Music Is Mindset

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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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10 thoughts on “Music Is Mindset

  1. You can’t write a post like this and not include your playlist. What are your top 10 favorite TaySwift songs? What other songs or artists are on your happy playlist?

  2. As a musician myself, I LOVE this! I find myself, the older I get, wanting to listen to stuff that makes me smile. It’s a subtle effect, but it’s there.

    I suppose that’s why I find most punk and metal so damn tiresome, even though I like elements of each genre. A band like Mastodon, say, still piques my interest because of the subject matter and the fact that, while heavy, it’s not ALL doom and gloom.

    Even Black Sabbath had, you know, melodies and stuff.

    • Mastodon rules! A ton of talent and creativity in that band.

      For me personally, the relentless driving rhythms of metal are where it’s at. My favorite metal bands amp me up and calm me down at the same time. Thrash metal especially is great that way.

      For something that has a happy, energetic sound but still rocks, I go with Volbeat. Even when the subject is sad the songs somehow still sound happy.

      • Mastodon is fantastic. I find them a cut above as far as doing something different in heavy music goes.

        I never got into Volbeat…maybe I’ll give them another go.

        I totally understand the headrush of aggressive music (metal, punk, etc.). Some of my favorite bands are on the heavier end: Dillinger Escape Plan, Metallica, Faith No More . . . but I tried getting into some more extreme stuff and it wasn’t my bag.

        Thrash . . . now, a lot of those bands combine the heaviness and speed with actual melodies that stick in your head. Some even have singing! Good stuff.

  3. Completely spot-on, Jon. My two more upbeat (forgive the pun) machciv novels were written to j- & k-pop, with an emphasis on Hatsune Miku & Perfume.

    Cursed Hearts, my first foray into.horror, was accompanied by a lot of Trance and Nightcore. Defiant, bring edited now, had a mix playing in my study; as it’s romance-war, I guess that is reasonable.

    In my talks at cons & schools about writing, I, too, try to touch on what you’ve covered here… typically better than I have!

  4. So what music would you recommend as the most proper background to “For Steam and Country”? I cannot think think of any genre that could be associated with steampunk

  5. Pingback: Music and Mindset – The Last Redoubt

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