zenhabits : breathe

A Simple Playlist for Tranquil Exercise, Productivity and Calm Living

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.

There are times when I want to crank up the metal and get myself pumped up.

But many times, I find that playing some mellow tunes helps me focus, calm myself, and enjoy life much more.

Your mileage may vary, but I would recommend some simple tunes if you’d like to enjoy your exercise (a quiet sunrise or sunset run is wonderful), or be productive, or just go about your day with some tranquility.

It tends to drown out the chaos of the world, and allows me to focus inwardly. And that’s a necessity at times.

Here are some songs that work well for me:

  1. Jack Johnson: Anything by him is great for this purpose. He’s the master of calm living, in my opinion. I would start with songs like Better Together, Breakdown, Good People, Bubbly Toes, If I Could and Banana Pancakes, but I love all his stuff.
  2. Ben Harper: Another great one. I particularly like Another Lonely Day and Waiting on an Angel.
  3. Norah Jones: Gosh, anything by her. Start with Come Away With Me, Don’t Know Why, Turn Me On, Sunrise.
  4. Snow Patrol: Run and Chasing Cars are both really nice.
  5. John Hiatt: Feels Like Rain and Have a Little Faith in Me.
  6. Coldplay: Yellow, Clocks, many others.
  7. Radiohead: No Surprises, Karma Police.
  8. Dave Matthews: Crash and Satellite.
  9. Nick Drake: Pink Moon, Northern Sky, among others.
  10. David Grey: Babylon, This Year’s Love.
  11. Chantal Kreviazuk: In My Life (remake of the great Beatles’ tune) and Feels Like Home.
  12. Sting: How do you choose among his songs? Pick anything.
  13. Cat Stevens: The Wind
  14. Cowboy Junkies: Sweet Jane.
  15. Cranberries: Anything by them, but Linger, Dreams, and Dreaming My Dreams are a good start.
  16. Dire Straits: Why Worry, So Far Away.
  17. Paul Simon: Kodachrome.
  18. Van Morrison: And It Stoned Me.
  19. Sheryl Crow: D’yer Mak’er.
  20. Macy Gray: I Try.
  21. Corrine Bailey Rae: Put Your Records On.
  22. Mazzy Star: Fade Into You.
  23. Natalie Merchant: One Fine Day.
  24. Sarah McLachlan: Angel, Adia.

But these are just some of my favorites … share yours in the comments!

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