Just like many people, music helps me concentrate while studying and working. However, there are people that find it hard to focus with any background noise at all. Sometimes, I even watch YouTube videos just to have some kind of background noise. But, the thing is, I like listening to music more as it offers a lot of benefits.
This, of course, includes improved mood, increased motivation, boost concentration, improved memory and brain stimulation, and better management of pain and fatigue among others. Recently, I even made a playlist filled with songs and music to help me focus.
Making a playlist of songs that help me relax and focus
Once Upon A Dream
This is a song written for the 1959 animated musical fantasy film Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. This one didn’t have any vocals. The melody, on the other hand, comes from the Grande calse villageoise or also known as The Garland Waltz from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The song serves as the film’s main theme. And, as the love theme of Princess Aurora and Prince Philip.
I absolutely love the entire franchise of Harry Potter. My favorite film in the series is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. However, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire have the best soundtrack among the others. One of my favorite tracks is Potter Waltz. It sounds lively and romantic as it was played during the Yule Ball sequence as the TriWizard Tournament champions dance with their partners. It makes me feel productive while my feet swing along the waltz.
So This Is Love
So This Is Love is a 1948 composition that was written for the 1950 version of the fantasy film Cinderella. Although this wasn’t the original version, it is still a romantic ballad that makes me feel like I was gradually falling in love with someone. The no-vocal song hits me right, helping me focus while I hum along.
This is one of the songs that make me feel relaxed. And, it makes sense as it actually is a lullaby. It also helps me focus, especially with the beat at the start. It’s like helping you count sheep in your head, encouraging you to fall asleep. Aside from that, it helps me with focus, especially when I wear my headphones.
Mystery of Love
Hannah Stater is a professional musician. She released the harp cover of the song in March 2020. It’s like something you can hear when you enter heaven. In a TikTok video, she shared that she even had a high school teacher that mocked her for wanting to go to school to professionally pursue music. And, thank goodness that she didn’t listen to that teacher because I wouldn’t have this song in my playlist.
The Flower Garden
I watched Howl’s Moving Castle like a month ago and until now, I can’t get over the movie. It was such a calming film that even the soundtracks make me feel like I was in Studio Ghibli’s creation. Although at first, I thought the movie was going to scare me, I fell in love with the film and its entire beauty of it. The song reminds me of the secret garden that Howl takes Sophie to near the end of the movie.
Paris Loves Lovers
Cole Porter, THE MGM Studio Orchestra
Icons Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse performed the original version of the song in the 1957 musical romantic-comedy Silk Stockings. Although I haven’t watched the movie or even listened to the lyrics of the song, it makes me want to go to Paris with my long-time boyfriend.
Claire De Lune
French composer Claude Debussy began composing the song in 1890. He, then, revised and published it in 1905. The gentle song is the most readily recognizable segment of his works. It’s featured in tons of movies. Unfortunately, the first time I heard this song was in 2008 when watching Twilight in cinemas. After that, I listened to the song again and again and again. Now, I use it for focus and relaxation.
Mia and Sebastian’s Theme
This is another song that comes from a movie that I haven’t watched yet. Upon researching, solely for this article, I learned that the song actually represents something in the movie La La Land. Its melancholy yet uplifting melody ties the theme of love together throughout the duration of the film. It holds the emotion of every part of their relationship — the lift, the fall, the mess, and the conclusion.
This is also from Sleeping Beauty. However, the song makes me feel as if I wasn’t falling in love. It makes me feel as if trouble has come and passed and that I need to overcome its results. Then, the melody in the middle starts from intense to soft, signifying some kind of relief.
A Walk in the Skies
This is probably my favorite song from Howl’s Moving Castle. The start of the song sounds youthful and somehow mischievous. It also makes me sway as I work and listen to the song. Then, the middle comes as if trouble started chasing me. All of a sudden, someone comes for me and takes me away to safety. Music like this when I get to imagine and fantasize about what’s going on is definitely one that I will listen to all the time.
At first, I put the song in the playlist as a joke. Although it falls under the classical music genre, the song became a meme on TikTok. Users utilize the song to create skits for supposed-to-be serious and mysterious things out of literally anything. Then, I listened to its entirety. And, I loved it. Despite it being a meme, it actually helps me focus.
This is another song that comes from another movie. Her revolves around a lonely writer that develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need. The song perfectly encapsulates how it can feel when looking at a photograph. It sounds exhilarating as nostalgia follows a pink of melancholy at the thought that those moments will never happen again. However, it helps me relax as the song seems to help people find solace in that realization.
Liebestraum (Love Dream)
Franz Liszt, Michael Krücker
There is something about somber music that helps me focus. this song is actually the saddest of an entire set as it discusses love that extends beyond death. After experiencing grief due to my dad’s passing, I truly understand where this song is coming from. Although it sounds melancholic, it’s still invigorating and inspiring which helps me with my productivity.
This song is originally performed by none other than Audrey Hepburn herself. She sang the song in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It even won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and the 1962 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It definitely served to be in my playlist.
Für Elise – Reimagined
Bagatelle No. 25 or most commonly known as Für Elise is one of Ludwig van Beethoven’s most popular compositions. It wasn’t published during his lifetime, only discovered forty years after his death. The song is basically dedicated to someone named Elise. It’s short, lighthearted, and generally giddy which makes me relax.
12 Dancing Princesses
This song comes from one of my favorite Barbie movies ever, 12 Dancing Princesses. The movie follows Princess Genevieve and her eleven sisters, Ashlyn Blair, Courtney, Delia, Edeline, Fallon Hadley, Isla, Janessa, Kathleen, and Lacey. The song brings me back to the years when all that worries me is forgetting the twelve princesses’ names. It’s nostalgic and relaxes me enough to help me fall asleep.
Coming from another Barbie movie, this song is another one of those that incite nostalgia in me. Although the lyrics were amazing when she sings about a word wrapped in a mystery, the no-vocal version sounds inspiring enough to help me focus which results in productivity.
You’re in Love
As I’ve mentioned above, I fell in love with Howl’s Moving Castle and its soundtracks. This is one of those songs that really makes me feel lighter somehow. It starts off slow and continues to the theme of the movie. It makes me focused enough to finish my work while I imagine slow dancing along to the song.
What Falling In Loves Feels Like
This song really does sound like what falling in love feels like. It starts off hesitant before going from intense to exciting and ends in a peacefully slow melody. It relaxes me as I do work and focuses me enough to actually finish it.
These are the songs I listen to while I work or study. It helps a lot with my focus and creates bouts of inspiration within me. It’s perfect and I hope it works for you, too!
Angela Grace P. Baltan has been writing professionally since 2017. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. Aside from that, she has an affinity for writing anything under the sun. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, the LGBTQIA+ community, and mental health among others.