How to use the power of music for creativity

how to use the power of music for creativity blog book extract

{ Book extract from Tonics For Your Creative Spirit }

Music: A Creative Tool

Have you ever heard a song from your past that’s stopped you in your tracks, and you’re immediately back at that time in your life when that song really got into your head and your heart?

Music is powerful – it can instantly trigger our long-forgotten memories.

Music can uplift us and comfort us, it can calm us or energise us.

Music can connect to us on a soul level, in ways we don’t even understand.

The German poet and author Berthed Auerbach wrote one of the most eloquent odes to the power of music in his famous quote:

“Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.”

But not only can music soothe weary spirits, it can also inspire and revitalise us.

And with a little attention, we can harness the power of music to help in our creative lives.

Music for creativity

Research often shows that classical music is particularly calming, uplifting and beneficial for creativity.

But the truth is that classical music, like any other type of music, doesn’t have the same effect on everyone.

For example, I love to listen to classical music in the car, I find it relaxing.

However, my teenage sons find it annoying. They’re much happier listening to the latest rapper, at high volume. (Which I find less relaxing.)

Music affects us all in different ways.

Even within genres, the range of styles and varieties is vast, and our preferences can vary greatly. Even your own favourites will have different effects on your energy and mood – and your creativity.

The key to using music as a creative tool is to know how music affects you; to know what soothes and calms you, and what uplifts, inspires and energises you.

So the first step to harnessing the power of music in your creative life is to do a little investigating…

Tune in

Tune into how you’re feeling and what you believe you most need. (This in itself is a way of connecting with your inner world, the realm of your creative self.)

So, what do you need? What is your soul craving? What do you feel drawn to?

Do you need more energy? Do you need to calm your mind? Do you need inspiration or fresh ideas?

When you understand what you need, the next step is to seek out and identify the music that has that particular effect on you.

• • • 

“Music… gives a soul to the Universe,
wings to the mind, flight to the imagination,
a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything.

It is the essence of order,
and leads to all that is good
and just and beautiful.

~ Plato

 Music for calm

 When we’re feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or fearful, we’re unlikely to be at our most receptive to creative new ideas and insights.

To invite creativity, we first need to restore a degree of mental or emotional calm, and music can really help with this. Music connects directly with our soul, bypassing busy minds that can get stuck in overthinking.

So, for more calm (and the access to creativity that follows), seek out the music that relaxes you, music that slows your breathing and stills your mind. Think of the kind of music you’d hear in a spa or a relaxing wine bar – gentle, chilled-out tunes that instantly calm and soothe you, no effort required.

When you find the music that has this effect on you, create a playlist of your favourites so you have a go-to remedy for calm whenever you feel you need it.

It may sound too simple to be effective, but the right collection of calming music can be a quick and powerful way to restore your access to your innate creativity and receive the inspiration you need.

music for calm rudding park spa cloud corridor

Music for flow

Music can also be helpful for those times when you’re already inspired – you’re in the zone, working well and happily on your projects.

Even though there’s less need for music when you’re already feeling creative and connected to inspiration, there are types of music that can deepen and prolong this wonderful flow state.

In neuroscience, the flow state is associated with alpha brain waves, when we are relaxed but alert, conscious but in a kind of ‘creative trance’.

Some music is a perfect match for these frequencies and you can now get music designed especially for this purpose. A quick search online or in a streaming music provider will reveal hundreds of albums designed for concentration or that muse-friendly alpha-state.

(I find my yoga music is also perfect for writing – they seem to be similar mental states.)

You may find that music without lyrics helps you to concentrate, or maybe some lyrics inspire your own creative expression.

Again, create a playlist of your favourite flow-state tunes that you can play to boost your creativity whenever you want to stay in or get into your zone.

As an extra bonus, when you regularly begin your creative session with a certain tune or type of music, you’re also training your brain to get into Create Mode. This sends a powerful message to your subconscious mind that it’s time to be creative.

music for flow creativity blog cafe notepad

Music for energy

And finally, for those times when you’re calm and full of ideas but you just don’t have the energy to do anything about them – music can help you here, too. The right songs or tunes can be an instant energy boost.

Again, we all respond differently, so you may need to research the ones that work the best for you, but we all have certain songs that immediately give us a lift, helping us shake off weariness and revive flagging spirits.

Begin to notice which songs have a positive effect on you, which songs make you want to move in your seat or even get up and dance.

Create a playlist of your power tunes and set the intention to turn to these when you want a quick boost of restorative and uplifting energy.

Creative success is often just a product of spending more time practicing your art, so if you know how to restore your energy when you need to, you’ll naturally enjoy more productivity and creative output.

Also, expression itself can be extremely energising. So if you master the art of quickly getting into your creative zones, you’ll enjoy even more of the benefits.

Music for energy creativity blog danielle raine book extract

“If there is one thing that is constant in this world,

it is the power of music.”

~ Josh Groban

• • • 

So, these are my two recommended strategies for using the power of music for creativity;

1. Tuning into what you need. (Ie, calm, flow or energy.)

2. Having remedies ready.

These simple steps can provide an inexpensive, fast-acting and powerful tool to help you feel more inspired or to make the most of your precious creative time.

With just a little awareness, intention and planning, you can harness the magic of music to support your creative energies and help you find your flow.

danielle raine creativity coach writer designer
danielle raine creativity coach

PS If you’d like more practical, doable and holistic tips for creative living, I compiled some of my most popular blog posts in my new book, Tonic For Your Creative Spirit. 

It’s packed with self-coaching techniques and helpful insights – kind of like a field guide for creatives who value health, happiness and fulfilment. 

You can get more details and a free sample chapter here. 

Hi! I'm Danielle.

creative coach danielle raine

creative coach danielle raine l



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This post is an extract from The Book of The Blog…

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