Over the traffic/holiday season in Atlanta, one of the many sights of stress relief (ironic from the safety implications) to me is seeing other drivers jamming out to their favorite songs in the car; maybe the only thing about driving I could enjoy in this time. Seeing such genuine and joyful reactions to these songs with lyrics pose the existential question, why would anyone ever listen to instrumental music?
To me the answer isn't an obvious one, but one we must consider in our personal growth and learning processes; listening to instrumental music lets us use our brains for metacognition, and be inspired from within our own mental processes. In contrast, music with lyrics very much draws our focus, inspiration, and attention to the lyrical content of the music; which limits our range of inspirational, and self-fulfilling thoughts we can obtain through music, although not usually in a negative way.
Being succinct, when we listen to instrumental music we can draw on, and combine inspirations from anywhere within our own lives, as well as the many images we see every day in modern society. Making it the ideal medium for us to expand our minds, and interject creative thinking into our personal, and professional life situations.