Musical Adderall: An Editorial


Avid EDM listeners: as much as we like to rage and go to shows and festivals, there’s a time where we all need to nerd out and get stuff done. The DJ sets at shows and festivals never hesitate to bring us on a journey and provide us with an escape from reality, so why can’t those same tracks provide us with an escape within our cubicles and workstations?

One day at work, I was in grind mode on West Law while casually bumpin’ to some beats, when I look up and see my boss staring at me.  I yanked out my earbuds, and he had the audacity to express that he’d prefer I avoid listening to music while working because he feels like it is distracting. Seeing that I was just a lowly intern and didn’t feel like I had much pull in the matter, I proceeded to shut off my SoundCloud and resume my legal research while thinking, au contraire mon frère, this music makes me focus.

            Not to long ago, The New York Times came out with an article  that explores the idea of how the power of music can boost worker productivity. “People’s minds tend to wander…most of that time, we are focusing on the imperfections of life…music can bring us back to the present moment.”

Biological studies show, that melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine in the reward area of the brain. So it is logical to infer that the music that makes our receptors happy out at a venue, will take on the same effect in the workplace or the library. The article mentions a study that found those who listened to music “completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood.”

            Instrumentally based tracks with minimal lyrics work best for concentration, activating fewer portions of the brain that process meaning and language. When you are reading or writing, those areas of cognition need to be available for that task. All the artists mentioned below provide great musical accompaniment. Some of my personal favorite work-conducive tracks include:



These are only some suggestions that provide constant remedies during my daily grind, so I’d recommend giving them a shot during your next crunch out session (no prescription required). Warning: may result in impulsive head nodding  or  personal dance party action in your seat. No serious long-term effects, just potential short-term embarrassment.