My Favorite Contemporary Christian Music in a Free Playlist!

Music is known to have an impact on our mood, so check out this free contemporary Christian Music playlist I’ve created for you!

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Contemporary Christian music
Christian music contemporary

MY CHILDHOOD SOUNDTRACK

Listening to music is proven to have an impact on our moods because it causes the brain to release dopamine, which increases happiness and decreases stress. Music therapy is used worldwide to help patients dealing with pain, anxiety, and depression. It can transport us to another time and place, fire us up to do something daring, or show us how to be calm in the storm.

My childhood soundtrack was 98.7 WMZQ – 90’s country. I lived in a suburb of DC, but my soundtrack told me I was a country girl bound to marry a high school sweetheart. As a teenager, my soundtrack changed as I rebelled from country girl to Gwen Stefani to rap artist.

MY ADULT SOUNDTRACK

In college, friends introduced me to punk rock and the underground music scene. They helped me explore my creativity and desire to be unique. It didn’t, however, produce much maturity on my end…Not exactly underground, I listened to The White Stripes and fell in love with the simplicity of a two man band. They led me to their inspirations: the rock and roll of Led Zeppelin and the blues of Son House.

I married young at 21 and my music became more of a tapestry of genres rather than one specific type. I had discovered Wes Anderson and the Coen Brothers and listened to their movie soundtracks. They introduced me to old bands like The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground, The Kinks, Ramones, and Bob Dylan.

MY FAITH SOUNDTRACK

After having kids, I had to monitor what came through the speakers for these new tiny ears to hear. I began to really listen to the words of these songs. It’s amazing how different the world looks once you have children.

When I got sick with Lyme Disease and my mental state deteriorated, I began to cling to another genre of music, also from my childhood: Contemporary Christian. I spent a year of my life listening to Lauren Daigle, Amanda Cook, NEEDTOBREATHE, Rend Collective and Hillsong UNITED during the quiet hours of the night. God was letting me go through this–and for what?! I had no desire to open up my Bible. But these songs spoke to me in the dead of the night. While my family was sleeping, I would listen to these songs on repeat. I would fall asleep to them, and wake up to them.

I bought a Bluetooth speaker and belted them out in the shower. Sunday mornings, tremors and all, I would get ready to go to church where there was a possibility I could worship to a live version of “So Will I” or “Reckless Love“. These songs poured life into my spirit like no other songs could at the time. They taught me it’s ok to be confused and angry, but it’s hope that holds us together after we fall apart. This music became my therapy.

MY LIFE’S SOUNDTRACK

The day I was back on my feet and allowed to drive my car completely alone, I plugged in my iPhone and pushed play on the only song I felt fit my mood. I spent a year of my life being watched and taken care of by someone else, living in fear of death and mental instability. I cranked up the volume as Aerosmith sang “I’m BACK! I’m Back in the Saddle Again!”, my husband laughing at me as I drove off, a huge grin on my face.

My soundtrack today is a mix of every song I’ve ever loved, from Jack White and Imagine Dragons and The Lumineers and all of those amazing bands I discovered years ago. Sometimes I even go back and laugh at old rap songs. But when I listen to the songs from those lonely nights, I’m not holding onto hope by a thread anymore. I’m standing on the mountain shouting it out that I’m back. No longer paralyzed by what-ifs but instead choosing to live in the moment.

Eventually, I sorted through my playlists, organizing them by my needs. Songs for anxiety, celebration, productivity, hyper kids… you name it. I’m investing the time in finding what songs bring me joy so that I can be living days that are meaningful and not mindless.

So what is your soundtrack telling you?

Want to listen to my free contemporary Christian music for a taste of some music therapy that works for me? Listen for free on Spotify here:

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You’ve got this!

Contemporary Christian music
Contemporary Christian music

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What I Learned About Giving Back from “Start Something That Matters”

Written by the founder of TOMS, Start Something that Matters walks you through combining business with purpose while giving back.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclaimer for details.

STORIES THAT IMPACTED THE LIVES OF OTHERS

I think we all have something that pulls on us a little.

It might be that you’re a mom and have a passion for children who live in troubled homes. It could be that you grew up poor and want to reach out to help the homeless. You might have gone through a season of suffering and want to find a way to encourage others not to give up hope.

Whatever that feeling is, that prompting, could be a gift God wants you to share with others.

