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15 Best Songs: To listen to when doing homework

If you’re anything like me, you listen to music pretty much all day long. I always listen to music when I’m doing homework, especially if it’s somewhere on campus so that I can drown out all other noises. The problem is that a lot of music can be distracting when you’re already struggling to stay focused. That’s why I’ve made this list. These are the songs that I’ve found that are least intrusive. Many of them have no lyrics at all. A lot of them also possess a motivational tone that will help keep you from passing out at your computer. Enjoy!

Best 15 Songs: To do homework to

  • Jelly 292 –Jimi Hendrix
  • Ocean –John Butler Trio
  • Lenny –Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Ad Astra Per Aspera –Acceptance
  • Out of My Mind- John Mayer
  • For Martha –Smashing Pumpkins
  • The Birth and Death of the Day –Explosions in the Sky
  • Waltz Into the Moonlight –Tryad
  • Catfish Blues –Jimi Hendrix
  • Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX) –Pink Floyd
  • Guilty Cubicles –Broken Social Scene
  • Canon. –Zox
  • Svefn-G-Englar –Sigur Rós
  • Red-Eye –The Album Leaf
  • Myke Ptsyon –Starfucker

Acacia DiCiaccio can be reached at .

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good music to listen to while doing homework

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Kyleigh • Oct 21, 2022 at 11:49 am

What song should have I listen to not being on this list? What is a good song while doing homework

No_one • Apr 6, 2022 at 1:59 pm

one good song i like to listen to when being productive is Ginger And Lime by spice rack.

A great song to listen to when just sitting at home or in your room doing homework! it has no lyrics but it is a good song to go with anything you are doing. it is also a little short (about two min)

no_onw • Apr 6, 2022 at 1:26 pm

A good go to homework song for me would have to be ginger and lime by spice rack, it has no lyrics but its a good tune to get you in the mood!

enzo florenzo • Oct 18, 2021 at 10:12 pm

i like sunflower by post malone and swae lee

Sol • Jul 14, 2021 at 12:21 pm

I suggest “Everything Moves” by Bronze Radio Return, its stuck in my head!

Kate • May 23, 2021 at 6:11 pm

I recommend Talking to the Moon by Bruno Mars. There’s also this really cool playlist on Spotify called “Weeknd Homwrk.” I listen to it all the time and I follow it. Its really good for doing schoolwork with.

Sky Singer • Mar 11, 2021 at 5:41 pm

I Like -Good Job- by Alicia Keys.

stinkyman124 • Jan 22, 2021 at 8:57 am

i listen to coconut mall

@bruh_itzjoyce on insta • Jan 20, 2021 at 7:27 pm

I would also second blinding lights. I would also recommend Marmar oso. His songs hit deep they also have a nice flow to it. Post Malone as well, and some rnb would be really good for studying. I don’t know what you would listen to but I listen to these when studying or doing homework and *cough cough* I have A’s and B’s…. Might help you or it might not… And if it doesn’t then hope you find something that does 😉 *peace sign*

Trish Hunt • Jun 7, 2020 at 7:19 am

I second Blinding Lights. There is a 10 hour loop version out there.

Used to listen to Around the World by Daft Punk. It also has a 10 hour loop version.

I’ll have to check out the other recommendations.

WWE KID • Mar 25, 2020 at 6:37 pm

I think a Great Song that should go onto that list is “Blinding Lights” by the weeknd

Acacia • Oct 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I would have thought that too, but now Hendrix is pretty much all I listen to while studying. Something about that guitar really helps me focus. Give it a try before you write it off.

Joe S • Oct 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

jimi hendrix would be the last thing I would listen to when studying.

(2023) Best Homework Songs to Listen While Study

homework songs

  • Post author By admin
  • September 21, 2022

Doing homework is a very boring thing.

It is tough to make your mind ready for homework, but staying focused on your homework is the more challenging.

Do you also feel bored while doing your homework?

I do not know about you, but when I was a student, I always started feeling bored and uninterested just by hearing the name of homework.

But then I started using a magical thing that changed my boring homework session to a fun session.

