Just because something sounds or feels good doesn't mean it is. Most popular music is catchier than herpes, but the content is all toxic love, hookups, and invulnerability—"Bulletproof," anyone?
Take my formerly favorite song by No Doubt, "Bathwater," for instance:
"Wanted and adored by attractive women/
Bountiful selection at your discretion/
I know I'm diving into my own destruction/
I can’t help it, you're my kind of man."
Awesome sound? Yes. Empowering content? Not so much.
When music suggests you're unable to control your actions or direct your own fate, it can't be good. Good things make us better people.
Good music makes us better through wisdom and empowering narratives. Take these lines from my favorite song by Noah and the Whale:
"If you can, try and get to know your parents well./
Forgive them too, they are more like you than you can tell./
When they give advice, offer sympathy/
They're just showing you who they wanted to be."
(I know. They actually make music like this.)
It's truth packed into bite-size melodic chunks. The song goes on to talk about the kind of person you'd admire, leaves you feeling upbeat and energized, and gives you advice you'd actually be well-served to live by. Classical music does the same thing on a different level, speaking truth through rhythm and harmonies.
Modern music often weaves disempowering messages into earwormy tunes—like poison that tastes good going down. Listening to it once won't make any more difference than ingesting one one-thousandth of a microgram of arsenic in your morning coffee. But with repeated exposure over time, things get ugly. We believe what we repeatedly hear.
When the message, "I'm not good enough; I'm not capable; I'm helpless," is played frequently enough, you'll begin to accept it. Then you'll unconsciously live out the message without ever seeing a connection to your music because you don't consciously listen to poison. No one does.
Repeatedly hearing wisdom has similar (but totally different) effects. Repeating music that speaks of your value and capability soon translates to your beliefs about yourself and the world. It permeates your lifestyle and relationships.
So, make the decision to listen to music that uplifts and encourages, that narrates the kind of life worth living, that inspires you to live a meaningful life. Saturate your subconscious with positive song after positive song and be amazed as your life transforms effortlessly.