The best radio stations for different activities

Countless studies have proven how beneficial listening to music on the radio can be.

Hearing a song that we like can release positive endorphins that give us a good feeling and reduce fear, stress, and anxiety while boosting our immune systems. Some music is actually tailored to creating effects in the brain and body that can benefit us in certain situations. So what kinds of music should you listen to for each activity?

It might seem obvious, but for exercise, it’s best to listen to something with a high tempo like KISS or Capital.

Experts suggest listening to something with 130 BPM (beats per minute) to start and then working your way up to 150 BPM. This helps set the aerobic pace of your cardio, giving you something to do to take your mind off the physical exertion while naturally allowing you to match the beat.

But studies delve deeper than that. Rap music has been found to be useful for exercises such as running, while dance music suits those who are strength training and conditioning.

According to a 2010 study, it was found that rock music affects how much effort we put into exercise as cyclists were revealed to work harder when listening to fast tempo rock music. The often raucous and edgy nature of the songs themselves help channel frustrations into exercise – which can be especially useful when we hit the wall in cardio training.

Classical music pieces – and increasingly film soundtracks – are perfect for relaxing, and many people have taken to listening when they need to concentrate, study, or write. Classic FM goes on to suggest that Bach opens the mind with the way his pieces gradually unfold, while more frenetic music pieces may help the speed at which you write.

Classic FM, BBC Radio 3 and Scala are all radio stations providing the classical soundtrack.

The Mozart Effect has been shown to help memory and concentration if you listen to classical music during times of focus. Indeed, many people choose to listen to video game soundtracks while concentrating as they are usually fast-paced enough to help you work but have no distractions as they are designed for in-game concentration.

As many troubled sleepers will attest to, soft classical music can also promote the peacefulness and relaxation necessary to drift off. So, if choosing classical for focusing, make sure it’s something that isn’t too relaxing.

Jazz may not be as prevalent in society as it once was, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to benefit from the innate effects the music can have on the brain. The jazz music played on stations such as Jazz FM is known for its syncopated rhythm – where the heavy beat isn’t on the standard one beat. This syncopation can release theta brain waves in the brain, which are known for being the basis of creativity. The brain waves (4-8 hertz) can help us work through problems and discover solutions.

Music is a powerful tool and one that most people can’t imagine living without. While listening for fun is imperative, we could also benefit from listening to certain genres in different scenarios. Trying something up-tempo for exercise, soft and classical for focusing, and syncopated jazz when we need those a-ha! moments could lead to us being more efficient at each activity.

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