headphones listening to playlist productivity

You know that feeling you get when you have so much work to do but end up taking 25 minutes just staring at the mountain in front of you?

Workload paralysis is a real thing and finding the right music can be the perfect slap in your face to make you say, “Let’s Do This!”.

The problem here is that you don’t want to listen to any music that will get you further distracted. In addition, you’ll want to listen to music that fits well with how your brain is wired.

For example, there are people in this world who are 1000+ times more productive when they listen to the most heavy-mega-death-metal music, but I’m sure this only accounts for a small group of people. For the rest of us, we need to find that music that will get our minds energized and ready to take on any task at hand.

After polling 300+ colleagues and friends, we have found the best Spotify playlists for productivity while working.

Chill and Lofi

From everyone we polled, this genre continually came up as one of the favorite types of music to listen to while working. Why is Lo-fi music so popular though?

Scientifically, Lofi music can help you stay productive because it is calm, soothing, has no lyrics, but most importantly, slightly entertaining. It’s kind of like elevator music that is actually cool.

Because there are no lyrics and there is a gentle repetitive beat, this type of music will help you enjoy the task at hand without having to get fully into the “song”.


Videogame and Anime

The soundtracks behind videogames, anime, and movies are really great to listen to because they are always composed to get your energy level up and drive that excitement while watching a specific scene.

One of the best videogame composers we have come across is David Levy. He does a really good job of creating music that forces you to tap your feet to the beat and really gets your blood pumping.

The music behind Anime is great for productivity because it is usually fast-paced and has little to no lyrics. This is perfect for those mornings where you have no energy to get anything done.


Soft Piano

Feeling stressed?

Listening to soft and classical piano Spotify playlists will help you stay cool, calm, and collected while you hammer through your day.

We have found this music to help certain people that tend to get stressed out easily. If you are the type of person that can get overwhelmed with too much going on in a song, this may be the perfect genre to help you stay productive and at ease.


Instrumental Cover Songs

When you are listening to familiar music, your brain will start to tick in a productive way. Especially if there are no lyrics involved.

This Spotify playlist is probably one of the better options for 99% of people because it is familiar and very subtle at the same time.

It is like your mind is waiting for the next verse to come, but you aren’t having to hear someone singing to you. You are in the music, but can stay on track with any work you need to accomplish.


Classical Guitar

Depending on who you ask, listening to the guitar can either be productive or a distraction. Even though there aren’t any lyrics, some people have found certain string instruments to be more distracting than the piano for example.

However, most people liked listening to this type of music because it was calming and entertaining enough to get them motivated to get work done.

There have also scientific studies done on this type of music (see classical below) on how it helps people stay productive at work.

Upbeat and Electric Dance

Any music that can get your head bobbing and is repetitive will help you stay focused. This Spotify playlist does exactly that.

The fast-paced dance style music will get you energized and in a positive mood. In fact, while I am typing this sentence, it is hard for me to not start dancing and I am still staying productive with the lyrics in the background.

If you are trying to accomplish a task that you need complete concentration, you may want to move to another playlist without lyrics.

Electric Guitar

Need something with a little more gain? We hear you…

Here is a Spotify playlist with a little metal added, but only enough to help you concentrate. The best part is that there are few lyrics and the music is fast-paced.

Adrenaline Pumping

Ok, so you just got an email from an angry client or maybe you just had an encounter with a rude coworker.

Here you go:

For some people, they need music that will help them get goosebumps and want to burst in flames. Here is a good selection that will help accomplish this.

There are definitely lyrics and a lot that can distract you while listening to this type of music, but it can still be listened to on breaks or during easy tasks.


“Feel Good” and Popular

Again, this type of music isn’t always the best for work that needs 100% concentration, but it will help you get in a positive and energetic mood.

Because over-played songs are somewhat ingrained in us, they are mostly listened by our subconscious mind. Maybe you can find a Spotify playlist that is a favorite from High School that will keep you productive.



Classical music has been studied scientifically for many years and these studies have found classical music to help with productivity for multiple reasons.

Classical music has been proven to help you lower cortisol levels to decrease your stress. It will also help you boost your memory if you listen to this type of music frequently. It has also been proven to help with pain relief among many other benefits.

If I were to guess, a lot of these benefits come from many genres outside of classical music too, but how cool is that?!


Nature and White Noise

Here is another Spotify playlist that can help you decrease stress and increase productivity.

Nature sounds have a very soothing effect and will help you when your day isn’t going as you had planned it to. Listening to this type of “music” for just 30 minutes can get you back in a state of relaxation and help you remember to let go of the issues that you’re dealing with.



SomaFM is an independent streaming radio station that is supported by their listeners. It originally started in 1999 and was an early driver of the Burning Man Festival. The name comes from Soma, “the perfect pleasure drug” and is perfect for many creatives that are looking for new and unique music with plenty of mellow selections.


This list of music may not be perfect for the way your brain is wired, but hopefully, it will help you create that perfect Spotify playlist for productivity. Once you have a few playlists to choose from (depending on your mood and the work you need to accomplish) you will be unstoppable.

Did we miss any music/genres that should be on this list? Drop us a comment below and we’ll get it added today!


Read also: Top 7 Chrome Productivity Extensions