The Best Music For Productivity

The Best Music For Productivity
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Half of the Lifehacker staff can’t work with music on. The other half needs it. Here’s what we listened to this year while working on Lifehacker.

Nick Douglas, Staff Writer

My most-listened album this year was the Succession soundtrack, which is just 26 versions of the Succession theme. Nicholas Britell’s like “What if the Succession theme but only French horns? What if only strings? What if drum machine? What if bluegrass?”

I also worked to:

Beth Skwarecki, Health Editor

OK you know I love God Is an Astronaut (I’ve had the same album on repeat as my work music for YEARS). Caspian is another artist in a similar genre. If I’m not listening to music or silence, I like ambient noise videos like this one that evokes arctic machinery (I’m not sure if it’s ACTUALLY of an icebreaker ship but I don’t care).

Claire Lower, Food Editor

I cannot write to any music at all, but I CAN tell you the albums I cooked to, which were Operators’ Radiant Dawn (the only new album I really listened to this year with any regularity), Warren Zevon’s self-titled, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ self-titled, and a playlist comprised mostly of Archers of Loaf and Descendants. Oh, and Tusk. Tusk is a really excellent cooking album.

Melissa Kirsch, Editor-in-Chief

I listen to anything that could be described as “coffee house.” Will Oldham, the quieter side of Big Thief. Folksy stuff with lyrics. No drums.

Lisa Rowan, Personal Finance Writer

I know I’m supposed to listen to classical music when I’m trying to focus, but I never really “got it” until I stumbled across the album on Spotify, Classical Study Music. The music moves a bit more than the lo-fi mixes I tend to listen to while I’m working, but it’s not distracting at all. Which, I guess, is the entire point.

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