That magical thing is homework songs.

If you do not know about homework songs, then these are the songs that you can hear while doing your homework.

There is no particular category of these types of songs; these are entirely based on your taste in music.

But some music makers create such songs that fulfil the requirements of being a homework song.

In today’s blog, I will suggest many homework songs that you can use as your homework song.

There will be some songs that were produced as homework songs. 

And others will be the songs that are regular songs, but you still can use them as homework songs.

This will be a detailed blog about homework songs, so read it till the end.

Table of Contents

How to Choose a Homework Song?

Before going to the suggestions, let me tell you how to choose a homework song.

In my suggestion list, you will get all types of homework songs. 

Some songs will follow the steps that I will tell you in this topic.

And some will not.

I will do this to increase the number of options for you.

But I designed a checklist that you should check before choosing a homework song.

The first thing you should check is that there should not be lyrics in your homework songs.

Lyrics can distract you from your homework, so always choose the song with no vocals.

If you have a favourite song that has lyrics, you can find its music on the internet. 

You can do this, but I will not suggest this even.

Because if you have a favourite song, then there is very much possibility that you will already know the lyrics.

And when you play the music of that song, then there is a very high possibility that music will change your homework session in a music party.

Because if you know the lyrics and your favourite song music plays, then no one can stop you from singing it.

Relaxing Music

You can select any music genre as your homework song.

But most people suggest that the song you are going to select for homework should be relaxing.

So, your first priority should be a relaxing song. 

A relaxing song will help you relax your mind while doing your homework.

Not just with homework, if you want to do any other work as well and feel stressed; you can use these songs there also.

Below, I shared a complete list of relaxing songs that you can use as homework songs.

It would be best to try to use long mixes of songs for your homework.

There are a lot of 1 to 2 hours (Even longer than this) long mixes that are present on YouTube. 

You can choose them according to yourself.

Sometimes, your homework session can be very long, like 3 to 4 hours. 

In those times, these long mixes will help you a lot.

If you are using these extended mixes, then you do not have to replay or change your song. 

By this, you can focus on your homework more appropriately.

You also can use the loop feature, but these mixes are very well edited, so you get a lot better experience in these mixes.

So, This was a small checklist of 3 points about choosing homework songs.

You should consider these points while choosing a song for your homework.

But, it is not mandatory that you have to follow all these points and only then you can choose a good song.

If you have another song that you think will help you focus on your homework, you can choose that.

I also shared those types of songs in this blog that do not follow these three rules.

Below, you will find a list of songs that follow these rules and the songs that are entirely opposite.

Best Homework Songs For Your Boring Sessions

I hope you understand the above rules that I have shared; I should start my suggestion list now.

These are some of the best songs for homework that everyone suggests; this list is not based on a single category.

You will find different kinds of songs on this list. 

If you want songs category-wise, then you can scroll a little in this blog.

For now, here are some best homework songs.

Most of the songs that I have shared are the instrumental version of the original songs, so all the credits goes to the respected owners of the songs.

Homework Songs With My Checklist

Relaxing songs are the best when you have to do study or homework.

These songs help you relax your mind and increase your concentration and focus.

Moreover, it also helps you to avoid distractions around you.

That’s why I thought to make a different list of just relaxing songs, try to choose a song from this list.

It will help you a lot with your homework. 

If you consider relaxing music boring, then you don’t have to worry.

After this list, you will find some fun and sad homework songs as well.

But for now, here is the list of some best relaxing songs that you can use for homework songs.

Best Relaxing Songs For Homework

Relaxing songs are the best, when you have to do study or homework.

These songs help you to relax your mind and to increase your concentration and focus.

Best Fun Songs For Homework

This was one of the most challenging lists to select.

Fun songs that are also for homework; It was a pretty challenging task.

But after some research, I have selected some songs that are fun and you can use them for homework.

Some of these songs have Lyrics. 

That’s why before choosing a song from this list, think for some time.

I will suggest you test every song from this list and then decide which song works better for you.

