Lo-fi music can help you study better

By: Mary-Ellen Davis, News Editor


If you’re anything like me, you just can’t study without music. Sometimes, though, my normal music is just too much. I start to sing with the words and then the next thing I know, I’m singing into a hair brush and completely blowing off everything I’m supposed to be doing. 

It took me a long time to find something that I could study to without being distracted, but I think I have finally found a solution: Lo-fi Music.

Lo-fi, which can be traced back to the 1950s, originated from low fidelity sounds that were regarded as imperfect in a normal recording session. Misplayed notes, environmental interference, and phonographic imperfections like tape hiss or degraded audio signals are often classified as some of the key characteristics of lo-fi music.

According to Hyde.edu, these imperfections can help the brain focus. When you play lo-fi, the brain begins to pick out the differences in sounds. This causes it to focus in and put it into a state where it is easier to focus. 

I have also found that the use of vocals in a lot of lo-fi are limited. This also provides fewer distractions because I’m not focusing in on the words being sung. 

There are plenty of places to find good lo-fi music. My personal favorite is Spotify’s ‘Chill Lofi Study Beats playlist’. With a lot of soft songs, it easily fades into the background without leaving your workspace completely silent. Some of the songs on the playlist incorporate some light vocals, but nothing to crazy or distracting. 

I found this playlist over the summer, and since then, it has been my go to anytime I need to really focus in on what I’m doing. From studying to cleaning, this playlist gives me a new burst of energy to get the job done.

Another Lofi playlist I really enjoy listening to on Spotify is called ‘Sad Lofi’. The sounds in this playlist tend to be a little darker, but I find it slightly more calming. I’ll turn it on right before I go to bed or as I’m going through my morning routine to help me stay centered. 

Some of the songs are slightly more vocal centric, so I don’t normally use it to study, but it makes for a great soundtrack to curl up around a mug of hot chocolate and read a book.

Featured on this playlist is also one of my favorite lo-fi artists, Woven in Hiatus. Like the playlist, their sound is a little darker, and they incorporate a lot of vocals into their music. Yet moving into fall, I feel like they provide the perfect aesthetic to go along with the seasonal change. 

Listening to this band makes me want to walk along a wooded path stepping on all the crunchy leaves that have fallen to the ground. They have a very soothing sound. I also listen to Woven in Hiatus if I need to clean or organize areas of my apartment.


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