33 Songs for a Killer Productivity Playlist

Study after study highlights the benefits of listening to music while you work (or study for finals). Music releases dopamine from the brain and—for a lot of really interesting scientific reasons related to neurotransmitters in the brain—the feeling of pleasure we get is related to the element of surprise. Think about how excited you get when you make plans to eat your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant. The anticipation is almost as good as the food itself! Dopamine.


Research also indicates that music can improve your creativity and make even the most boring tasks appealing. I can’t tell you there is a singular playlist that works for everyone, but if you are stuck in a rut, your best bet is to try something new. Here are some of my favorite songs for productivity.


  1.      Bloom (Close to You) (Alex Brandt Remix) –The Paper Kites
  2.      Opening up – Sara Bareilles
  3.      IntroThe xx
  1.      Waves – Robin Schulz
  2.      Imagine – John Lennon
  3.      Run the World (Girls) – Beyoncé
  4.      Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  5.      Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
  6.      One Day – Matisyahu 
  1.   Lose Yourself – Eminem
  2.   Make the Money – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  3.   Walking on a Dream – Empire of the Sun
  4.   The Final Countdown – Europe
  5.   The Nights – Avicii (Mau Kilauea’s Tropical Remix) 
  1.   Work Hard, Play Hard – Wiz Khalifa
  2.   Dream On – Aerosmith
  3.   Stronger – Kanye West
  4.   I Lived – One Republic 
  1.   You Make my Dreams – Hall & Oates
  2.   Defying Gravity – Wicked the Musical
  3.   Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
  4.   Cough Syrup – Young the Giant 
  1.   Carry ON – Fun.
  2.   We Rise – San olorHolo
  3.   This Too Shall Pass – OK Go
  4.   Happy – Pharrell 
  1.   Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
  2.   Get up Stand up – Bob Marley
  3.   It’s My Life – Bon Jovi
  4.   Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
  5.   What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  6.   I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty 
  1.   I Feel Good – James Brown

If nothing else, when you’re wearing headphones at your desk, you’re less likely to be distracted. If that’s all you need to get your work done, then take every chance you get!


What are some of your favorite productivity songs?


Last Updated: May 24, 2017
About the author

Cally Martin

Callan is a social media loving, blog writing, event planning freelancer who believes in the power of the oxford comma. Originally from America’s high-five (Michigan), she’s been in Austin since 2015 and doesn’t plan on moving anytime soon. When not attached to WiFi, she can be found running around the lake or drinking mimosas at brunch.