Can music help you work better?

There’s a running debate over whether or not music actually helps in reading and productivity. Though some studies have shown that music can help listeners learn, what effects if any does music have on our ability to get things done? For some, music sounds like a major distraction, and for others, music can aid in focus. It’s a pressing question to answer, at least for anyone who’s ever had a last-minute assignment.

Unfortunately, there are as many answers as there are music genres. The short answer is that for the most part, music can improve focus — depending on the person, genre and timing.

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Brain injury is damage to the brain which is not hereditary, degenerative, or congenital. It is often caused by a physical trauma, such as a car crash, fall, or sports mishap. Other times the brain injury is acquired through medical conditions such as stroke or lack of oxygen. Here are ways brain injury can affect the body.


This is what getting hit by a taser does to your brain

Sending a 50,000-volt shock to the human body is bound to do some damage. A new study out of Drexel University and Arizona State University confirmed this through an investigation of what happens to you when you get Tasered. Getting hit with a stun gun can not only impact short term memory, but also cloud a key mental ability.

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Brain damaged violinist makes music for first time in 27 years with mind-reading technology
Rosemary Johnson had made music for the first time since suffering a devastating car crash in her 20s.

“The first time we tried with Rosemary we were in tears. We could feel the joy coming from her at being able to make music" Professor Eduardo Miranda, Plymouth University


Most animals have smooth brains. The brains of humans (and a handful of animals we consider pretty intelligent – dolphins, chimps, elephants, pigs) start out smooth in the early days of gestation and get more and more wrinkled through infancy.

A wrinkled brain makes sense - folding means you can have a really big cortex but the different parts of the brain won’t be as far apart. But how do brains become wrinkled? Is it programmed somehow - does some genetic code determine the pattern of folds?

A new study from Harvard says no - its just simple physics. They created a 3D model of a smooth fetal brain and coated it with an elastomer gel “cortex.” When they immersed this brain in a special solution, the gel swelled, mimicking brain growth.

Lo and behold, the brain began to buckle, creating folds similar to size, shape and location of a real brain.

Image credit: Mahadevan Lab/Harvard SEAS

Since I get asked a lot about where to learn more about the human brain and behaviour, I’ve made a masterpost of books, websites, videos and online courses to introduce yourself to that piece of matter that sits between your ears.


  • The Brain Book  by Rita Carter
  • The Pyschology Book (a good starter book)  by DK
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow  by Daniel Kahneman
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking  by Susan Cain
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat  by Oliver Sacks
  • The Brain: The Story of You  by David Eagleman
  • The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science  by Norman Doidge
  • This Is Your Brain on Music  by Daniel Levitin
  • The Autistic Brain by Richard Panek and Temple Grandin (highly reccomended)
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind  by Yuval Noah Harari (not really brain-related, but it is single handedly the best book I have ever read)


Videos & Youtube Channels

Online Courses

7 ways music affects the body according to science

Music can actually make you smarter.

Originally posted by unconventionallyme

Sad music doesn’t necessarily make us sad.

Originally posted by julianblakthorn

Music is thought to have positive medicinal effects.

Originally posted by the-live-world

Mood music is a thing.

Originally posted by arizur115

Music can help you go the distance.

Originally posted by whenimwithyouidontfeelsoalone

Music can help you adjust that attitude.

Originally posted by karinabowtf

And there’s some great news about singing in the shower.

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