Listening To Music While Coding. Good or Bad ?

Is listening to music while coding a good or bad habit? What kind of effects does music have on us while programming and working in general?

Our work is being done at and with computers and music has become inseparable from our day-to-day assignments.

We tend to hit the play button of our favorite tunes and start doing our tasks right away.

Listening to your favorite tracks can make you feel good and relaxed.

Those responsible for this are the two neurotransmitters called dopamine and serotonin.

Dopamine gives you a feeling of pleasure, while serotonin makes it easier to focus.

If listening to music has such perks, why are there people who prefer working in completely silence and hate it every time they hear the string of a guitar?

chewbacca smashing guitar

It is worth mentioning that there are ongoing debates on this subject whether listening to music while coding is beneficial or not.

Even though there had been some studies on this matter, the conclusion is somewhere in between.

First of all, we are all different from each others. We have different habits and diverse tastes in music and it would be a mistake to generalize on this matter.

Second of all, listening to music can have both kind of effects depending on the type of task you are working on and other factors like the environment.

Lots of people close to me who are working in a crowdy and noisy environment are listening to music while coding and the answer is obvious. Because of the background noise.

Of course they rather tune in their favourite songs instead of hearing their colleagues talking jibber-jabber.

Just like my friends, I find myself listening to music if the background noise is disrupting my focus.

Like I said earlier, the type of task you are working on is important.

Most of the people I know listen to music while they are working on a repetitive task or some assignments that don’t require a high amount of focus.

But there are some who told me that if they are working on a task that require a high amount of focus, they rather listen to music than work in complete silence.

What types of music should I listen to ?

It depends on your taste for music, of course.

From my experience and from what I’ve talked with others, listening to music that has lyrics is a bad choice.

Simply put, because the brain’s language processing unit goes into action and disrupts the ability to focus.

If I know the lyrics of the songs I’m listening to, I tend to hum and that’s clearly a lapse of concentration and I don’t want that.

I found that instrumental music is the best choice.

I’m usually listening to epic soundtracks from games and movies such as World of Warcraft, Cosmos: A Spacetime Oddyssey, Interstellar and Inception.

These are the ones I like the most that get me in that state of productivity.

spongebob headphones music

Productivity matters, and music can help you!

Music is known for its benefic effects.

It can drag you out of the bad mood and boost your creativity.

Both factors are outstanding aspects of productivity.

If you’re listening to epic soundtracks, like I do, you might find yourself getting over obstacles more easily. The rhythms of the soundtracks can have that effect which can sprout an idea that you’ve been waiting for a long time.

 

Keep those in mind and try out for yourself. You can never know unless you try!

Carol Pelu
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Carol Pelu

Neutron Star at Neutron Dev
Carol is a self-taught programmer and founder of Neutron Dev. He enjoys the challenge of programming and helping people understand computers. SpaceX and Tesla enthusiast.
Carol Pelu
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  • Douglas Skyler

    I usually listen to classic music while working, it is soothing me.

    • Hey Douglas,

      Classic music is indeed a good choice!

  • Carmen Stavrat

    I like listening to environmental sounds while doing my daily job. It feels like i’m working in the nature.

    • Hey Carmen,

      That’s great, especially when you’re working in a noisy environment.

  • Mitrutz Barbu

    While working, I usually listen to movie or video game soundtracks without lyrics, but sometimes when I need to focus particularly hard, I turn them off – a bit of balance seems to be the thing.

  • I tend to lean more towards instrumental music when doing complex work.

    Lyrics can be distracting. However I’ve found that continually playing the same lyrical song on repeat throughout the day is fine. The song gets to a point where it becomes mild background noise. Might be something to experiment with.

    • Hey Saeed,

      Instrumental music has such a big impact in improving my concentration when doing complex work.

      I wonder what songs are you listening to, could you share them?

      The more good songs in the playlist, the better!

  • Calvin Hansen

    I only do Web Design but I like your approach. I listen to chillstep while working and it really makes me feel great .