Plato said music gives soul to the universe and flight to the imagination. Bono believed music can change the world because it can change people. My grandma Kay thought any album produced after the 1950s was just a bunch of “noise.”

No matter how you think about music, here are a few reasons why music positively affects your productivity at work.

Music is an escape

We all know how distracting an open-cubicle office can be. People are constantly blowing their nose, laughing out loud to funny cat videos and having loud conversations by phone with clients. The noise can halt productivity in its tracks.

But if you can invest in a pair of headphones, you’ll find great reprieve from the inter-office madness.

Music positively impacts our emotions

Music also helps manage anxiety and depression. I have found it gets me out of my slumps faster if I embrace each feeling I am having to the best I can.

Whether I am sad, happy, mad or any variation of the three, music helps me process the feelings and gives me an outlet to fully express myself.

Ambient noise is the bee’s knees

Research has shown that a moderate amount of ambient noise can actually help you get into your creative groove. Which is pretty cool, if you think about it.

If listening to natural sounds like waves at the beach or a soft acoustic guitar is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Besides, nobody can argue that listening to music is an unenjoyable hobby.

Categorizing your music files prepares you for whatever life throws you

I have a working document where I create playlist names and list songs that I feel fit in those categories. That way, when I am in certain mood, I already have a playlist to start with. On my list I have playlists titled, "Lull/Chill," "Love," and "D.O.M. (Dirty Old Man)," which includes artists like Boston, Journey, and Credence Clearwater Revival (stuff my wonderfully eccentric yet borderline perverted uncle listens to).

By having these playlists close at hand, I feel more prepared for life’s peaks and valleys.

Lexie uses headphones at work to listen to music and drown out other noises that could bring her productivity levels down.

Need a way to create these playlists?

The music source I use every day is 8tracks (http://8tracks.com/). You can search crafted playlists based on your mood or other keywords.

For instance, I have been searching by the words "camping" and "wanderlust," recently. Any playlist with that tag (similar to hashtagging on Instagram) pops up for your listening pleasure.

The best part is that it is free to listen to. However, if you really like a playlist and want to save it, you have to create an account. Another bonus: I have never been prompted to "go premium," and the playlists do not have annoying ads that interrupt your listening groove.

So there you have it. It is, of course, up to you to decide if listening to music works for you or not. If you are looking for some musical inspiration, here are a few of my current faves:

  • Bob Dylan
  • Allman Brothers Band
  • The Lumineers
  • Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  • The Head and the Heart
Back to the Blog