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About us

Photo of founder Sally Magnusson and her mother Mamie

Playlist for Life is a music and dementia charity. The charity was founded in 2013 by writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson after the death of her mother, Mamie, who had dementia. Our vision is simple: we want everyone living with dementia to have a unique, personal playlist and everyone who loves or cares for them to know how to use it.

The benefits of personal playlists

Over two decades of scientific research has shown that listening to a personal playlist can improve the lives of those living with dementia. In fact, listening to music that is personally meaningful has many psychological benefits, meaning anyone can benefit from a playlist. Personal playlists can:

  • reduce anxiety
  • improve your mood
  • make difficult tasks more manageable
  • evoke memories that can help families and carers connect.

Playlist for Life harnesses the powerful effects of personal music to help anyone who is affected by dementia, their families and carers. Whether it’s the music from a first dance, lullabies from childhood or a theme tune from a favourite TV show, music has the ability to take us back in time and remind us of our past, giving you that flashback feeling. Sharing your songs and memories can help people living with dementia connect with family, friends and carers.

Get started

Music is everywhere and a part of our daily lives. Your personal playlist is as unique as you are, so your playlist should include music that is personal and evokes fond memories or positive emotional reactions. It should include the tunes that give you that ‘flashback feeling’ whenever you hear them; that take you back, to another time, person or place. Together, this music creates the soundtrack of your life.

Getting started is as easy as listening to music or singing. Are there any songs that spark memories? Write them down. You’re already on your way to making a personal playlist!

To create a personal playlist, we need to find the tunes that are special to us and get them all in one place. Your personal playlist can be short or long. It can be written on a piece of paper. It can be recorded onto a mix tape or made on a computer with a programme like Spotify or iTunes.

Please download one of our free resources that will help you at each stage of your playlist journey: from finding tunes to using music effectively and incorporating a playlist into a daily routine. 

Get started leaflet (interactive digital version)Discover the benefits of personal playlists and how to connect through music

Actually make this 4 resources – 1 should be:

Spotify playlists

Our Spotify playlists cover a wide range of themes and are free to listen to.

Soundtrack of your life booklet (interactive digital version)
The perfect tool to get started with a playlist

Print at home version

Conversation starters (interactive digital version)
Prompts to start building your
personal playlist

Print at home version

For more information or to work with Playlist for Life in your community, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.