I had some tedious work to take care of yesterday—we’re talking a couple hours at my desk cranking through some of the most menial parts of my job. But what could have been a mind numbing afternoon quickly turned into a fun little productivity session with the addition of one thing: music.
Music holds an incredible amount of power to change and enhance our moods. It can bring us low or bring us high. It can lighten and brighten even the dimmer moments. And it can push us further than we thought we could go.
In fact, this is why I never work out without a great playlist. Even on my least-motivated days, the moment that first beat hits I get a boost of energy to power through my workout. We’ve all experienced this—positive, upbeat music has a direct effect on our mood, boosting serotonin levels*. That favorite pop song you can’t resist? It might literally be making you happier. And the better we feel, the more likely we are to workout longer, and be distracted from any fatigue.
Music not only boosts our mood, it boosts our stamina, too, helping us get more out of our workouts. We have a natural bent toward matching a beat, which can keep us driving forward on the track or a bike, even when we’re starting to wear out. Choose a few songs with a strong steady beat—you may need to try a few different tempos to find your perfect match—and hit the road.
We’ve listed off a few of our favorite workout tunes. Let us know in the comments what some of your favorite work-out songs are!
Forever- Drake, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Eminem
Kiss Kiss- Chris Brown, T-Pain
Crash Into Me- Steve Aoki, Darren Criss
Summer Days- Martin Garrix, Macklemore, Fall Out Boy
* Altenmüller, E., & Schlaug, G. (2012). Music, brain, and health: Exploring biological foundations of music’s health effects. In R. A. R. MacDonald, G. Kreutz, & L. Mitchell (Eds.), Music, health, and wellbeing, 12-24. New York: Oxford University Press.