Sometimes you need some music to put you in the mood. For a lot of us that mood is “working”, and we’re looking for anything to help us get through the 9-to-5 grind.
If you’re a fan of movies and you’re looking for an amazing soundtrack to help you focus, here are a few you should check out.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a film that uses classical music. When people think of 2001 they often think of its soundtrack: eerie, haunting, slightly off-tune, but also approachable with its use of 1866’s “Blue Danube”.
This distinct combination was a way to connect the audience to the vastness of space. It was so successful that it’s been influencing sci-fi soundtracks ever since.
My recommendation? Put on a pair of headphones and listen to it when you’re trying to drown out distracting noises at work. The classical elements really help to keep a person focused.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Energetic and full of swelling crescendos, Mad Max: Fury Road was composed by Junkie XL and released in 2015.
I love the film and soundtrack with equal measure, but I will have to stress: don’t try to listen to the soundtrack unless you’re cramming at work. The music will definitely get your heart pumping.
3. Prometheus (2012)
There are so many amazing soundtracks from the Alien franchise I’m tempted to recommend them all, but if I was forced to pick I’d say Prometheus is a good soundtrack to put on while you’re working.
The film was divisive, but the music is great. The soundtrack was written by Marc Streitenfeld and conducted by Ben Foster.
4. Alien: Covenant (2017)
Another Alien soundtrack that’s great to listen to? Alien: Covenant from 2017, composed by Jed Kurzel.
Kurzel is a personal favorite of mine, and his combination of metallic vibrations mixed with low, throbbing pulses all throughout the soundtrack leaves me breathless.
Like Prometheus, Covenant is good to put on when you need focus and creativity.
5. Macbeth (2015)
The soundtrack for the 2015 adaptation of Macbeth is absolutely beautiful. Like Alien: Covenant, it was also composed by Jed Kurzel. The soundtrack’s increasingly frantic pace mirror’s Macbeth’s slide into madness, and the music is best used when you’re trying to power through a work session in short order.
6. Sicario (2015)
Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario is a master-class in building tension, and part of this brilliant execution is due to the score. Composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson, the film’s soundtrack starts off near-silent before working itself into a thrumming beat.
7. Blade Runner (1982)
Looking for some 80s nostalgia to calm you down? Blade Runner’s original soundtrack is universally praised and composed by music legend Vangelis.
Drawing inspiration from film noir to combine it with a downtempo vibe, Blade Runner’s soundtrack is great for working to when the weather is rainy. Listening to it will transport you back to the stormy streets that Deckard walked as he went hunting for replicants.
8. Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977)
No, I can’t go through this list without at least one Star Wars reference. Yes, I’m being serious.
The original soundtrack for A New Hope is a movie-going classic. If you’re even remotely into nerdy stuff, chances are the soundtrack was burned into your brain from a very early age.
We have George Lucas to thank for hiring John Williams to compose and oversee his musical vision. If you’re a Star Wars fan, putting on this music can instantly relax you. It bring up memories from a happier time, as it’s so deeply connected to so many people’s childhoods.
Fun fact: The American Film Institute lists Star Wars as the best film score from the past 100 years. It deserves it.
9. North and South (2004)
This soundtrack might not be as well-known as some of the others on the list, but it’s really beautiful and I think it’s worth the shoutout.
As a BBC miniseries based upon a novel by the same name, North and South follows Margaret Hale and John Thorton as they come to terms with one another through a Victorian-era class conflict. The soundtrack was composed by Martin Phipps and released in 2004.
10. It Follows (2014)
Last on the list, check out It Follows, composed by Disasterpeace. This rec is kind of ironic, considering we’re telling you to listen to it at work. But I mean, what else follows you like a relentless monster and eats into your sleep schedule? Your job. You know I’m right.
All jokes aside, the soundtrack is great for listening to if you’re a writer—particularly if you’re writing anything to do with horror.
Good Luck With Your Day Job
Do you have another soundtrack that you think would make a good addition? Let us know! Looking for ways to get out of the 9-to-5 grind? Here are some geeky hobbies that could help you find a new career.