3 Good Reasons Why I Never Listen to Music Anymore

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Denise Shelton
5 min readMay 5, 2021
Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

I didn’t use to be this way. I listened to the car radio, played LPs at home, then tapes and CDs. I took singing lessons and performed in musical theatre. I went to concerts and the symphony. I attempted to learn to play piano and guitar (with limited success, unfortunately). At parties, I sang with the band. Music was a big part of my life until it wasn’t.

It happened slowly, this eviction of melody, without my noticing. Just recently, I realized what had happened. It surprised me to think about why. Here’s what I came up with.

1 — The music of my youth stirs up painful memories

Photo by M. on Unsplash

I remember my teen years as filled with angst. When I look over my old diaries, it astonishes me how full my days were. When I wasn’t in school, I performed in community theatre, took dance lessons, and worked part-time as a waitress at a local resort hotel.

I had an active social life going to concerts, movies, plays, sporting events, parties, bars, and sleepovers. From the outside, it probably looked like I was having a ball, and I was, sort of, but I was also anxious, depressed, and had pretty low self-esteem.

A soundtrack for the ages accompanied so many of the activities I engaged in. I grew up in the era of classic rock: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, The Band, too many to list here. I loved them all.

It was a great time to be young. It was also a perilous time. Within a few years of my high school graduation, I lost several classmates to car accidents and drug overdoses. I was also nursing a serious case of depression and self-medicating the heck out of it.

I was also undergoing personal turmoil at home, at school, and in my love life. As all this was happening, I formed an indelible association between the music I was listening to and the pain I was feeling. The other day, my…