“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”Jeremiah 31:25
DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or trained mental health professional of any kind. Everything I write is based on my own personal experience with coming to terms with my differences and adjusting to how my brain works. Please do not take my word as gospel of any kind – these posts are only meant to help further open the dialogue around mental health and dispelling the stigma around mental illnesses and disabilities.
If you are a student or anyone under 25, you have probably heard of or used Lofi music. There are whole YouTube and Spotify channels dedicated to the genre. The videos and playlists usually feature names like “chill beats to study to” or “music to read to” and feature repeating drum beats and retro vibes. While I don’t recommend doing assignments or projects at the last minute, Lofi music has helped me power through a few projects with deadlines that came a bit too close for comfort.
Most people I have met in high school and college regularly listen to Lofi music when working on a really tough assignment or cramming for an exam at the last minute. Whenever students are stressed as well, Lofi music can help them focus and center themselves on the task at hand. As someone with ADHD, Lofi’s music is also ideal for drowning out unwanted background chatter or calming my racing thoughts.
It has gotten to the point where whenever someone tells me they are overwhelmed and irritable, I say, “Have you tried listening to some Lofi music?”. But, of course, Lofi music isn’t some magical cure-all for all for wandering minds or writers’ block, and it certainly doesn’t instantly make you some type of super-student. It is merely a tool created by and for people, like anything else.
The Science of Lofi Music
According to an article in Masterclass, “Lo-fi represents a subgenre of electronic music that shares qualities with downtempo music, the chillwave scene, and lo-fi hip-hop. Lo-fi music mixed elements of house, jazz, easy listening, and hip-hop beats and samples with a DIY music aesthetic that emphasized analog recordings’ imperfect, homemade quality. The result was dreamy audio with a relaxed, retro sound that many found ideal for background music, especially studying”.
Vaugh College reports that “the imperfect elements of lo-fi music are a popular choice when it comes to the positive results when studying is concerned.” They also explain that “Lo-fi music helps the front lobe of our brain to focus – those flaws or low hums can also put the brain in the mindset to focus.”
Lofi Music For Neurodivergent People
I have personally found that as someone with ADHD and anxiety that bleeds into my focus and academic life, Lofi music helps to ground me when I get caught up in cycles of unhelpful and self-destructive thinking, giving me a simplistic and soothing source of stimulation to calm my nerves. Additionally, when I get overstimulated by all of the world’s chaos, the endless noise and action constantly seeking your attention – sometimes it is nice to listen to something understated and mellow to maintain a semblance of sanity.
I also enjoy listening to Lofi music whenever I have a particularly hard time falling asleep. Whether your mind is racing because of anxiety, ADHD, or something else, I recommend 10 minutes of Lofi music to center yourself mentally. After listening to it for a short amount of time, re-evaluate your anxiety level and mental state. If your anxiety level is still high and/or your mind is still racing, listen for another ten minutes or mind another relaxing activity. As I said, Lofi music isn’t the golden ticket and only works for some.
Lofi Channel Recommendations
My favorite part of posts like this is sharing my favorite creators and channels!
One of the most infamous Lofi music creators is a YouTube creator called ChilledCow, and they have two YouTube streams of Lofi music running 24/7 for all your late-night study session needs. They are also ad-free, so there is no danger of being jerked out of a deep focus by an annoyingly chipper commercial narrator (we all have a particular commercial that gets on our nerves).
If you prefer an audio-only experience, there are TONS of Spotify playlists with hours of Lofi music ready to hit your ears. One of the best Spotify playlists is this one called “lofi beats” with over 24 hours of music and 750 songs. Another great playlist is “productive study lofi”, which also has over 24 hours of music and 702 songs.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and forgive me for my long absence; the Spring 2023 semester was intense, but I am back home and have tons of new ideas for block posts!
Please like, comment, and subscribe if you connected with my post and if you would like to see more of my crazy, exciting journey through life with Christ and mental illnesses. Every interaction I receive here means a lot. Thank you and God bless you!
Until next time!
I hadn’t heard of lofi music before, but then it’s been a long time since I was 25. However, I was familiar with the concept and I tried studying to similar music when I last had exams. It was meant to help with recall if you could remember the music. But it didn’t help me. I suck at exams
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Hey, thanks for reading! I completely understand, I’m bad at exams too. I primarily like to use lofi music when working on a paper, it seems to help with my “creative juices”
Reading this was really interesting especially as I’ve actually heard of it (and listen to it). I tend to have it on in the background when I’m doing blog stuff and overall it works quite well. I didn’t know much about it so it was great to read all this.
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