Motivational Music - What Gets You Going?

If you’ve ever found yourself smiling because you hear a song you like, or if you’ve belted out a really powerful tune while you’re in the shower, then you’ll know that some tunes have the ability to have a profound impact on your mood. The same can be said about the ability of some songs to motivate you. This helps to explain why it’s so much nicer to do your housecleaning with some upbeat songs playing in the background than it would be if you were to dust, scrub, and vacuum in silence.


Neuroscience have been researching these influences and have found that music actually does impact the way that our brains react to circumstances. They are examining the way that music affects us from a neuro-responsive level. For example, research conducted at the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University has shown that there is a direct connection between the nervous system and music. According to one of the researchers there, Dr. Nina Kraus, “The physical characteristics of the sound wave are reflective in the brain wave.”


In May 2013, a study was published by Dr. Kraus and Adam Tiemey, which provided evidence of a powerful connection between the beat of music and reactions within the brainstem. This is only the scientific side of a knowledge that humanity has held for millennia. Men and women worldwide have naturally found that motivational music can help to keep people going even through the toughest and most tedious tasks.


In fact, there are songs that survive to this day that are hundreds of years old and that were sung by slaves, laborers and others with long and difficult tasks that must have felt as though they were never ending. Sailors, builders, minors, and other hard workers all have their own songs that to help to pass the time, keep up a steady beat, and not lose motivation. There were songs sung by women who stitched and quilted to keep themselves from becoming bored during this repetitive task.


This knowledge that has been held by our ancestors – many times over – and that is only now being explained on a scientific side shows that choosing the right motivational music can help us to get through a task or a hard day, no matter what it might involve. A fast beat for a workout, or a soothing song to help to keep focus with a job that takes a lot of concentration can help to keep us in the right mindset to get things done without feeling overly bored, frustrated, or distracted.



Our brain is our body’s control panel. The cerebral cortex in the brain is its largest part, which is further divided into right and left hemispheres. The right hemisphere is the creative center while the left hemisphere is the analytical and mathematical center. Keeping communication flowing between the two is the corpus callosum, which is the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres.