Find Your Rhythm: How Inspirational Music Increases Productivity at Work

Quote - George Gershwin - Life

From prehistoric times, when our ancestors used rhythmic drumming and melodious singing to inspire unity and cooperation, to today’s complex symphonies and energetic pop anthems, music has always been a powerful motivator for humanity. In this modern era, we increasingly recognize the potential of music as a tool to increase productivity in the workplace.

This blog post will explore the links between music and productivity and how the right beat, tune, or melody can turn a busy office atmosphere into a hub of creativity and efficiency.

Why music and productivity?

When we talk about music and productivity in the workplace, we think of the favorable listening environment around us. One way to boost productivity is by listening to the right music while working. Music can improve focus, reduce stress, and boost creativity, increasing productivity.

The psychological effect of music on the brain

Quote - George Gershwin - Life

To discover the reasons behind the psychological music’s effect, it is crucial to get into the neurological mechanisms in our brains. Melodic song uniquely engages different brain regions, including the limbic system responsible for emotion and the prefrontal cortex associated with decision-making and executive functions.

Let’s see what science says about the connection between productivity and music.

Improved mood

Scientific research provides strong evidence for this emotional connection we have with music. Listening to music activates the release of dopamine, often called the “feel good” neurotransmitter, and oxytocin in our brains, hormones associated with feelings of pleasure and bonding. This suggests that music is not only emotionally satisfying – it is also chemically rewarding.

Increased creativity

Quote - Bob Marley - Music

Music, especially the listener’s choice, can regulate mood, significantly affecting creativity. By choosing music that resonates with us, we can create an optimal emotional state conducive to innovative thinking and problem-solving. It can also stimulate our brains in unique ways that promote creative insight. 

According to Stanford University research, music engages brain areas involved in paying attention and predicting. This heightened engagement can lead to new connections and ideas, essential components of creativity.

Reduce stress

music quote - Friedrich Nietzsche

A study published in the Journal of Music Therapy found that a music intervention significantly reduced levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone, in employees. This stress reduction contributes to a more positive mental state, creating an environment conducive to sustained motivation and focus.

Music with a slow tempo, low pitch, and no lyrics can stimulate body relaxation, slow heart rate, and lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels. All of that can improve motivation and engagement, so such a piece of productivity music is really important for your team members.

Different Musical Genres and Playlists as Productivity Music

Classical music

music quote - Arthur Schopenhauer

This music is suitable for jobs that require intense concentration and problem-solving skills. The calming nature of classical compositions can help reduce stress levels, which in turn can increase mental focus and productivity.

The “Mozart effect” is a term coined from a study that suggested that listening to Mozart’s music could temporarily improve one’s spatiotemporal reasoning, a type of abstract thinking that involves visualizing spatial patterns and mentally manipulating them.

The “Mozart Effect” phenomenon also suggests that listening to classical music can significantly increase brain activity while improving overall health and well-being. So, this type of music is great for cognitive tasks.

Personally, I mostly listen to this music when I work, so here are some playlist suggestions:

Vivaldi: Four Seasons

Classical Music for Studying and Brain Power | Mozart, Vivaldi, and Tchaikovsky

6 Hours Mozart for Studying, Concentration, and Relaxation Playlist

Bach Study Music Playlist

Cinematic music

music quote - Hans Christian Andersen

A wide range of cinema music styles and moods can be the perfect soundtrack to your work day. If you are working on a critical project with tight deadlines looming, you will need something to inspire you to drive you forward. The brilliance and intensity of an orchestral score, like those in epic adventure films, can provide the motivation you need to push through. 

On the other hand, if you are engaged in a task that requires deep focus, such as writing or coding, the soft melodies, and harmonies of instrumental songs can help create a calm, focused atmosphere and in such a way to increase productivity at work.

Some of the film music suggestions are:

Lord of the Rings

Gladiator Soundtrack

The Beautiful Music of the Harry Potter Series

Amélie” Full Soundtrack

Once Upon A Time In America [Soundtrack]

Nature Sounds

quote - Plato

The sound of ocean waves, the sound of falling rain, the chirping of birds, or the babbling of a stream can create a peaceful atmosphere suitable for relaxation and focus.

Based on data and analysis from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Study, it was found that the sounds of nature, such as typing on computer keyboards, human speech, and other miscellaneous sounds, helped mask background noise in the office. At the same time, they meet standards and criteria for speech privacy and improve cognitive functioning, optimizing the ability to concentrate and increasing overall worker satisfaction.

