Music is without a doubt one of the most important things in my life. Whether I’m wandering the streets of Chicago looking for a new coffee joint or sitting at my desk concentrating on work, music is a part of my daily life.
It’s fascinating how music can alter your mood and even change your physiology. There is a great book by Dr. Daniel J. Levitin titled, “This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession.” From this book as well as other medical studies preformed by colleges throughout the nation, it has been made clear that there is definitely a link between mood and music.
For example, if you are stressed out and have a huge deal pending would you rather: A. listen to fast-paced heavy metal, or B. listen to a calm classical piece of music? Although you may opt for the more energetic option, choosing soothing music balances out the mood.
It has been shown that music with a tempo of around 66 beats per-minute can have a calming effect on your mood. The average heart rate of a calm, healthy person is usually around 66 beats per minute. Interesting how that worked out.
Smart phones and iPods have made music so portable, there’s really no time you can’t access music. Services like Pandora and Spotify have made accessing cloud-based playlists and radio stations as easy and dialing up a friend. The days of CDs, cassette tapes and, dare I say 8-tracks, are behind us.
Doing a simple Google search of ‘internet radio apps/players’ will give you a list of other services available. Spotify and Pandora are at the top of my list, with Spotify taking first place.
Pandora is free, but has ad support, meaning it is free because they play ads after every four to five songs played. In addition to ads between songs, there are also ads that display on your screen.
Those who don’t want to sit through ads can opt to pay a $5 monthly fee. In addition to removing ads, the paid service will enhance the quality of the music as well. You also have the choice to pay for the whole year and the price is reduced to around $35 annually.
Spotify, which is the hands down winner for me, has been around for nearly two years and has more than just the radio feature. It offers the ability to create unique playlists and even share them with other users.
Spotify has free radio, however, like Pandora, Spotify has ad support with the free account. There are a total of three options of service with Spotify. The free account, a $5 monthly radio package without ads and a $10 premium account. Go with the premium account: It is the best $10 you will spend in a month. It’s like Netflix for music!
Everyone works differently, but taking advantage of these inexpensive music applications can boost moral and productivity in the office. Plus, they are just plain fun!