If you struggle to find the focus to accomplish whatever task is at hand, you may want to explore using audio as a way to help you concentrate.
Now, we’re not suggesting listening to catchy pop tunes, but some sounds can be beneficial if you need to work or study. Certain types of music are very effective at helping you block out distracting noises. Music also works as a stimulus that engages your brain, making you more creative and productive (depending on what you’re listening to). And listening to music can relieve stress, which leaves you in a better place to get stuff done.
We’re taking a look at three kinds of audio, all readily available on YouTube, that you can use as background noise when you’re trying to concentrate.
Depending on its tempo, classical music can either relax or invigorate you. Listening to classical music can release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. Dopamine also prevents the release of cortisol stress hormones. With your mood improved, thinking is clarified, making studying and working a lot more enjoyable.
A 1993 University of California study saw a rise in the IQs of students that listened to Mozart. This has since been dubbed “The Mozart Effect” and, while it only measured one type of spatial intelligence and not general intelligence (and has been debated ever since), the idea that classical music might improve intelligence has stayed with us over time. If it works for you, use it!
Credit: Classical Tunes
This YouTube channel is dedicated to offering a wide range of classical music encompassing everything from Bach’s violin concertos to two-hour baroque compilations. You can pick and choose from the musical video uploads or head straight to this channel’s Playlists tab and look for specific playlists designed to help you concentrate, including “Study Music” offering “focus-enhancing” classical instrumental music, and “Classical Music for Studying, Concentration.”
With over three million subscribers, HalidonMusic, the official YouTube channel of Italian record label Halidon, is a huge classical music YouTube channel. Halidon’s music catalogue ranges from classical and instrumental to jazz, pop, and world music, but it really shines when it comes to classical offerings. Videos include “The Best of” many popular composers including Mozart, Chopin, Bach, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. There are also targeted offerings for anyone who wants to concentrate better with music specifically for studying, reading, and to improve brain power.
Credit: Just Instrumental Music
Just Instrumental music offers “videos that are perfect to focus on studying, reading, working, and improving your concentration and memorization while listening to the greatest composers of all times, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, and many more.” Alongside the many music videos designed for improving your study or working process, there are many specialized collections, such as instrumental guitar music, orchestral music, classical violin music, flute, and cello music.
Nature sounds have been found to help create a calmer state of mind, which positively impacts your overall mental well-being. This leaves you in a better place to concentrate on whatever you have going on. Sounds like birdsong, breaking waves, or a babbling brook have positive connotations, often leaving you relaxed with your anxiety levels greatly reduced. Nature sounds are typically calming and tranquil, a great alternative background sound if you don’t want to listen to music.
Credit: Healing Nature & Meditation
The Healing Nature & Meditation YouTube channel claims to offer “a window to the healing effect of nature.” This channel brings a plethora of “Relaxing Nature Ambience Meditation” videos that can also be used as background sound when you need to concentrate. There are many other ambient nature sound videos to explore, including meadow, lake, rain, forest, water, and seasonal ambience.
The johnnielawson YouTube channel is a popular choice for nature sounds, with almost 173,000,000 views at the time of publication. These videos are a great choice if you want a long-playing audio soundtrack to study or work to, as there are a large number of eight-hour videos. This means you can just hit the play button and not worry about having to constantly DJ your audio for a good few hours. The johnnielawson channel offers a variety of nature sounds, but specializes in waterfalls and birdsong.
TheSilentWatcher is a Bulgarian called Petar Paunchev who personally records and edits all the nature sound videos that are exclusively available on this excellent channel. It’s worth browsing the video uploads to enjoy tropical rain sounds, relaxing river sounds, snowy brook sounds, and deep forest sounds, among many others. The curated playlists offer a tailored selection of nature sound videos. Alongside the natural sounds, this channel also offers other ambient audio, such as campfire and fireplace sounds.
Ambient lo-fi tunes
Ambient lo-fi music is a very popular choice as a study aid. This music genre is used as a calming alternative soundscape that people love to work, study, relax, meditate, chill, and even fall asleep to. With no lyrics, and sometimes no beat, lo-fi music offers few distractions, making you more productive. Lo-fi music’s repeated loops are predictable at a subconscious level, which evokes feelings of comfort, getting you into a good place for concentration.
Credit: Lofi Girl
Lofi Girl’s mantra is “study – chill – sleep – repeat.” The Lofi Girl channel is extraordinarily popular, with over 10 million subscribers. Instead of focusing on Playlists (there are only two), this channel offers two daily live radio streams: one with beats to relax/study to, and one with beats to sleep/chill to. Additionally, there are “Study Session” videos that offer around an hour of lo-fi audio, ideal to work along to and then be reminded to take an hourly break.
The aptly named Ambient channel offers a wide range of ambient, cinematic, classical, chill-out, atmospheric, and chill music videos. The channel gives you mixes that are themed, such as “Journey,” “Nightfall,” “Destiny,” “Memories,” and “Future” — so you can have a listen and see which theme works for you. Ambient also offers videos that are designed for meditation, relaxing, and chilling, all of which are suitable as a soundscape for work or study. This channel has a small selection of playlists, but they are all beautifully curated with the music blending seamlessly, giving you a distraction-free listening experience.
Credit: Chillhop Music
Chillhop boasts an impressive three-million-plus subscribers who love the jazzy, lofi, and chill beats on offer. As well as individual video uploads and curated playlists, this channel offers a 24/7 live stream, so you can simply join the stream and zone into your work or study. Chillhop Music offers a wide variety of popular videos that are specially designed as “Study Beats” — these are around two hours long, so perfect for a longer work or study session.
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