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The Effects of Music on Productivity

If you are struggling with productivity or motivation your streaming service or vinyl collection may hold an answer. With the new workplace trend allowing, and even encouraging individuals to listen to music or having music playing for everyone to enjoy, it’s interesting to note how music and productivity connect. 

Music and Happiness

Many employees listen to music at work to boost happiness and productivity. Studies show that 90 per cent perform better when music is playing, and 88 per cent of employees produce more accurate work. For retail and hospitality settings, music has an even greater impact on employee attitude and performance. Happier employees can provide a higher quality of customer service and overall increase revenue and word of mouth marketing.

The Brain and Music

Certain songs can make us cry or move along to the beat of a happy song, as music stimulates multiple areas of your brain. Listening to music can release dopamine, the same chemical that’s released when you eat your favourite food – it can help you improve focus and brighten your mood. People also love music as it is a way they can express their personalities and opinions through the kind of music they enjoy. 

Effects on Health

It’s been proven that listening to music has several health benefits. Including reducing stress and anxiety, decreasing pain, increasing motivation and improving memory. According to neuroscientists, listening to music increases positive emotion through the reward centres of the brain, it stimulates hits of dopamine that can distract you from stressful situations. 


Music can also provide a distraction from noisy offices, and drown out other people to keep you operating at a productivity peak. Different genres can impact productivity differently. According to a study done by Mindland International, having background noise is great for improving concentration and creativity. Pop music helps focus on tasks and people make fewer mistakes when writing/researching. Classical music is good for improving accuracy and dance music can improve proofreading speed. 

Music Therapy

The concept of the Iso Principle, which is a technique used by therapists to alter mood is the basis of music therapy. Songs can be matched to how the patient is feeling, which can then gradually alter songs to achieve the desired mood.

When building a playlist, start with 1-4 songs that move you into a motivated mood – such as ambient music. This transition is important to help move away from a relaxed mood and prepare yourself for however much work you need to be done throughout the day. 

Then, transition into the ‘power song’ stage. Researchers found that a faster track speed can increase productivity. In one study, most test subjects performed best when listening to a track that paced around 121bpm. Tracks like Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call me maybe’, Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ or Dianna Ross’ ‘I Will Survive’ are all examples of this track tempo. 

Listening to music can help people manage their anxiety, stay motivated and productive, mind. The trick is in making the right playlist. This is something that can be built over time, whenever you hear a song and like it – pop it into the playlist and see how it goes in practice. Arrange the tracks to find what works best for you. Allow yourself flexibility and bring in new music, new artists and don’t force yourself to listen to your music if you don’t want to. It is a tool to help your productivity, not a mandatory task. Sign up for our newsletter for more productivity tips.

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