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I’ve been building a killer playlist on Spotify for two years.

I called it Creativity Juice – Music for reading and writing.

It’s somehow grown from a small collection of songs for me to read and write to, and now it’s over 42 hours long and has nearly 1000 followers!

Check out the playlist here or start listening now on the embedded player.

It’s a mix of chill-out, downtempo electronic, psychedelic post-rock, and movie and video game soundtracks.

Almost all of the songs have a steady but relaxing beat and trance-inducing rhythms that get me in the zone.

Few have any singing, and those that do feature the kind of vocals that blend with the music rather than drive it, allowing you to get into that flow state of mind that reading and writing demands.

Featuring artists Emancipator, Bonobo, and Lindsey Sterling, plus stellar tracks from movies and video games like Interstellar and Bastion, you know it’s gonna be great.

Just click shuffle play, and instantly I get pulled into a more contemplative piece of mind.

Below is a sample of some of the artists included. And if that doesn’t float your boat, scroll way down past that where I share some of my playlist creation wizardry tips.

By the way, if you’re looking for a great book to read while you listen, check out my list of books that changed my life or buy one of my books like Discovering Aberration.

The artists include:

Want to give this playlist a test drive? Check out some of the artists.



Little People

Massive Attack


The Album Leaf

Couching Tiger Hidden Dragon


The Fountain

The Witcher



And Many, Many More.

What if you hate my taste in reading and writing music?

Make it yourself! Below are some thing’s I’ve learned building a my playlist. Give it a shot and before you know it, you’re going to be rocking your own masterpiece.

Add Songs Liberally

I like to add liberally. I start by picking an artist I like, listen to an album or two and add a song to the playlist every time I’m compelled to. Usually my criteria is to answer “will I ever like to hear this again while writing?” with maybe or greater. This builds your playlist quick, especially in the beginning.

Remove Songs Liberally

Once you’re listening to your playlist, you’ll quickly find that some of the songs that you thought would work just don’t strike the tone you want. Cut it as soon as you notice. Nothing is worse than listening to a playlist and skipping every other track. If you ever feel like skipping, just remove it instead. If you want, you can add it to another playlist later.

Utilize Recommended Artists

Once you’ve had your fill of any one artist, jump on a few of the related artists. I’ll generally give an artist I’ve never heard before a three song test. If I only skip one out of three songs in a row (adding songs I liked along the way), I’ll pick an album and listen to it from the beginning, otherwise I go back and pick again. Don’t just listen to their most popular tracks. Remember to also pick an album. Sometimes the best stuff is the deep cuts.

Listen While Your Not Reading or Writing

When you’re writing, the last thing you want to do is stop writing to manage a playlist. If a song comes on that you want to skip, if you’re like me you’ll just suffer through it unless it’s really grating. Instead, listen to your writing playlist when you’re not writing and remove the songs that aren’t working.

That’s all I’ve got. It’s not rocket science, but it’s a method that works for me. So what do you think of the playlist? If you listen to it during a drafting session, let me know how it went in the comments. If you’ve created your own writing playlist, feel free to share a link.

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