The 7 Best TV Show Soundtracks of All Time

There are so many things that go into making a television show great. Top-notch action sequences, great acting, compelling writing — we could go on and on. But one aspect of television that is often overlooked are the soundtracks.

We discover some of our favorite music from the soundtracks of the shows we love, so we put together a list of the best soundtracks from our favorite TV shows.

Game of Thrones (HBO)

We’ve all heard the theme song, and it’s a total banger along with the rest of the music on the show. The instrumental tracks aren’t necessarily something you’d want to play at a party, but if you’re looking for something to motivate you to do banal daily tasks, we recommend giving Game of Thrones a whirl. It’s one of the best TV show soundtracks if you want to turn doing laundry into an epic adventure.

Empire (FOX)

If you’re looking for more of a modern, hip-hop sound, the Empire soundtrack will be your new go-to. Curated by Timbaland, the show’s tunes feature songs from Jay-Z, Pharrell, Wiz Khalifa, and more major hip-hop artists. The hard-hitting beats are a perfect match for the drama on the show and can provide the perfect soundtrack as you navigate the drama in your own life.

The Leftovers (HBO)

If you want to explore a broad range of genres over the course of one show, The Leftovers has the soundtrack for you. As characters in the show deal with the loss of 2% of the world’s population in a rapture-like event, they are accompanied by an eclectic mix of country, soul, indie, metal, and hip-hop beats. Whether you’re into Flux Pavilion or Willie Nelson, you’ll find something you love in The Leftovers soundtrack.

This is Us (NBC)

In addition to making us cry every week, This is Us gives us one of the best TV show soundtracks every episode. Because the show is jumping around in the characters’ personal timelines every episode, you get some amazing music from today, as well as some tunes from whatever time period you’re revisiting that week. Whether it’s the 70s, the 90s, or today, This is Us has something to spice up your playlists.

The Bold Type (Freeform)

Because The Bold Type is about a group of young, millennial women making their way in the world, the usic skews in that direction. It’s fun, youthful, and pop-y, but it’s also full of new and, unique music from artists you won’t find on the radio. If you’re looking for something to add to your playlist that feels like Top 40 but much cooler, The Bold Type has the tunes for you.

Big Little Lies (HBO)

A soundtrack so good it won an Emmy? Sign us up! HBO’s Big Little Lies takes the TV show soundtrack to the next level by having the characters interact with the tunes. Whether they’re cueing up a song on their phone or dancing to the beat, the soundtrack is a central part of the character’s lives. Expect a wide range of tunes from the likes of Martha Wainwright, The Temptations, and Leon Bridges.

Better Things (FX)

Pamela Adlon’s semi-autobiographical comedy comes paired with a soundtrack of indie tunes that perfectly match the drama unfolding on-screen. The soundtrack is inspired by the music Adlon and her real-life daughters listen to, as well as indie hits curated by the show’s music supervisor. If you love indie rock, the Better Things soundtrack is a necessary addition to your playlists.