Listening to music helps you focus and be more productive, according to many studies. The prevailing logic behind this is that music improves your mood; when we are satisfied, we get more done. But finding suitable tunes to listen to can be time consuming. Moreover, not everyone finds the same kind of music motivating.
We’ve rounded up some great websites and services that offer music to boost your productivity, and most of them are completely free. We also took into account different music tastes. Choose your favorite service, click play and get the job done.
Despite the funny website name, you don’t have to be a programmer to enjoy the music here. Music For Programming includes a series of mixes “to focus the brain and inspire the mind.” Instead of offering music as throwaway background noise, the site wants the music to flood you.
With 64 mixes available, providing over 46 hours of free listening material, there’s plenty to stir your emotions and keep you focused. The charmingly low-fi and distraction-free website is the icing on the cake.
If the sounds of nature are more your thing, Calmsound is perfect for you. This site offers hours of soundscapes: an enchanted forest, Antarctic wind, ocean sounds and more. Granted, it’s not the prettiest website in the world, but it’s the music that matters.
While the website allows you to play these mixes in your browser for free, they are also available to stream from music services such as Spotify and iTunes. You can also pay to receive an MP3 download, if you crave a permanent offline copy.
[email protected] offers “scientifically optimized music” designed to alleviate distractions such as noisy colleagues or smartphones. It apparently helps you stay focused for up to 100 minutes as the music changes dynamically based on your behavior.
Created by scientists, musicologists, and producers, [email protected] has thousands of hours of unique songs created purely for productivity, not entertainment.
Unfortunately it is not free. While you can sign up for a one-week trial, you’ll have to pay after that. Plans start at $7.49/month.
Spotify, the streaming service that has transformed the music industry, is bursting with music you could listen to in your life. Sure, you can use Spotify to listen to your favorite artists and albums, if that’s what keeps you productive.
But you should also check out Spotify’s playlists designed to keep you focused. These playlists are curated by Spotify and users and are frequently updated to keep them current. You can search for playlists on Spotify itself and use sites to discover Spotify playlists.
Spotify is free if you’re willing to put up with ads. Otherwise, you can pay a monthly subscription for a smoother experience.
Video game soundtracks are perfect for listening to while working: evocative and stimulating, but without disrupting your concentration. There are plenty of video game music radio websites, but one of the best is Rainwave.
Rainwave lets you choose from several stations, such as fan-made covers of game music or chiptune tracks from older systems, or you can play everything the site has to offer.
When you sign up for an account, you can vote for the next song, rate songs, add them to your library, and more. Best of all? It doesn’t cost a cent.
YouTube is a video service, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to find music to boost your productivity. YouTube even has lots of calming streams to help you focus. Perhaps none is more famous than Lofi Girl, an endless stream that focuses on chill hip-hop beats.
Considering that tens of thousands of people are listening to the stream at the same time, it must be doing something right. If a particular song strikes a chord, check the name in the corner of the stream and search for it on your music service of choice.
If Lofi Girl isn’t for you, use YouTube to search for something more suitable. It doesn’t have to be a live stream, of course – there are endless regular videos available on demand, many of which offer hours of playing time, along with playlists.
8tracks is a great way to find music playlists. It has over two million playlists sorted by genre, mood and artist, many of which are perfect for helping your productivity.
Once you’ve found a playlist that seems appropriate, you can play it right from your browser. There are also apps for Android and iOS.
To listen without ads, sign up for a 14-day trial. After that it costs $4.99/month.
Brain.fm is a service that offers the world’s most advanced background music. But what does this actually mean? While music is usually made to grab your attention, Brain.fm’s music is designed to positively influence your brain; the company uses fMRI and EEG scans to test this.
Interestingly, Brain.fm uses a mix of human composition and AI to create its music (although everything is human-reviewed and tweaked before going out), which are designed to work within 15 minutes of use.
Despite the backing of science, Brain.fm may not be right for you. Fortunately, the service offers a free trial so you can find out for yourself. Once the trial is over, it will cost $6.99/month.
Endless music to help you focus
By using any of the above services, you will undoubtedly find the perfect playlist for your productivity; use them all and you will never run out of music to keep you happy. You don’t have to break the bank either, as they are all free or offer trial periods.
Try different music depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, such as doing household chores or concentrating on work. It’s not necessarily that one size fits all – you can match the genre and tempo to the task at hand.