2021 was a weird year for me as a music fan. I wrote earlier this year, about the “month I hated music.” I had come to the point where I was listening to music in terms of “how can I use this to pitch a story to a publication?” instead of truly enjoying the music for its own sake and celebrating its place in my life as an instrument of community, growth, and joy. That had to end. Through much of this year, I’ve wrestled with how to be a better listener and how to practice healthy, life-giving listening habits. I stopped obsessing over keeping track of every album played. I read (and am continuing to read) a lot about the intersection of music and faith and am hoping to strengthen that integration for myself in the years to come.