It’s 3pm, and your boss needs that report in an hour. You can’t focus, and music usually helps you buckle down. But you’ve already listened to the Top 50 charts on Spotify twice this week, and you don’t think you can stand to rotate through the Chainsmokers, Ariana Grande, and Drake albums one more time.
I’m with you. I need music like I need water, so staying current on the most popular tracks is important! However, when you’re on that nine to five grind, mixing it up can be a good thing. Here are a few of my favorite Spotify playlists – in no particular order – to lift your mood, help you focus, and maybe introduce you to a new artist or two.
Found under the “Pop” section in Spotify’s Browse feature, this playlist is perfect for that 3pm re-focus. “Pop Rising” consistently delivers a light energy that will wake you up while also introducing some of the newest and brightest hits of the Pop world. Updated weekly, you might just find yourself dancing a bit in your chair after a few tunes. Bonus: if you’re working on a creative project, discovering new music may help you discover new ideas as well!
Honorable Mention: “Wild Cards” Playlist– If you really want to push the bounds of pop, artist discovery, and how productive you can be all at once, this is a must-listen.
Sometimes, when you really need to focus, listening to break-up-revenge lyrics or upbeat tracks just won’t do the trick. My favorite playlist to turn to in this case is “Peaceful Piano”. These beautiful melodies are calming and highly effective for drowning out the excess office chatter. You might even feel like you’ve left early and are instead sitting on a park bench, wrapped in a cozy scarf while overlooking a foggy lake in Paris… Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, remember to take out those head phones every once and awhile and make sure no one’s trying to get your attention!
Honorable Mention: “Classical Essentials” Playlist – Same idea, but with classical music. This time you might daydream yourself into a renaissance dinner party scene!
Some days, work is crazy and your schedule seems to have a mind of its own. And then there are times when it might feel like you’ve been doing the same thing for weeks, and your motivation is starting to lag. This is THE playlist for that time. When you need to be reminded why you started something in the first place, why not listen to the songs that have been consistently defining the Indie genre right now?. Still not convinced? Here’s a preview: Local Natives, Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers, Tame Impala, Phantogram, The Black Keys, Radiohead, etc. Need I say more?
Honorable Mention: “Feel Good Indie Rock” Playlist– Indie can get a little dreary at times, so try this playlist for a mood boost!
For those of you who work best with the smooth beats of hip-hop in the background, look no further than Urban Poets. An excellent mix of “alternative and underground hip-hop,” you’ll find yourself entranced by the music while the lyrics of artists like Kendrick Lamar and Anderson.Paak truly make you think. You’ll be motivated to work smarter and with more purpose simply by listening to the messages these tracks deliver.
Honorable Mention: “Most Necessary Playlist” – If staying one step ahead of the game is important to you, this playlist is full of emerging talent in the hip-hop and rap worlds.
What do you think? What playlists, genres, or artists help you focus and do your best work? If you’re at a loss, plug in those head phones and check out one of my suggestions! No matter what you choose, listening to music is one of the best ways to feed your soul and infuse your work with inspiration, energy and creativity.