The Best ADHD Music to Listen to When You Need to Focus

An individual’s needs to cope with their ADHD symptoms may differ depending on their specific struggles, but music therapy is often used as a tool to help those who struggle.

woman enjoying listening to music

With the number of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) dignosises skyrocketing in recent years, especially among adults, it’s important to find coping strategies that work best for you. According to Healthline, music can be beneficial for dealing with ADHD symptoms such as anxiety as well as increasing focus. 

How does music help you focus?

According to PubMed, a 2011 study focusing on 41 boys with ADHD found that several experienced increased classroom performance when they were listening to music. Some of the boys, however, found the music distracting. Music therapy works on a case by case basis, but it can increase dopamine levels linked to ADHD symptoms as well as provide structure to a task you may otherwise struggle with. 

It’s important to note that the best music for those diagnosed with ADHD can vary from person to person, so several genres were included in this list. You should experiment with different types of music to see which genres work best for you!

Hip Hop/Rap

While it’s better to listen to music with few lyrics, rap and hip hop songs often have a specific rhythm that can help you focus due to its consistency. The steady rhythm provides a predictable structure that can serve as a foundation for concentration, and the energetic and expressive nature may help to sustain interest in given tasks. Hip hop lyrics often explore themes of struggle, resilience, and personal expression, which can resonate with those who may experience challenges in managing their symptoms. 

If you’re interested in getting into the rap scene, read our article on some of the best female rappers of all time. 


Many professionals consider classical music to be the best choice when you’re trying to focus, as the structured rhythms and melodies can provide a steady background that helps to anchor attention. The intricate compositions of classical music can help mask environmental noises and distractions, creating a more conducive environment for focusing on tasks. Listening to classical music can also help individuals with ADHD regulate their emotions, and reduce stress and impulsivity. According to a study conducted by the Eastman School of Music’s Donald Shetler, classical music can help children improve their memory, language skills, and brain organization.

Experts suggest pieces like Bach's “Goldberg Variations” and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” to enhance focus.  

White Noise

The steady, uniform sound of white noise can help calm hyperactive tendencies in individuals with ADHD. It provides a sense of predictability and stability, which can help regulate arousal levels and reduce impulsivity. 

Incorporating white noise into daily work routines can also help individuals with ADHD establish consistency and structure, which are important for managing symptoms. It also has calming effects on the nervous system, reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. Studies also suggest that white noise helps children with ADHD to finish schoolwork. 

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are an auditory phenomenon created when two slightly different frequencies are played separately into each ear. The brain perceives a single, rhythmic beat that corresponds to the difference between the two frequencies. They’re believed to influence brainwave activity by training the brain to synchronize with the frequency of the beats. 

Different frequencies are associated with different states of consciousness, such as relaxation, focus, or alertness. By listening at frequencies associated with improved focus and attention, you may experience enhanced concentration. They’re also associated with improvements in cognitive function, including memory, processing speed, and executive function. By promoting neural coherence and synchronization, binaural beats may enhance cognitive processes that are commonly impaired in those with ADHD.


Lo-Fi, a genre of music that offers a soothing effect due to its relaxed and mellow sound, is an extremely popular genre to listen to during study sessions. The gentle melodies and laid-back rhythms create a tranquil atmosphere that promotes relaxation and mental clarity, which helps those with ADHD overcome symptoms like anxiety. Its smooth and repetitive nature provides a consistent background that can help to maintain focus and attention on tasks. 

It can serve as effective background noise, masking distracting sounds from the environment that may interfere with concentration. By creating a more controlled auditory environment, it can help individuals with ADHD to stay focused on tasks and minimize disruptions. Lo-Fi music can also aid with sleep issues as the gentle and calming nature can facilitate relaxation and promote better sleep quality.


Jazz music is known for its intricate melodies, improvisation, and unpredictable rhythms. This complexity can engage individuals with ADHD who may seek stimulation and variety, as listening to jazz can provide a rich sensory experience that captures attention and sustains interest. Specific types, such as solo piano pieces, are usually the most helpful due to the calming effects it can offer. 

Despite its complexity, jazz music can have a hypnotic effect that promotes deep reflection. The rhythmic patterns and harmonic structures of jazz compositions can help individuals with ADHD to focus their attention and block out distractions. 

Brown Noise

Brown noise has a deeper, more natural, and lower-frequency sound compared to white noise. Some compare it to a thunderstorm, heavy rain, or a waterfall. It can mask distracting sounds from the environment, helping individuals maintain focus and concentration on tasks. By providing a steady background sound, brown noise can reduce the impact of sudden noises or interruptions that might otherwise disrupt attention.

Brown noise can also help improve sleep quality, as it’ll block out distracting noises and promote relaxation. It can help stimulate the brain, according to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, as people with ADHD often have lower dopamine levels in the brain and need the stimulation to better focus on tasks. 

An individual’s needs to cope with their ADHD symptoms may differ depending on their specific struggles, but music therapy is often used as a tool to help those who struggle. It’s important to experiment with different strategies to figure out what works best for you!

Allison Radziwon

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