The Best Music for Writing: 26 Playlists for Inspiration & Focus

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  • February 21, 2024
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  • 12 min read


Music can be a writer’s best friend or their worst enemy. The right tunes keep you focused and motivated as the words flow effortlessly onto the page. But choose the wrong playlist, and you might find yourself tapping your feet instead of typing away.

That’s why finding the optimal soundscape for your writing sessions is important. With the perfect mix of songs, you can transport yourself into a flow state, cranking out page after page on even the toughest assignments. The wrong sounds, however, can shatter your concentration or sap your creativity.

This guide will explore the best music for writing across genres and contexts. You’ll discover upbeat tracks to energize your efforts, ambient mixes to enhance your focus, and playlists tailored specifically for creative writing. Read on to find your perfect background audio, guaranteed to inspire great work.

Why Music Helps You Write

Music can be a powerful ally in writing and enhancing creativity. The right tunes can help improve focus and block out distractions. They can put you in the optimal mindset for flow and imagination.

When seeking inspiration strikes, music has an incredible ability to spark creative thinking and new ideas. Many writers can attest that a familiar playlist can trigger your muse, unlock writer’s block, or help words and thoughts flow freely.

The noise-blocking and distraction-minimizing effects of music can also give a useful boost to concentration. Getting in the zone for writing becomes easier when music cuts down external sounds and chatter. The predictability of rhythms and melodies helpfully directs mental focus.

Music also has a profound impact on mood and mindset. Choosing playlists that evoke energy, positivity, or relaxation sets the stage for productive writing sessions. Upbeat tracks promote motivation, while calmer songs lower stress. Getting in the right headspace with a tailored soundtrack helps writing come easier.

26 Best Music Playlists to Listen to While You Write

Here is our expertly crafted selection of 26 writing music playlists and songs. These playlists are especially favored by the wordsmiths at Ghost Writing Founder, who understand the power of the perfect backdrop to writing sessions.

Writing Music for Every Mood: English Lyrics

Whether you’re seeking inspiration to kickstart your writing journey, here are some collections of writing music playlists that you can listen to.

1. Morning Rhythms

Begin your day with a gentle nudge into the writing flow. This playlist offers an eclectic mix, from funk to soul to jazz, designed to uplift your spirits without fading into the background.

2. Shoegaze Classics

Originally dubbed “dream pop” upon its emergence in the UK during the 1980s, shoegaze music features ethereal vocals, distorted guitars, and a distinctive aura of distortion. It’s a brooding yet oddly uplifting genre, perfect for those reflective writing sessions.

3. Have a Great Day!

As the title suggests, this playlist brims with cheerful melodies guaranteed to brighten your mood. Featuring tracks from Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Steely Dan, Blondie, and Stevie Wonder, it’s a surefire way to inject some energy into your writing routine.

4. Chill + Atmospheric

This playlist is tailor-made if melancholy melodies and rainy-day ambiance resonate with your creative spirit. Immerse yourself in haunting tunes that evoke a sense of introspection and calm.

5. Melantronic

Described by Spotify as “beautiful electronic music for melancholy moments,” this playlist strikes a delicate balance between sadness and rhythm. Expect soul-stirring tracks from artists like Thom Yorke, Caribou, and Aphex Twin, perfect for those reflective writing sessions.

Writing Music in a foreign language

Professional book writing service providers sometimes like to write music while listening to some good foreign language music. The tunes offer intrigue, keeping one motivated without the distraction of lyrics.

Below are writing music playlists liked by the team from around the world:

6. French Indie Pop

This writing music playlist embodies dreamy, mellow French indie pop. It leans heavily on electronic music and vibrant beats, evoking a “low-key Paris” vibe rather than the frenzy of club-hopping.

7. Japanese City Pop

During the late 1970s and 1980s, Japan embraced “City Pop,” influenced by Western music. With jazz, soft rock, and funk elements, it’s reminiscent of yacht rock—a perfect choice for those seeking peppy tunes.

8. Soweto Beat/Township Jive

Soweto, a vibrant township in South Africa, resonates with musical energy. This playlist highlights mbaqanga music, a rhythmic style with deep Zulu roots originating in the early 1960s. Its upbeat tempo ignites energetic bursts of writing.

