Back-to-school study playlist

Hannah May-Powers, Arcade Editor

Ashley Chen | Art Director

I spent the first three years of my undergraduate career studying in the first-floor stacks of our beloved Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. Even when I had a difficult, frazzled study session, I would eventually find my focus by virtue of the fact that I was in an environment designed to be conducive for studying. As many students are online-only or do not feel comfortable with studying in a public place, it becomes important to create a mindful study space. Though everyone has a different ability to access resources to help create this space, one factor that is easier to control than most is the music you listen to while working.

Studies show that listening to music with lyrics while studying is distracting.That does not mean, however, that all music should be avoided. In fact, several studies suggest that listening to instrumental music while working is actually helpful when writing papers, memorizing flashcards, or while reading textbooks. For that reason, this playlist highlights Lo-fi music. Lo-fi is an acronym of low-fidelity, meaning that this type of music contains technical imperfections such as distortion, background noise, and scratchiness. Listening to instrumental music while focusing may help to regulate your mood, which in turn affects cognition. Not only that, but creating an “aural cocoon” can help to block out distractions and make the transition between tasks easier.

In a world that feels increasingly turbulent, Lo-fi provides a welcome reprieve. No matter if you want to relax or study, this playlist will meet you where you are at.

Check out the playlist here.