Try this list of calming suggestions:

Relax! Ocean Waves Seaside Ambience | for Stress Relief | White Noise Surf Sounds in Hawaii 10 Hours

Rain & Thunder with Ocean Waves Sounds | White Noise for Relaxation, Sleep, or Studying

Forest Birdsong – Relaxing Nature Sounds – Birds Chirping

Relaxing River Sounds: Peaceful Forest River

BAMBOO WATER FOUNTAIN | Relax & Get Your Zen On | White Noise

Video game music

quote - Robert Browning

Video game music, which is designed to keep players engaged without distracting them from their game-playing tasks, is one genre that promises to increase productivity in the workplace.

Background music plays a key role in video games, shaping the player’s experience and emotions while remaining discreet enough not to distract from the game. These characteristics make video game music potentially useful for maintaining focus and productivity in a work environment.

Here are some curated playlists from this genre:

Calm Nintendo video game music for studying, sleeping, work while it’s raining

Zelda Music To Relax/Study/Work/Game

Aladdin Soundtrack

Journey OST – Complete Soundtrack

God of War (PS4) – Complete Soundtrack – Full OST Album

Music between 50 and 80 beats per minute

music quote - jim morrison

Choose the tempo. Some research suggests that it’s different than the type of music that helps you stay focused and productive but the tempo of that music.

Dr. Emma Gray, a cognitive behavioral therapist, worked with Spotify to research the benefits of certain types of music. Delving into the specifics, Dr. Gray found that not all music is created equal when it comes to boosting productivity. She found that music with a tempo between 50 and 80 beats per minute was particularly effective in inducing a state of relaxation and creativity.

This tempo range corresponds to the brain’s alpha state – a state of relaxed mental awareness that encourages creativity and reduces anxiety. This makes it ideal for tasks that require problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Here’s my pick of tracks that capture the essence of this therapeutic tempo range:

Moby – Porcelain

Adele – Someone Like You

Claude Debussy: Moonlight

Enya – Watermark

Bob Marley – Three Little Birds

Max Richter – On The Nature Of Daylight

Ennio Morricone – The wind, the cry

Your favorite music

quote - Aldous Huxley

When doing routine work, I like the background music to be my favorite or popular music. Upbeat music, with its catchy melodies and cheerful rhythms, can be a great motivator in performing tasks of this type. I choose relaxing beats if I’m working on a new project requiring concentration and focus. For example, ambient music, natural sounds, light classical or jazz music.

Everyone has a personal taste in music, but definitely, yes, incorporating your favorite music into your work routine can increase your energy level and productivity. Just be aware that playing your favorite specific song with a fast beat and many lyrics can disrupt your focus on completing the task you started.

My Personal Experience With Music and Productivity

Quote - Bono

While completing my master’s studies at the music academy, I financed my studies by working in a publishing house. I worked in a large warehouse where ten people worked to select, pack, and manage books for bookstores throughout the region. There was a lot of work, which was very stressful. 

After about a month, I thought about quitting. However, since I am not the type of person who gives up easily, I started thinking about the topic: how can I change the atmosphere and increase productivity in the workplace to make it easier for myself and the team of people I work with? I came up with the idea to start playing music in the warehouse where we worked.

The next day, when I came to work, I compiled a list of music tracks that were adequate for the current tasks that awaited me and the team that day. I played music, not that loud, so everyone on the team could hear it. 

During all the breaks at work, the only thing discussed was music. They all spoke about the personal, energetic, and emotional changes created by music during work and agreed about increased motivation for work. So, it was obvious that the music positively impacted our work. 

I suggested that everyone make their own lists of songs that inspire and motivate them. So, during the week, we played various genres of music, and the choice depended on the type of work or task we were doing. All this contributed to better communication and cooperation among team members.

Very quickly, the news about the team’s increased productivity from the “singing warehouse” reached the owner of the company, who soon visited us. He was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and reorganization in the warehouse that we did in those days. 

That month, my team and I were financially rewarded for productivity and creativity in the workplace, and the owner asked me to visit other sectors of the company and talk to employees about bringing music into the workplace.


I start and end every day with music. Choosing music while working, training, or enjoying a vacation it is always my companion.

It doesn’t matter if it’s hip hop, rock, heavy metal, classical music, or chirping birds. Find your rhythm and play the music.

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and joy to life and everything.