Music and Driving: a Match Made for Finding My Happy Place

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One of the things I love about music is how it interprets my mood. Some days, I am in the mood for a deep-diving podcast, while other days the tunes from Miles Davis’ trumpet calm me as I absorb kilometer after kilometer, completely at ease. At other times, Mark Knopfler fingerpicking the Stratocaster is just what fits the bill. Sometimes, I quietly listen to my choice of music, and other times, I share it with my surroundings, even with the windows closed.

If you are of my generation, you are probably familiar with the movie “Happy Gilmore” and the term “happy place”. Well, behind the wheel of my car, is my happy place. I love driving, and as much as I do it for commuting and convenience, I equally enjoy it for fun. It is a free space, where I can be awake and alert, let my senses and emotions take over, and let my thoughts run free as I shift up and down through the gears while listening to my favorite music.
It is almost therapeutic, isn’t it?

Listening to music in the car is an important part of my free space. Surveys have shown that most people, regardless of gender, find driving music very important. However, there is a big difference in how we use this music. Women use it mostly to uplift their mood, whereas men use it as a way to wind down and recharge.

During my daily commute, it mostly depends on my mood whether it is my “Driving Music” playlist or a podcast. However, at the end of it all, music and the joy of driving are inextricably linked together. A certain song can trigger the urge to get behind the steering wheel and blast down the Autobahn or daydream myself away to the Dolomites. It’s a sort of Proustian moment if you will, but with music.

Those long high-speed bends on the Autobahn around Kassel, “Freie Fahrt,” sun is shining, Mark Knopfler’s closing guitar solo in “Sultans of swing,” two clicks on the left paddle shifter as the car in front of me gets out of the way, and I let it stretch – few things can beat that.

Music is individual, but here are my top 5 picks from my “Driving Music” playlist:

Dire Straits – “Sultans of swing”
Coldplay – “Higher Power”
Bruce Springsteen – “Dancing in the dark”
The Outfield – “Your Love”
Kenny Loggins – “Playing with the boys”

And the joker (and my personal guilty pleasure):

Helene Fischer – “Blitz”

Enjoy! And drive safe…

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