored.

5 Ways My Spotify Wrapped Knows Me Better Than I Know Myself

1) Emotional Soundtrack:

A young woman with short blonde hair is sitting in her home by the window. She is covered by a blanket, as she listens to music on her headphones.

Whether it’s the breakup ballads that got you through tough times or the upbeat anthems that defined moments of joy, your Wrapped playlist serves as a melodic diary of your emotional journey. Music has a way of taking us back, the very definition of a sense memory. You have likely seen folks who have memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s and/or dementia, sit down and play the piano without any sheet music. Or you might have seen videos of them listening to a song from their youth and remembering the people, places, and events of that time.
Those who read music know that it is a language. It is one that all of us who listen to it, even those who do not read music or play any instruments, also stored in our brains in some way. Most people feel a special connection to the music they listen to during adolescence. There was a lot of brain development in those years; the music of that time made a huge impact on the memories made and the pathways built.

This year, you may have listened to a song that came out in time to line up perfectly with a situation you were going through. It can seem impossible and fascinating how often that happens, but that is why music (and the arts in general) is so important. Songs tell timeless stories set to melodies that stick with us. The purpose of art in all its forms has been to illuminate our history and summarize our collective experiences. It’s why a crowd at a concert all scream the bridge of a particularly angsty breakup song in perfect unison. Not only is it cathartic, but it gives us a sense that we are not alone in our pain. Artistic expression, even when borrowed from someone else, helps to reduce anxiety and feelings of isolation.

2) Musical Time Capsule:

A young man and woman are sitting in a convertible car. The man is driving as the young woman puckers her lips and applies lip gloss.

Looking back at your most-played songs and artists can trigger a flood of memories, transporting you back to specific moments, places, and people. If you attend therapy for anxiety, you likely know how clearly memories can be felt in your mind and body. The physical response to emotions and the emotional response to sensory stimuli are interconnected in a powerful way.
Spotify Wrapped doesn’t care if your most-listened-to song was in March when you went through that breakup.

Since that time, you may have made great strides in moving on. Seeing that song title pop up again might take you back to that time. You might feel that same heaviness in your chest and even your heartache! That song will likely always remind you of that breakup. You may hear it in the future and remember how far you’ve come in getting over that person. You may even smile, knowing you were able to continue on in your life and create happier memories.

You might find yourself listening to your Wrapped and remembering things you had forgotten. You may also have specific memories tied to the artist(s) you’re revisiting. Did you discover someone at a festival; what do you remember about that event? Did you attend with someone significant in some way; is that person still close to you?

The music we listen to while caring for ourselves often makes a lasting impression. If you had a particular pump-up playlist for the gym, a soothing series of songs for your relaxation time, or artists you listened to inspire your self-expression, you likely feel transported to that era of self-improvement. Consider how your playlists have helped and can continue to help you create and stick to your mental health plan. Where can you use music to keep you going? Where can you use it to help you decompress?

3) Unexpected Discoveries:

A young woman is dancing in her kitchen. She is wearing headphones and smiling as she dances.

Whether it’s a new artist that resonated deeply or a genre you never thought would capture your heart, Wrapped has a way of unearthing hidden gems. These discoveries remind us that we are always evolving and changing. While our bodies seek homeostasis and our nervous system craves regulation, it is important for our wellness that we don’t feel stagnant. Being “stuck in a rut” can lead to feelings of boredom, restlessness, resentment, frustration, depression, and more.

Do you feel you are the same person you were at the beginning of the year? Did your musical discoveries coincide with other areas of growth or change? Did music open you up to a different culture or a social issue? When you revisit your year of music, consider what you learned about yourself during this time. What do you value most about yourself at the end of 2023? It might be related to discoveries this year; you may have had a foundation in place that grew as your experiences expanded.

Sometimes, because we are surprised by the music we enjoy, we begin to take liking it personally. If you were listening to music that no one in your friend group was listening to this year, you may have connected with other fans online. You may have felt an instant kinship with them simply because you both enjoyed the same song or album. If you felt that this music reflected you in a personal way, sharing it with others may have felt intimate to you, and you might have been surprised at how far you felt from some people in your life who didn’t seem to have the same appreciation. At our practice, we offer anxiety therapy in Woodland Hills. Many people reveal that these misalignments of art and creative expression feel like betrayals on some level. While that feeling may not last forever, it can impact how you feel when you reflect on the year and what you learned about yourself.

Do you foresee yourself making new discoveries in 2024? Are there other artists you want to listen to or people you want to connect with? Do these new experiences excite and intrigue you?