Think about it. All those big feelings and ideas and emotions that you carry with you every day…what if they could be turned into something bigger than yourself? What is it that you’re already doing that could be morphed into some kind of project/business/movement/hobby that directly impacts others in a positive way?

Here are a few examples of people who were handed hardship and made something great happen along the way:

Some of these people are famous, others are not. The point is, each person took what they loved doing and used it in a way to give back to others.

“START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS” BY BLAKE MYCOSKIE

A few weeks ago I read a book by the TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie called “Start Something That Matters”.

In his book, Blake talked about how he had multiple small businesses he started, but never really felt successful until he learned what he considered to be true success. He realized the pursuit of money was always leaving him wanting, and that the true value was when he felt that what he was doing was actually giving back and helping the world in some way.

Blake offers practical advice for anyone who is wanting to find a way to give back to others, whether you are:

  • Starting up your own business or non-profit organization
  • Wanting to get more out of your day job
  • Inspired by charitable organizations and want to help
  • Looking for advice on what giving back even looks like for you
  • Trying to shift your perspective on what true success really is

HOW TO GO FROM YOUR STORY TO YOUR MISSION

I’ve talked about the importance of sharing your story in the past, and it was refreshing to see someone who is really successful in their business telling us the same thing.

Blake shared his story of going from one small business adventure to the next, but it wasn’t until he saw a real need in a community connected to a business idea he had that he felt he was making the difference in the life of others. Because he had passion in his story and saw purpose because of the needs of the people around him, the world was drawn to his product and he became a success almost overnight!

His business model was simple: Buy one pair of TOMS shoes and we’ll give one pair to a child who needs shoes of their own. (One for One)

So what’s your story?

How does it connect to your passion?

How can you use these things to serve others?

1. TELL YOUR STORY

  • What things in your life have made you a stronger person?
  • Make a list of lessons you have learned over your lifetime.
  • What problem did you overcome that others are dealing with?

2. FIND YOUR PASSION

  • If you did not have to worry about money, what would you do with your time?
  • What kind of work would you want to do?
  • What cause would you serve?

3. DEFINE YOUR SERVICE

  • How do you describe your business/hobby/day job?
  • What do you want to be known for as a person?
  • What social causes are you seeking to serve?

4. BRAINSTORM WAYS TO GIVE BACK

  • What can you give in addition to money?
  • What talents or special skills can you share?
  • How can you incorporate giving into multiple areas of your life?

WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE FOR ME IN MY BUSINESS

Of course, after reading through this book, I was challenged to see how this applies to me in my business. Blake asks even small companies to get creative with what they have to offer.

So here’s a peek into a few of my notes I came up with:

MY STORY

I started this business because I have Late-Stage Lyme Disease and a few years ago I was really sick–I mean wheelchair, 80 pills a day, nanny-for-my-kids sick. It went on so long that I defaulted to just being a sad, bedridden woman.

One day I literally asked myself: “What if it’s like this forever? If I never get better, do I really want to live my life like this?

I hadn’t opened my Bible in a year and had no direction for my life. I’d always written in journals, so I decided to share my struggles on social media and in doing so, people said they were encouraged by my faith. I couldn’t believe it! 

I started a blog writing about what I was going through and how my mindset was literally preventing me from healing. Over time I noticed that I wasn’t making progress until I decided I would.

I made the decision to live my life with goals and dreams and a reason to wake up everyday. 

After addressing my mental health, I had room to grow spiritually again. I started sharing how I was making connections in my Bible and people were excited about the ways I simplified my Bible note-taking.

Three years later, I’m doing what I love: writing, drawing and creating products for other people who want to grow personally and spiritually.

I feel there’s a deep connection between mental and spiritual health and we can’t address one without addressing the other. Through my own growth, I have been able to encourage and connect with others going through similar struggles.

MY PASSION

I want to empower and encourage women to live life with intention through personal and spiritual growth.

MY SERVICE

I’m a Christian blogger and I create Bible study materials and personal growth resources for women.

MY WAY TO GIVE BACK

Create free resources that women can print and share with others to live with more intention through goal setting, self-care, Bible study, Christian living, and impacting their families in a positive way.

MORE FREE RESOURCES FOR YOU!

