CREATIVITY PROMPT: Make an Emotional Release Playlist

Intense emotions like anger, overwhelm, and frustration can stifle creativity or even cut off your connection with the Muse, unless you know how to work with them. But this recipe for emotional release can help you move through challenging emotions and reconnect with the Muse.


The length of the songs will affect how many songs you put on the playlist. Of course, you can adjust the playlist as needed.

15 to 20 minutes of enjoyable (to you) vigorous, aggressive music in any genre. 

For me, that’s the Beastie Boys, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z. (Scroll down for the version I created last week.) But you may find a particular classical piece aggressive enough. If I were putting classical music on my playlist, I’d add the Allegro con brio of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. The goal here is to acknowledge and reflect your current emotional state through the music. 

Let your body move freely with the songs. Express yourself vocally, too. Sing along, yell, grunt, let out a primal scream, whatever will get the energy moving. 

15 minutes of cathartic music. The goal here is to release. Choose music that makes you want to move and weep. Crying during this practice can be incredibly healing.

3-5 minutes of aggressive music—just one song will do. All that catharsis is healthy, and now it’s time to release the last bits of anger/overwhelm/frustration. Let it all out now.

3-5 minutes of transitional music—somewhere between cathartic and uplifting, as you prepare to move into a more open flow state.

15 minutes of uplifting music. This may be spiritual or jazz, pop, whatever lifts your spirits. 

3-5 minutes of restful music. You’ve worked hard letting yourself feel all those intense emotions fully and then releasing them. Allow yourself to relax completely now. Lie down if that appeals to you. Let your mind settle as your body sinks into the earth.

Thank yourself for being fully present to your emotions, and now go create!

If you like rap and hip-hop, check out my “Too Pissed to Create” playlist here.

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