Listen to this while commuting

Expert insight:

Non-lyrical tracks calm the brain without distracting you from the task at hand, explains study author Vitor Engrácia Valenti, Ph.D., professor at the Center for Autonomic Nervous System Studies at San Paulo State University in Brazil.

He expects you'll get fewer benefits from lyrical songs or from podcasts and audiobooks. The former are more likely to trigger an emotional response while the latter require cognitive effort to follow along.

The bottom line:

Create a playlist with classical music or non-lyrical versions of your favorite songs and cue it up anytime you're driving. (The study participants listened to instrumental riffs on popular tracks by Adele and other contemporary artists.) Choose those with no more than 60 beats per minute, Valenti says, the fastest tempo analyzed in the study.