Is There Junk in Your Earbuds?

Sometimes, we “need” that song to make it through the day, to make it through morning traffic, to play when that “2:30 feeling” hits, or to motivate us through our workout. While these are moments we may need extra motivation, we also need to make sure we are sustaining ourselves with substance, not (metaphorically) feeding ourselves junk food for every meal.

I’m fortunate to work in a relaxed office environment (relaxed actually being synonymous for boring). I’m thankful for the environment; it definitely fits best with my work style. I can maintain a quiet workspace while completing projects and meeting deadlines. However, this environment also allows me to play music, listen to podcasts, watch a little YouTube here and there. That’s why I recently had to evaluate what I was feeding my spirit all day.

My Jam

Day after day I would drive to work blasting a playlist of my favorite upbeat songs to hype me up. I depended on this music to wake up, get me pumped for the day, and to make the drive a little easier (or so I thought). I would pull songs from the same playlist in the afternoon, just for an extra push. There’s something about bass in a song that gets me moving and on track.

After awhile I noticed my harsh responses to situations, the negative thoughts that would linger, and my diminishing control over my emotions. I was reading devotionals in the morning and praying at night, yet I was watching the garbage I fed my spirit bubble up right before my eyes.

The Remix

The first thing that needed my attention was my mind. I had to learn how to replace the negative thoughts I allowed to circulate through my mind. This required me to read my Bible more than once a day, and find Scripture verses to focus on. These are my “on-call” verses when I notice my thoughts are not what they should be:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Phil. 4:8).

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:2).

These verses remind me to turn off the adverse thoughts and think of things that are lovely, pure, and pleasing to God. This practice helps me face my problems with a totally different attitude. Instead of being upset and feeling defeated, I can respond to those feelings with what God says about my situation. By digging deeper into the Word, I found that my favorite chapter to read when my faith is weak is Matthew 8. This chapter contains many examples of the miracles Jesus performed, which sustains me.

Recalibrating my thoughts automatically caused a shift in my words. While the impulse to respond to frustrations in my day with a bad attitude subsided, I needed spiritual backup. Whenever things really got under my skin, I had to repeat His Word to myself before reacting. These verses had my back:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits (Prov. 18:21).

“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Peter 3:10).

While sometimes it felt like I was dying to give folks a “piece of my mind” and have a response to everything, maturity in Christ and reading His Word calmed me.

Mic Drop

Now my alarm clock plays songs that focus on my freedom in Christ. While I get ready, I listen to podcasts of some of my favorite pastors or play worship music. On the drive to work, I listen to things that will fill my heart with God’s truth. During my down times at work, I reread Scripture verses from my morning YouVersion Bible devotionals. I have an ongoing note in my phone that is strictly dedicated to gratitude. Every time I think to thank God for something, I put it in the note.

There are also times in the day when I free write in the note, listing ten to twenty things at a time. This routine helps me maintain spiritual and emotional balance, helps me perform better at work, and also helps me maintain my relationships with grace. Simply put, monitoring what I feed my spirit helps me be a better person for myself and others. Being creative about the ways I spend time with God and setting aside specific times to do so was one of my best decisions to date.

How about you? I’d love to know:

  • What music do you routinely listen to? How does that music impact your mood?
  • What are some practical steps you can take to make sure that what you listen to feeds a Christ-like attitude vs. a bad attitude?

Tell me about it in a comment below!

About Author

Jennifer Dumas

Jennifer Dumas is a twenty-something Michigander who is a lover of laughter, Jesus, flawless grammar, and “The Office.” She graduated from Eastern Michigan University, where she studied Public & Nonprofit Administration and Social Work. Her favorite pastimes include journaling, enjoying comedic entertainment, and making life decisions at Target.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Tonisha Tillman

    I consider myself a chameleon when it comes to music. I love all types! Anything that has something I can connect with I’m pretty much for. But I had no idea the connection it had to alter my mood and way of thinking. I noticed that when I wanted to feel or felt a certain way I placed a certain type of song in my ears and that was a positive thing sometimes but when it was negative it could make the situation even worse. Positive thinking is something that is so crucial and so important for day to day life because it can truly change your entire day! I noticed that every time I started my day off with negative it would fester until the point where I would realize it and still couldn’t snap out of it. I had engulfed myself in it; which made the day go by longer and it made the task I was doing at that time so miserable. I was easily irritated and that is never a good thing because I’m quick to snap on anybody and literally spew whatever I feel without any care if I offended the person or not. So it’s important to feed your soul the right things every day but especially in those tense moments where you feel like you are just about to explode! I promise it’s super hard to stay mad listening to JESUS is my help by Hezekiah Walker 😂 Some steps I take is too say my own daily affirmations! I actually say them before I started work everyday! They have to do with anything that I still think negative about or just a way for me to speak positive over myself. I also recite these scriptures everyday to remind myself of who I need to be in Christ : “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”- (Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬) ‭, “Like a city that is broken down and without a wall, so is a person who cannot control his temper.” – (Proverbs 25:28) and lastly “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” – (Proverbs‬ ‭23:7‬). I also have a note labeled POSITIVE🌼POSITIVE in my phone! I used it for ever time I have a negative thought. I write it down and in that instant I change and write the positive perspective on it. That way the negative thought is banished by the positive one and my brain will remember the positive one in the end. The more I do it the harder it will be to think negative about anything! Just some tips I used that will hopefully help as well!