I may not be making shoes for kids, but I am creating my own type of products. While my business is constantly evolving and growing, I am challenged by “Start Something that Matters” and want to give back in a bigger way than I am right now. What that looks like in the future, I’m not sure, but I know it’s something I want to pursue.

The first thing I want to do, is increase the amount of self-care and spiritual growth resources I put in my free printable library. I have a few right now, but I know that it would encouraging to so many to offer free printables that empower women to take care of themselves mentally and spiritually.

Over the next few months, I will be very intentional in adding to these sections. If you haven’t already, sign up up you’ll be the first to know when they come out!

ORDER “START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS”

Remember, fear is inevitable in anything new you pursue. That’s ok! When you feel insecure about your plan or how it’s going, Blake reminds us to go back to our story: Why are you doing this? What is the motivation? If you are Iiving your story, you don’t have to be afraid. You can just be yourself.

None of the people mentioned in this book said they were so confident when they began that they knew they were starting a large business or a major nonprofit. They just felt compelled to start something. So they did…If whatever you do helps just one person, you’ve done something wonderful…The most important step of all is the first step. Start something!” – Blake Mycoskie, CEO of TOMS

Ready to order a copy of “Start Something That Matters” for yourself? Click here:

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For more posts on my favorite books, check out:

You’ve got this!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: 

How to Create a Spiritual Resume

Why do you believe what you believe? Learn how to create a spiritual resume so that you can stay focused on the hope during hard times.

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR HOPE?

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

1 Peter 3:15

I was always intimidated by this Bible verse—to me it meant that I needed to have all the answers—to prove why my religion was the one true religion, to prove why Jesus is really the Son of God—but the deeper I grew in my faith, I realized, relationship with Jesus is intensely personal. It’s not about winning debates or proving others wrong. It’s about grace and love and humility. Your relationship with faith is about surrender and kindness and all the things that you can’t necessarily show in a science experiment.

Faith is at the heart of all religion. It’s something you have to experience—personally—and can’t always be explained. So don’t take this verse as something you’re intimidated by, take it as an opportunity to give your own personal testimony. All of these stories in your life can be compiled into a sort of “spiritual resume”.

Everyone’s story is different. Mine will not look like yours. And that’s a good thing. I want to hear your story. And you’re probably on this site because you want to hear mine.

Our stories are what reflect the goodness and glory of Jesus Christ. Tell others what he’s done in your life. Why you get up every day and keep going. Why you smile when things are still hard.

Not sure of what he’s done? Take the time to make a list. Write your stories down. You can’t tell others the reason for the hope that you have, if you’re not sure yourself.

WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL RESUME?

I have stories in my life, and so do you, of moments when my life was changed in big ways. So many, that I decided to blog about them. What do you do when something big happens to you? Do you blast it on social media, or write it quietly in a journal? Do you replay the memories in your head or draw them out in a sketchbook? Whatever you do, the memories are there.

When has something good happened in your life?

When have you seen the silver lining in something bad?

Take theses stories and write them down. Make a list, then add to it. Remind yourself of the times Jesus has brought you through something difficult or blessed you with something wonderful to keep your positive focus strong on any trials ahead. Your story, your testimony, is the answer to the reason for the hope that you have.

REASONS FOR THE HOPE THAT I HAVE

  1. My worries are calmed when I go to Him in prayer.
  2. I find peace in my relationship with Him more than anything I can experience on Earth.
  3. I find purpose and meaning in my life because of His calling and direction.
  4. He is the reason I can be positive when Lyme is awful.
  5. I experience spiritual wholeness when I worship.
  6. I feel seen, heard and loved when I pray and read His Word.
  7. He’s the focus on keeping my marriage healthy.
  8. My faith is the motivation for raising my children with intention.
  9. He’s my example for a joyful, servant-filled life.
  10. He is my refuge, strength, song, joy, peace, hope, love, focus, passion, rock, salvation, fortress, helper, stronghold, savior, God, defender, protector, deliverer, shield, teacher, father, shepherd, friend, guide, and leader.
  11. He is unfailing, gentle, consistent, all-knowing, all-powerful, always present, glorious, patient, kind, good and faithful.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”

Psalm 28:7

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Now more than ever, we need to remember the reason for our own hope. Take this time to print out this page and reflect on your own reasons. This is your testimony. Refer to it when you’re feeling down–this is your strength right here!

Check out more inspirational posts here:

You’ve got this!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: