September 7, 2021

The best playlists to motivate freelancers

Written by Martin Baxter

Perhaps it’s because the nights are drawing in already, perhaps it’s the return of festivals, perhaps we’re just in a party mood, but we just can’t get enough of music here at Dinghy HQ at the moment. It’s undeniable that some work tasks require complete silence, but for most, we think there’s a playlist out there to suit. And the best thing about being a freelancer is that, because you’re on your own, you can choose the playlist. No more office squabbles over which station the radio is set to!

In this blog, we’ve rounded up our top picks of playlists to have on while you work – the perfect background to admin tasks, email checking and the occasional 5-minute dance break.

Please note some playlists may require an account or subscription to access. This is not a sponsored article and neither Dinghy nor our staff has received any kind of promotional gifts or payments for the websites or services mentioned in this article, we just love good tunes.

Playlists on Spotify

Throwback Thursday: Spotify are the masters of the curated playlist and their Throwback Thursday compilations are always a treat, with over 3 hours of themed bangers to get you through the week. The endorphin rush when you hear a song you love that you’d completely forgotten about is great fuel for a productivity boost. They’ve recently expanded their “Throwback” offering into a whole section of playlists designed to be a blast-from-the-past, so if you like this, there’s plenty more to discover.

Easy 70’s (or 80’s…or 90’s!): If you’re feeling stressed and tense at your desk, hitting the chill button via a playlist is a great way to calm your nervous system and usher in some relaxing vibes into your workspace. Spotify lets you pick from pre-selected chilled music from the decade of your choice, so it can be calming and still fit your musical taste (or throw you back to your teen years, whatever you prefer).

Working From Home: This playlist features low-key, soft pop hits that are perfect for your home office soundtrack. There’s nothing too in-your-face or distracting (save for the occasional sing-out-loud chorus – but we’ll allow you that).

Apple Music

Study Beats: The songs on this playlist are so very chill. So chill that if they were food, they’d probably be ice lollies. This playlist is ideal to have on if you need to focus but you’re not good with silence – it works well for masking noise from outside or elsewhere in the house. Just don’t put it on when you’re getting sleepy late in the afternoon, cos we fear you may end up in snoozing-at-your-desk territory. Apple music’s editors frequently update this playlist too, so it’s one you can return to again and again and still discover something new.

Country Caffeine: If Study Beats has chilled you out too much, get some energy pumping again for your latest project with this playlist of uptempo country hits, guaranteed to give you get-up-and-go. There are nearly 7 hours of songs on this one, so it can keep you company all day long if you need it to.

Rock Hits Unplugged: If you’re not a little bit country, more a bit rock‘n’roll, this might be the working playlist for you. It’s jam-packed with mellow acoustic versions of top songs – for when it’s too early for bangers, but you want the familiarity and comfort of tunes you know and love. Lots of them are by the original artists too.

Amazon Music

Relaxing Classical Piano: This playlist does exactly what it says on the tin: classical music played on the piano, totally geared up to chilling out. Perfect for freelancers who want some relaxing background noise but find vocals too distracting. The only downside is that, at an hour and a half, it’s one of the shorter playlists in our selection, so you might want to pop it on repeat if you’ve got a coding marathon or a 10,000-word report to tackle.

100 Greatest 90s Indie Classics: Ah, some of these tunes just aren’t the same without Dr Marten boots on sticky club floors, but if you wake up in a bad mood, this should be your go-to playlist for mood-boosting guitar clangs and singalong anthemic choruses. Best as the soundtrack to light work that doesn’t require too much concentration, because no one can resist joining in on those middle 8s.

Rap Right Now: For people who like to have their finger right on the pulse, this is a regularly updated playlist of the newest rap releases, with some stone-cold classics thrown in for good measure. If your music taste is more urban and up-to-date than retro revival, this is the playlist for you. Best of all, you can discover new talent while you work, because new beats are added all the time.

BBC Sounds

Radio 1 Relax: Radio 1 Relax is a live mix of “planet Earth’s most soothing vibes”, making it perfect for de-stressing and having a chilled day at your desk. We love how the liveness retains the element of surprise and changes each day so you don’t get bored

Focus Beats: A head-down, concentrate-hard playlist of rhythms and instrumentals to keep your brain in sharp focus while you work. Another one for those freelancers who can’t deal with silence but don’t want to get swept up in a singalong.

Cosmic Wind Down: Brought together by BBC 1xtra DJs, this is a mix of Latin, jazz and R&B vibes. If electronic chillout ambience leaves you cold, this is a good alternative calming soundtrack of blissed-out tracks.

There’s also plenty of spoken word podcasts. If you’re doing visual work like graphic design or photo editing you might find these suit you better than music. We love You’re Dead to Me – the history podcast for people who don’t like history – or delving into the world of unexplained phenomena with Scarlett Moffat Wants to Believe.

If you enjoy any of these playlists, or discover any new ones – do drop us a line and let us know! Happy, productive freelancers – well that’s music to our ears here at Dinghy. Once you’ve set your workspace ambience upright, take a few minutes to check your business insurance is up to date. If you need cover for professional indemnity, public liability, or business equipment, Dinghy can help with our fully flexible policies tailored especially to freelance life, with no fees or admin charges. Visit our website for more information or a quick quote.

About Martin Baxter

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