    • Calahna Camille

      I listen to gospel music and contemporary Christian music. Pretty much all types of Christian music. I love this music because it helps keep my mind stayed on Jesus. It lifts up my spirits and it helps me to go through the day. I have upbeat music when I want some music to hype me up and I also have praise and worship music when I want to lay out at his feet in his presence to get some peace. I love the scripture you quoted about thinking on good things, pure things, things of good report. I want that to be my goal so music along with prayer, reading the Word, talking to friends, really helps me keep my attitude in check. When I have a bad attitude, I go honestly to God and admit I have a really bad attitude right now, HELP ME! And I just talk to Him right there about why I have my attitude and let Him minister to me. God is good and faithful, so HE always does.

      Great post! I LOVED it! ❤

      • Jenn D

        I listen to both as well! I grew up listening to Gospel music, and probably started listening to CCM 10 years ago. I like the differences in style. I have a playlist for when I want to lay out in His presence – what are some of your go to songs? I need to update my playlist. Thanks in advance!

    • Jenn D

      TONISHA! This response was everything! Thank you for reading, sharing your experiences, as well as highlighting more scriptures to meditate on! This is everything!

  • Madison Dumas

    I routinely listen to old choir songs! Don’t know what it is about those songs that could do a combination of calm me when my mind is all over the place or hype me up when I need something to lift me up. Whenever I stray from listening to these songs, I definitely notice a huge different in my mood and my perspective on things.

    • Jenn D

      I love old school music!!!! I’m glad you notice the shift in your attitude when you feed your spirit good things, vs listening to whatever is trendy/catchy & probably filthy lol!

  • Shantel Fortune

    I mainly listen to pretty much all gospel music especially because I don’t want to feed my kids junk, so whenever they are around I’m definitely only playing gospel music. Bruno Mars gets me often though at work and whenever I’m working out alone because he’s a fun artist and gives me that boost I sometimes need. Lol. Mornings I listen to my worship playlist as I’m showering and getting the kids together, I notice that if I don’t have my worship music on, I’m more snappy if they are giving me a hard time and it helps me to think positively and it keeps my mind on him so I have perfect peace. The way I start my day sets the tone for my entire day.

    • Jenn D

      Shantel, that’s amazing! You’re such an example for us in this thread who need to filter out some of the music we listen to. Listening to Worship music in the morning is KEY. I’m glad you mentioned you set the tone for your day – I don’t care who you are, that’s a necessary step for everyone. Every day. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • It depends on what I am doing for my music choices. When I’m working at the barn, I like to listen KLOVE; it really helps me to stay calm and also seems to help the horses as well. When I’m working on a project or even while playing an online game, I tend to listen to a variety of songs from FNaF fan music, gaming music, Family Force 5, Disciple, or even a few MLP songs. I find, of course, that the christian based songs lift my spirit more than anything, but I do enjoy listening to other things just for the fun of it. 🙂

    • Jenn D

      Good choices! It’s good you have a balance, and know that Christian based songs lift your spirits. Do you have any “go to” songs when your spirit needs a boost?

  • Tahne English

    Well since I’ve been saved I chose to listen to only gospel music. I find that I have different music for different seasons like God drops new songs/artist to me to help me through my season or mindsets. Lately because I started making a love song playlist for a friend I’ve started listening to love songs, well neo soul and love songs and it has been lifting my soul with the transparency in music and just how good it is. I have always like conscience music like Jill Scott and others. I know that on this journey there are things I can’t listen to because they will have a effect on my mind and sight mostly songs with profanity or sexual songs. I run from all that. Crazy thing is I don’t even have a taste for half the things I did growing up.

