Musical Happiness. "What a stupid name for a blog post". If you are currently having this thought, than that's okay. This monthly happiness report will not only cover the music that I enjoyed in May. You see, May was a great month for me. I was enjoying my happy life in the Netherlands, and didn't have a lot on my mind. What made this month special, was the big amount of music I enjoyed at the time. I have tracked my happiness throughout the entire month, and therefore want to show you exactly what was going on at the time.
Let's take a look at the monthly average happiness data.
Finally! My average happiness rating was higher than an 8. It had not been that high for a long time. It was definitely a sign that my life was great at the time. I really enjoyed May, 2016. 🙂
Let's take a better look into these happiness ratings.
The chart below visualises exactly what my happiness looked like throughout the May, 2016.
This month was quite consistent again, just like last month. The lowest happiness ratings were a result of an argument between me and my girlfriend. I rated these days with a 7,0. Which is not too bad, really. Even though my relationship negatively influenced these days, I was still generally happy.
The rest of the month was very good. I bought a keyboard at the start of the month, which was something I wanted to do for a long time. In addition to the guitar, I wanted to learn how to play my favourite songs on the keyboard. This purchase had a positive effect on my happiness, as I got to enjoy my hobby - music - a lot more.
I've analysed purchases like these in a huge post in my 'Happiness Through...' section, which you might like!
So instead of of gaming in the evenings after work, I found a lot of joy in playing this new instrument. 🙂
Before continuing, let's first have a look at all the different happiness factors of May, 2016.
The table below shows all the happiness ratings for this month.
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Besides the brief 3 day hiatus in the middle of the month, I really enjoyed spending time with my girlfriend in May. This was generall a very nice month for us both. We tried to spend as much quality time together as possible. We went out to have drinks on some nights, took daytips to some of the nice parks in the Netherlands and tried to hang out with our mutual friends. It was actually a great month for our relationship.
I also went to 3 concerts in May! The first one was a concert of Andrew Bird, which was in Amsterdam on the 6th. It was the first time I saw him live. I didn't really like the sound of the venue, but the concert was still amazing. He is a true magician on the violin, and it was great to see such a brilliant musician live.
The second one was Radiohead. Radiohead was - and still is - my all time favorite group of musicians. I have loved their music ever since I heard my older brother play 'Creep' when I was still a kid. It was the second time that I got to see them live, and it was absolutely fantastic again. Their newest album 'A Moon Shaped Pool' sounded great live.
Only a few days later, I went to see Father John Misty perform in Utrecht. This concert really surprised me, as it was one of the most engaging shows I had ever seen. The venue was perfect as well, a small room with great acoustics. It was an absolutely fantastic night.
My happiness tracking journal
I want to show you another excerpt from my happiness tracking journal, to give you a better idea of what my life looked like at the time. I wrote the following excerpt about that day and the day before on the 19th of May, at 22:30. This was written on 19th of May, and I rated this it with a 8,25.
Yesterday and today were great! Work is BUSY, but the good kind of busy. I feel like I have finally found my way within this new department. 🙂
It took me 2 full hours to get to my girlfriend from work. Traffic sucked! The rest of the evening was nice and relaxing. We binge-watched How I Met Your Mother again. I really like this show.. I spent the rest of the night studying for my exam. Nice and easy. I slept like shit though...
My alarm went at 6:00 this morning. I had to leave early to get to the exam location, as I wanted to avoid traffic. It all went OK. Considering how much I prepared for this exam, it could have gone a lot worse. I'll probably score somewhere between 60% and 70%. FINE BY ME.
I'm pretty tired now. I really notice the sleep deprivation of the last 4 nights. I don't think I slept more than 5 hours on average. As a result, I can feel now that the lack of sleep is affecting my blood pressure. Ah well, tomorrow's weekend again!
I ran 17,5 kilometers as soon as I got home from work today. It went fucking great! The rest of the day was relaxing. Nothing spectacular, but sometimes that's exactly how I like it 🙂
I'm working in the nearby office tomorrow, so that's nice. The day after tomorrow = RADIOHEAD <3 It's going to be amazing. I'm absolutely loving 'A Moon Shaped Pool', and can't wait to hear these songs live! Going to bed now, bye!
