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A photographic image of two women smiling in the front seats of a car. The passenger is white and has long blond hair and is wearing a white blouse, the driver is black and has long dark hair.

Who drives the world? The power playlist for women on the road

4 minute read

What is a road trip, or your daily drive to the office without music? For so many of us, music and driving go hand in hand and the power of a great playlist can’t be underestimated. In honor of International Women’s Day, we have created an uplifting playlist for women on the road. In this article, we look at the power of a great playlist and share the songs with you. Get ready to drive the world, your way.

Imagine you’re driving alone on the open road. It’s just you, your car, and one killer playlist playing through the speakers. Do you drum on your steering wheel? Belt out the song with the windows down? Or hum along to the songs because you don’t know the words?

Whatever your style, the freeing nature of driving combined with great music can be intoxicating. It can sometimes even make you feel like you’re transported into another world. A good playlist has the power to change your mood and help you relax. But did you know that music also plays a role in your driving — neurologically?

An illustration of a woman with red hair driving along in her car at night. She is wearing red lipstick and a black top with white spots on it and a white collar. She has both of her hands on the steering wheel. The view out of the side window shows numerous neon signs from the downtown area of a city.

The magical flow state

Music can help you to feel like you’re really ‘in the zone’ while you’re driving. This feeling is called the flow state.  According to Headspace this is that moment in time where you are entirely focused on something beyond the point of distraction.

You might have experienced the flow state when reading a book, while writing in your journal, or while gardening. Time seems to stop for a while, and you become completely immersed in whatever it is you’re doing.

A photographic image of a woman in a colorful striped t-shirt smiling with both hands on the steering wheel and driving her car.

The neuroscience of the flow state

So, why do we experience flow states and what are they? In essence, the flow state is meant to help us reach the peak performance. This is because, in this state, every action, and every decision we make leads seamlessly to the next without us having to really think about it. It is by tapping into this flow that top athletes, musicians, and chess players can perform at their very best.

Scientists started looking at the flow state back in the 1900s. Harvard’s William James explored the various ways the brain can alter consciousness to improve performance which led physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon to discover a link between mind and body — the fight-or-flight response — that helped explain this enhanced performance.

Although there was a lot of early interest in the flow state, it has been difficult to pin down exactly why it occurs, especially since the brain is so complex. However, scientists have made a huge amount of progress in recent years.

It is now known that the flow state is activated by an active change in the brain. As we increase our attention on a specific task, our brains swap out our slower and more energy draining extrinsic system, for the more efficient processing of our intrinsic or subconscious system. In the flow state, not only does it feel like you go inside your own mind, but this is also exactly what’s happening, neurobiologically.

A photographic image of two women sitting in the front seats of a car. The woman on the left had long brunette hair and is wearing a denim shirt and sunglasses on her head. She is taking a photo of the woman who is driving and smiling. The woman on the right is wearing a colorful striped t-shirt and is smiling and has her hand on the steering wheel.

The flow state and driving

A good playlist can help you achieve a flow state while driving, and can lead to more focus on the road, and that’s why we’ve created our “Who drives the world?” playlist for International Women’s Day.

Listening to music reduces anxiety, blood pressure, and pain and can improve your mood, mental alertness, and memory. The songs in this playlist have all been selected to help you take control of the wheel and enjoy your drive, wherever it takes you.

With sing-along hits like “Good as Hell” from Lizzo, “Flowers” from Miley Cyrus and “Jaguar” from Victoria Monét, you can make your next drive one to remember. We guarantee that you and your (girl)friends will enjoy the mix of genres and songs from female artists from around the world. It’s time for you to put the playlist on, get into the flow state and enjoy the journey – however long or short.

You will also have noticed the bold illustrations throughout this article and in the cover art on Spotify. These fresh and colorful illustrations of female drivers have been created by Qianhui Yu an animator and Illustrator based in the UK. You can check out the rest of her work on her Instagram channel.

An illustration of a woman’s reflection in the wing mirror of her car. She has black, short dark hair and she is wearing red pendant earrings and a white blouse with brown spots on it. In front of her car is a blue afternoon sky and white crescent moon, behind her the sky is purple and the sun is setting.

International Women’s Day is a day of celebration. On this day, we celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world, and we invite you to do the same. We can think of no better way to embrace the day than to put our playlist on, sing along, and show the world who is driving. Enjoy!

An illustration of a woman of Asian heritage as seen through the windscreen of her car. Her long dark hair is blowing in the wind, she has both hands on the steering wheel and she is wearing a pink blouse with a square neckline, a long beaded, red nail varnish and red lipstick.

Here at Hyundai, we’re on a mission to make mobility solutions that work for everyone. Follow Hyundai's Instagram(@hyundai) to discover more songs and artwork and find out how our cars are evolving for tomorrow.


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