    • Jenn D

      Yes! Guard your mind and heart. I’m glad you made the decision to cut out all secular music, it protects you from evil spirit and lyrics that some songs contain today. Finding inspirational songs to help you through seasons in your life is so important. If you don’t mind, please share some of your favorites for other ladies in the thread who are struggling with finding good, wholesome, inspiring music! Thanks so much 🙂

  • Karen Elaine Fulmer

    I don’t have a wide variety of music I listen to. A lot of Disney, a lot of TobyMac, some songs we sing at church, and other songs that aren’t “bad”. More recently I have been beginning to think of how my music affects me. This post is a good reminder for me not to brush music off. I love music (I play guitar and piano) and it is awesome. Just continuing to pray for guidance in this area.

    • Jenn D

      First off, I LOVE DISNEY! I’m glad you found this article helpful, thank you for reading and sharing. Do you have any music you’ve played uploaded online? You’re so blessed, to be able to play more than one instrument!

      • Karen Elaine Fulmer

        LOL, no. 🙂 I know, and I have to remember to be grateful for the gift God has given me. I always wished I could draw well, or sing well, etc., but God has already let me play 2 instrument and use me as an instrument in His plan! Thanks again for the post. 🙂

        • Jenn D

          In ALL things, give thanks! Because I “played” a few instruments and I’m nowhere near where you are today lol! If you ever post or share music one day, we’d love to check it out!

  • Jo

    Thank you for this! I love music but I remember the time when I began listening to only Christian artists, and I could see a huge difference in the vibes I got from them and secular music. Thank you for your encouraging post.

    • Jenn D

      Thank you so much for reading & sharing! I’m glad you can relate, this really encouraged me today. 🙂

  • Erika

    This was very insightful, thanks Jennifer!
    I don’t really listen to music like some people do, I don’t know, I just … don’t. I mean I like songs and all kinds of music genres, definitely! But I am perfectly fine doing homework or anything else without music! If it’s something I don’t have to think about (like doing laundry) I like to listen to an audiobook.
    I just got Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird’s “Love Defined” audiobook (they’re the GirlDefined sisters and I think Bethany often posts on this blog) so I’m very excited to start listening to that!

    • Jenn D

      Thanks so much! I’m glad to hear you’re not struggling with listening to secular music, it can pollute your mind. Kristen & Bethany’s book is such a GREAT read! I’m sure you’ll finish it in a day or two, I couldn’t put mine down!

  • Statia

    Love this read first and foremost! Honestly, I’m not a music person and don’t really care for it but when I do listen to it it’s always gospel 95% of the time. I listen to other songs here and their but I always turn back to my gospel. Gospel music makes me feel safe and puts me at peace and I just feel good all around when I’m listening to gospel. I always have it on when I’m on the way to work, before I pray and when I clean. When I do listen to other music I don’t really feel any kind of way it’s just music to me that I can’t really relate too but something about that good ole church music… 🙌🏽 Like it has more meaning to me and allows me to be in good spirits.

    • Jenn D

      Statia, that’s so awesome! Feeding your spirit good things, especially when it comes to music is key. Even if you don’t listen to it often, lol! And there’s nothing like old school Gospel music!!

  • Kendra Caldwell

    I used to listen to a variety of music but once I got more serious with God my desires truly changed. Someone mentioned different songs for different seasons and since I have been planning a wedding I have been listening to a lot of love songs. If I wasn’t moving into a new season of life I’d still be on a gospel only track just to protect my mind and heart.

    • Jenn D

      That’s a beautiful testimony! How God will literally cleanse your palatte and change your desires to reflect His Will for your life. Listening to love songs as a single woman can really change your mindset! It can make you impatient or discontent with your season of singleness. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Jeannie

    Hymns, Keith Green, Matthew Ward, Keith and Kristin Getty (hymnwriters, Celtic worship songs), and the bands Casting Crowns and Mercy Me. Solid faith walking and God-glorifying songs. Start with the first two artists; Keith Green with his “Songs of the Shepherd” compilation and Matthew Ward’s “Even Now” CD. All on Youtube. You won’t be disappointed!!

    • Jenn D

      Looking these artists up NOW, thank you for all the recommendations! @disqus_fmtsWnWhCQ:disqus, check out some of these artists as well!

      • Jeannie

        You’re welcome. You’ll be blessed by the ministry behind these music makers.

    • Erika

      Thanks for the recommendations!

      • Jeannie

        Thank you. You’ll be blessed.

  • Jenna Liz

    I really struggle when it comes to music. I have one modern artist I just love listening to. If I listen to music, that’s who I listen to, its kinda become all that I turn to on weekends. The rest of the week its Ben Shapiro (amazing poltical thinker!) or occasionally Ravi Zacharias.
    I know I should listen more to christian stuff, but I really don’t like modern christian music– Any advice out there?