1. Life ain’t fair music

There are two versions of this song, one with lyrics and one without lyrics.

Its version without lyrics is just on another level; it gives me chills every time I hear it.

Its beats drops are just crazy and fire.

If you watch TikTok or Instagram reels, then I am sure you have heard it.

You can use this song as your homework song. It is a good song, no matter how much time you listen to it, you never get bored.

One problem about this song is that its without lyrics version is not available on Spotify.

But you can hear it from YouTube, just type “life ain’t fair,” and this song will be in front of you.

You can put this song on loop and can do your homework.

2. Fairytale (Alexander Rybak)

If you like the violin, then this song is for you, and if you do not like it, then this song will make you love the violin.

This song has lyrics, but its music is so great that you will find thousands of without lyrics versions of this song.

The music of this song will give you another level of excitement.

You can use this song while doing your homework, but keep one thing in mind, don’t start vibing with this song.

Because it will make you vibe, and then you will get distracted.

3. NF – The Search (Bass Boosted)

“The beat drop of this song slaps harder than my dad’s belt” I had read this line from this song comment section.

And it is entirely correct; this song just fills another level of energy.

I first heard that song on social media, and I liked it so much that I searched for it on YouTube.

It took some time to find this song as I did not know the song’s name, but then I finally found it.

The name of the official song is NF – The Search, and it is available on the NFrealmusic YouTube channel. 

It is a good song, but its bass boosted version makes it much better.

You can choose this song for your homework, but one problem with this song is that it has Lyrics.

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So, this was the blog about some best homework songs.

I hope you liked it and this was helpful for you to find some good songs that you can play while doing your homework.

If you have any other song suggestions on this topic, let me know in the comment section, it will be very helpful.

Moreover, let me know which song you will try from this blog.

So, this is the end of the blog; I hope you liked it; stay connected for more fantastic content.

What are some good songs to listen to while doing homework?

These are some good songs to listen while doing homework -: 1. Ad Astra Per Aspera –Acceptance. 2. For Martha –Smashing Pumpkins. 3. Out of My Mind- John Mayer. 4. Waltz Into the Moonlight –Tryad. 5. The Birth and Death of the Day –Explosions in the Sky.

What music helps you focus on homework?

The music which is relaxing and does not have lyrics help you to focus on homework, relaxing music relaxes your mind and because it does not have any lyrics you will not get distracted.

What is the TikTok song that helps you do homework?

There are many TikTok songs which music can help you to do your homework -: 1. Laxed (SIREN BEAT) 2. Hey Mama 3. Roses(Imanbek Remix) 4. Aesthetic by Xilo 5. Drivers license by Olivia Rodrigo

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October 2021

Best Study Playlists - Study Music, Focus Music

Arizona Online

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Everybody has their own routine for how to study for exams, do homework, read or focus on a particular task. Listening to a study playlist is a great way to center your attention and lift your mood. Listening to music can also reduce stress, which is a plus when it comes to balancing a busy schedule of work, school and family!

Music Therapy has proven that you can process a wide range of emotions from excitement to thoughtfulness depending on what type of music you listen to. When we’re studying, we’re probably aiming for thoughtfulness. Research has also shown music has the potential to boost memory, which can be a huge plus.  However, complex and distracting music might not be the way to go when choosing the right studying playlist for you.

We have found that the best genres of music to listen to while studying, reading or writing include minimalist, classical, piano and low-fi music. We’ve compiled some of the best lyric-free playlists that will act as brain food while keeping your attention on your studies so you can ace that test and earn that A.

Best Study Playlists on Spotify

This more than 24-hour playlist is full of piano and classical songs to help you focus.

Lofi Girl curates some of the most relaxing and engaging playlists. Her use of lo-fi tracks mixed with ambient pieces will keep you relaxed but never bored.

This playlist is all instrumental all the time!

Best Youtube Study Playlists

This is a deep-focus playlist so you know you’ll finish what you need to get done!

This Bossa Nova & Jazz playlist is a MOOD. It will transport you to a lovely cafe, on a rainy day.

