Rocky beginnings

New beginnings are always harder than we think. At first, they seem exciting and full of possibilities but often we hit a few bumps.

Stephanie faced a number of life changes when she moved to New York from San Francisco in 2014. As someone who works with audio, she found solace in music. This is the story of her first year in New York as told through her most played songs.

The dots surrounding this text represent all the songs Stephanie listened to 10 times or more during her first year in New York. There are also a handful of songs she found important and weren't played as much.

Blue dots represent songs that she associated with sadness, yellow dots are songs that she listened to with mixed feelings and magenta-colored dots are songs that made her happy.

In some ways, music was a way to deal with the inevitable loneliness that she sometimes felt in the city. The x-axis represents the number of days passed since she arrived in New York, the y-axis shows time of day. Do you see how she slowly learns to love her new home?

What made this transition harder than anything was a breakup. Her boyfriend, who moved with her to New York from the West Coast, broke up with her halfway through her first year. These are the songs she listened to during her breakup to deal with her emotions.

Heartbreak dance party!

What followed was a musical exercise in self-healing. These are all the songs she associated with her breakup. Let's see what music helped Stephanie through her breakup.

Put on your headphones!

Stephanie listened to songs like Ariana Grande's 'Break Your Heart Right Back' when she was feeling low.

La Roux's Bulletproof was one of many songs that Stephanie listened to when she felt anxious.

She found courage and happiness through songs like Jhameel's Feisty . She said this song helped her get pumped when she started dating again.

Starting from scratch is always hard. If you feel inspired please find the full list of Stephanie's first year in New York below. The majority of these songs are also on this Spotify list (sorry, no Taylor and Jay-Z).

Song Artist Album Plays Emotion
Blank Space Taylor Swift 1989 (Deluxe) 41 happy
Elastic Heart Sia 1000 Forms of Fear 37 happy
Problem Ariana Grande My Everything (Deluxe) 32 happy
Feisty Jhameel Lion's Den 31 happy
Break Your Heart Right Back Ariana Grande My Everything (Deluxe) 28 sad
Started from the Bottom Drake Nothing Was the Same 25 happy
Backseat Freestyle Kendrick Lamar good kid m.A.A.d city 24 happy
Bang Bang Jessie J Bang Bang 24 happy
California Joni Mitchell Blue 23 sad
Bad Blood Taylor Swift 1989 (Deluxe) 21 sad
Out of the Woods Taylor Swift 1989 (Deluxe) 19 mixed feelings
Shake It Out Florence + the Machine Ceremonials (Deluxe Edition) (Cd1) 19 mixed feelings
All You Had to Do Was Stay Taylor Swift 1989 (Deluxe) 18 sad
Blue Gowns Blue Hawaii Blooming Summer 18 happy
Far Away All India Radio Fall 18 happy
Play It Right Sylvan Esso Sylvan Esso 18 happy
This Is What It Feels Like Banks Goddess 17 sad
You Be Killin Em Fabolous There Is No Competition 2: The Grieving Music Mixtape 17 happy
Awake Tycho Awake 16 happy
Gold Bondax Gold 16 happy
Gooey Glass Animals ZABA 16 happy
Shake It Off Taylor Swift 1989 (Deluxe) 15 happy
Blockbuster Night Part 1 Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 2 14 happy
Good Things Sleater-Kinney Call the Doctor 13 sad
Gun CHVRCHES The Bones of What You Believe 13 sad
Black Tongue 11-5 (3) The Never Say Nevers N/A 13 happy
Coffee Sylvan Esso Sylvan Esso 13 happy
Zero Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz! 13 mixed feelings
Since U Been Gone Kelly Clarkson Breakaway 12 sad
You're Not The One - Blood Diamonds Remix Sky Ferreira You're Not The One (Remixes) 12 sad
Bulletproof La Roux La Roux 12 mixed feelings
K+D+B The Chemical Brothers Further 12 happy
On to the Next One Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 12 happy
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Taylor Swift Red 12 mixed feelings
Beggin for Thread Banks Goddess (Deluxe) 11 sad
Best Thing I Never Had Beyoncé 4 11 sad
Crystalline (Current Value Remix) Björk Biophilia Remix Series I 11 sad
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) Arcade Fire The Suburbs Deluxe 11 sad
The Heart Wants What It Wants Selena Gomez The Heart Wants What It Wants 11 sad
Empire State Of Mind [Jay-Z + Alicia Keys] Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 11 happy
From the Future The Blow The Blow 11 happy
White Lie Jhameel Waves: White Lie 11 mixed feelings
Bedroom Wall Banks London 10 sad
Skinny Love Bon Iver For Emma Forever Ago (Bonus Track Version) 10 sad
The Mess The Naked and Famous In Rolling Waves 10 sad
Waiting Game Banks London 10 sad
With Arms Outstretched Rilo Kiley The Execution of All Things 10 sad
American Boy Estelle Total Club Hits Vol. 2 10 happy
Barely Standing (Major Lazer Kubiyashi Beat) [feat. Datsik & Sabi] Diplo N/A 10 mixed feelings
Lightning (Kent Rockafeller remix) David Byrne & St. Vincent Brass Tactics EP 10 happy
Starlight Taylor Swift Red 10 happy
Style Taylor Swift 1989 (Deluxe) 10 happy
Walk This Way No Mythologies to Follow (Deluxe) 10 happy
Welcome to New York Taylor Swift 1989 (Deluxe) 10 happy
What I Like Charli XCX True Romance 10 happy
Come Back From San Francisco The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs (disc 1) 6 sad
New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down LCD Soundsystem Sound Of Silver 6 sad
Theme from New York New York Frank Sinatra Sinatra: Best of the Best 2 happy

Note: Data is from February 2014 to February 2015 and include songs played ten times or more. Three songs were included because Stephanie found them emotionally relevant. There are 2,574 that were not displayed, of which 54.04% were played once.
Source: (data), Spotify (music previews)
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