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Having Trouble Focusing? Give Lofi Music A Chance

by Jenika Enoch 28 days ago in feature
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Those "chill beats" might just be the secret to decreasing anxiety and increasing productivity

Lofi Girl [YouTube]

There is no secret that some people have a hard time focusing when it comes to school or work. Whether it is something clinical or simply not being able to put those devices down, some of us just cannot seem to give our full attention to the task at hand.

Sound familiar? If it does, maybe consider giving lofi music a chance.

What Exactly is Lofi?

Lofi Girl [YouTube]

Lofi (aka, low fidelity) music is basically music that thrives off having imperfections, hums, or buzzing. Think back to those old-school vinyl records that always had that scratchy, subtle low hum to them. Whether it was the actual mechanics of the record player or dust on the record, those are perfect examples of what makes up lofi sound.

In modern music, lofi is used more to describe playlists that contain "chill" beats and melodies that can be played more as background noise. Many people out there have argued that the soft beats and mellow tunes of lofi have contributed to better focus and retention of information. Most lofi playlists contain wordless music that seems to go on, and on. There isn't much you have to focus on or look too much into. It's there purely to keep your head in the game and let your brain have something to process in the background.

Was Modern Lofi Born in the Pandemic?

Lofi Geek [YouTube]

Lofi has existed for years on platforms like YouTube and Spotify, but there is no denying that lofi music seems to have surged with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, everyone was either working from home or sheltering in place and while we'd usually have the bustle of an office, traffic, or school, and then suddenly, that all went away. We had to create offices in our personal spaces, or find ways to make our homes not feel so constricting. Now that people are returning to in-person work and school, lofi has become a nice companion to have while working or studying.

Lofi communities online have also been used to find more than just chill beats to play in the background while you study or work. These communities have become just that... communities. Our social meters have shifted with the pandemic, as well, and while we normally would get social interactions with every day life, a lot of people found themselves seeking social interaction online. YouTube channels such as Lofi Geek, College Music, and Nickolaas have all seen upticks in their lofi traffic since the pandemic began.

Social distancing has made it to where more people are turning to online platforms for social interaction, as well as ways to cope with stress and anxiety. Many lofi channels on YouTube are played live with a live chat tool. Not only can people listen to the music for better focus and stress relief, but they can possibly find a friend or someone to network with in the chat.

Does Lofi Actually Help You Focus Better?

College Music [YouTube]

Research is ongoing about whether lofi scientifically helps you focus or if it's a placebo effect. Many universities have conducted studies and while the actual smoking gun result is pending, most of the studies have found common ground with these facts:

  • Lofi provides a relaxation effect, keeping listeners engaged without making them tired
  • The absence of lyrics leads to better comprehension due to the lack of overall distraction trying to pay attention to words
  • Listeners report better mood and more positive outlook with lofi playing in the background
  • Lofi music helps drown out other background noise that can be irritating (ex. barking dogs, traffic noise, buzzing from lights, etc.)

The bottom line is if it's something that works for you, then how awesome is that! With a wide variety of lofi available such as hip-hop, Celtic, Asian, jazz, etc., there is no doubt something out there that might click for you. Personally, I listen to lofi every day at work and even while I'm taking phone calls, I find that my overall anxiety is down. It's almost like that part of my brain finally has something to pay attention to while the rest of my brain is focused on the task at hand.

If you've never tried playing lofi in the background, I highly suggest giving it a shot. You never know, maybe it will unlock the best focus you've ever had.

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About the author

Jenika Enoch

I love movies, music, sci-fi, and art. I'm a certified graphic designer and create my own art. Things that fuel me include equality, respect, and anything weird.

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