How to Overcome a Music Addiction

Three Parts:Tracking Your Music Listening HabitsManaging Your Music ConsumptionPurchasing Less Music

If you're always listening to music, it's safe to say that you're a big fan. However, if you find it hard to remove your earphones from your ears or feel incomplete without them on, you could say that you have an addiction. This article will give you some tips on how to overcome your addiction and lead a happy life without needing so much music.

Part 1
Tracking Your Music Listening Habits

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    Grab a pen and paper. If you're serious about controlling your behavior, you will need to spend time thinking about and writing down the reasons you engage in this behavior.[1] This way, if you find it hard to quit, you can read the paper and remember why you started trying in the first place. Sometimes, writing stuff down can also get the words you want to say out of your system without anybody criticizing you.
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    Consider why you listen to music. What is it about music that draws you in so much that you find it hard to live without it? Maybe you find it hard to make friends or communicate, or maybe your music speaks the words you want to hear but can't bring yourself to say. Whatever the reason is, you need to become aware of the reasons you choose to engage in this behavior.[2]
    • Write the reason down on your paper. It could also be more than one reason––scribble them all down too.
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    Find out how many hours you listen to music each day. Becoming aware of your habit is extremely important in getting over it.[3] Spend one day tracking your listening habits. Do this by making a note of when you start listening to music and when you stopped (e.g. started at 7:45 am and stopped at 10:30 am). Before you go to bed at night, add up the total number of hours.
    • In order to change, you will need to set goals about changing your behavior. It will be easier to set concrete goals if you know exactly how much time you spend listening to music.
    • During the day you track your listening time, listen to music as you normally would.
    • You can be even more accurate by tracking your listening habits over a few days. This may provide you with a more accurate picture.

Part 2
Managing Your Music Consumption

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    Set a target. There is ample evidence that controlling your behavior is an exercise, which means that you will get better through practice.[4] Therefore, set an objective goal, and try to reduce the time you listened to music by a few minutes each day until you reach your target. Make this goal realistic. If you listen to music for twelve hours each day, a good target would be to listen to music for ten hours each day.
    • Once you finally reach your target, set a new one.
    • If your target is too hard, feel free to set an easier one. Don't make this too hard on yourself either. In the end, you should be listening to music for three hours maximum.
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    Get rid of your earphones. Waking up everyday and seeing your iPod and earphones is only going to tempt you. If you feel bad about throwing your earphones away or if they cost a lot of money, sell them or ask a friend to hold onto them for you. That way, you won't be able to get them without having to dig them out.
    • Remember to try and reduce your music time by half an hour each day (or each week if that is too hard).
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    Turn off the radio. If you or your parents drive, the car radio will probably be on, but do your best not to turn it on. If you're not driving, kindly ask your parents to keep the radio off and explain that you're trying to spend less time absorbed in music.
    • If all else fails, noise-cancelling earplugs are a nice alternative.
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    Leave your MP3 player at home. Normally, you would probably bring your iPod or other music device when you go out. Don't tempt yourself! Instead, leave it at home. If you're using a phone that plays music, and you want it with you, leave your earphones at home.
    • Resist the urge to buy new ones. You can do this by bringing less money and reminding yourself that you can't get what you really want to get if you waste your money on earphones.
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    Get out more. Try to avoid situations where you are most likely to listen to music (e.g. when you are at home). It is good if you can replace your old problem with something new and productive.[5]Buy a bike, make some friends or just go for a nice walk.
    • Whatever you do, make it fun. If you're on a bike, you will need to focus on the road so you can't use earphones. If you're with friends, you will be chatting and laughing so you can't use earphones. If you're taking a walk, the nature will keep your mind off of music.
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    Remember the health benefits. If you really feel like giving up, remember all the good that no or minimal music will do for you. Read your list of reasons you want to listen to less music to help re-motivate yourself.[6]
    • For example, paying closer attention to the road while driving or riding a bike instead of focusing on music could save your life.

Part 3
Purchasing Less Music

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    Look at your bank statements over the past six months. If you typically download your music from online stores such as iTunes, the Google Play Store, or Amazon, you will have a credit or debit card statement documenting exactly how much money you have spent. Go through your recent credit or bank statements to see how much money you have spent on purchases.
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    Write down all of the music you have purchased using cash in the past six months. You may not always purchase your music with a debit or credit card. For example, if you purchase CDs or vinyl records in a shop, you may be paying in cash. If this is the case, write down the albums you have purchased with cash over the past months.
    • If you have the receipt or remember the price, write down how much you paid. If you didn’t, search online for the going rate for that album to get a general idea of how much you spent.
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    Write down all of the music you have pirated in the last six months. Hopefully you have not engaged in this, but if you have, you will need to include this in your final count. Write down each song or album you have purchased or type it into an excel sheet.
    • Search for the album or song in the iTunes store or in the Google Play store to find out how much you would have spent had you purchased the music legally. Write this down too.
    • Be aware that if you are downloading music illegally, you are committing a crime. If you get caught doing so, you could face heavy fines of up to $250,000 and even jail time.[7]
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    Total all of your purchases up. Add up the number of songs you have purchased over the last six months, and how much this has cost you. Are you spending more on music than you are on basic life necessities, such as food? Are you going into debt because of your music purchases? By completing these steps, you will be able to get a good, objective way of examining your habits.
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    Avoid impulse purchases. If most of your music is purchased without really thinking about it and the consequences of doing so, there are a few things you can do to become more aware the next time you go to buy a new song or album.
    • Take a few seconds or minutes to regroup before you head to the cash register. Take a few deep breaths, walk around a bit. You want to get your mind off of the song you want and back to thinking about your goals.[8]
    • Think about whether the purchase will be in alignment with your goals. Try to be as honest with yourself as possible. Does that new song help get you closer to your goal of spending less money on music or does it take you farther away from that goal?[9]
    • Evaluate your stress level. Become aware of any stress you are experiencing, whether it is related to the purchase or something else. You may be more likely to make an impulse purchase if you are stressed, so take a second to think about this, too.[10]
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    Remove your credit/debit card from your music account. Don’t store your information, and if you already have it stored, remove it. Companies usually make it possible to purchase the music with a single click, which makes it too easy to do. If you want to restrict your spending, change your settings so that you have to type in your credit card information each time you make a purchase.
    • This will also give you a bit of time to evaluate whether this is a “want” purchase or a “need” purchase.[11]
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    Reward yourself. If you are able to walk away from that impulse purchase, reward yourself with something else you want. Buy yourself a fancy coffee, an ice cream, or a new sweater with the money you saved.


  • Don't forget to keep track of your listening time; all your hard work will go to waste otherwise.
  • Every day, wake up and go to bed at the same time. It will help you figure out how much time you spend listening to music each day.


  • Overcoming an addiction can be extremely frustrating. It will be difficult to accomplish, and you may often feel like giving up. See a therapist or doctor if you need professional help to stay motivated.
  • This article is not professional advice; it uses the term "addiction" in its wider non-professional sense of "obsession". If you really think that you have a serious addiction that no wiki can solve, seek help from a doctor.

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