Sometimes when I am writing or creating, I want complete silence. Sometimes, I want lots of noise – like the kind you would hear in a coffee shop. Almost always I enjoy having music playing in the background while I work. I have 12 playlists I listen to on Spotify when I am working, and keep them all in a folder in Spotify so I can shuffle through all the songs. The playlists consist of ambient music with no lyrics, chilled out electronic, and classical music. Listening to this music in particular and working does something to my creativity that I can’t quite explain – it creates a perfect mix between focused and relaxed. I was curious about how different types of music affect our brains as we work, so I read this study on it. Interestingly, it concludes this:

This study found that comparative to a situation with no background music, the influence of background music on listener attention test score increases with the intensity of listener feelings regarding the background music. Thus, when selecting background music for work environments, such as offices, factories, and therapy rooms, it is important to avoid music that workers strongly like or dislike. Avoiding such music can help avoid unduly impacting listener attention and, consequently, work performance

That is quite interesting. All of the playlists I listen to, I do not strongly like or dislike. The music is just there, playing right along in the background. I’ve found that when I listen to music I really like, it’s harder to concentrate on a task that requires a lot of my attention. But if I am doing tedious and repetitive work, it doesn’t affect me. I think it’s kind of like multitasking – If you’re working and concentrating, that will take up most of your concentration already. So you don’t want your brain to also be concentrating on Adele’s newest release along with your work because you’ll probably be crying about the song and trying to work at the same time. And I would guess that your performance would lower significantly.

Here are the 12 playlists that really help me lock in my creative flow:


Find Your Flow



Chill Out Music



Nice & Easy Workflow



Cinematic Chill Out



Creativity Boost



Electronic Concentration






Brain Food



Deep Focus



Productive Morning






Epics of the Romantic Era


What kind of music do you like to listen to while working/creating?

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