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Avoiding road rage could be as simple as changing the radio station

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Keeping calm behind the wheel has as lot to do with what you're listening to while you drive. (KTRK)

Road rage is way too common on Houston freeways. But the morning gridlock got us thinking: What's the best thing to listen to, to stay calm behind the wheel?

A study last fall found Houston drivers are the sixth most stressed commuters in the country.

Ty David Lerman, a licensed counselor in West Houston, has some tips for keeping your cool while you drive.

First thing's first, get a good night's sleep.

"Make sure you aren't rolling out of bed, running late," Lerman said.

Once you're in the car, Lerman suggests avoiding anything charged emotionally or energetically, like music with heavy beats.

"That probably is not the best time. I'm a fan of Metallica but not during rush hour," he said.

Number 2 on our list: Try something slower paced like jazz or classical.

Several viewers said country music helps them.

"It's just fun to listen to, some of the songs are really cute."

RELATED: Road rage: What you're doing to trigger it

Number 3: Try podcasts. But Lerman advises against political podcasts.

"Politics is in the news all day, every day. We're going to get upset," he said.

Number 4: Lerman suggests free apps like The Calm App.

The soothing soundtracks are about an hour long, perfect for the average Houston commute of 51 minutes.

"This morning I-10 was a wreck, so I plugged in the app as I was driving in," he said.

Finally, try self-help audio books.

Two of Lerman's picks: Brene Brown and Tony Robbins.

The bottom line is the morning drive is your last chance to center yourself.

"That's the last time before you engage in the world."

A quick survey of our newsroom found many people here said they like religious music, country music or podcasts, especially foreign language podcasts that engage critical thinking.

RELATED: Are you causing road rage? Take the quiz

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travelroad ragemusicradiopodcastHouston
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