Does Music Really Help You Study?

How does music affect the brain while studying? The truth is, there are both positive and negative effects.

Starting with the positive effects, music is proven to reduce stress for students, which may be the reason why so many of us turn to music to help us keep our emotions under control. 

Music may also improve our mood so that we can be in the right state to learn new information. So, if you’re stressed, music can help give you the environment you need to calm down and prepare you to learn.

And if you’re in a good mood, you might start to remember other information and good memories in your life, which also applies to negative emotions as well. This is called Mood-Congruent Memory, which is the tendency to remember things based on our current good or bad mood. 

The negative effects of studying with music include the fact that music can be more distracting than helpful in some situations. 

Listening to certain kinds of music, especially those with lyrics, can decrease our focus because we end up accidentally focusing more on the music than the actual material we’re studying.

Believe it or not, our brains can’t focus on multiple things at once, at least not completely. We can’t give 100% of our attention to two different things unless we’re alternating between them.