4) Seasonal Symphonies:

Two young women are sitting on a couch next to each other. They are both wearing headphones and listening to music with their eyes closed. They both have their arms behind their heads.

The ebb and flow of your musical preferences mirror the cyclical nature of life, providing insight into the rhythms of your internal seasons as well as the literal passage of time throughout the year. They reflect and inform our state of mind, plans, and emotional lives.

There is a reason certain songs take off when they do; some songs sound “cozy,” like sweater weather and hot drinks as the season changes to autumn. Some songs practically beg to be blasted in a car with all the windows down in the late-setting sunlight of summertime. You may hear a song from this past summer on your playlist and feel ready for beach days and patio drinks again. These tunes capture and summarize time differently.

An emotional season can resonate with us long after it has passed. Friendships, romantic relationships, times of great struggle or improvement, and more can be marked as seasons in our lives. Was there a certain artist who you felt reflected a specific season? On the other hand, did you bid farewell to a specific artist or genre and close a chapter of your life in some way at the same time?

A lot of what we talk about in anxiety therapy is letting go of the things that are no longer present for us. Sometimes, we feel anxious about letting something go because it has been so significant in our lives, even when we realize that it isn’t serving us to hold on. You may revisit a song or artist that reminds you of a season that you bid farewell to this year, or you may listen to something that makes you realize that you are no longer in the same place. Accepting where we are in the present moment plays a vital role in reducing anxiety. If you want to skip that song, do so. If you want to give it one last listen before you archive it for some length of time, that is also an option. You may want to enter 2024, being conscientious of how your emotional seasons are impacting your playlist and how your playlist might be impacting your seasons.

5) Personal Growth Playlist:

A woman is sitting on the sand at the beach. She is wearing headphones and listening to music. The Santa Monica pier is behind her in the distance.

The songs that once resonated deeply may take a back seat to new discoveries, reflecting our changing perspectives and evolving identities.
Most of us are changing and evolving all the time. Some years, we experience this evolution more swiftly than others. If you look back at your playlist and see that you have come a long way, you may reflect on the person you were when the calendar changed over in January. Hopefully, you have been and remain true to yourself on your journey through this last year. Your playlist may even reflect personal revelations you’ve made about yourself; you might have had a year of major growth in living authentically and expressing your true self honestly.

If you were to sit down and listen to every top song, could you list something you’re proud of or appreciate about yourself that goes along with it? Do certain songs reflect tough decisions you made, boundaries you set, and times you advocated for yourself? Do others seem to narrate journeys you went on?

Your Wrapped list may have you considering how you interact with media and social networking in general. Does it feel accurate to you and your experiences? How does your digital footprint leave its mark? If you wish it told a different story, nothing stops you from rewriting it. What images do you want to share? What memories do you want to record? On the other hand, what moments do you want to keep for only yourself and/or your closest loved ones? Consider what you remember when you listen to these songs. If they don’t feel like they match the most significant moments of the year, it might simply be because there wasn’t a song that could encapsulate that experience for you. Or you may want to seek one out that you feel achieves that. Your list isn’t the be-all-end-all of your personality, goals, or achievements for 2023; how could it be? But you may be able to use it as a tool for self-reflection.

What do you want to discover about yourself next year, and how might it be reflected on a playlist? If you were to build a playlist now to reflect your coming goals, what would be on it? Consider the messages you want to deliver to yourself, the anthems you think will keep you going, and the stories you hope will resonate the most with you. You’re not trying to tell the future in doing so; you will always have unexpected discoveries and events that alter the playlist of your life. But you might find that next year’s soundtrack inspires you, the authentic you, in ways you can’t predict or even imagine right now.

Our lifelong playlist is always evolving. One day, you will return to a song that represents 2023 to you, and it will have been years since you heard it or thought of it. Immediately, you will remember the times you were living in when this song topped your Spotify Wrapped. Specific memories will rise to the surface of your mind, memories magically unlocked by something you had almost forgotten. Your Spotify Wrapped does know you, and if the soundtrack of your life feels deeply personal and significant, there is nothing wrong with that. It is a genuinely human experience. Take the time to consider: what else reflects you and your life in ways you might not have realized?

Anxiety Therapy In Woodland Hills

Do you feel like your regular anxiety turned into Holiday Anxiety? Do you feel like everyone is talking about goals for 2024, and you are unsure where to start? 

When you seek Anxiety Therapy in Woodland Hills, CA, you will not just change your day-to-day routine but also uncover the root causes of your anxiety. Our clinicians, who specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness tools, are here to have real conversations with you and share practical tools to better your life moving forward.   

Contact us today for your complimentary 20-minute phone consultation with our Admin Team today!

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