From mood-boosting jams to relaxing beats, music is a powerful force that can affect us all in many ways. For seven-time NASCAR cup series champion Jimmie Johnson, listening to music provides a happy place that lifts him up any time of day. When he’s driving, working out, or just needs a little pick-me-up, Jimmie finds music can add positivity to almost any situation.
Jimmie inherited an extensive vinyl collection from his mom, which he still adds to today. But to spread his love of music further, he put together a collection of some of his favorite tunes in a Spotify playlist inspired by his high school favorites, his early racing career, and his wife and children.
We’ve taken songs from Jimmie’s playlist and paired them with everyday moments to help bring some joy to life’s more mundane to-dos. Music can have a direct impact on your thoughts and behaviors, influencing your actions and decisions. So, if you’re taking a break from your finances and need to inject some fun into other household tasks, let this be your musical guide.
Organizing your closet, deep cleaning the bathroom, and dusting behind the couch are probably not your favorite things to do on a Saturday. And for some, taking on this work can be stressful (does the thought of it make your blood pressure rise or your heart rate speed up?), especially if you’ve been putting it off for several weeks (or months). If you find giving your home a good scrub and decluttering to be a little daunting, try pairing the work with calming classical or lyrical music with a slow tempo. You might find slowing things down helps you focus and gives you some clarity when deciding which old t-shirts you’re ready to part with.
To help slow down the stress: Skinny Love by Bon Iver
If you find these tasks to simply be more boring than painful, you might want to try the opposite. Just as you listen to fun, fast-paced songs to get amped up for a tough workout, try the same method for getting in the mood to complete your tidying to-dos. Once you knock out organizing the kitchen cupboards, sweeping garage shelves, and sanitizing the freezer, you’ll feel even more accomplished.
To help put the cheer in clearing things out: Two Step by Dave Matthews Band
Cooking in the Kitchen
Did you know the types of music you listen to can affect your willingness to take risks? Turns out, listening to lower-tempo music can actually result in you making more risky decisions than faster paced music or no music at all.
So, if you’re looking to expand your repertoire as a chef (or your palate as a foodie), you might want to turn down the rock or hip-hop jams and instead swap out some calming, slower-paced music. That way, you may be more inclined to add an extra pinch of chili flakes or finally crack open the bottle of fish sauce in the pantry. Just be careful with volume — you don’t want to be overly distracted (and heavy handed) when you’ve got some super spicy ingredients at your fingertips.
While practicing to be the next top chef: Morning Song by the Avett Brothers
Shopping for Essentials
It doesn’t matter if you’re making a grocery run at the store or ordering everything from cleaning products to comfy clothes online, the background music to your buying can make a difference.
Slow music tends to make us more prone to mosey through brick-and-mortar stores, which means there’s a greater chance something will catch your eye. To avoid lingering in the grocery store aisles — and to lessen your chance of spending more than you should — pop in headphones with upbeat music. Songs with a BPM faster than your heartbeat will encourage you to keep moving.
Shopping at home? Keep the beats flowing there, too. Listening to relaxing, comforting, slower songs might cause you to spend more time browsing and adding more items to your cart.
While clicking “Add to Cart”: Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses
Whether you use music to purposefully lift your spirits (like Jimmie Johnson does), you listen to songs to help you unwind, or you rely on the right playlist to get pumped up, music can have a powerful effect on your emotions, mood, behavior, and actions — even when you don’t realize it. By understanding how different genres, rhythms, and tempos can impact decision making, you can set yourself up to be in the best mindset when it comes to everyday tasks, no matter the situation.