When you want to focus, sleep, or meditate, it’s hard to beat some relaxing music to get you in the right headspace for relaxation. Put in your earbuds and listen to the perfect chillout music — whether it’s lofi hip-hop by artists like The Alchemist or classical study music from a master like Mozart or Beethoven. You just might get your mind better focused and less prone to worry and stress.
In fact, music has long been known to affect how the mind behaves and has been frequently used as a tool in therapy. So, imagine what it can do to help you focus and relax in your everyday life. The right beat depends on the right mind frame you’re looking for — children’s relaxing music will be different from relaxing meditation music or some chill jazz tracks.
Sounds for Sleeping
Trying to fall asleep in silence can be difficult for many people when every creak and crackle can cause distraction. With its slower rhythms and low-tempo vibe, chillout music makes a perfect solution. It can be any combination of ambient, lounge, or trance music — pioneers such as the KLF’s blend of electronic house music with more experimental, low-tempo sounds lay a strong foundation. The music is typically characterized by synthesizer-generated beats, with electronic chords and percussive effects layered over heavy, repetitive bass lines to create hypnotic rhythms.
Relaxing guitar music can also help bring the Sandman along. Whether it’s the classical stylings of the virtuoso Andrés Segovia or the more modern yet peaceful strains of Agustin Amigo, the warm, inviting sounds of guitar music can set your mind at ease. While acoustic guitar might jump to mind first when seeking slumber support, the right guitarist can make even a wailing electric guitar sound serene.
Study Time Tunes
Turning on some quality homework music can have your mind sharp and focused and ready to learn, blocking out distractions like social media and streaming channels. Entire albums and playlists are designed to help with learning, keep out distractions, and get your brainwaves in sync. The music often features slower tempos and synth-based melodies and chords and generally avoids vocals, which could more likely veer your mind toward the music instead of your books.
Look for gentle melodies and steady rhythms that won’t break your concentration but instead will reinforce it. Lounge jazz, classical, and trance music can be good choices. You can find songs composed for ambiance as well as those devised for focusing brain functions and others conceived as background music for study sessions. Put them on repeat and let the music do its subconscious magic.
Focusing on Work
Music has often been used to help workers be more productive, from sea shanties for sailing crews to work songs for railroad teams. For more modern industrial and office-based productivity, the emphasis might be on music that blocks out noises to lessen disruption and help your brain to concentrate. You’ll find a range of focus-based playlists that create almost hypnotic beats and rhythms, ideal for getting into your workflow rhythm.
Many of the songs diverge between upbeat, faster-paced rhythms and more chill, trance-like sounds that are perfect for deep focus and avoiding distraction. You’ll even find playlists with music geared specifically for coding (midtempo, electro beats), for different office vibes (upbeat, relaxing, chill), and music for those all-nighters (electric jazz guitar, funky bass). These pieces are almost all instrumental, featuring unassuming arrangements and lowkey energy that can help a workspace avoid that deadening, draining silence without sacrificing concentration.
Volume Is Key
It’s easier than ever to access music and block out the everyday noise of the world, allowing you to focus and concentrate. But, for most people, if you’re playing it too loud, you still might find it hard to think. Keeping the volume to a lower setting just loud enough to block out any noise will help maximize your results — and preserve your eardrums.
Once your focus session is done, treat your ears to the rich melodies in the soundtracks of the legendary Studio Ghibli’s anime films. Featuring music from films by the animation studio behind films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, the music is imbued with the same sense of magic and imagination found in those animated classics.