Music Is Mindset

Something I’ve wanted to post about for a bit in terms of general “successful mindset”, is about music. It’s no secret that I’m quite into bubbly pop music, especially that of the legendary Taylor Swift. I take a bit of flack about it from my fans and readers, most of whom seem to listen to harder rock or heavy metal from what I’ve seen, which is totally fine. But there’s actually a method to the music I listen to, and I’ve made a change, very intentionally, on what music I play on a regular basis.

There’s a lot of studies done about music and how it impacts your moods and mental faculties. I was big into darker, artistic rock like Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins and the like in the 90s and early 2000s, and over time, I noticed that I’d find myself in sluggish, unproductive moods far more often than I am today.

It’s because music impacts your mindset.

I’d been aware of the moods that music can put me into — and the entertainment industry is aware of this too, it’s why music is so prevalent in every film and TV show. Those dramatic moments, a lot of the time, instill the emotions they do in you because of the music. But I loved the art. These guys produced crazy good music, despite it being dark, angry, depressed or bitter. It took a lot for me to want to change to something I saw as more sophomoric and trite.

My mindset on this changed in September, when I read a study that came out that showed that listening to HAPPY music in particular, stimulates the area of the brain for creativity. Now I’m in a creative profession in writing science fiction. It’s my job to be creative and have my brain working at full creative output, and to be able to produce it on command. I don’t have time to be tired, to be depressed, or to let anything else get in the way of that.

So I made a commitment at that point to listen to happy music. I changed what I listen to to be almost exclusively symphonic music, Christian music, certain TV/Film background music (like My Hero Academia’s music… wow talk about epic and high energy!), rave and dance music, stuff designed to get you happy and pumped up.

It’s made a difference in my life. I don’t spend many days in the doldrums unless I have a cold or the flu anymore. Happy music has made me happy, and it’s made me more able to produce. It’s part of why I’m so productive.

Try it for yourself, and see how it goes.

And in the meantime, if you like happiness, read my book, For Steam And Country. It’s a great coming of age story that will leave you thrilled and full of wonder for a beautiful steampunk fantasy world.

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  • Overgrown Hobbit

    I recommend Minecraft Parodies.

    All the pop music cartchiness, none of the darkness, perversion and emo stupidity

    I also really like Streampunk music.

  • Tesh

    I listen to a lot of video game music, predominantly the orchestral work of Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda. It’s designed to set a tone, most often heroic (from calm peaceful exploration to rousing defiance of evil), and meant to play underneath a main attention activity. There is a *lot* of great music out there. Even the World of Warcraft soundtrack has probably hundreds of hours of excellent pieces to leave running in the background.

    Curiously, sometimes they even work better if you’re not familiar with the game, since it’s just about the music. It’s like listening to a piece of music sung in a language you don’t know; you don’t get bogged down in and distracted by the higher-function pattern recognition of recognizing and singing along with lyrics you know, the vocals are just part of the music.