It has never been proven that listening to music helps people to concentrate, but various studies have shown that listening to calming songs can reduce stress levels by blocking out background noise.

Ultimately it all comes down to personal preference as it’s almost impossible to compile a list of tracks that will suit everybody’s working habits. Dr Hauke Egermann, senior lecturer at the University of York, explains: “Generally, I believe that there is no such a thing as ‘optimal’ music, as a listener’s response to music always depends on the situation/context we are in and on many listener’s characteristics.”

As a student who’s worked through the night frantically finishing coursework on more than one occasion, I’m pretty confident in my favourites, tried and tested when deadlines have demanded it most:


For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver





Kiasmos, Kiasmos




Ratatat, Drift



Stornoway, Get Low



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