9. Bhangra Bangers

For enthusiasts of upbeat music, Bhangra is the epitome of delight. Originating in the British Punjabi community, it blends traditional Indian folk melodies with hip-hop influences and infectious percussion.

10.  Spanish Tapas Bar

This playlist promises a surge of vitality, featuring traditional flamenco and Spanish folk tunes with a quick tempo. It infuses the writing space with vitality, ideal for those seeking energy.

11.  Korean Indie/Chill/R&B

Hop on a 54-hour musical odyssey through Korean R&B, pop, ballads, and lo-fi melodies. This extensive mix offers a spectrum of emotions, from uplifting anthems to soulful ballads, perfect for any writing journey.

Explore these eclectic playlists and let the global melodies inspire your creativity.

Musical choices without lyrics:

For those who find lyrics distracting, there are many musical choices to maintain focus. Consider classical pieces, hip-hop beats, instrumental renditions of favorite songs, and contemporary composers to enhance productivity.

12.  Japanese Lofi HipHop

This playlist, a personal favorite for writing sessions, offers lyric-less, Asian-inspired hip-hop beats. It balances chill vibes and upbeat rhythms as the backdrop for about 50% of writing sessions.

13.  Classical Music for Reading

A 2.5-hour compilation featuring selections from Mozart, Chopin, Debussy, and other classical masters. If it’s suitable for reading, it’s also conducive to writing.

14. Minimalism

Minimalist compositions, characterized by repetitive patterns or steady drones, are ideal for fostering concentration. This mix showcases works by iconic minimalist composers like Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, and John Adams.

15. Instrumental Pop Covers

Perfect for top-40 radio and pop classics fans who seek to maintain focus. From basic guitar covers to full orchestral renditions, it offers a variety of instrumental interpretations.

16. Composer Weekly: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Explore the instrumental music of Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, renowned for his movie soundtracks and piano compositions. This playlist offers a 30-track introduction to his sparse, dark, and contemplative works.

17.  Relaxing Spanish Guitar

Experience the expressive power of the Spanish guitar, characterized by its rich emotion, quick riffs, and rhythmic cadence. Let its zest infuse your typing sessions.

18.  Ludovico Einaudi Complete Playlist

You can also listen to the solo releases of Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi, renowned for his film and television scores. Explore his diverse works, including the seven-part “Seven Days Walking” series.

Instrumental scores from games and movies

For those seeking instrumental scores from games and movies, the world of music offers a range of options to enhance focus and productivity.

19.  Soundtracks for Studying

From Downton Abbey’s grandeur to Braveheart’s adventure, this playlist encompasses a wide range of movie soundtracks, including Ratatouille and Sherlock. Despite the diverse cinematic themes, the music strikes a harmonious balance between epic and subdued, providing an ideal ambiance for concentration.

20.  Minecraft Soundtrack

Renowned as the bestselling video game of all time, Minecraft captivates players with its enchanting music. The soundtrack exudes an understated yet uplifting vibe, subtly infusing happiness and motivation into your writing space.

21.  Studio Ghibli Summer Night Piano Collection with Nature Sounds

Hop into the serene world of Studio Ghibli with this 7-hour YouTube collection featuring gentle piano performances intertwined with soothing nature sounds like chirping crickets. Indulge in soft and tranquil melodies to create a serene writing atmosphere.

Electronic music

When you enter the world of electronic music, you’ll find all sorts of styles, from electronica to house, techno to drum and bass, each with its own feel. While some folks love jamming to rave tunes, others prefer playlists that are lively but not too wild. Here are a few tracks to boost your writing sessions:

22.  Brain Food

Engross yourself in subtle, hypnotic electronic melodies to enhance focus and relaxation. With no distracting lyrics, this playlist is ideal for those easily pulled away from their creative flow.

23.  Yoga Electronica

Featuring downtempo and deep house tracks, this playlist provides the perfect energy balance without inducing a desire to dance. Its repetitive beats offer a steady rhythm to anchor your writing endeavors.

24.   Mother Earth’s Plantasia

A cult classic electronic album by Mort Garson, “Plantasia” was initially released in 1976, resurfacing to wider acclaim in 2019. Crafted as “warm Earth music” to aid plant growth, its sweet, hopeful, and spacey tunes, infused with Moog synthesizers, evoke a sense of fantasy and wonder.

