My mother passed away a few weeks ago. I would listen to music on a small ipod at the gym as a diversion while working out. Although I listened to music in the car, I have changed and know listen to speakers on various topics to avoid listening to music. I would like your opinion on whether listening to music at the gym is appropriate since I am really not listening for enjoyment.
hamakom Yinachem Eschem Btoch shar aveilei tzion v’yerushalayim
The reason you are listening to the music as you stated is essentially because it is a pleasurable way to pass the time. This would be included in the minhag that an avel doesn’t listen to music. It would be helpful for you to listen to speakers, like you do when you are driving. Besides for acting according to halacha, the torah that is learnt from the speeches will be a zechus for your mothers neshoma.