Songs to Inspire Creative Flow

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about the motivational benefits of music. Christopher Bergland says in Psychology Today, “music and mood are inherently bound.” He says that “you can dial up a mood, mindset or perception on demand by choosing music that elicits a specific emotional response in you,”  whether it’s for athletic benefits, studying purposes, for road trip boredom busting, or to create a certain vibe to match your day. So, given this information, I created a “You Can Do Anything” playlist to help get me through the tests and trials of undergraduate second-semester senioritis.

I still do listen to many of those songs now as a first-year in graduate school, but as of late, here are the songs I return to again and again when I need to be hosed down head to toe with creative energy.

Watch, listen, repeat, and fall in deep, dark love:

The Main Title Theme to Westworld by Ramin Djawadi has become my soul song. I’ve listened to it about 200 times over the course of a week, yet I’ve only seen the first two episodes of the show! No spoiler alerts please!

Zoe Keating uses a looping system to whisper haunting sounds over her own sound, and to invent herself as a stunning one-woman symphony. I saw her perform at The Ark in Ann Arbor in 2014. Her power could stop a whole room’s breath at once.

Emancipator’s “Rattlesnakes” really deserves to be listened to with headphones to fully appreciate its complexities. Imagine dropping ping pong balls off steep cliffs one by one. One by one, they hit water and then rock. Now imagine you are one of the ping pong balls. This song will take you on that ping pong ball’s journey.

Just because these songs resonate with me doesn’t mean they will for you. I only give these as an example and a free treat for your ears. I listen to them often because they are phenomenal works of art, and I highly recommend them for music while writing, painting, or whatever artistic activity tickles your fancy. They’re also quite satisfying to simply sit, listen, and soak. Create your own at-home sonic spa. Listen around and craft your own playlist to suit your personal tastes and styles and motivational needs.

Support artists! Open your ears to beauty! Fuel your creativity!


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