Need to calm down during high-demand driving situations?
According to the National Institute of Health, “listening to music can positively impact mood while driving, which can be used to affect state and safe behaviour.”
Well, duh. The calmer the tunes, the calmer the mood.
However, a recent study published by Ergonomics suggests that you don’t want to dilly dally around when switching over from Slipknot to Coldplay:
The current study shows that during high-demand drives, drivers are calmed more effectively using abrupt music changes compared to gradual music changes. This is illustrated by reductions in physiological arousal and improved driving behaviour. Hence, in-car music presentation can be used as a tool to improve driver’s mood and behaviour.
So the take-away is, switch over sooner rather than later.
But…what songs do you choose? When you’re stuck in a traffic jam or freaking out a little in a tight construction zone, which songs soothe you best?
Calm Songs for a Calm Mood
After a few informal Twitter and Facebook polls, some interested parties suggested these relaxing songs for driving.
It’s an eclectic mix of mellow music, no doubt about it, and many of the folks who contributed added disclaimers like “anything by [such and such.]” Some of the songs sing of romance, others of heartache, and some just about how we humans deal with life, but one thing they all have in common is their peace-inducing feeling.
- “Where Are You Going?” — Dave Matthews Band
- “Tiny Dancer” — Elton John
- “High and Dry” — Radiohead
- “Angels” — The xx
- “Strawberry Swing” — Coldplay (or, you know, just about anything else).
- “Thank You” — Dido
- “Orange Sky” — Alexi Murdoch
- “Such Great Heights” — Iron & Wine
- “Don’t Know Why” — Norah Jones
- “America” — Simon and Garfunkel
- “Into the Mystic” — Van Morrison
- “World On Fire” — Sarah McLachlan
- “Peaceful Easy Feeling” — The Eagles
- “Eastern Glow” — The Album Leaf
- “Into the Fire” — Thirteen Senses
- “Summer Breeze” — Seals and Croft
- “Fire and Rain” — James Taylor
- “And the Boys” — Angus and Julia Stone
- “River Flows In You” — Yiruma
- “Lay, Lady Lay” — Bob Dylan
- “No Other Way” — Jack Johnson
- “Let It Be” — The Beatles
- “Hands” — Jewel
- “Sunshine On My Shoulders” — John Denver
- “Hand In My Pocket” — Alanis Morissette
- “Cannonball” — Damien Rice
- “You Send Me” — Sam Cooke
- “My Heart’s On Fire” — Passenger
- “Aqueous Transmission” — Incubus
- “Landslide” — Fleetwood Mac
So, how about YOU, sweet readers? Which peaceful songs do you like to play when navigating intense driving situations?