Whether it’s work or study, many people strap on their headphones to zone in on the task at hand. The problem is, most tracks on your playlist are actually proven to disrupt focus and diminish mental performance.
So when you’re listening to the same playlist you’d use for a road trip with friends, the music won’t actually help you focus: you’re better off with nothing at all.
Research has shown that a moderate level of noise can boost creativity and promote focus. But this doesn’t apply to the Hot 100 – only ambient or instrumental music will take you there.
Music with no words played at a soft-medium level will help you focus. A soft and congruent harmony, with no words, won’t drag your brain around the same way that a lyric-filled pop song or 80’s classic will, even if the song is about working for the weekend.
Ambient music, as it’s called, helps to absorb background noise, but won’t grab your attention. It’s been proven that ambient music can boost mental performance.