The Most Productive & Distracting Holiday Songs & Albums

Esther Mayer
November 30, 2023
2 minute read

A scientific study revealed that songs with beats per minute (BPMs) paced at 50-80 are best for productivity, helping you to become calm, and alert and increase concentration. 

With this in mind, experts at Workamajig, a project management software company for creative teams, have analyzed the BPM of the most played holiday songs and albums to determine those that are the most distracting and which can actually help maintain focus.

Most Distracting Holiday Songs

Rank Song Artist BPM

1

Mele Kalikimaka - Single Version

Bing Crosby

208

2

The Happiest Christmas Tree

Nat King Cole

206

3

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Andy Williams

202

4

Santa Tell Me

Ariana Grande

192

5

Caroling, Caroling

Nat King Cole

185

6

Christmas Dream

Perry Como

184

7

Please Come Home for Christmas - 2013 Remaster

The Eagles

183

8

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Judy Garland

181

9

Jingle Bells - Remastered 1999

Frank Sinatra

175

10

Adeste Fideles

Bing Crosby

165

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Surprisingly, the top two most played holiday songs on Spotify, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” and Whams! “Last Christmas” leaned more towards being more distracting with 150 BPM and 108 BPM, respectively. 

Michael Buble’s “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”, Spotify’s third most played holiday song, is a bit more on the productive side with 95 beats per minute.

 

Best Holiday Songs for Productivity

Rank

Holiday Album

Artist

BPM

1

Carol of the Bells

Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych

47

2

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

Brenda Lee

67

3

Silver Bells

Bing Crosby

71

4

Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season

Andy Williams

74

5

O Christmas Tree

Tony Bennett

74

6

Christmas Time Is Here

Vince Guaraldi Trio

75

7

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)

Nat King Cole

79

8

The Christmas Waltz - Remastered 1999

Frank Sinatra

80

9

The First Noël

Andy Williams

81

10

Linus And Lucy

Vince Guaraldi Trio

81

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Most Distracting Holiday Albums 

Rank

Holiday Album

Artist

BPM

1

The Ultimate Christmas Collection 

Reba McEntire 

158 

2

Merry Christmas 

Mariah Carey 

133

3

Wrapped in Red 

Kelly Clarkson 

132 

4

A Legendary Christmas 

John Legend 

131

5

Cher Christmas 

Cher 

129 

6

A Holly Dolly Christmas 

Dolly Parton 

128 

7

Sounds of the Season 

Taylor Swift 

127 

8

A Very Trainor Christmas 

Meghan Trainor 

125

9

Everyday is Christmas 

Sia 

124 

10

Under the Mistletoe 

Justin Bieber 

120 

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Reba dubbed the Queen of country holiday album leans highly on the distracting side sitting in at 158 BPM and Cher's holiday album debut has an average of 129 BPM making these albums more suitable for the office holiday party rather than a day full of work.

Elvis’ Christmas Album sits at 91 BPM making the king of blues Christmas album in terms of productivity much more suitable for the office radio station. 

 

Best Holiday Albums for Productivity

Rank

Holiday Album

Artist

BPM

1

Elvis’ Christmas Album 

Elvis Presley 

91

2

My Gift 

Carrie Underwood 

97 

3

A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra 

Frank Sinatra 

103

4

Michael Buble Christmas 

Michael Buble 

104 

5

You Make it Feel Like Christmas 

Gwen Stefani 

109 

6

Santa Baby 

Alicia Keys 

110

7

Cheers, It's Christmas 

Blake Shelton 

111

8

A Very Backstreet Christmas 

Backstreet Boys 

112

9

The Best of Pentatonix Christmas 

Pentatonix 

113

10

Fruitcake 

Sabrina Carpenter 

118

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Methodology
Workamajig analyzed the list of the most played holiday music according to Spotify's Christmas Classics playlist  and Billboard's Top Holiday Albums to cover a range of well-known holiday music and albums. The beats per minute (BPM) of each song were then recorded, with songs being ranked from highest BPM to the lowest alongside the average BPM of each holiday album.

The basis of the study used findings from Spotify and Dr. Emma Gray of The British CBT and Counseling Service in London who discovered that songs with a BPM of 50-80 are linked to productivity and concentration.

 

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