The Music Guide: What You Should Listen To While Studying

Listening to music whilst studying isn’t for everyone, whilst some may find it easier to concentrate on their work, it can be the opposite for other people.

If you like listening to tunes during a study session or if you’re curious as to what the best genres are to help you focus, take a read of our guide of the music you should listen to whilst studying.

We’ll also be discussing what the benefits of listening to music whilst studying are, so you can discover if it’s really a good thing to have your headphones on blast in the library. Carry on reading to find out!

what to listen to while studying

Benefits Of Listening To Music Whilst Studying

Research has shown that there are many positives on your body and brain that come from listening to music whilst studying. But what are they? We’ve listed a few of the benefits below.

  • Relaxes the mind
  • Increase concentration levels
  • Improve focus
  • Can lessen distractions
  • Boost your memory
  • Music can motivate you to study
  • Reduce anxiety and stress levels
  • Can boost mood

Although, music doesn’t affect everyone the same way and for some people, they will find that a study session is negatively impacted by listening to music.

Instead, they would prefer to sit in silence when getting uni work done, it just depends on person to person.

To truly maximise the benefits of listening to music when studying, carry on reading to find out what the best genres are, so you can make the most of your study playlist!

You may just find that a certain music type is great for you to listen to when getting your uni tasks done, whilst another music type is distracting.

Music Genres To Listen To When Studying

In truth, whether listening to music when studying is good for you depends on several factors such as personal preferences, the content you’re learning, the music volume and how you learn.

If you want to see if you study effectively when listening to music, then you need to choose the right genre for you first and foremost.

It really does just come down to your own enjoyment so it may be best to experiment and try out a variety of different genres to see which one is the right choice for you.

After all, everyone’s music tastes are different so what may work for one student may not work for the other.

Such as, one person may prefer music genre’s such as R&B and find listening to it when doing uni work helpful, whilst another person may prefer to listen to Rock music – it really is subjective!

On that note, there are certain music genres to listen to improve your study habits according to research.

Check out the 6 best music types to listen to below, almost all of them are music genres without lyrics because instrumental music is said to be less distracting.

Playing music when studying

Classical Music

Classical music isn’t for everyone due to it being historic, but a variety of studies have proven that listening to it can be relaxing and calming to get you in study mode.

Such famous studies include the Mozart effect, which states that listening to classical music can improve your mood and productivity.

There are many Classical music playlists so go and check them out and see if there’s any benefits that you experience from listening to this music type – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

Electronic Music

Next up on our guide of what to listen to while studying is electronic music. This genre can be beneficial to have on whilst cracking on with your uni assignments due to the unique sounds and rhythms.

Research suggests this genre can help reduce study-stress and allow your mind to take in more information and stay focused.

Try it out and see if the songs make you feel relaxed and ready to study!

Instrumental Jazz

If you’re not usually a fan of jazz music you should try listening to instrumental jazz instead, as many people state that it can improve their concentration, lessen their stress levels and brighten their mood when they’re getting work done.

One thing a lot of people don’t realise is that listening to music they don’t normally listen to can be beneficial when studying, as you don’t get too engaged and distracted with the tunes that are playing!


You may have heard of the phrase “Lo-fi beats to study and relax to” being thrown about over social media, well this is exactly that!

It’s one of the best background noises to listen to whilst focusing on work as it includes synths, white noise, and soft beats.

There hasn’t been much research on the effectiveness of this genre on studying as it’s a relatively new type of music, however, many uni students do find that having this music on keeps them motivated on the task at hand.

Nature Sounds

One of the worst things to do is to study in a noisy room, which is why library’s take a quite passive aggressive approach to silence.

However, if you’re studying within your student flat or house and it’s quite noisy (it’s to be expected) then having some white noise in the background can be effective in masking any distractions.

Many people find that listening to nature sounds when trying to sleep can be relaxing and help them drift off such as rain sounds, but this music genre can also be effective whilst studying. It’s known for increasing concentration levels and promote high focus levels.

Not to mention, some state that it can boost their creativity too.

If you find that going on a walk outside and taking in nature can clear your head, why not try listening to this music type when you’ve got a big workload?

Indie Music

If you’ve tried all these other genres and are still stuck what to listen to while studying, then indie music is a type that may be effective for you.

Indie music can be a good background noise to calm you down when studying and can improve your memory as a result, especially if you have high anxiety levels.

You may find that it’s so much easier to remember song lyrics than to recall any of your textbook information, this is because they involve repetition and rhyming, and your brain searches for patterns to try to form a better understanding.

So, listen to a catchy song that helps you relax, and you may find your study game is better than ever!

Make Your Own Playlist

So, now you know the best music genres to listen to when studying why not curate your own study playlist for your next work session?

This way you can plan what music you’re going to listen to in advance, and you don’t have to spend time shuffling your tunes when you’re in the middle of studying – talk about distractions!

If you don’t have time to make your own playlist, then there are many on Spotify and YouTube for you to listen to whilst hitting the books. Just ensure that you’re listening to music at a moderate level.

Music playlist

Happy listening everyone! We hope this post has been useful and that you’ve found a genre of music to boost your overall productivity level when it comes to getting your university work completed.

However, you should also remember that effective studying is more than just the music that you listen to. Such as, you need to ensure you’re not cramming in tons of work at one time, and that you’re eating and drink enough to fuel your concentration and energy levels.

Here at Essential Student Living, we provide students with modern accommodation in cities across the UK. Find your new home today!

Check out our blog next on Money Comes Back, Memories Don’t: Why You Should Travel After Uni.

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