This excerpt shows how I've been journaling in addition to just tracking my happiness. I think this shows exactly what I was thinking at the time. I enjoy re-reading these entries from time to time. These are really priceless to me, as I now know for sure that I will never ever forget these memories.
Anyway, May was a relatively normal month for me. I was actually enjoying my work, was running a LOT, enjoyed spending time with my girlfriend and hated the busy traffic. It was really just my happy, uneventful life for the most part 🙂
Let's have a closer look at all the positive happiness factors!
Positive happiness factors
The chart below shows all the positive happiness factors of May, 2016.
As you can see, my relationship really was the biggest positive happiness factor of the month. It was true, we had survived a long and challenging long distance relationship period, and it felt good to finally enjoy quality time together again. It was a sign to me that we made the right decision to fight for what we had when things were looking bleak.
I've analysed the exact effect of my relationship on my happiness here. If you want to know the dirty details of my relationship, be sure to check it out!
I didn't call this monthly happiness report "Musical Happiness" for nothing. I enjoyed a great deal of music in May, 2016.
The concerts I visited were all great, and had a positive effect on my happiness.
As I'm writing this now, 18 months later, I still remember the concert of Father John Misty. Me and a good friend of mine went to Utrecht to see him live, and the performance surprised us both.
I can honestly say the concert moved me. His lyrics are very unique - one of a kind. He knows how to bring sad messages across in songs, while playfully using jokes and sarcasm to convey the message. It already sounded great on album, but the live experience really added to the effect. I noticed on multiple occasions that I had chills running down my spine from the musical delivery and power of these songs.
It may sound like I'm a massive fanboy of the guy, but that's actually not the case here. I am a true die-hard Radiohead fanboy, however. I do have posters of Radiohead hanging on my wall, not Father John Misty. The concert really swept me off my feet though, and it was a fucking great experience. Needless to say, it really had a positive influence on my happiness.
Running after my second marathon
Running was also a great source of happiness again. I only ran my second marathon in Rotterdam the month before, buy I was already planning my next one.
As you might know, I had a goal for 2016, and that was to run a marathon in under 4 hours. I had specifically called it at the end of 2015. I finished my marathon in Rotterdam with about 8 minutes in overtime, so I couldn't rest easy. I was going to hit that goal before the end of the year, no matter what.
So I was looking at the next marathon possibilities, somewhere around September and October. While I was looking, my sister let me know that she was also interested in running another one with me. This was great news! We decided it would be great to run one together, somewhere abroad. I had already run 2 marathons in the Netherlands, and fancied the idea of running more marathons in multiple, different countries.
So I continued running a lot in May. I really enjoyed running these distances. Running had always been one of the best positive happiness factors for me, and that was no different in May, 2016.
If you to know exactly how running influences my happiness, you should definitely keep an eye out for my 'Happiness Through...' section!
Negative happiness factors
It's time to discuss the few negative happiness factors of May, 2016. I've gone ahead and plotted them in the chart below.
Just like the previous month, I had some issues getting enough sleep at night. It was the ever recurring dilemma: should I either:
1) sleep less so I can do more things I enjoy, but be tired the next day, or
2) sleep more so I am not tired, but have less time to spend on fun stuff.
It's very - very - hard to measure the effect of sleep deprivation on happiness, but I'm going to give it a try anyway. If you're interested, you should keep an eye out for the complete analysis in the 'Happiness Through...' section in the near future!
The rest of the month was just great. Only 5 factors decreased my happiness in addition to the tiredness. I was just living my happy and calm life in the Netherlands at the time, and was really enjoying it 🙂
And with that said, I want to end this monthly happiness report again. Things were going great for me, and were about to become even better. It was slowly becoming the SUMMER SEASON! I was about to enter a period with many trips and holidays, so it'll be interesting to see how that influenced my happiness! More on that later!
If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I'll be happy to answer you!