This extra ambient playlist describes itself as “brain power, focus concentration music.” You’ll feel like you’re in a sound bath.

Music is just one way to improve your mental health. See more tips on how to improve your mental health as an online student.

* Arizona Online does not endorse playlist creators. Music is not guaranteed to boost academic performance.

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good music to listen to while doing homework

4 best music for homework that’ll dramatically improve your productivity

music for homework

Choosing the right music for homework can help you focus better and learn faster.

Around 60% of students tend to listen to music while studying. Researchers also found that listening to music was the most popular side activity for teens who juggled studying with another task.

While we may prefer different genres of focus music, we can all agree that the right playlist has the magical ability to boost concentration.

This is because music activates the most diverse networks of the human brain. It’s been proven that people with ADHD focus better with the right music.

This is on top of  existing research  that has found listening to music reduces anxiety, blood pressure, and improves sleep quality, mood, and memory.

Johns Hopkins University researchers have done work on jazz performers improvising inside an fMRI machine to see which areas of the brain light up as well.

They found that jazz musicians make unique improvisations by turning off inhibition and turning up creativity.

In short, if you find the right music for homework, you can elevate both brain power and creativity.

While there isn’t a one-size-fit-all approach to this, let us help you narrow down some of the best genres for you to try:

Here are the five best music for homework to help you increase your productivity:

music for homework

Having the right music matters, even for top athletes. Source: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

1. Classical music

When picking music for homework, you’ve probably heard how classical music can increase your focus when studying.

There’s a theory dubbed “The Mozart Effect” that suggests this genre of music can enhance brain activity and arouse your brain to focus.

There are also several studies done where students listening to classical music did better on quizzes than students with no music.


  • ClassicFM  (a free radio streaming platform that plays famous classical pieces)
  • “Study Playlist: Classical Music” on Spotify
  • “Classical Music for When You’re on a Deadline” on YouTube

2. Video game music 

This might surprise you but video game music is actually one of the best music for homework. According to Orion Academy , video game music is designed to keep you absorbed and focused — which is also great for memorising. 

When your brain is focused on just melody, it’s taking a break from trying to break down the lyrics of a song and thus increases your performance .

Video game music tends to stay at a relatively low, constant volume too, preventing you from becoming distracted by sudden increases in volume.

Since video game music is generally fast-paced, your brain will be constantly engaged in the task at hand.

  • “Video game soundtracks” on Spotify
  • “Video game music for studying” on YouTube
  • Choose favourites from this list and create your own playlist!

If you’re someone who easily gets distracted, RnB may not be the best music for homework for you. There’s a high chance that you might spend too much time jamming to the lyrics of the song instead of focusing.

Though music under his genre generally has lyrics, many RnB fans reported feeling more relaxed, focused, and less stressed, which may have a positive impact on their ability to focus and learn.

  • “Study R&B Smooth Songs ” on Spotify
  • “Chill R&B Beats Mix – Beats to Relax and Study (Vol.1)” on YouTube

4. Nature sounds 

It’s been shown that nature sounds relax our nervous system. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  have also discovered that natural sounds boost moods and focus.

The study found employees were more productive and had more positive feelings when nature sounds were playing in the background while they worked.

Nature sounds include the soothing sounds of the rain, ocean waves on the beach or even the jungle. Some prefer listening to bird calls and animal noises, so feel free to explore if nature sounds aren’t the right music for homework for you. 

Relaxing Nature Sounds for Sleeping – Natural Calm Forest Waterfall Music Meditation Sound for Study on YouTube

“Nature Sounds For Concentration” on Spotify

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Open Colleges

Our Best Ever Study Playlist

Sometimes studying can feel a bit isolating. At Open Colleges, we encourage our students to connect with each other in the Open Space Community. We also offer Academic and Student Support when you need help and encouragement.

For many students, the best study company is music.   Background music may improve focus on a task by providing motivation and improving your mood. During long study sessions, music can even aid endurance. Plus, it can really help to combat stress and anxiety.

Here are our picks for the best study playlists on YouTube.

