background music for work

source: unsplash

source: unsplash

Quick...what music motivates you while you're working? Are you a 'golden girl'? As in, silence is golden. Or maybe a  'loud and proud'  lady, with music blasting, head nodding in time with the music? The right background music at work can make you more productive and result in longer work sessions. Love or hate it too much, and you'll be hopelessly distracted. Here are my favorites for my gotta get a lotta stuff done days:


StudyMusicProject's YouTube channel has hours of instrumental music. Best Background Instrumental Music is a great place to start. The music has more of an easy listening feel, so if you're looking for a pop style sounds, this isn't the way to go.

CafeMusic BGM's channel is my favorite, with a more jazz and blues oriented tone, with my favorites, the Jazz Instrumental, and the #GhibliJazz videos coming in at a whopping three and a half hours each. I love the longer videos, which means all I have to do press play, then work for two or three hours. Super easy.

Vitamin String Quartet covers pop music. Check out their channel for Lady Gaga covers, and my favorite, Bastille's Pompeii.

background music for work


I'm probably the only person on the planet who likes baroque music; the specific type of classical music is not everyone's cup of tea, but studies have shown playing it softly in the background can help with concentration. This Baroque playlist by Yellow Brick Cinemas, also three and a half hours, is my favorite baroque playlist.


All I can say is there was life before 8Tracks, and life after 8Tracks. This is one of those websites you have to dig around to appreciate. Think of it as a curated YouTube. There's an entire category for studying/working on the website, so dig around and find your favorites, but the three I return to again and again are: Words Dancing On The Page, which features music from The Lord Of The Rings, Tangled and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe; Directed by Wes Anderson, a cool playlist of Wes Anderson soundtracks; and Ineffable, a modern classical playlist.


I worry about this website, because I've come to rely on it. The idea is so simple: the ambient sounds of a coffee shop; played on an endless loop. Studies show that the ambient noise of a quiet crowd, called sound masking,  can increase productivity.  I use this ALL THE TIME. The only two downsides are: the website goes up and down (it's down as I write this), but you can try Coffivity's Soundcloud channel or their app, available at the Apple Store or Google Play.  And on some tracks, you can hear when the coffee shops start over from the beginning. I don't always notice it because I keep the sound fairly low, but if the volume is up high I can hear the loop.


If Coffivity is my best friend, then Rain.SimplyNoise is my twin. I seriously don't know what I did without it. It's a custom, web-based rainmaker.  It's super adjustable: you control how heavy it rains, how often it thunders, and the volume levels. My personal favorite is 59% strength rain, occaisional thunder, with a medium oscillation. With this rain machine, I once wrote for nine hours straight, with no breaks. Using the website is free, but you can get the app for a dollar at Google Play and the Apple Store.

What do you listen to when you need to concentrate at work?