How You Can Listen to Music That Empowers You
There is a good chance that music makes up a large portion of your daily life, starting from the time you wake up. Well, you aren’t alone in this particular ritual – it is estimated that people spend around 36 hours a week listening to music. And this is just the number of songs that companies are able to track!
Suffice to say, this means that music has a rather large impact on your life. It can affect the way you feel, think, and even work. This is why it is so important to be selective about the kind of music you are listening to. If these tracks can make or break you, shouldn’t you be focusing on the tunes that empower you? If you are interested in changing the way you listen to music, then here are a few things that you need to think about.
Start Listening to Lyrics More Carefully
This is something that most of us can attest to – while re-listening to a song you used to love when younger you might come across lyrics that were… problematic, to say the least. Now, it is fair to say that artists weren’t as careful as they are today about what they sang about. Still, the reason you might not have picked up those lyrics was probably because you didn’t actually listen to them.
Now, you aren’t the only one guilty of this. Oftentimes, if the music is catchy enough or the chorus memorable, most people don’t spend too much attention listening to the rest of the song. Well, it is about time you started listening to the song as a whole, just to make sure that you aren’t singing something unsavoury!
The reason you should pay attention to the lyrics Is that they can have a considerable impact on you, even if you don’t realize it. If you listen to something long enough, it begins to resonate with you, even if you don’t hold those values yourself. So, if a song includes dehumanizing or sexist lyrics, questionable language, or is just plain misleading, you should definitely delete it from your playlist.
Watch Out for Faux Feminism or Empowerment
Following this point, the next question to ask yourself is whether a song is unbiased. As a woman, it isn’t uncommon to find thousands of tunes talking about the female figure. Some are downright crude, while others go onto objectify women’s bodies. Both these tactics are equally inappropriate and aren’t things that you should subject yourself to.
The problem is that these type of tracks are often easily identifiable – they make no attempt to hide their meaning. What you need to watch out for, though, are those faux-empowerment earworms. Take Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”, for instance. One of the reasons this tune shot up to the top of the charts was because it appeared to be promoting body positivity. Trainor talked about the beauty of curvy girls and the importance of loving yourself.
Unfortunately, in that very same song, she goes on to be disparaging about “skinny women”. So, as you can see, it isn’t a message about body positivity at all, as it lacks total inclusivity. Remember, you don’t need to put others down in order to empower yourself. Women, especially, can benefit from raising each other up in a world that is constantly trying to make them seem less significant.
Look to the Right People
It is important to understand that the music businesses is a money-making one. This means that the main focus of most artists is usually creating catchy tunes that can earn them a top spot on most-played lists as fast as possible. And today, in an era where feminism is at the forefront of the media, it can seem that many artists are practically forced into the role of being a feminist icon. However, as you can imagine, this doesn’t actually make these musicians that – and, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy their music or take them any less seriously.
A great way to make sure that you are listening to music that inspires you is to focus on empowered artists. Fortunately, there are actually quite a number of them out there. Alessia Cara, Halsey, and Zolita are just a few in this lineup. That is not to say that some artists don’t make certain mistakes – after all, they are human. However, if you tend to listen to musicians that spread a largely positive message, then it is going to be a lot easier to feel good about the kind of music you are listening to.
Separating the Music from the Artist – Is it Possible?
Now, it isn’t possible to talk about musicians without considering one of the biggest issues in the music industry at moment – can you separate an artist and their music? Or better yet, should you? There is no end to the number of problematic musicians, regardless of the era you think about. From some of the greatest rock n roll musicians, right down to R-Kelly, there is a lot of blame to go around.
So, what if you have been listening to a particular artist’s music for years and have embodied their words, only to recently discover that they have fallen from grace? Do you continue to listen to their music despite not supporting their lifestyle?
There isn’t an easy answer to this. This is because, for the most part, people have already formed such strong connections with music created by problematic artists. Due to this, it can be tempting to separate the two in your mind and not really think about the issue. That alone doesn’t make you a bad person or even any less of a feminist. Nonetheless, these are questions that you shouldn’t stop asking yourself, even there doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut answer.
As a whole, you should start being more careful about the artists and songs that you listen to. This is because you deserve better – you should be filling your life with things that make you feel good about yourself and bolster you to become a more confident person.