When you have papers begging to be written, math problems waiting impatiently to be calculated, and textbooks practically judging you from the other side of the room, sometimes silence can be even more distracting than background noise. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can use to drown out the quiet and keep yourself sane while you’re doing your homework. While silence can be distracting, so can music with lyrics, which is why I find ambience playlists helpful. Without further ado, here are my top five soundtracks to help you get into study mode!
1. Rainy Day Coffee Shop Ambience
Courtesy of YouTube, Rainy Day Coffee Shop Ambience is the perfect mood-setting ambience video. It’s just over three hours long and features soft piano music and the calming sounds of rain and distant thunder. After you listen for a while, the music seems to fade and you’ll find yourself tricked into thinking that you really are seated in a quiet coffee shop with rain tapping at the windows, lulling you into relaxation as you fly through the pages of your homework. To take the atmosphere a step further, I recommend accompanying this playlist with a cozy cup of hot chocolate.
2. no words needed.
no words needed. is a Spotify playlist that includes a flawless variety of powerful film scores, beautifully dramatic string compositions, softer modern pieces, and all-instrumental covers of songs you know and love. With 32 songs in total, it will keep your mind at ease for over an hour and a half of studying. If you’re looking for a collection of quality music that won’t distract your attention away from your homework (and one without all the extra noise that’s almost inevitable with ambience videos), this playlist is for you!
3. a dark academia classical study playlist + ancient library room ambience
When it comes to thoughtfully curated, aesthetic playlists, I can guarantee you won’t come across one much better than a dark academia classical study playlist + ancient library room ambience. Stunning classical-style music is paired with fireplace, page-turning, and note-scribbling noises that blend together into a make-believe atmosphere that will transport you into an older, more delicate place in time. While studying with this video, I recommend having low, warm lighting and cuddling up in a soft cardigan.
4. coffee shop study session
The coffee shop study session playlist on Spotify serves up an indie coffeehouse experience to keep you motivated through any scholarly task. Though this list features music with lyrics, every song maintains a chill, not-quite-mainstream, mostly acoustic vibe with just enough beat to stimulate your mind. The playlist has 17 songs altogether and is almost an hour long, making it the shortest one on this list and perfect for timed studies. A simple glass of cold-brewed coffee is essential to completing this mood and giving you the caffeine kick you need to push through every subject.
5. Happy Jazz on Coffee Shop Ambience
If you’re looking for a collection of fun, colorful music without all the background noise, Coffee Shop Ambience’s Relaxing Jazz Music and Bossa Nova for Good Mood on YouTube is just what you need. It also happens to be a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week stream, meaning you won’t ever run out of upbeat jazzy tunes—even if you have to pull an all-night study session. This station pairs well with bright colored lights and a cold double espresso to keep your brain buzzing and the good vibes flowing into the wee hours of the night. (Note: Click the hyperlink above to access this live radio station, as it does not allow playback on websites outside of YouTube.)
This concludes my top picks for the best ambience playlists to fuel your studying! These are some of my favorite resources out there, but keep in mind that they aren’t your only options. Both YouTube and Spotify have countless other playlists and videos that are free for you to explore until you find exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new genres, themes, and sounds—you never know what could end up being your key to the perfect study session.
While you’re on YouTube, be sure to check out our new Ultimate Guide to the College Search video series for high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors!