You Are Listening To Music Wrong

How your way of listening to music is making your experience far worse than it should be.

Many people are quick to label music as entertainment, but it hasn’t always been that way, and arguably it is worse now.

Many people make the mistake of listening and expecting music to be an “Always Exciting Experience”

By an “Always Exciting Experience”, people attempt to use music as a tool to occupy all of their senses and keep them fully entertained like when skipping, looping songs, and in general maintain overbearing control over what music is played and when.

Well that’s not bad! You might rebuttal…

But it isn’t “bad”, in a sense that it would be if people starved because you are streaming songs on Spotify, but it is not good for your future experience with music, at all.

To Explain:

Ever wonder why Spotify, Pandora & other free music services avoid letting you pick the songs you want to listen to? Well, think about that rush of excitement you experience when your favorite song comes on. You factually have a much better experience when you are surprised by a good song than when you pull it up yourself.

The Financial Perspective:

When a streaming service makes money every time you listen to a song, like when you aren’t paying for it and are receiving ads, they want you to listen more so they make more. As a result, they will add features and create limitations to get you to listen to more music. But when the service loses money per stream, like when you are paying a monthly fee for it, they have motivation to prevent its users from listening to content, even though that is the reason they paid.

Those tactics like not being able to pick your songs, ad breaks, and more are all clever attempts to prevent you from “growing old” of songs, more scientifically known as desensitization.


Use the services that are truly motivated to provide you a better experience and remember that the point of a music service isn’t to give you every song you could want and drown you in choice, it is to use services that provide you with a passive listening experience that can help you better enjoy the moment or get other things done.

But you are also listening to music at the wrong times

You know that playlist you have for running, cleaning & other boring tasks…it’s wrong.

Songs are not designed that way. Think about how music is always advertised. In all of those cases whether they are at the club or on the road, you are (or should in the case of driving) spending most of your mental effort in the moment, but when running or cleaning, you are giving that string of pitches way too much mental attention that it doesn’t want nor deserve.

So your club music, your driving jams and homework rock secessions are safe, but what about for the boring everyday tasks like running, email, sorting & cleaning?

Try an active form of audio entertainment, like podcasts or audiobooks.

— Have It Done