Finals week made easier (sort of): Spotify releases study playlists

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Spotify recently commissioned a study revealing that music does, indeed, help with effective learning.

The study, led by psychologist and behavioral therapist Emma Gray, was aimed at uncovering which music genres best fit different study topics. Its results suggest the best music to listen to depends on which side of the brain a person uses when studying a specific subject matter.

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Photo illustration by James Gardner and Lauren Prochelo

Subsequently, Spotify and Gray created playlists suited for various subject matters — just in time for finals!

According to the study, when studying subject matter that engages the left side of the brain — i.e., math, science and languages — it is best to listen to classical music or songs with a pace of 50 to 80 beats per minutes. In addition the classical music, the playlists for left-brained subjects also includes songs like “Halo” by Beyonce and “Impossible” by Kelly Clarkson.

When it comes to subjects like art, music or drama — i.e., right-brained, or creative, subjects — pop and rock genres are best. Songs like Katy Perry’s “Firework” and The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” are sure to help students finish any right-brained task.

Thanks to Spotify’s finds and innovative playlists, BYU students’ finals week just might become a little bit less stressful.

“When we listen to music, many different parts of the brain are affected, which can alter or enhance our emotions,” Gray noted in her study “In Practice: Music: A Therapy for All.” “It is suggested that many benefits can be gained from adopting music as a form of therapy, including: improved memory and focus … increased levels of energy and self-esteem.”

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