Best Sounds for Getting Things Done

It’s widely recognized that listening to music can have hugely positive effects.

It’s important, however, to match the type of music with the activity. Like matching a good wine with a particular dish, you need to match different types of music with different activities.

In this article, we give you some suggestions for tunes to listen to. So let’s get to it!


No matter what level of fitness you are or the distance you run, having the right playlist while exercising can make all the difference. Having an energizing tune pumping into your eardrums can be the difference between smashing that personal best or not quite making it.

The best music for running tends to be songs with fast beats or catchy tunes. If you ever try cardio drumming you’ll definitely want something up-tempo to burn off those calories (up to 900 calories per session can be burned off with the right playlist).

Anything by these guys with do the trick:

Also, check out our list of best running songs which is packed full of adrenaline-fuelled tracks to get you moving.

Work / Concentration

As we wrote about in our piece about the 12 ways that music makes us more productive at work, music in the workplace helps to block out irritating noises (or people), which is an ever-increasing problem in the growing number of open-plan offices.

Even if that isn’t an issue, music helps purely to improve concentration or give us a welcome jolt of endorphins.

Try out this drum and bass number:


Getting to sleep can be a ridiculously frustrating task for millions of people. So many suffer from insomnia and other sleep deprivation effects; music, like alternative methods of relaxation such as yoga, can often be the solution to these problems.

You may have heard in popular culture of ‘nature sounds’, a collection of sounds from natural environments that are meant to soothe, calm and allow your body to relax enough to sleep. Ambient music (try any of Brian Eno’s ambient works) is full of epic guitar effects that will soon send you into the land of nod.

Also, try ‘Weightless’ by Marconi Union, which often wins the top slot for the most relaxing piece of music ever. It has been shown to potentially slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and decrease levels of cortisol. Here’s the 10-hour version!

If you liked this, also check out our playlist of calming songs.


Listening to music whilst you’re trying to read a book can be off-putting and annoying; the lyrics can distract you from the text in the book, and you might find yourself turning pages without taking a single word in.

However, listening to the right music as you read a book can be really helpful. The rhythm can help you to keep a steady pace as you read, and the sounds can relax you and make your reading experience more pleasurable.

Here are some examples of some of the best music to listen to while reading:

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells

This prog-rock masterpiece is a brilliant reading companion. The musical journey here perfectly complements the experience of reading an exciting book, and it may even help to enhance your visual imagination. There are no lyrics to distract you from the book’s words either.

If you find that jazz helps you to relax and to think creatively, ‘Kind Of Blue’ by Miles Davis is your perfect reading partner. There are moments of recognizable melodies, chunks of improvised, free playing, and a swinging rhythm throughout.

Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works

If you find the straight rhythm and repetitive nature of electronic work to be a lot more soothing than any kind of jazz, this classic album by Aphex Twin might be more suited to your reading session.

As is the case with all of our choices here, there are no lyrics, and the chilled out, ambient nature of Aphex Twin’s sound work as a great aid for focus on reading.

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About Ged Richardson

Ged Richardson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Entrepreneur, PremierGuitar, Hallmark, Wanderlust, CreativeLive, and other major publications. As an avid music fan, he spends his time researching and writing about new and old music, as well as testing and reviewing music-related products. He's played guitar in various bands, from rock to gypsy jazz. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel, where he geeks out about his favorite bands.

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