We all love music. It’s there for us when we’re happy, when we’re sad, when we’re excited, and when we’re at ease. There are very few moments in life that can’t be paired properly with a song. The interesting thing about music though, is that it’s 100% individual. You and your friend may love the same band, but for completely different reasons: you like them because their lyrics tell a story you can relate to, while your friend likes them because the instrumentation resonates with their very being. Regardless of the difference in reason, music is something that transcends language, politics, and even transcends physicality; until it doesn’t.
Everyone has their reasons for listening to music and for listening to the music they listen to, but there is evidence to show that some music is better suited for certain activities than others. For example, if I have a lot of work to do, or I want to get a workout in, I’ll plug in my headphones, find whatever artists speaks to me at that moment and press play. However, the artist that speaks to me is completely dependent on what kind of work, or workout, I have in front of me, not to mention my mood. True, everyone has their individual tastes in music, but there are underlying foundational elements of music that lend themselves toward higher productivity. What are they? Well that all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
GROOVING AT WORK
It has been discovered that if you need a bit of a pick-me-up in the morning, listening to music that includes sounds of nature can improve your mood and your ability to focus on the task in front of you. So, if you come in to work feeling a little tired, a little out of it, crank up a lovely babbling brook and turn that frown upside down.
That’s all fine and good, but what if you’re feeling fine and just need to put your head down and get through some work? Apparently songs that you don’t have any connection to are the way to go as they provide fewer distractions. You know how it goes, if you really like a song, chances are you’re going to start belting it at your desk and next thing you know you’re halfway through the album and all your coworkers are staring at you. (It’s not pleasant, trust me.) It’s for this exact reason that songs without lyrics are believed to be better for productivity than songs with lyrics. I guess what they say is right, the rhythm is going to get you eventually.
ROCKING OUT DURING YOUR WORKOUT
Music isn’t only helpful
forever and always at the office, it’s also been shown to be hugely beneficial during a workout. Music does interesting things to our brains when we exercise, including masking the pain of the workout. Basically, if you’re in the middle of a moderate-intensity workout, listening to music will help improve your effort and output because your mind is too busy processing the music to worry about the pain and discomfort being levied on your body.
The best music to listen to while working out tends to be songs with 120-140 beats per minute. If you’re having a hard time visualizing (audioalizing?) music that has that many beats per minute, I want you to close your eyes and picture yourself in a spinning class. The music that you are hearing in this vision, that fast-paced, bass-heavy electronic music, is what you should be looking for. Don’t be afraid if you’re not into the basics of that genre, there are countless artists who hit that bpm who aren’t all-out assaulting your ear drums (we’ll get to that shortly…).
(…Like right now)
THIS MUSIC; WHERE DO I FIND IT?
Lucky for you, you live in the golden age of the internet. No matter what it is you’re looking for, you can find it, including music.
You know the drill. Find an artist or a song or genre you really dig, plug them in, and be treated to a playlist that has been created to include music that is. If ads are an issue for you though, you may want to look elsewhere.
Surprisingly enough, YouTube has some unbelievable playlists in every conceivable genre. Think about how many people are using YouTube (it’s practically a trillion), they all have different music tastes and many of them are putting out playlists. Find ‘em, they’re great. It might take some searching, but I promise, they’re there.
I’ve found that soundcloud has more remixes than the other sites/services. If remixes and mashups are your thing (good for the workout, let me tell you), you’ll find your groove here.
My personal favorite. They curate playlists for your specific music tastes and for every other genre/activity you can think of. You really can’t go wrong with Spotify in my opinion, unless you go for the free version (ads…amigright?). If you’re a music fan, Spotify Premium ($10/month) is a no-brainer . I’ve never spent a better $10 in my life.
Until next time – keep jammin