You have a tough day ahead at work. So you get in your car and want to gear up mentally and emotionally. Which is better to listen to, talk radio or music? Not to toot our own horn here, but a combination of both is best. According to Canadian studies, music can help lower your stress in bumper to bumper traffic. Dr. Nicole Dibben is a professor of music psychology at Britain’s University of Sheffield. She says to make the effects even better, sing along. Belting out a tune helps you effortlessly take in more oxygen, and that in turn stimulates the flow of energizing nutrients to your brain.
Once the traffic starts moving, it’s good to get a shot of talk. Why? Because it stimulates your brain. According to Matt Cornell, a productivity consultant, the combination of talk and music will put you in a relaxed but ready state – so you’ll be more efficient the minute you walk through the door and you’ll be better able to react quickly when you have to switch tasks at work.
However, be careful of the type of talk you listen to and the type of music. Research finds that fast, loud music – like techno and thrash metal – is more distracting than light rock, pop, or country. It’s especially dangerous for teens and 20-somethings to listen to music like techno or thrash metal because they’re the group most likely to have an accident. The music might get them too riled up to control their driving. So, what about aggressive talk radio? That’s almost as dangerous as punk. It tends to be the most distracting, and the subject matter can increase your heart rate and stress. So the perfect combo – it really is music and intelligence for your life.