How to use music to time travel [#36]

Time machines don't exist (yet). Music time travel is the next best thing.

How to use music to time travel [#36]

I'm going to make two bets about you:

  1. You listen to music on a weekly basis (or more frequently).
  2. You don't currently have access to time travel.

If I'm wrong about bet #1: Seriously, what are you doing? Music is awesome! I've got some song recommendations in section 4. And if I'm wrong about bet #2: Hello from 2023! How is 2050? I hope you guys still have tacos.

But if I'm right about both bets, I want to introduce you to a concept called music time travel, which I think is super cool.

1. What is music time travel and how can I use it?

I define music time travel as:

The act of listening to a song (or album) that 'takes you back in time' (ie. revives strong memories of a person, emotion, or experience).

It's very likely that you've experienced music time travel before. Think about that song that always reminds you of your vacation, good times, best friend, or whatever. But music time travel requires a bit of setup. In order for music time travel to work well, you have to do the following:

  • Choose a song (or album) you like to listen to.
  • Listen to it super often whenever you are: a) with the person; b) feeling the emotion; c) undergoing the experience.
  • Don't listen to it whenever you aren't: a) with the person; b) feeling the emotion; c) undergoing the experience.

My hypothesis: every time you listen to a song (or album) and mentally associate it with a person, emotion, or experience, your brain forms a connection. And the more connections your brain forms, the better music time travel works.

2. Why you should use music time travel

I just started my senior year in high school, and it's absolutely wack sauce to think that I'll be going to college in a year. As cliche as it sounds, life really comes at you fast.

But I don't really have a good memory, and even if I did, I wouldn't even get close to remembering all of the great people I met, feelings I had, and experiences I did. I don't want to forget those wonderful things – and I bet you don't want to forget your memories either.

Music time travel is one of the best ways that I can remember those precious memories. I have a playlist dedicated to the songs I exclusively use for music time travel, and I listen to it sparingly. I recommend you do the same.

3. Song & album recommendations

I'm always looking for new song recommendations myself. Let me know in the comments if you have any songs / albums you quite like! Here are some of my recommendations (I have wildly varied tastes, I know):


  • Waiting for Love – Avicii
  • Betty (Get Money) – Yung Gravy
  • Psycho – Maisie Peters
  • Breakeven – The Script
  • Mas Que Nada – Sérgio Mendes, Black Eyed Peas
  • Changes – 2Pac, Talent
  • Take on Me – a-ha
  • Some Nights – fun.
  • Passionfruit – Drake


  • Midnights – Taylor Swift
  • Coco Moon – Owl City
  • Closer – Better Than Ezra


  • Hans Zimmer
  • Taylor Swift
  • Daft Punk
  • Kygo
  • Queen
  • U2
  • Owl City

4. Conclusion

You should give music time travel a try! It's pretty easy to setup and it's really rewarding.