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I enjoyed reading Jon Acuff’s book Soundtracks as I found it provided me with great insights on my overthinking and methods to improve my thought processes. So, when I found out that Jon’s daughters wrote a new book intended for young adults on the same topic, I was thrilled when my daughter read it and found it a great personal help to her. Here is her review…
Wow! Your New Playlist really changed the way I think. I liked the layout of the book and I found it very easy to relate to. The authors explained how significant our thoughts (soundtracks) can be and the impact they can make on our lives. It helped me identify some negative soundtracks that I have been playing in my head for quite some time and never realized how much of an influence they had on my day-to-day life.
The authors used an analogy of a Dial and Switch, which was such an interesting way to look at managing the thoughts we have! McRae explained some of her turn-down techniques and I loved how she made her own acronym to remember them. The girls then wrote about how we can flip our thoughts so that instead of being negative, we can make many positive soundtracks to use and repeat. I loved how they made repeating our positive soundtracks such an important part because it just doesn’t happen overnight! I will admit since reading this book I still have had some negative soundtracks but I have been trying the flip that coin and let me say, it has really helped calm some of my anxieties.
The girls then gave us 7 soundtracks that they created for us readers to help build our playlist. My favourite soundtrack that they provided is “Enough is a Myth”. This one struck home and it really helped me see on paper that I’m not alone. The second soundtrack that really had an effect on me is “Fear Gets a Voice, Not a Vote”. A bit later in the book, we learn about gathering evidence and creating a “hard list” of all the harder things you have achieved. This list shows you that the things you were scared to go through, you got through them.
There are so many parts of this book that I just want to preach to the world but something that stuck out for me was the phrase “Don’t let absolute soundtracks like always and never sneak into your life. They tend to be absolute lies.” Personally, I just needed to hear this and it helped show me how many absolute lies/broken soundtracks I had. If you are in high school or even college (in my case), I highly recommend this book. It opened up so many different ways to think and how powerful our minds can be. Your New Playlist took me about 3 hours to read, but I will be thinking about this book for a long time to come.
Heirloom: a valuable object that has been given by older members of a family to younger members of the same family over many years. This book will without a doubt become one of the most gifted books from parents to teenagers. The legacy it leaves will become the very heirloom that transcends generations.
Your New Playlist is a book for teenagers, written by teenagers. Even the funky cover was voted for by teenagers across the world. The book reveals the everyday truths our teens believe; the broken soundtracks that they play about themselves. Using real teenage lingo L.E. and McRae Acuff presents ideas on how to create new soundtracks in a very honest and humoristic way that resonates with all teens. The plans they present are simple (McRae’s “I do brave things” symbol, chapter 23), and yet so profound that, as a parent, I was sometimes stunned at how such a small change in mindset could have altered my own broken soundtracks. How it could literally have changed the paths I chose in life. The book was edited by their dad, New York Times Bestselling Author Jon Acuff who also wrote the last chapter. He had me in tears with 6 truths that every parent carries with them.
Thanks, McRae, L.E. and Jon for this book to help my children create a new playlist for every broken one they encounter. “Broken soundtracks erase past success and promise future failure.” (L.E. chapter 22). So go ahead, get this book and help your children and grandchildren to change their tune and create a new playlist.
I thoroughly savoured Jon's (Dad's) book 'Soundtracks' during a book club at the beginning of this year, but wanted to know for myself that this title would be as relatable, practical, and enjoyable and reading experience for my three teenage sons (and one's girlfriend) and it definitely did not disappoint! Jon's daughters make the content of this book engaging, relatable, & realistically approachable, plus encouraging & energizing for readers to take intentional & impactful action(s) to make the seemingly small --but assuredly successful-- steps to change mindset towards the positive in order to retain/sustain a happier/more fulfilling life. I also loved the candid Q&A session at the end of the audiobook: a humorously delightful bonus that may inspire readers to become writers themselves!