Ready? Simply scroll down, find a playlist you like, and start studying!

good music to listen to while doing homework

For Disney fans

This relaxing piano collection is   a huge treat for Disney fans!   Featuring 19 songs from feature films, this beautiful playlist will fill you with peace and nostalgia. With songs from Moana, The Little Mermaid, Winne the Pooh, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Coco, this playlist is sure to calm you down and give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. Be sure to check out our favorite: When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2.

Indie and Folk Music

This chill playlist covers 3 hours of guitar-led folk and indie music. If you’re settling down for a longer study session, this playlist is the perfect choice if you find singing distracting. Perfect for stress-free studying or cruising down the backroads of town, this playlist has it all.

Check it out here!

Instrumental Rock

If you’re more into the sound of guitars and drums, you’ll enjoy this instrumental rock compilation. Easy to listen to and evoking memories of classic rocks greatest songs, this is the ideal playlist if you love the sound of older rock and roll. Featuring acoustic covers of Queen, Bon Jovi, Arctic Monkeys, Evanescence, Linkin Park, Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses,   this rock playlist is sure to get the brain and blood pumping!

Hip Hop Fans: Low Fi Hip Hop

If you’re a fan of   relaxing hip-hop , you’ll enjoy this playlist. Slip into a calm mood with these chilled out beats. The title is called: 1am Study session, and that’s exactly how it feels. Perfect for those late-night study sessions and endless cups of hot tea and coffee to keep you going.

Smooth Jazz

Welcome to the study café! This playlist features 4 hours of soothing and upbeat Jazz music. It’s the perfect background noise for a good study session and it’s sure to keep you   calm and focused.    

Calming Piano Music

The piano is one of the world’s most beautiful instruments – beloved by everyone from classical composers to modern rock stars. It’s capable of incredible range and variation, think ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ compared to Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’. This hour-long playlist is composed by Peder B. Helland, and is soft, gentle piano music that will   help you relax while studying.    

Classical: The best music for concentration

As far as concentration goes, science dictates that classical music is the best for studying. This calming playlist is 3 hours long and features some of the most famous and brilliant piano sonatas by Mozart. It’s perfect   for studying, concentration and reading. 

Set it to play and start studying!

Ambient study music

This ambient study music is a great way to   improve your concentration, focus and memory.    

This relaxing video features beautiful nature clips set to soothing music. Plus, the YouTube comments on this video are motivating and supportive, and a great reminder to keep pushing forward. We particularly love this comment:

To anyone struggling: You’re stronger than any test, paper due, breakup, money issue, or any battle you’re facing. Keep your head up.

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Music for the mind: best songs to add to homework playlist.

Grace Turney , Reporter Feb 2, 2023 5 Comments

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Art by Sophia Zhao

Homework is something every high school student has, no matter how much they wish they didn’t. However, music makes completing this work a little bit better.

The last thing I want to do after an exhausting day of school is homework. I start a list of assignments at six, confined to the same cream-colored chair in my dining room until ten at the earliest. Five HADV classes, as well as AP World History, contribute to a list of assignments that awaits its completion. I’d like to tell you that there’s a fantasy where we could relax with our favorite shows on Netflix or hang out with friends after school. But, let’s face it: homework is not going away any time soon. To make it a little better, here are some of my favorite music to listen to during that dreaded homework time we all know so well, whether it’s solving an algebra problem or taking notes for the next WHAP quiz.

Soundtrack from “Hamilton: An American Musical”

This is on the top of the list for a reason. The variety of songs – with anything from rap to R&B – makes it the perfect remedy to homework boredom. Songs like “Alexander Hamilton” and “Guns and Ships” are very fast-paced, sure to motivate and energize for the long night to come. One of my personal favorites “Dear Theodosia” is more relaxed. What makes this soundtrack even better is the uniquely crafted lyrics that offer some comedic moments within the song. This appears in “What’d I Miss” and “You’ll Be Back.” The soundtrack is more than two hours long, so simply hit play and you’re good for a while. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming along to the irresistible tunes while solving math problems.

Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR” Album

These songs are SO. Good. There was a time when everyone was listening to this album. The songs got overplayed, if you know what I mean. But they really deserve a second chance. With its lively and passionately performed lyrics, the songs are never going to fail to make engaging in homework a bit easier. Plus, Olivia Rodrigo was only 17 when “SOUR” came out, the same age as many high schoolers, which ensures that the songs will please and satisfy anyone with the same taste in music as the majority of teenagers today. So don’t forget this album the next time you sit down to do homework. Maybe there will even be a few karaoke breaks in between assignments.

Songs from Disney

I love Disney songs so much. They’re just so fun and lighthearted. Even while doing homework, I can’t help but be in a good mood because of the uplifting mood of these songs. It’s such a big genre too; there’s bound to be something for everyone – Disney fan or not. Listening to this while doing homework helps me get it done faster because I’m following the upbeat rhythm of the songs. If Disney is unfamiliar territory, some of my favorite songs are “Under the Sea,” “Almost There” and “The Family Madrigal.” But really, you can’t go wrong with any Disney song. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired to watch a late-night Disney movie to relieve stress after homework.

Anson Seabra’s “Feeling For My Life” Album

Anson Seabra is one of my favorite artists, but he also seems to be one of the most underrated artists. I strongly recommend all of his music, especially this album. His songs all give off the same vibe: very chill and soothing and calm. They are all relatively slow. There’s just something about this combination that’s just perfect for completing homework assignments. It could be that the tranquil, gentle feeling of the album is very undistracting and always puts me in a focused, productive mindset. The songs are very long-lasting, though, so you’ll find them stuck in your head even after you’re done with homework for the night.

Anything by Taylor Swift

It’s probably no surprise to you that I included Taylor Swift on this list. She’s one of the most popular artists right now and one of the most talented songwriters ever. Her songs are the best to jam out to during lengthy homework sessions, partly because even after listening to a song once, the lyrics seem to be already glued in your brain. Especially with her new “Midnights” album, there’s a wide selection of her songs to please fans of any genre, from country to pop. If you need suggestions, my top listens are “Love Story” and “All Too Well.” Trust me – it’s worth your time.

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“As it was, as it will be always” was a quote given by Kaegan Benson’s character: Nameless. In this picture you can see Mesto (left) and Nameless (top right) reaching godhood, Nosca and Vanya riding on a horse from battle and Q and Flynn watching the sunset in a different dimension.

An experience we will never forget

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Irene Zheng • Feb 22, 2023 at 10:24 pm

Definitely adding these songs to my playlist!

Hanh Nguyen • Feb 22, 2023 at 8:49 pm

I love all the recommendation especially the Hamilton soundtrack and Disney Songs.

Ella • Feb 22, 2023 at 2:13 pm

this is a great idea!

Heldana Y • Feb 4, 2023 at 12:41 am

Aww, I love this!

Audrey Han • Feb 2, 2023 at 9:35 pm

The recommendations are so on point (:

The best music to listen to while you work or study

They say classical music makes the best study tunes, but are we really limited to Bach and Mozart?


You've probably heard that classical music is good for studying, taking tests and doing creative work. This idea stems from the " Mozart Effect ," a term coined in 1993 when scientists discovered that listening to Mozart's Sonata for 10 minutes resulted in better spatial reasoning skills -- a particular type of intelligence that involves visualizing and manipulating images in your brain. 

The findings in that 1993 study got blown out of proportion, however, and classical music became synonymous with intelligence: so synonymous, in fact, that in 1998, then-Governor of Georgia Zell Miller proposed sending a classical cassette tape to every baby born in the state, free of charge, so that the babies would become smart. 

Even though the Mozart Effect has been more or less debunked in the time since, some experts still argue that music can offer other benefits to our brains -- namely, concentration and productivity. 

Read more: How to create the best exercise playlist for better workouts


How can music help us focus?

Consider these few reasons why music might help you plow through your to-do list: 

Elicits positive emotions: People tend to be more productive and efficient when happy ( recent research confirms this ), and the right kind of music can put a little pep in your step. People who listen to music, in fact, may be happier overall than people who don't listen to music.

