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These Xmas songs harm productivity

The 10 Most Distracting Christmas Songs to Play at Work

  • Study reveals the most distracting Christmas songs to play while working, including two Ariana Grande hits and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas”

  • The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” ranks among the best for productivity

  • The 10 most danceable Christmas hits for office parties are revealed

For offices worldwide, December marks the time of the year when it’s acceptable to play Christmas music on the work speaker.

But a new study by CSGOLuck reveals which tracks might hamper or boost your productivity.

Spotify research has found that music between 50 and 80 beats per minute puts your brain into an 'alpha state,’ rendering you more relaxed, focused, and receptive. Scientists associate this state with breakthrough, ‘eureka’ moments. Tunes with more beats per minute become distracting as the brain works harder to process the sound.

Researchers sourced the 200 biggest Christmas songs on Spotify and analyzed their beats per minute to determine which will help put you in the sweet spot or drain your focus.

These are the 10 most distracting Christmas songs to play at work. And it’s bad news for Ariana Grande fans.

10 Most Distracting Christmas Songs

  1. Last Christmas - Ariana Grande (206 BPM)

  2. The Happiest Christmas Tree - Nat King Cole (205 BPM)

  3. Mele Kalikimaka - Bing Crosby (202 BPM)

  4. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams (201 BPM)

  5. Santa Tell Me - Ariana Grande (191 BPM)

  6. Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24 - Trans-Siberian Orchestra (186 BPM)

  7. Caroling, Caroling - Nat King Cole (185 BPM)

  8. Christmas Dream - Perry Como (184 BPM)

  9. This Christmas - Christina Aguilera (183 BPM)

  10. Please Come Home for Christmas - Eagles (183 BPM)

Ariana Grande’s “Last Christmas” is the most distracting, with 206 beats per minute, over triple what experts recommend for effective work. It’s not the only Ariana song on the list, as “Santa Tell Me,” her most-streamed Christmas hit, ranks fifth.

Some of the most popular Christmas songs, including “It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Perry Como, Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey, all rank on the distracting list at over 100 BPM. You should probably keep Mariah out of the office altogether: Carey's other top two Christmas hits, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and "O Holy Night," also land in the distracting category.

10 Best Christmas Songs for Productivity

  1. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee (67 BPM)

  2. Silver Bells - Bing Crosby (70 BPM)

  3. A Holly Jolly Christmas - Brett Eldredge (72 BPM)

  4. O Christmas Tree - Tony Bennett (74 BPM)

  5. Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season - Andy Williams (74 BPM)

  6. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Sam Smith (75 BPM)

  7. Frosty The Snowman - Ella Fitzgerald (77 BPM)

  8. Fairytale of New York (Feat. Kirsty MacColl) - The Pogues (78 BPM)

  9. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole (79 BPM)

  10. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) - Elvis Presley (79 BPM)

Most of the best festive tunes to boost productivity are jazzy Christmas classics from the ‘40s to ‘60s. Sam Smith’s and Brett Eldredge’s covers are the only modern songs on the list.

The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York,” one of the most-streamed Christmas songs, is high on the productive list, with 78 BPM.

Here are the ten most danceable Christmas hits. A combination of beat strength, tempo stability, and overall tempo determines danceability, returning an overall percentage score.

10 Most Danceable Christmas Hits

  1. At Christmas - Kylie Minogue (79%)

  2. Cozy Little Christmas - Katy Perry (77%)

  3. Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney (77%)

  4. Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms (75%)

  5. Santa Baby - Ariana Grande (74%)

  6. Last Christmas - Wham! (73%)

  7. Like It’s Christmas - Jonas Brothers (72%)

  8. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Perry Como (72%)

  9. Snowman - Sia (71%)

  10. Merry Christmas Baby - Otis Redding (71%)

A spokesperson from CSGOLuck commented on the findings:

“Christmas music brings holiday cheer and a morale boost to the workplace. But our study shows you should be careful about what you play in the office, as it could distract and harm productivity. Data shows you shouldn’t play danceable songs if you’re trying to concentrate on work, as the tempo is much higher than the recommended amount. Gentler tracks that can be played as background music are best if you’re trying to get work done”.


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