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Can Spotify's Daily Wellness Boost Your Mental Health?

Three ways Spotify's newest wellness feature could help to improve self-care.

Earlier this week, Spotify launched "Daily Wellness: A mindful mix of music and podcasts." It’s hard to deny the healing power of music, and this initiative combines that curative foundation with short lessons to help users infuse wellness into their daily routines. Here are three ways that this new feature could be a helpful resource for cultivating mental wellness:

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1. It’s curated. Have you ever tried something to boost your wellness that just was not for you? Maybe it was even something someone else raved about and that you wanted to like but at the end of the day, it wasn’t the right fit. For me, it’s green juice. That’s not to take away from those of you who enjoy green juice and its many benefits at all. This is simply because the need for wellness it universal but the methods that work for us may vary from person to person. Spotify acknowledges that “wellness is deeply personal.” The Daily Wellness playlist is curated to match your listening habits. In this way, it already infuses the music you may enjoy, hopefully curbing the likelihood of the songs popping up that may have a counter-productive effect. At the end of the day, it’s still an algorithm and you know you best. If you were already going to listen to your own music anyway, you might as well give the playlist a shot, if something potentially triggering comes up you could use the skip option (if applicable), change the playlist, or shift activities altogether.

2. It has dual daily purposes. While there are benefits to the tried and true playlist we personally craft, a playlist that automatically refreshes allows you to break up the monotony and infuse inspiration. The Daily Wellness refreshes twice per day, increasing your exposure to new music and podcasts. In addition to the novelty that may help you to embed the playlist into your self-care routine more than once, it also matches the time of the day. In the morning the playlist focuses on motivation and includes inspirational quotes, intention-setting prompts, and positive words through music and dialogue. In the evening, the playlist shifts to help you unwind with mindfulness meditation and relaxing music.

3. It highlights a variety of coping skills. The Daily Wellness integrates music and playlists. Even the transition between the two methods models a helpful mental health tactic: taking breaks. If you utilize this daily, the shift can also be paired with a cue for you to give yourself a rest from what you’re doing as you shift into a more mindful zone. Perhaps this may be standing up if you’ve been sitting, grabbing a sip of water, or tuning into your body by making a tweak to your posture or taking deep breaths.

Even in my current Daily Wellness playlist, I counted six common coping strategies that are often embedded in mental health practice: (1) breathing techniques, (2) inspirational quotes, (3) mindfulness skills, (4) guided meditation, (5) body awareness, and (6) gratitude practice. More and more folks are recognizing that mental wellness is an integral aspect of well-being, yet it is intimidating to know where to start and what you can do. Using this playlist is a clever way to dabble in a variety of strategies. As noted earlier, remember that wellness is personal. This can be a helpful starting point for you to learn what self-care strategies may align with your preferences. Over time, you may notice a trend in the skills you are drawn to and can continue to build on that foundation. Say for example you find yourself enjoying the gratitude reflections the most. Perhaps you can then use this self-awareness to continue to cultivate that skill in ways that do not require your device at all.

NOTE: This is not an ad. I am a mental health counselor, educator, and advocate who infuses creative counseling methods (e.g., music) into my personal and professional practices and was naturally intrigued by this initiative. Wellness is indeed individualized, however, the more we can demystify and raise awareness about the variety of ways to cultivate self-care, the more empowered and well individuals can potentially be.

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