Makes you feel upbeat: Sometimes, work and life just feel drab. If you've been feeling bored, a happy tune can make lackluster tasks seem more appealing. 

Drowns out other noise: If you've ever worked in a coffee shop or an office with an open floor plan, you've probably been driven up the wall by the sounds of someone sniffling or shuffling their feet. Listening to music, particularly through a good pair of headphones , can drown out distracting noises.

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If you can't stand the sounds of your work environment, use music to drown them out. 

Can music really make you more productive?

Research on music for productivity is inconclusive, to say the least. Some studies show that background music can improve your episodic memory and overall cognitive performance , yet other research suggests that background music can actually be a detriment to your ability to focus and learn . Still others say that it has no effect one way or another .

There are factors that affect whether background music works, too: Some research suggests that background music needs to be free of lyrics in order to promote productivity ; other studies say simply that whether music aids in concentrating depends on how much a worker likes or dislikes the music . 

Note that the studies discussed in this section measure something different than the aforementioned Mozart Effect. While the Mozart Effect measures the ability of music to enhance intelligence after the music stops playing, research on music for productivity investigates background music, or music that plays while your attention is primarily on something else (your work).

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What kind of music helps us focus? 

With the fact that there's no real scientific consensus in mind, it's worth looking at the handful of research studies on different types of music and their ability to aid in concentration.

Classical music

Despite the muting of the Mozart Effect, some research still suggests that classical music can help people learn and focus (just not as impressively so as the 1990s would have you believe). For example, one study found that college students who listened to classical music during lecture learned more than those who listened to the same lecture without classical music. Some research suggests, however, that classical (or any type of complex) music is best when performing simple tasks , rather than complicated ones.

Ambient music

Ambient music is a style of gentle, tone-based music that utilizes ambient sounds like the hum of an air conditioner or the buzz of TV static. Ambient music often lacks a true beat, usually doesn't have lyrics, and ends up blending into the preexisting background noise -- this is why ambient sounds like white noise are often used at sleep aids . 

In terms of focus and productivity, one study found that white noise can help people with ADHD ignore noisy environments and perform tasks with more efficiency. There's still a lot of work to do, however, when it comes to understanding when ambient noise helps and when it doesn't , according to recent research from the University of Alberta.

Nature sounds

We already know that spending time in nature is good for our physical health. It turns out that listening to nature sounds, even when trapped in an office, can boost your mood and promote deep focus . Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York found that soothing nature sounds, such as rainfall, can mask intrusive sounds and help workers stay on task. 

This Nature Sounds playlist on Spotify has more than one million monthly listeners, a good indication that the playlist works for something, be it relaxation, sleep or focus. 

Test your music system with these great rock tracks


What type of music to avoid

Just as particular styles of music can help you focus and get things done, other styles can sabotage your efforts no matter how strong your work ethic. There's no research that explicitly compares the effects of different types of music on productivity, but most people can probably agree that it's best to avoid distracting styles, such as dubstep music and heavy metal, while working. 

Truly, though, it all comes down to personal preference. And it's not as if experimenting with background music can really hurt -- we're talking about music here, not whether a food additive is safe or not . The worst outcome is a slow day at work and perhaps a bit of scolding from your boss. 

You should know yourself well enough to understand what types of music and sounds help you focus, and which ones don't. If you find yourself struggling to focus with '80s classic rock in the background, maybe it's a good idea to turn off the Guns N' Roses and switch to something with less electric guitar.  

It's worth experimenting to find out what kind of music helps you focus. I personally can't listen to any music, regardless of style or tempo, that has lyrics. I've tried and tried and failed. I just get too caught up in the words and can't concentrate on the task at hand.

Instead, I've found that I focus much better when listening to soft electronic music or nature sounds (particularly rain and waterfalls). Some of my most productive days have been the result of simply switching on a floor fan to block out distracting noises. 

In the end, as with all things, do what works best for you.   

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