Here are sample playlists put together from my own (admittedly limited) library, each one "arced" for a particular purpose. Then I asked a few folks who can really pick out a tune to share their sample lists.



It's siesta time. I feel myself lapsing into food coma, eyelids drooping and motivation flagging. Flo Rida's sunny dance beats shake me awake, and LMFAO'sdriving base gets me going. Calvin Harris evens out the energy level, and Cypress Hill's vibrant melodies with Marc Anthony's soaring vocals send my spirits flying.

"Good Feeling" by Flo Rida

"Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO

"Feel So Close" by Calvin Harris

"Armada Latina" by Cypress Hill, featuring Marc Anthony and Pitbull


It takes me a step or two to transition from a ball of stress into lounge mode. "Electric Feel" by MGMT may be high-energy for some, but its otherworldly lyrics and sound transport me far from my troubles. Buffalo Springfield's pensive lyrics bring the energy down, and Nikka Costa's laid-back funk tells me to "take it easy." Then I float away on Zero 7's dreamy cloud of electronica.

"Electric Feel" by MGMT

"For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield

"Like a Feather" by Nikka Costa

"In the Waiting Line" by Zero 7


When I want to push my limits, the Heavy's vengeful driving funk can send me sprinting. Gwen Stefani eggs me on when I start to flag, David Guetta's dance beats set a steady pace — but ultimately, I rely on Daft Punk's relentless house beats to take me into the home stretch.

"How You Like Me Now?" by the Heavy

"What You Waiting For?" by Gwen Stefani

"Memories" by David Guetta, featuring Kid Cudi

"Touch It" by Daft Punk