White woman in white sweater on laptop by lamp on windowsill overlooking city

Spotify Playlists and YouTube Channels to Set the Vibe for Better Focus

The internet is a gold mine of study hacks, including great playlists and videos for focus and relaxation. Check these ones out for your next study sesh.

Having a good study session is often about setting the right mood to help you focus. Students often employ strategies like organizing their desk in a particular manner, sitting in a comfortable and cozy place, or having a treat as a reward for getting things done. But one thing most people utilize is music or other calming sounds. If you’re looking for some awesome ambiance to help set the right vibe and get you in study mode, check out these playlists and YouTube channels for your next round of homework.

Lofi Girl (formerly Chilled Cow)

By now, there probably isn’t a person on the internet who doesn’t know about the Lofi Girl YouTube stream, formerly known as Chilled Cow. On this YouTube channel, you can enjoy an endless stream of relaxing lofi hip-hop beats while Lofi Girl sits writing away in her notebook and turning pages, with her cat sitting on the windowsill and the time of day and weather changing outside the window. Lofi Girl never stops studying—and neither should you! (Just kidding—you should always take breaks and go live your life, but Lofi Girl certainly motivates you to get your work done.) If you don’t want to keep the YouTube stream up, you can find all the songs that have ever been featured in the steam in an extensively long Spotify playlist that’s consistently updated.


Related: Great Study Playlists for All Your High School Classes

ASMR Rooms

We get it—ASMR is not for everyone, but not all ASMR is used to receive the specific and scientific reaction only a portion of the population experience. ASMR covers a wide range of intentionally made videos to calm and relax people, and ASMR Rooms does just that. Primarily based on Harry Potter but with Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and other popular fantasy sprinkled in, each video puts you in a cozy, calming location with all the sights and sounds you might experience for an immersive mood. You could be in the Hufflepuff common rooms listening to the sound of crackling fire with some light instrumental music. Or you may be hanging out in the library with the sounds of turning pages and scratching quills. You may even see a ghost wander by. The relaxing ambience is designed to make you feel right at home and ready to get work done.

Rain Sounds playlist

Maybe all the music and accompanying movement that comes with videos is just too distracting to get your homework done; that’s when it’s time to take it back to basics. People have been listening to white noise machines for sleep for who knows how long, and a common setting on those is usually rain sounds. But who needs a machine when you can have a whole Spotify playlist of different kinds of rain? Whether you want a storm, light right, or dreamy rain (whatever that means), this playlist has it all to effectively tune out the background noise and tune in to your work.

Related: Top 5 Ambience Playlists to Soundtrack Your Studies

Study Pomodoro

Not getting distracted while working can be really hard, especially for high school and college students who cope with ADHD. A big asset to these students is structure and building breaks into your routine. One tactic a lot of people like to use is the Pomodoro method, which consists of choosing a task to work on, working on it uninterrupted for 25 minutes with a timer, and rewarding yourself with a five-minute break. Then you pick a new task and work on that for the next 25 minutes. Every four sessions, you take a 15–30-minute break. The beauty of this method is you can adjust it to what works best for you, whether you need a shorter work time or longer breaks. The YouTube channel Study Pomodoro offers a handful of videos with different timer lengths, cute static background images, and relaxing music. If you’re looking for a study buddy, the channel Gibi ASMR has a series of four Pomodoro videos where you work alongside her, including one with no talking if you prefer. 

Spotify playlists for specific needs

A lot of the previous options are slow, relaxing music to ease your mind, but some students just need to be amped up for their studies. Again, this is common among people with ADHD who may need a little more stimulation to focus. Try searching for specific playlists for your needs on Spotify. A couple examples are these Upbeat Study Music (No Lyrics) and ADHD Intense Relief for Studying playlists. By using the Spotify search bar, you can find a ton of specifically curated studying compilations pulled together by students like you who understand exactly what you need for a great study session.

Related: Make the Most of Your Time With a Great Study Routine

These are just a few of the plethora of study and work playlists and videos on the internet. Try some out with low-pressure assignments or when you’re doing a hobby you love to find the one that helps you focus best; then you’ll know what to turn to when it comes to sitting down and getting some schoolwork done. Good luck with your studies and happy listening!

Looking for some coursework help beyond study music? We have tips for just about everything in Our Best Advice for Homework, Studying, and Tests.

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About Kelli Dolan

Kelli Dolan

Kelli Dolan is the Senior Assistant Editor & Counselor Communications Coordinator for CollegeXpress. Her day-to-day includes editing and writing CollegeXpress articles, running the CollegeXpress Counselors social media platforms, and basically just doing all things CollegeXpress. When she’s not editing other people’s work, she's writing for fun, favoring fiction stories and poetry. You could also potentially find her reading, playing video games, or hanging out with her dog, Athena; cat, Apollo; and red bearded dragon, Freya.


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