Music is the art form that most of us have the closest connection with. We may not always be able to analyze a painting or have time to dissect the hidden symbolism of a classic novel, but we all listen to music, and music has a way of striking our sensitive chord even though we can’t explain exactly how. We listen to music to feel better when we’re down, remember the good times, add a bit of sunshine to a gloomy day, celebrate, focus better, or just to get rid of boredom. Now, music is also an essential companion during the lockdown. As millions of us are stuck at home, forcefully transitioning to remote work, our playlist is often the only thing keeping us sane. In the early days of the pandemic, music was the universal language that kept us together. From their balconies, thousands of people sang timeless songs to celebrate healthcare workers and remind themselves that they’re not alone and that this too shall pass. Even with live events put on hold, musicians continued to stream concerts from the living room, and it wasn’t all just for good fun. For example, the iHeart Living Room Concert raised $8 million for Coronavirus relief, showing that music can bring us all together in the toughest times.
You shouldn’t feel guilty if you’re not living your best life while stuck at home in quarantine. No one is. But, as the song goes, the show must go on. When you don’t feel like doing anything and feel overwhelmed by anxiety, music can help you. If you need a little inspiration, we have four playlist ideas that are nice to create as they are to listen to.
Soothing vibes for crazy days
Anxiety was a worrying mental health issue even before the pandemic, but now, everything that’s going on in the world can make it worse. When that happens, turning off the news, making yourself a cup of tea, and putting on your headphones can ease anxiety, restore your sense of calm, and help you sleep better. It’s science. Instruments such as the violin, the piano, the flute, and the harp can be effective at relaxing the mind, especially when combined with soothing nature sounds, such as the sound of dripping rain, thunder, chirping birds, or rivers. Melody Loops has a beautiful collection of relaxing music, so you should definitely check them out if you don’t currently have such songs in your existing library.
This music genre may seem a bit boring for day-to-day situations but, played when you feel anxious and distraught, it can help quiet your mind and keep negative thoughts at bay. However, it might take a while until you find those particular tunes that relax you. Everyone responds to music in different ways, so if piano music irritates you instead of calming you down, don’t force yourself to listen to it.
A little something to keep you focused
If you have to study or work from home these days, you know just how difficult it can be to stay focused when all you hear are news about the healthcare crisis, elections, recessions, and, generally, impending doom. Your regular playlist might not do the trick here, especially since it has lyrics, because it can distract you even more. Instead, try these genres that have been scientifically proven to increase productivity:
- Classical music, especially Mozart and Beethoven. Scientists have even found that there’s a “Mozart effect,” which enhances brain activity and boosts your memory.
- Video game music. You don’t need to be a gamer to enjoy it or reap its benefits. It may sound odd, but video game soundtracks are specifically composed to keep you engaged and focused on your current objective. Filling in that report before the deadline isn’t as epic as fighting a Dark Souls boss but, to that music, it will definitely feel like you’re doing something more rewarding. Some of the best video game OSTs that can help you concentrate include “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Halo,” “The Sims,” “Final Fantasy 7”, “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”, and, if you’re feeling brave, “Doom.”
- Any song that has between 50 and 80 beats per minute. This is the frequency that makes us feel the most relaxed, and that can help us achieve those “Eureka” moments. You can find compilations of these songs on YouTube or Spotify.
Upbeat tunes to lift your mood
Are you having a bad day? You can always count on music to lift your mood. If you don’t necessarily need to focus, and you don’t mind turning your living room into a dance floor, it’s time to play some music that gets your heartbeat up and makes you forget about the not-so-happy world we live in now.
There really are no rules when building such a playlist. Just pick whatever makes you happy, whether that’s 80s dance music, funky pop hits, electronic music, heavy metal, or whatever’s trending on the radio. Your feel-good playlist should also include songs with positive lyrics. It might sound cheesy, but after singing along to them for half an hour, you’ll be in a better mood. Out of ideas? Here are some of the uplifting songs that people have been listening to during the pandemic:
- Queen – We Are the Champions
- The Killers – Mr. Brightside
- Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer
- Flo Rida – Good Feeling
- Smash Mouth – All Star
.. or, you know, whatever song brings up fun memories.
A bit of humor doesn’t hurt
Sometimes, humor can make a bad situation feel more bearable. Recent research has revealed that many people have been making thematic playlists for the pandemic, including songs like “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer, “Toxic” by Britney Spears, “Work from Home” by Fifth Harmony, and “Survivor,” by Gloria Gaynor. If you need a little laugh, we don’t see why not. just remember to put on your mask when you go outside and respect social distancing measures.