25.  Women of Electronic

Highlighting innovative women in electronic writing music, this playlist offers diverse styles and voices. From Yaeji’s quiet, mellow vocals over house beats to Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s intricate synthesizer compositions and Charlotte De Witte’s dark and stripped-back techno, each artist brings a unique perspective to the electronic landscape.

26.  Coding Concentration by Spotify

This playlist offers more than 100 instrumental tracks that are ideal for keeping you concentrated on your tasks. With genres ranging from classical melodies to electronic rhythms, there’s a diverse selection to help you stay in the zone.

Finding Your Optimal Sound

Everyone has different preferences regarding finding the right auditory backdrop for writing, especially when embarking on becoming a novelist. Here are some tips for discovering your optimal sound:

Experiment with Different Genres

Try out various musical genres to see which ones work best for you. Some writers do their best work with classical or instrumental music playing in the background.

Others find upbeat pop, rock, or dance music more motivating. Don’t limit yourself to one genre—explore various types of writing music to find which styles get your creative juices flowing.

Create Playlists Based on Projects

You may want to make different playlists depending on the type of writing project you’re working on. For academic or technical writing, mellow acoustic or classical music may help you focus without distraction.

For creative writing like poetry or fiction, instrumental movie soundtracks or ambient electronica could help spark ideas. Tailor your playlists to fit the tone and nature of your writing.

Ambient Noise vs. Music

You don’t necessarily need a musical soundtrack to write. For some, ambient background noise like the hum of a coffee shop, rainstorm sounds, or crackling fireplace audio can provide a soothing atmosphere without pulling focus like lyrical music might. Experiment with different natural noise soundscapes to see if they help your writing productivity more than music.

The key is trying out different auditory backdrops to discover what puts you in the optimal headspace for writing without distracting you from the task. Be open to finding new music, sounds, or playlists that boost your creativity and focus. With experimentation, you’ll find the right sonic environment tailored specifically to your writing needs.

Potential Downsides of Music

While writing music can be a great tool for enhancing focus and creativity while writing, it has some potential downsides to be aware of.

It can be distracting for some:

Individual responsiveness to music is highly personal. For every writer who thrives with a harmonious background, there’s another who may find it overstimulating. Just as some writers deepen their skills by read classic books in silence, you might discover that a quiet environment helps you concentrate better. It’s crucial to experiment and determine if music is a helpful tool or a hindrance to your process.

Lyrics can be distracting:

Songs with lyrics, especially in a language you understand, can pull your focus towards listening to the words instead of writing your own. Instrumental music is often a better choice for writing sessions.

Changing songs interrupts flow:

Having new songs constantly start-up can disrupt your concentration and pull you out of the writing flow state. Consider playlists that blend songs without gaps or extended mixes that play for 30-60 minutes without interruptions.

Other Auditory Background

Nature sounds, and white noise has also become popular options for writers seeking ambient background audio. The sounds of birds chirping, rain falling, or waves crashing can promote relaxation while blocking distracting noises.

Many people also enjoy the background chatter and clatter of a coffee shop or cafe. The indistinct voices and sounds of espresso machines and dishes create a soothing backdrop, emulating the buzz of creativity and productivity. Cafe ambiance playlists aim to mimic this energetic yet unintrusive environment.

Binaural beats are a more unconventional option. Each ear’s tracks play slightly different frequencies to encourage specific mental states.

For example, beta-wave binaural beats from 14-30 Hz may boost energy and focus, while theta waves from 4-8 Hz induce calmness and creativity. However, research on binaural beats’ effects remains limited.

Any repetitious, low-key background noise could pave the way for engaging writing sessions. We see this in practice daily at our Seo blog writing agency, where various sounds accompany our writers on their creative journeys. Experiment to determine which auditory environments optimize your concentration and inspiration. Let your productivity and preferences guide you towards your ideal soundscape.


It’s worth experimenting to find your optimal soundscapes to write to. Remember that lyrics can sometimes be distracting, and pay attention to how your productivity is affected. While music works for many, reduce the volume or avoid it if it seems counterproductive.

Listening to music while writing can greatly boost creativity, focus, and productivity for many people. Throughout this article, we’ve explored different genres and playlists that can inspire focused writing sessions and soothe nerves or spark new ideas. With this guide and multiple playlist options, we hope you can now increase your productivity while crafting a book.

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