For about a year, I’ve lived silently with the shame of a being music blogger that doesn’t listen to nearly enough music. I decided to challenge myself to listen to nothing but new music for seven days. There were two rules: I could not listen to anything I had heard before and I couldn’t listen to the same thing twice. I fasted for seven days from some of my favorite songs and took to my streaming apps to binge out on music that was 100 percent new to me. To say I experienced some kind of spiritual enlightenment would be an exaggeration, but I did learn a few things about myself

1. I’m so not about that one-time-listen life. That's the first thing I noticed. When I hear a hot line, I want to run it back until I have it memorized. If there’s a song I’m digging, I want to play it for everyone that comes within 10 feet of me. If there was a downside to this week, that was it. 2. All of my music personalities are present and accounted for. The lyrical junkie is always hanging around, but the Top-40 fanatic and the eclectic soul enthusiast came out to play as well. Trap Zu was cited for disturbing the peace in a Harris Teeter parking lot on the way to the party

3. Music makes me a much nicer person. I’ve always known that a well-composed song could boost my mood, but this was epic. Typically, I mope around mumbling sarcastic remarks. This week was different. I laughed at jokes that were not funny, I lectured my coworkers about not being cheerful enough on Valentine’s Day and I made it my business to pass along the good news of Daniel and his white Vans. 4. I should hold on to that bliss. It dawned on me that I can take the music anywhere. I can take a song with me into any environment by just humming it to myself

Rih dancing to music
Photo: Giphy
5. I’ve been missing out. Outside of trying out curator playlistS here and there, I keep the same music in rotation. I don’t listen to the radio, so a lot of good music is falling through the cracks

6. I need to make a conscious effort to listen to new music, often. If I ever want to make it as a playlist curator (that's an actual job), I better start updating my mental catalog

7. All it takes is a little more effort. I did a lot of complaining about how I didn’t have time to listen to all the dope sounds that people are putting out every single day. In reality, it only took a few extra seconds to look up a new playlist or find something interesting on SoundCloud

8. The Bryson Tiller sound is really popping. Almost every "hot new music" playlist I discovered featured at least one of his songs. This made it hard when trying not to listen to the same song twice

9. “What will summer sound like?” I started asking myself these kinds of questions. Sure, we’re all in love when it’s 22 degrees out, but what happens when people get out their feelings and start wanting to be summertime single? 10. Apple Music has mixtapes, who knew? Later in the week, I had to break down and start downloading mixtapes to my iPod Classic (which is so 2008). One of my favorite websites was featuring a mixtape that I sampled earlier on Apple Music. If they could rid my life of downloading and syncing altogether, that would be great

Apple music commercial
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11. I’m not buying enough music.  With all my subscriptions to various streaming services, it slipped my mind that I haven’t purchased any actual music. I’ve done enough music business research to know that streams don’t do much for the artists themselves. I need to do better

12. My submissions inbox is full of new music. This should be a no-brainer but hear me out. I’m always sifting through emails to find music to blog about. It can be a lot, but I love it. However, I realized that I’m thinking of each submission as a task to complete. The music is there for me to enjoy just like anyone else

13. Music helps me get rid of mental and physical clutter. I noticed that I clean much faster when I have something to nod my head to. I also found that listening to music while reading increased my retention. Weird, right? 14. I bond with most people through music. I noticed that 95 percent of the conversation I have with friends or coworkers start with, "Have you heard?" "What do you think about?" or a shared link. I'm not sure how I feel about that. My musical obsession is a big part of what makes me...well, me.  However, I do want to make an effort to show others that I'm more than a walking iPod

15. I should start taking suggestions from friends. On a quick road trip, a friend put in a special request for an album that I wasn’t completely interested in. I decided to oblige and ended up purchasing my first album since Watch The Throne

Jay Z and Kanye west listening to music
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Has music ever helped you discover new things about yourself? Comment below and tell us what songs inspired you to make a few changes.

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