Self-Care Tip #4: Hobby

Hey y’all,

Back in undergrad, I got into collecting records right before it got popular again. I was in it during the struggle period when you literally had to search high and low to find some of your favorite albums. I started collecting mainly because I really wanted a record player and I LOVE music. I also loved the album art, and I mean who doesn’t love gigantic album art? What started out as simple hobby, turned out to be extremely therapeutic for me. I’m sure you’ve probably heard the suggestion to pick up hobby when you’re feeling down. While it can sound a little corny, speaking from experience, it can actually be helpful a tool in managing depression and stress. So this week’s Self Care Tip is Hobby.

Starting my record collection and investing in it literally took my mind off of everything, and even pushed me to explore things on my own. I couldn’t go to the same place to buy great records, I usually had to find different shops to see if they carried some of my favorite albums. Collecting became my outlet for my stress while simultaneously getting me out of my comfort zone. Researching sites, finding random record stores, and thumbing through vinyl took off the pressure that school constantly piled on. Being in any record store discovering old and new sounds quickly became my happy place away from the madness of my life. It took so much concentration and care, I could literally focus on it for hours on end because it was just for me. Ultimately, collecting became the very first form of self-care I indulged in before even realizing it. 


Being the music maven that I am, I always loved records. Attached to our old stereo at home we had a record player that my parents played their vinyls on. The first record I ever fell in love with was the 12” single from the Wild Wild West, lol. And later on when my mother dusted off her records upon our move to Oakland, a 7” Ready for the World album with the single “Oh Sheila”. In my house, our main form of communication was through music, that’s how we expressed our love and it became the very essence of my joy, so when I started collecting vinyls I saw it as a new opportunity to reignite that love.


Music has always been my favorite form of therapy, but the hunt for records is what really made collecting valuable for me and set it a part from downloading. I loved walking into different shops and seeing what they had. The time that I spent looking up albums and visiting record stores was time I invested in myself, and through my hobby I was able to reignite a sense a self that allowed me to get reacquainted with who I was and what I enjoyed. So if you find yourself struggling or stressed out try picking up one of your favorite activities. You could take up a class, learn a new language, play one of your favorite sports, or collect something, as long as it’s something you enjoy and relieves stress. 

For those collectors reading, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of stores from the Bay Area to San Diego that I’ve visited to help out anyone wanting to start collecting themselves. Music is an integral part of who I am and brings me so much joy, and if I’m able to share part of my joy with others in search of their own, I’m more than happy to do so. 

I also have a collection of dope sweaters, and they are envy of all those who meet me and feast their eyes upon their knitted magnificence! LOL

As usual, I hope this inspired you. Remember to take care of yourself and protect your joy, nobody knows it better than you do…




Needle to the Groove

—410 E Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95113

Record Parlour 

—6408 Selma Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028

Amoeba Music

—6400 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

—2455 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704

Atomic Music

—3812 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Poobah Records

—2636 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107


—2401 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 

—1559 Hesperian Blvd, San Lorenzo CA, 94580 

 Record Surplus

—12436 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Origami Records (Alternative)

—12436 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Touch Vinyl

—1646 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Rockaway Records

—2395 Glendale Blvd B, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Mad Platter

—1223 University Ave #160, Riverside, CA 92507


—215 W Big Springs Rd, Riverside, CA 92507

Access Music

—1537 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

Lou’s Records

—434 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024