Productivity playlists for work, school

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Do you have music? In a recent survey, most ADDitude readers said they concentrate better when listening to music – so we asked for specific song suggestions. Below are 13 productivity playlists by and for ADHD brains. Next time you need to strap in and get things done, search here for the perfect ADHD music or just follow ADDitude’s Spotify channel.

Do you have any other suggestions? Leave your song, artist and/or playlist recommendations in the comments below – we’re always adding new music to the Spotify ADDitude!

Playlist #1: Upbeat Songs to Jumpstart the ADHD Brain

Punchy and energetic music to kick start your to-do list, the playlist includes Panic! At “High Hopes” in Disco and “Ocean Avenue” in Yellowcard. First thing in the morning or during the sluggishness of the afternoon, lean on these catchy tunes for an injection of pure focus.

“Sometimes while I’m working I like to pause and listen to something that has me dancing for two to five exhausting minutes to let my energy explode and then come back to focus.”
— Bay, New Jersey

“I need to occupy my brain and my body simultaneously, so if I have to do mindless tasks like making dinner, washing the dishes or folding the laundry, I need something that engages my brain. Songs rhythmic with lyrics that I can sing to function well. Without them, I can’t do anything.”
— An ADDitude reader

[Download: Music for Healthy ADHD Brains]

Playlist #2: Instrumentals for ADHD Focus

Many ADDitude readers have reported that they find the lyrics entertaining, so we’ve created this purely instrumental playlist to reap all the productive benefits of listening to the music without any devious inconvenience. Filled with punchier instrumental pop and slower ballads, this playlist is perfect for ADHD sufferers looking for a happy, productive groove.

“I listen instrumental music — neither too fast nor too slow. It has this constant rhythm that sets my pace for my tasks.
—Bert, Indiana

“I listen to soothing instrumental music that really relaxes me from the inside. It’s the first step to slowing down my brain.
— An ADDitude reader

Playlist #3: ADHD brain food

Sometimes your ADHD brain just craves good fun music. In times like these, feed your brain with the easy and catchy songs in this playlist. Listen to these songs during your morning commute or while you work for an extra dose of daily happiness.

“I need fun and interesting music to propel me towards productivity. I also love to sing and harmonize with music, which also helps me with cooking and cleaning.”
—Kelsey, Minn.

“I don’t just have one type of music or song that helps me focus and so I end up changing playlists and artists to whatever helps me at the time. Sometimes , I just need to listen to a band that I like.
— An ADDitude reader

[Read: Study Music to Focus the ADHD Brain]

Playlist #4: first day of summer

“The first day of summer is my favorite for an upbeat boost when I have them asleep at 2 a.m. – lots of funky electronica, world music, fun song remixes and jazz.”
—Molly Durham – Texas

Playlist #5: Lush Lo-Fi

“When I discovered lo-fi music, it changed everything! It’s the perfect background music to keep my brain happy and engaged while I’m working or relaxing. It seems to regulate me, keep me on track, and it keeps me from getting overwhelmed with what I’m doing.
— An ADDitude reader

Playlist #6: Sem Letra Nem Baleias

“I work best with background music but the lyrics distract me and I hate New Age music with sounds of whales etc. so I made my own which has no lyrics or whales (hence the title of the playlist in Portuguese) These are mainly acoustic versions of Brazilian samba and rap/hip-hop songs.
— An ADDitude reader

Playlist #7: Classic Focus

“If I need to focus on something intellectual, I play quiet instrumental music. There can’t be any lyrics or I’ll pay more attention to the lyrics than to my own thoughts. These soundtracks are carefully checked before using them for anything important!”
—Colleen, North Dakota

Playlist #8: Lo-Fi Workday

“I find songs that I know and/or have a lot of lyrics that can divide my attention. When I need to concentrate – at work or at home – instrumental tracks are my “secret sauce!”
—Door, Seattle

Playlist #9: Do you have MySpace?

“I prefer songs that I know because they are less entertaining. I created a playlist called Do you have MySpace? because it’s mostly songs from my high school period (2004-2009). This has been very helpful to me lately as I tackled an important task that still required some brain power to work with.
—Catherine, Quebec

Playlist #10: silver ball

“I had a professor who told me that he wrote all his papers while listening to silver ball soundtrack. I tried and haven’t looked back since. Hope this helps other people with ADHD! »
—Spencer, British Columbia

Playlist #11: bass house

“Bass House is just a great list of jumps that’s exciting without being frenetic.”
—Molly Durham, Texas

Playlist #12: Repetitive needs

“I have a playlist of songs I can listen to endlessly, then I choose a song from that list before I start the task I need to do.”
—Cameron, Australia

“Combining instrumental music with chic hotel vibes, this music keeps you moving without distraction.”
— Aria, California

Focus on Music for ADHD: Next Steps


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