Music can be a great way to get inspired, or simply block out the sounds of daily living. As a developer, there are often many tasks you can perform while listening to music - programming, writing documentation, creating tickets, etc. The right music helps me maintain focus on the task at hand. By right, I mean music that isn’t distracting, but helps keep me alert and engaged. This post is a playable playlist of songs that have been keeping me focused while flipping bits.

Even if you’re not a desk jockey at work like me, there are most likely some aspects of your life that require long periods of focus and attention - side hustles, school work, self-improvement etc. Here are some playlists to help you focus up and get that sh*t done.

Spotify: Lush Lofi

Lush Lofi is almost entirely instrumental and very calming. It’s like music you’d expect to hear in the lobby of a fancy hotel or bar. I listen to it while I’m reading, or designing something new.

Spotify: Chill tracks

The description for Chill Tracks is “Softer kinda dance”. This playlist is mostly uptempo electronic. It’s great for those “necessary evil” tasks like writing Cmake files and bash scripts. This is not the playlist to listen to if you are easily distracted by a catchy beat or words.

YouTube: 2am Study Session

If you don’t have Spotify, YouTube is also great for finding new “focus music”. One of my favorites comes from the Lofi Girl channel which currently has almost 10 million subscribers.

The video is about an hour long and has many different instrumental tracks. The songs sound like they could’ve had someone rap over them if they were sped up. 2am Study Session is a favorite of mine when I’m reading nonfiction.

One hour of non-stop Lofi study music

As a bonus, each video in this channel comes with a cute animation that slowly loops over and over throughout.

Spotify: Deep Focus

Spotify classifies this playlist as “Post-Rock”. Despite not being entirely sure what that genre entails, I like Deep Focus for a long work session. One common theme of this playlist is that each song sounds like it could’ve been played towards the end of a movie when the main character just reached some moment of resolution.

Spotify: White Noise

This playlist is entirely made of white noise. Each one is so slightly different that it’s nearly impossible to tell them apart.

If you can’t listen to the above playlists without losing focus and still need to block out the outside world, this playlist might be the one.

YouTube: Alpha Brain Waves

Another playlist for those who get easily distracted, Alpha Brain Waves is essentially background noise. The whole thing sounds like one drawn out synth note, but is somehow oddly inspirational.

It might seem odd, but hey, 171 million listens speaks for itself.

3 hours of ouuuuuuahhhhhhhhh

Spotify: Coding Mode

Coding Mode has artists like Hans Zimmer, The xx, and Tycho. The theme of the playlist is somewhere between movie soundtrack and downtempo house. Coding Mode is great for crushing through some template or boilerplate code that you don’t really need to think about.

My FOCUS Playlist

The songs in FOCUS are mostly instrumental and upbeat (> 100 bpm) which I like because the fast pace nature of the songs helps keep me alert during a long work day. Similar to Chill Tracks, it’s a collection of electronic and uptempo house music thats good for making mundane tasks more bearable.


Thanks for reading! Hopefully you liked the songs. If you did, please share and comment some of your own!