    • Jenn D

      There are so many types of modern Christian music, I would suggest sampling different kinds on apps like Spotify or Apple Music. There’s Contemporary Christian Music, old school/modern Gospel, Christian Rap, Christian spoken word, and many others. Make a game plan for how you will move forward to attack this struggle. @disqus_MVc5Cstw2g:disqus shared a great testimony about how she overcame listening to toxic music, give her post a read!

      • Jenna Liz

        Thank you, Jenn 🙂

    • Hosaena Collins

      Try the Gettys…they are modern Christian artists, and they have very sound theology. Or Fernando Ortega, he’s sang at John Macarthur’s church before.

      • Jenna Liz

        Yes, I do like listening to Fernando, I forgot about him, thanks, Hosaena!

        • Hosaena Collins

          Your so welcome!

  • Breanna

    I routinely listen to worship music. It drives me and reminds me of who God is! But often times.. gospel won’t get me thru so I may listen to jazz or old school hip hop beats on a hot summer day with the windows rolled down. I think your attitude starts to change when you listen to vulgar music. The lyrics these days in songs are atrocious and half of the time people just sing these words and don’t realize there’s a deeper meaning behind it.

    I would just make sure that I know what the words are before anything. With instrumentals, you can’t go to wrong but also take heed to what the title of the instrumental is. I think we fail to realize how powerful music really is.

    • Jenn D

      YES! I’m guilty of listening to songs with catchy beats without knowing the words – this can be SO toxic. I’m more careful with what I expose my spirit to. & I agree, Worship music will definitely remind you Who God is!

      • Hosaena Collins

        Me too!! Sometimes I find myself singing a song, and then relizeing I shouldn’t be singing that song.

        • Jenn D

          This routinely happens when I’m out shopping. Stores can play songs and I’ll be singing them later on or even the next day! Being proactive, I try to take my earphones with me while I shop to listen to my favorite playlists.

          • Hosaena Collins

            It usally happens to me when I’m in the car listening to the radio. And whenever I get a song stuck in my head, I usually end up singing that song. That’s why I like to listen to music that I know what the lyrics are, so I’m not just singing anything. But you can never go wrong with classical music. I know a friend who brings her phone with her in the car, so she can listen to her favorite playlists while she’s in the car…she takes a little bluetooth radio and plays the songs from her phone on the bluetooth. That’s a pretty good idea, that way your not just listening to anything on the radio.

  • S Francis

    Loved this article 💓

    • Jenn D

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, I was encouraged reading this! Thank you for being bold enough to make hard changes in your life, to produce amazing results. Your testimony will encourage other young women to do the same!

    • Inés Slater

      Amen. I have faith my girl will have the dame experience. Thank you for sharing.

  • Hosaena Collins

    The like listening to Fernando Orteaga….and I also really love the Gettys.

    • Jenn D

      I haven’t heard of either, I’ve been looking for new music recommendations! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

      • Hosaena Collins

        Your very welcome!!

  • Hosaena Collins

    I also am a big fan of intrumental music too….

  • Dasha Scheidt

    My Dad always told me to be careful to what I put in my ears, because whatever I put in is what I will get out. My thing is, if I know what is right or wrong and I am listening to rap music or any music that is un-Godly. Then I as a mature Christian, I should know to not go out and do those things they are talking about in their music. Just saying, for me I can listen to un-Godly music and not let it influence me.

    • Jenn D

      Dasha, thank you for reading & commenting! One thing I have found to be true – whatever we put in ANYTHING, is what we will get out. While we may feel we can listen to any type of music without repercussions, music plants seeds over time. These seeds may go undetected while being planted, but the crops they harvest cannot be ignored. Just something to think about 🙂 I’m praying for you on your journey!

      • Inés Slater

        I will be praying for Dasha as well 😀

        • Jenn D

          Thanks so much, Ines! 🙂

  • La Princessa

    Hi @disqus_oxkujUeP6Y:disqus! Thank you for this post.
    I was wondering if you had a blog or anything with more of inspirational posts such as this? Thanks again.

    • Jenn D

      Hello! ☺️ Please download the “She Who Is Called” mobile app. This contains daily devotionals, inspirational/motivational push notifications, as well as regular blog contributions by me! Thanks so much for asking!

  • Inés Slater

    My girl and I stopped praying together and listening to music that connected our spirit to God. I never stopped asking for wisdom and mercy. I know the time for our second rescue, if I can call it so after accepting Jesús in our lives as our lord and saviour more than 10 years ago, is here. I won’t let the enemy nor myself break this blessing. Your article has helped us both tonight. Please, do not stop sharing your experiences with us.
    Hugs from Lima, Perú
    Inés Slater & Angélica Millán

    • Jenn D

      Hugs from PERU?! Ahhh, I’m so excited! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading & sharing while you’re in the process. I’m praying for both you & Angelica, you got this!