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Myth or Fact: Does Listening to Music Really Help with Studying and for Your Mental Health?

It is fairly common for college students to listen to the music of their choice while studying. Another factor is that, due to the pandemic, online classes are being held, where any digital information is easily accessible by anyone. With that, students have quick access to YouTube, Spotify, and plenty of other music streaming platforms while studying. If you're feeling a bit rusty, here are some things you should know so you'll even be productive while listening to music.

Music helps with improving your mood and endurance

According to Davis (2015), several benefits of music while studying include improvement in memorization where music helps with creating positive moods that obliquely boost memory formation, and it may also improve endurance for long study sessions. If you think that the music you're listening to isn't effective along with your studying, maybe you must consider avoiding music that's too loud or has distracting lyrics. Music may also relieve symptoms of depression and reduce stress. When you’re feeling down, music can pick you up, which is very similar to an exercise (Lerman, 2020).

Adverse effects of attentiveness to music while studying

Despite the advantages of paying attention to music while studying, there are drawbacks that may be encountered. One of which is that when a student is attentive to music while doing written work, they have a tendency to be easily distracted with the lyrics making it hard for them to focus on writing, and successively, they become inefficient with their tasks (Davis, 2015). A study by Briggs (2014), stated that participants were tested under several listening conditions: some participants had to be attentive to the song of their liking, some had to listen to songs they dislike, some had to listen to a voice repeating the word, “three”, and some had to bear a voice that randomly iterates single-digit numbers. The study has found that being attentive to music whether or not they like the song, could impair cognitive abilities when studying and that they call this phenomenon the “Irrelevant Sound Effect” or the ISE.


If you’re a hard-working student who wants to concentrate on improving your academic performance, maybe being attentive to music may well be effective for you. Although, given the said setbacks of being attentive to music while studying, it'll still come all the way down to your own study style, and preference.


Briggs, S. (2014, October 19). Why You Shouldn't Listen to Music While Studying.

Davis, N. (2015, July 21). Is it Good to Listen to Music While Studying?

Lerman, M. (2020, December 31). 9 Health Benefits of Music.


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