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5 Spotify Playlists to Help You Study

December 4, 2018  |  Category: Articles

Best playlist for studying

Back when you were in middle or high school, your parents and teachers might have strongly advised against listening to music while you studied or did your homework. Their argument against listening to music while studying might have been something along the lines of “you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.”

Whether music distracts you or helps you focus when studying is a bit more nuanced. Multiple studies have been conducted, looking at the effect listening to music has on people’s concentration and focus and on their ability to learn1.

One study found that listening to music with lyrics prevented students from studying as well as they could2. Another study found that students who listened to classic music during a lecture had a more positive learning outcome than those who didn’t3. The general consensus seems to be that instrumental music that is somewhat upbeat might be able to help you pay attention during studying.

As you prepare for exams and some intense study sessions in the weeks ahead, try tuning in to one or more of the following playlists to see if they help you focus and learn to the best of your abilities.

Hipster student studying in library

1. Intense Studying

The Intense Studying playlist, put together by Spotify, has 72 songs on it that range from classical pieces by Bach, Chopin, and Greig to pieces by contemporary composers and artists such as Danny Elfman and Aphex Twin. The music on the playlist is relatively up-tempo, so it won’t lull you to sleep.  Intense Studying has nearly 2 million likes.

2. Piano in the Background

If you enjoy the tinkling sounds of the piano, the Piano in the Background playlist can be just right for you. The playlist has more than 150 songs and all of which feature the piano as the primary, or in many cases, sole, instrument. Piano in the Background has more than 1 million likes.

3. Deep Focus

True to its name, the Deep Focus playlist has more than 150 songs that are all intended to help you zero in and focus on a subject. The songs on the playlist are from contemporary musicians and composers such as Message to Bears and Poppy Ackroyd. The playlist has almost 3 million likes.

4. EDM Study No Lyrics

As the name suggests, the EDM Study No Lyrics playlist is full of electronic dance music. It’s definitely more up-tempo than the other playlists on this list and is ideal if you need music with a bit of a beat. Since there are no words to any of the songs, you won’t find yourself singing along. You might find yourself moving in your seat, though. The playlist has nearly 9,000 likes.

5. Study Mix (No Lyrics)

If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite pop songs would sound like if someone stripped away the lyrics and then had a string quartet perform them, Study Mix (No Lyrics) has the answer for you. The playlist has more than 90 songs, many of them performed by the Vitamin String Quartet. If you want to listen to songs you like or that are familiar but want to avoid the distractions of words, this might be the playlist to try. Some of the songs include strings versions of “Shake it Out,” “Radioactive,” and “Poker Face.”

Best homework music

If the pressures of the end of the trimester are starting to get you down, remember that AHU Online’s academic advisors, tutors, and counselors are here to provide you with support and assistance, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We want to see you succeed in your academic, personal, and professional lives. Should you need anything, get in touch with us today.



  1. “The Influence of Background Music on Learning in the Light of Different Theoretical Perspectives and the Role of Working Memory Capacity,” Frontiers in Psychology, published online October 31, 2017,
  2. “Does listening to preferred music improve reading comprehension performance?,” Applied Cognitive Psychology, published online January 6, 2014,
  3. “Music During Lectures: Will Students Learn Better?,” Learning and Individual Differences, available online 17 December 2011,