I believe every parent should read 'Your New Playlist' so they can be knowledgable in how to help their kids develop a positive mindset. 'Your New Playlist' provides doable and memorable ways for students to identify and turn down the volume on unhealthy mindsets and then create and adopt new life giving mindsets. When our kids are operating from right mindsets it can influence every area of their lives, because with healthy mindsets comes healthy choices, and from that the possibilities are endless!
Whilst there have been many ‘mindfulness’ and self-improvement books aimed at teens written by authors such as Matthew Syed and Marcus Rashford (or whatever ghostwriter he is using), Your New Playlist excels in having a youthful voice through Jon’s teenage daughters L.E and Mcrae. This gives it authenticity other texts so often lack and means that the book walks with the reader rather than talking down to them. It is packed full of practicality, I was highlighting so much of the text as I read through it as it’s jammed full of so much wisdom. Whilst this book is aimed at teens (‘Soundtracks’ by Jon Acuff is the original created for adults and is a fantastic read if you don’t fall in the teen bracket), I enjoyed its style, the humour and the instruction found in Your New Playlist. It is certainly something those I teach would benefit from.
About a year ago I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from reading Jon Acuff's Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking. When I heard that Acuff was co-authoring a new book with his teenage daughters repackaging the general concepts in Soundtracks for a teenage audience I perked up, as I know my own teen daughter could really benefit from this - and it's more likely that I could get her to read this book specifically targeting teens (and co-authored by 2 teens) than the original Soundtracks.
I was surprised to find that this book was mainly written by 19 year old L.E. Acuff & 16 year old McRae Acuff (Jon assisted with the editing & contributed the foreword & afterword), and I think they did a fine job of adapting the ideas of their father's 2021 book for a teen reader. Since it's been a year since I read Soundtracks some of the ideas had faded from memory, and I felt like reading Your New Playlist was a refreshing reminder of the helpful concepts I'd learned previously.
To say that this is a book about the power of positive thinking would be an oversimplified & hackneyed take. It's easy to tritely tell someone to be more positive, or to "think happy thoughts", but it's harder to teach someone to identify and take captive the harmful thoughts - thoughts which, on the surface, you might not even realize are harmful - and to disregard them in favor of thoughts that are simultaneously true, helpful, and kind. L.E. & McRae Acuff speak to the hearts of teens (and their parents who read the book) & help them learn how to do this, giving real-life examples of how this works. The apple has not fallen far from the tree - the girls' writing is conversational and it's as entertaining as it is enlightening - much like their father's writing.
Overthinking & obsessing over negative thoughts is a fairly common problem for teens and adults alike, and as such I think that Your New Playlist is a great book for teens to read - and for parents to read along with their teens. If you're not a parent, or if your kids are grown, you'd likely benefit more from reading Soundtracks.
This book is wonderful tool and resource for anyone. It is written for and from teenagers. Teenagers are a valuable resource in the ever-changing world because they are the next generation that will shaping our future. As an adult we should do our best to shape them. This book is great guide to do that. In reading it, I related to it in so many ways. This is one of my favorite lines from the book, "I think sometime the reason we students don't trust motivational hype from parents, teachers, or guidance counselors is because it's just that --hype". I can relate because I don't trust others especially in the "hype". I do like to hear it which is why I give it. This book teaches you how to play and replay a better mindset. The authors spoke of lies or soundtracks that are played over and over in their minds, which I am sure we as readers can relate. In each chapter, it teaches how to replace the lies with truths and encouragement. We all need truths, positivity, and encouragements. As a parent, I will continue to give the "hype" but I will also use what I learned to guide others how to develop their own encouragement and truths. We all need to know "You're capable of more than you think", another great quote from the book. I have given a copy of this book to my oldest daughter, who is a freshman in college. My younger daughter, who is a sophomore in high school, is waiting patiently or rather impatiently for her sister to finish reading so she can have her turn. McRae and L.E. you are both wise beyond your years and have shared that with the world in this book, thank you! Keep on doing you! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, 1 Timothy 4:12.