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Finding the right playlist for work is not always easy. In the age of streaming, the range of music on offer is so great that it is sometimes very difficult to be precise the To find music that is capable of what is so much needed Unleash creativity and productivity. So we've done a little research for you so you can get started right away.

As it turned out, numerous studies have already examined the influence of certain types of Music on productivity to have. Based on these studies, we have now put together a large selection of playlists to help you find the perfect mix.

Regardless of whether you like Mozart or prefer to listen to Chance The Rapper, you are sure to find what you are looking for in these playlists.

Productive work with the right music

Annotation: Some playlists contain pieces of text that may not be appropriate for every job.

Video game soundtracks

Emmy Jonassen, VP of Marketing Acquisition at HubSpot (and former marketing consultant in the gaming industry) has the following advice for us: “In order to be able to choose the right video game soundtrack that actually improves your concentration in the workplace, you first have to be clear what kind of music motivates you and what kind of music distracts you.

For example, if high-energy music helps you concentrate, the soundtracks of rhythm games like 'Thumper' or 'Klang' might be right for you. For those of you who prefer quiet music, we'd recommend the soundtracks of adventure games like 'ABZ' and 'Journey'. After several thousand new games every year, including also many indie games are brought onto the market, there is certainly something for everyone here. "

That Video game soundtracks encourage concentration, is actually obvious, because games ultimately require a high level of concentration.

In line with this, the soundtrack for these games is often chosen from a strategic perspective. Simple sound effects are a thing of the past; modern soundtracks today are more based on epic, inspiring film music.

While studies in this area have come to mixed conclusions, there is evidence that gamers do better when they play with clay. Siu-Lan Tan (professor of psychology) and her colleagues John Baxa and Matt Spackman, who studied "Twilight Princess (Legend of Zelda)", found that players can use the music and sound effects deactivated had,worse cut off as players who played with clay.

Check out whether game soundtracks are right for you. These playlists will help you:

Concentration through the sounds of nature

In the US magazine The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Analyzes of psycho-physical data and sound fields have been published, which indicate that natural sounds have a positive effect on thinking skills, concentration and general satisfaction. Sounds of nature are, for example, bird calls, the sound of the sea, the babbling of a river, etc.

That explains why more and more consumer products - from Google Home to the comparatively new Noisli - have background noise to help us relax and focus. This is probably why there are so many playlists with nature sounds on Spotify, such as this relaxation mix here:

Working more productively with classical music

One of the most cited studies on music, creativity and productivity is about the so-called Mozart effect. The study found that Mozart's music encourages abstract thinking - even if you only hear it for a short time every day. For the purpose of this study, researchers Gordon Shaw, Frances Rauscher and Katherine Ky divided 36 students from the University of UC Irvine (California) into three groups:

Group 1 was played to Mozart, group 2 was played relaxing music and for group 3 there was absolute silence for 10 minutes. The same test was then presented to all 36 students. This showed that the “Mozart group” had improved by an average of 8–9 IQ points compared to the other students.

While the significance of the Mozart Effect is still hotly debated today, many scientists have since looked into whether and how classical music affects our intelligence - whether we make music ourselves or listen to the music of other artists.

For example, a recent study found that elementary school students who took composition lessons showed a better understanding of the text than their comrades in the control group.

Perhaps classical music also increases your productivity. Now, listen to these classical music playlists and find out:

Motivational playlists

Derek Rucker, professor at the Kellogg School of Management, and his three colleagues Loran Nordgren, Li Huang and Adam Galinsk noticed that many athletes listen to music on their way to the stadium. Upon this observation, they wondered if certain Music can strengthen our self-confidence or give us a feeling of security.

So in 2014 they carried out a study to find out how music can affect our motivation and thereby also our behavior. First, they played different songs to the participants in the experiment and asked them to rate after each song on a scale of 1 to 7 how powerful, persuasive and determined they felt.

Here, three songs in particular turn out to be true motivational boosters: “We Will Rock You” by Queens, “Get Ready For This” by 2 Unlimited and “In Da Club” by 50 Cent.

They then tested the effects of music on behavior. To do this, you played the songs again for the participants and then asked them to decide whether they would be the first to speak in a debate or let others precede them.

It found that those who listened to the motivational playlist were twice as likely to agree to open the debate as the group that was played to less inspiring songs.

And what do we learn from this? According to Derek Rucker, we could take an example from professional athletes and, just like them, listen to the right music in moments when we need to motivate ourselves.

So if you need a little motivation boost before your next important presentation, meeting or salary negotiation, then just listen to these playlists here:


Concentration through instrumental music

In 2015, Middle Tennessee State University scholars Carol A. Smith and Larry W. Morris found that students who listened to instrumental music during a test performed better than their peers who listened to music with lyrics. In doing so, they at least partially refuted the results of their original study, which they had carried out 39 years earlier. At that time they came to the conclusion that, on the one hand, it made no difference in the grade whether you listen to music during a test or not. At the time, however, they also showed that stimulating music led to the participants being significantly more worried and reacting much more emotionally.

That's not to say it's utterly impossible to listen to music with lyrics while working. Some even swear by it. But be careful: some of my colleagues have already slipped a line or two into the lyrics. If you feel the same way and are too easily distracted by lyrics, then instrumental music is probably a better choice for you.


Good mood music

If deadlines are on the back of your neck, you have to answer countless e-mails after a long absence and you almost regret having returned, then you may just need a good dose of good-mood music. Because whatever burdens you and slows your productivity, a title that lets you spontaneously grab your pen as a microphone can definitely help.

Scientifically speaking, the same brain regions can be stimulated with music as with good food or similar stimuli. For example, researchers at McGill University found that subjects given naltrexone (a drug that counteracts the effects of opiates) responded less positively to their favorite tracks than usual. The reason for this is that our brain releases happiness hormones when we hear our favorite playlist and they are chemically similar to opiates. Thus, the drug causes the body's own happiness hormones to be blocked.

Of course, the same songs don't put everyone in a good mood, but Spotify offers so many playlists on this topic that there is sure to be something for everyone. Here are our favorite playlists:


Concentration through "white noise"

According to a survey by the British broadcaster BBC, around 70% of us work in open-plan offices. This has the advantage, for example, that you can quickly ask your table neighbors for a synonym, but some people feel disturbed by the associated background noise.

This is even true of a relatively large number, as a study by Yamaguchi University shows: “Many people can only think in peace and feel disturbed when there are noises in the background while they are trying to remember something, for example, or do a math To solve the task. "

But what is left to authors or statisticians without their own office? It is possible that neutral background noises such as so-called white noise - which, by the way, has nothing to do with nature noises - can help. Thanks to the noise, you can easily block out unwanted noises, such as the noise of restaurants and shopping malls, fans and even washing machines.

And of course there is also a playlist for this:

With this in mind, we wish you productive work! With concentration, motivation, a good mood and of course great music.

Header image: FTiare / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Originally published February 4, 2021, updated February 04, 2021

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