Crank up the volume and get to work.
6 min read
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Music can provide us with an intense physical reaction — it can send chills up our spines and raise goosebumps on our arms. Certain songs create stronger emotional connections, and we may find ourselves wrapped up in the instrumentation, vocals and lyrics. The right song can send shots of adrenaline racing through our veins
Research by Dennis Hsu of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that certain musical components, like a heavy bass or an intense guitar solo, naturally express a sense of power. This musical sense of power can be “contagious” and cause a similar sense of power in the listener. Not only can the power behind certain songs make you feel good; music can also help you be more productive, engaged and motivated.
If you’re looking for a magic elixir to get yourself in gear, try cranking up the volume on the playlist below. I’ve grouped this list into three categories to fit your mood and state of mind, and I’ve incorporated a range of styles — pop, rap, electronic dance music (EDM), and alternative and classic rock. Each song is aimed to infuse you with a sense of power and potential to help you take on your day.
Related: 12 Ways That Music Makes You More Productive At Work (Infographic)
Pure adrenaline songs
These songs are supercharged to get you pumped up for whatever the day brings. Each of these songs has certain music components that give you a feeling of intensity. In fact, you might recognize these as popular rallying songs used during sporting events, where pumping up the crowd is key to creating an engaged and excited audience. If you need a shot of pure adrenaline, try one of the following.
1. Queen — We Will Rock You
I dare you to listen to We Will Rock You and not want to stomp your feet and clap your hands. This anthem has a simple yet profound rhythm that is sure to build you up before a big meeting or important event.
2. AC/DC — Thunderstruck
Thunderstruck opens with an intense guitar riff that is nothing short of electrifying. Listen to this song first thing in the morning if you’re looking to tap into your inner power and strength and acquire the feeling that you could take on the world.
3. DJ Snake, Lil Jon — Turn Down for What
Turn Down for What is heavy on bass and trap, and light on lyrics. If you’re looking for something that will give you an instant shot of swagger with a side of “I do what I want” (and possibly a desire to smash things), this song is a must.
Related: These 6 Types of Music Are Known to Dramatically Improve Productivity
Songs to get you motivated
The right song at the right moment can give you a swift kick in the rear to get your act together and get going. If you’re feeling like slacking off and need a little motivation to get your day focused, these songs will spur you on.
4. Eminem — Lose Yourself
Lose Yourself is a great self-motivating mantra with lyrics that will stay with you long after the song has ended. Listen to this to set your mind on accomplishing that big dream that seems out of reach or that audacious goal everyone doubts you can accomplish.
5. Rachel Platten — Fight Song
Fight Song is sure to give you a major dose of encouragement. If you’re at a point where you’re feeling like giving up or giving in, this song will help you dig deep and tap into your inner fortitude and tenacity.
6. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers — I Won’t Back Down
No matter what, you must persevere through hardships and maintain your integrity. The lyrics and musical components of I Won’t Back Down are laced with determination and resilience. It’ll give you the feeling you can take on anyone or anything that stands in your way.
Related: 3 Reasons Why You Should Listen to Music at Work
Songs that give good feelings
Music can change our mood in an instant. Some songs just make us want to smile, get up and dance, or give us an infusion of endorphins that race through our veins, spreading good feelings. With upbeat, positive lyrics and dance-worthy rhythms, these songs will make you feel happier, more confident and raring to go. Give a listen and see for yourself.
7. OneRepublic — Good Life
Anyone can relate to this feel-good song, with its straightforward, catchy lyrics and drum-driven musical elements. Good Life is a reflection on happiness, feeling grateful for all you have and trying to take each moment as it comes.
8. Pharrell Williams — Happy
As the title suggests, Happy exudes ease, warmth and effortless happiness. It has a cool-sounding retro Motown feel with a high-impact beginning that immediately gets you tapping your feet and grooving to the beat.
9. Swedish House Mafia — Don’t You Worry Child
You don’t have to be an EDM aficionado to enjoy this song, with its building drumbeats and optimistic note of encouragement. Don’t You Worry Child is about a father telling his child not to let life and anxiety tear him down. After all, “Heaven’s got a plan for you.”
Inspiring songs that make you believe in yourself
Music can spur us to action and inspire us to push through challenges, keep our eyes on the prize and stay determined when life throws a sucker punch our way. Inspirational songs are so powerful because they’re personal — they’re usually songs that you feel a connection to. Here are a few that may speak to you.
10. The Script (featuring will.i.am) — Hall of Fame
If you’re a dreamer, a risk-taker or person on a mission to achieve, Hall of Fame exudes positivity and inspires you to keep working hard and believe in yourself. The message is clear: Persevere through adversity and you’ll reach your dreams.
11. Katy Perry — Firework
Firework is a self-esteem anthem focused on building you up and making you feel good about yourself. It’s about facing your fears and believing in your potential to do anything you want — and who doesn’t need that?
12. Imagine Dragons — Whatever It Takes
This is no love song; Whatever It Takes is an ode to ambition, about doing “whatever it takes” to accomplish what you want in life. With its explosive chorus, this song gives you the feeling you can break free of the shackles that are holding you back and find your own path to glory.