9 songs to inspire productivity and positivity at work


A year of remote work has left many employees feeling uninspired and disengaged.

As employees struggle with burnout, poor mental health and low productivity, one simple solution could be to listen to music. Workers who listened to classical music on the job were 15% more productive than those who work in silence, according to a study by Scala Radio, a digital radio station.

“The power of music is astonishing,” said Dr. Becky Spelman, a psychologist who ran the Scala Radio study. “Music stimulates the brain and we become bored less easily and stay focused. It can also help us stay calm, reduce stress and moderate our pulse.”

To help boost your work-from-home mood, our 2021 Rising Stars in HR and Advising shared the songs that help them focus at work and combat COVID challenges.

This song explains how I feel — I want to take over the world! My favorite lyric is “Someone once told me, I see so much fire in you.” — Stefanie Cano, benefits account manager at Thrive Benefits

Even though our choices have been limited for activities and gatherings, I have looked for the bright spots and opportunities each day holds and have tried to live life to its fullest. The song lyrics say “I can’t believe that we would lie in our graves, wondering if we have spent our living days well.” I can say despite all of the setbacks and challenges this year, we have lived our days well, which is all we can do! — Megan Nail, vice president total rewards practice at First Person Advisors

As we found ourselves in the throes of the pandemic, the lyrics just resonated with me. — Sohail Hooda, health and welfare practice leader at Arthur J. Gallagher

I always appreciated his love for the music and his work, though not the popularity or fame that came with it. — Victor Tang, vice president at Marsh & McLennan Agency, Bouchard Region

The lyric “this girl is on fire” shows the meaning of being unstoppable, unbeatable and invincible. I want to continue the path that I am currently on with my work and /personal life. In my eyes, I can only continue to grow. — Stephanie Hernandez, assistant account executive at FNA Insurance Services

This song is metaphorically true in every possible perspective as life ought to be lived to the fullest. Life itself is so precious. The song is a poetic and simple reflection of you only live once. — Aaron Lipford, senior associate of people at PSB Insights

It varies depending on the day, but it’s a fun, upbeat song that’s great when I need a little more motivation. Even when I don’t, it’s just fun to listen to throughout the day. — Maria Simmers, senior consultant at Buck

I can’t help but relate to this song every time I hear it. My dad bought a 2005 Dodge Ram the year I turned 16. It ended up being the last year he was legally able to drive due to his treatments and medications. That truck turned into my daily driver for 14 years, and this song lights a fire inside of me whenever I hear it. — Robert Clark, sales vice president at PGT

This song from Disney’s Hercules will always feel relevant to me. Life is a journey, often with winding roads. In the song, Hercules says, “I know every mile will be worth my while.” I have always come away feeling motivated to keep my head high and not give up on my goals, even when they may feel out of reach. — Alexis McWilliams, benefits specialist at Dollar General


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