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Aug 19 2015
by Emily Perry

6 Albums and Playlists You Must Listen to When You Need to Focus

By Emily Perry - Aug 19 2015
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Studying with music can either be a big distraction, or a big help. While it depends on personal preference if music really helps you get in the zone, the type of music you listen to can also affect your ability to focus while studying. But with our first year of college coming up, it's important to have a playlist that won't distract you while your studying for your first midterm. 

Below are my top 6 favorite albums /playlists to listen to while working. Hope you enjoy!

1. The 1975 // The 1975 

If chill vibes are your thing, well here’s the album for you! The builds and nice flow of this album facilitate the perfect environment for focus, because it allows the listener to "zone out of" what’s going on in the real world. My personal favorite tracks are Robbers, Menswear, Antichrist, and You

2. Ledges // Noah Gundersen

If you are looking for a more Americana vibe to your work routine, Noah Gundersen is the way to turn. Hailing from Seattle, this up-and-coming artist has the vocal ability of any one of the greats, and acoustic guitar skills to match. My favorite tracks on the album are First Defeat, Boathouse, and Cigarettes

3. "Happy Little Chill" Playlist // Troye Sivan 

Inspired by his first single, “Happy Little Pill,” Troye created this playlist full of tracks perfect for calm zoning out. Be prepared to forget what you’re listening to with this playlist, as 7 minute tracks seem to last forever (in a good way). 

4. The Theory of Everything (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) // Johann Johannsson 

Switching gears somewhat here, we have a film score. Classical music is something that people often claims puts them to sleep, but not with this modern score. Taken from the 2014 film, the score swells and builds to the listener’s delight, fueling concentration and enjoyment.

 5. “The Best Study Playlist Ever” // Patricia Owens

Keeping with the same theme above is a playlist is full of more modern classical music and film scores that are sure to aid the listener, due to the varied tone of all the tracks, and the easy listening qualities of the playlist as a whole.

6. Halcyon Days // Ellie Goulding

While this might seem counterintuitive, having up-beat music that builds and quiets is often what aids our minds the best. Listening to songs that we can sing along to, or that get stuck in our heads allows the information to do the same, because as we remember the song, we also remember what we studied during that time. Ellie Goulding's album is littered with these kinds of songs, that will be stuck in our heads for days on end.


I have found through the years that a lack of words aids my concentration more than anything. It seems that noise, in a sense, is what helps me. However, if a song is playing that I can become lost in, the trick works just the same. We'll be starting school soon, so experimentation is key before we all enter the grind of day-in and day-out study. Hopefully, you all will find the perfect mix for optimal focus and productivity.


Image Credit: Emily Perry


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Emily Perry - Rhodes College

Emily is a Russian Studies major at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. She loves film, literature, and the US National Park Service. Emily has been writing for Fresh U since June of 2014 and has served as both a web editor and a social media editor. Outside of Fresh U, she volunteers with the YMCA Center for Civic Engagement and is involved with her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi.

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