Whether you’re building up to a big exam, writing an essay or just need to get in the zone to focus, it’s all about getting into the zone and one of the best ways to do this is by listening to music!
But what are our favourite tunes to listen to whilst studying? To find out, we’ve analysed hundreds of studying and homework Spotify playlists, to see which are the most common.
The world’s favourite studying songs
Having analysed playlists containing over 100,000 songs, these were the tunes that appeared the most frequently. Seeing as lo-fi, instrumental beats are usually the way to go when it comes to study music, you might not be familiar with the majority of the top songs, with the number one spot going to ‘Affection’ a lo-fi song by producer Jinsang, which appeared in 53 of the playlists that we analysed, with the song racking up over 66 million plays too!
However, there are still some tracks from mainstream artists in the top 20, including ‘drivers license’ by Olivia Rodrigo, which has been seemingly inescapable over the past couple of months, and holds the record for the most Spotify plays in a single day with over 15 million so it’s maybe no surprise to see it creep into our list!
Putting it all together, we’ve created our own playlist consisting of all the top studying songs mentioned above.
The world’s favourite studying artists
But who are the artists that appear the most often on Spotify users’ studying playlists? Again, it’s a mixed bag of lesser-known names who have perfected the chilled out, stripped back sound, as well as some more familiar names too.
Considering their phenomenal global following, the fact that K-pop boy band BTS came in the top place probably doesn’t even have much to do with their music being particularly good for studying, more just the fact that they have so many dedicated fans so can’t help but include them in their playlists!
Second and third places on the list go to anonymous artists creating music purely for the purposes of studying and relaxing on Spotify: the Einstein Study Music Academy and Sleepy John, a channel composed solely of white noise and weather and nature sounds.
Some of the more popular and recognisable names in the top 20 include Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles, as well as composers such as Hans Zimmer and John Williams, with lots of people choosing to listen to movie and video games soundtracks to get in the zone.
The ideal tempo for studying
The music you choose to listen to while working is entirely up to you. In fact, while conducting we came across playlists containing everything from rain noises to heavy metal!
But the general wisdom is that the best songs for concentrating are atmospheric, ambient sounds, preferably without lyrics, that just sit in the background and block out any distractions, while allowing you to focus on the task at hand.
So, was this true when it came to our songs? We analysed around 100,000 songs in total and taking each and every one into account, the average BPM (that’s beats per minute) came in at 112 BPM.
That works out at about one beat every half a second, and in musical terminology would fall in between andante (at a walking pace) and moderato (at a moderate pace).
We looked at over 100 playlists containing over 100,000 songs on Spotify which contained the words ‘studying’ or ‘homework’ in the title or description, counting which songs and artists appeared in the highest number of playlists.
Sort Your Music was used to find the BPM of each track.