streaming platforms

Vibe check: Study says Gen Zs turn to audio for self-care

Vibe check: Study says Gen Zs turn to audio for self-care


More than just entertainment, music and podcasts for Gen Zs are an important part of their ‘DIY wellness menu,’ according to Spotify

For kids these days, music is no longer just something to dance to, play in the background, or sing to in the shower. For Gen Zs, it’s an important part of their self-care routines, according to Spotify’s Culture Next Report 2021.

According to the report, “Zs the world over are tuning into specific auditory experiences to self-regulate, manifest, and heal, whether through positive-thinking podcasts, ambient sounds, or even silence.”

While for millennials listening to music tends to be more of a nostalgic experience, for Gen Zs, it helps them feel more present. According to the report, 82% of Filipino Gen Zs say they “feel more centered and generally happier” when they listen to their favorite music everyday.

Podcast categories on alternative health, mental health, and just health in general also showed an increase in streams among the Gen Z crowd – with streams in the alternative health category in particular rising by 239% among Zs over the past year. 

Gen Z listeners tend to gravitate towards the music of their own generation – Gen Z-centered playlists (such as the “idk” playlist) had 76% more streams than millennial-centered playlists. 

Filipino Gen Zs are also least likely to discover new music through their family members (so you can stop trying, mom and dad). Unsurprisingly, most of them (39%) discover new music through social media, 15% do so through artists they already know, and only 1% do so through family members.

Millennials, meanwhile, apparently like listening to music from decades past, especially in the pandemic. Music from the ’70s and ’80s saw more streams among millennials in 2021. In particular, ’70s love songs were streamed 59% more in March 2021 compared to the previous year, while ’80s hits were streamed 40% more.  

Both millennials and Gen Z agree that audio – whether through music or podcasts – is stress relieving. The report said that 87% of millennials and 85% of Gen Zs in the Philippines turn to audio to lower their stress levels. 

Ultimately, audio – whether as a podcast or a piece of music – is a way for both generations to deal with the harsh realities of the world today.

“With so much bad news and so few ways to escape, zoning out can feel like the only recourse. Respondents from both generations told us they feel that audio of all forms encourages them to tune in to themselves, to each other, and to the outside world,” the report said. 

For the report, Spotify combined qualitative, quantitative, and first-party data analysis, placing focus on Gen Zs (15 to 25 years old) and millennials (26 to 40 years old). They conducted four Zoom focus groups, 40 in-depth interviews, and ethnographies covering over four dozen respondents around the world. They also conducted a global quantitative survey among 9,000 respondents around the world in April 2021. –