Tired of listening to classical music for hours and hours during your power study session? Good news: there is more to listen to than Bach, Beethoven and that other boring symphony music. I offer you the greatest of gifts: the perfect studying playlist. With some DMB, Coldplay and Waka Flocka Flame thrown in to shake things up, this playlist has it all. Except that stuffy classical music. You can find a Spotify playlist for that. Listen along here.
1. “Your Hand in Mine” – Explosions in the Sky
Any song by Explosions in the Sky will do the trick, but this one features a killer guitar build-up that will put you in that existential mindset. If you’ve ever seen Friday Night Lights, it’ll bring back some amazing memories.
2. “Holocene” – Bon Iver
Whoever understands every word of a Bon Iver song bewilders me. For the rest of us plebeians, maybe this lack of superhuman hearing is a good thing. When you don’t know every word by heart, it’s easier to focus on your work.
3. “Crash into Me” – Dave Matthews Band
Who doesn’t love a little throwback to the 90s? A little DMB goes a long way.
4. “Feel It All Around” – Washed Out
Get ready to channel your inner Portland hipster when you play this one. If this Washed Out song is too mainstream for you, check out some of their more obscure songs like “Hold Out” or “Get Up.”
5. “Dear Mama” – 2Pac
Hey, legendary thuggish rappers have soft sides, too.
6. “Sparks” – Coldplay
Sorry hipsters, but we’re going back to the mainstream. Nothing like Chris Martin’s smooth, smooth voice to satisfy the soul.
7. “Hard in Da Paint” – Waka Flocka Flame
BREAK TIME! Even just listening to this song for 30 seconds will get you hyped up enough to jump on your desk, throw a mini dance party or flip some stuff over. Whatever helps you blow off steam, man.
8. “Taxi Cab” – Twenty One Pilots
You probably know Twenty One Pilots for their sweaty and deafening concerts, but back in 2009, Tyler Joseph produced some sweet library blues.
9. “The Game of Love” – Daft Punk
Same goes for Daft Punk. For a long library session, do some digging. Plow through your orgo chem book as the most hypnotic robot voice in the world serenades you.
10. “To Be Alone with You” – Sufjan Stevens
Since all of his songs make for great, calm studying songs, Sufjan should probably change his name to “Smooth-jan Stevens” instead. *Cue laugh track*
11. “Threnody” – Goldmund
Although this has the potential to make you cry or feel thrust into the emotional climax of a romance film, its soft piano melody is worth a few tears.
12. “Hear You Me” – Jimmy Eat World
It was never a hit single like “The Middle,” but artists from your childhood are never a bad idea. Right?
13. “Everything I Am” – Kanye West
What’s better than some soulful, chill pre-808’s and Heartbreak Kanye? It won’t get you as pumped up as some of his newer music, but you definitely can’t fall asleep with Kanye’s voice in your ears.
14. “September” – Earth, Wind & Fire
BREAK TIME TWO! This time with the kings of funk. A “September” a day keeps the sad doctor away (I’m sorry I couldn’t help myself).
16. “Wonderwall” – Oasis
Now that your hype session is over with, return to your resting heart rate with some “Wonderwall.” Warning: skip the music video. It’s sure to put you to sleep.
16. “Awake” – Tycho
Don’t be fooled into thinking this song will teach you something about Tycho Brahe the astronomer. It won’t; it’s just a good ambient tune
17. “Airplanes” – Local Natives
The artist name isn’t a typo; no B.O.B. in this playlist. Don’t be sad. Unlike Hayley Williams, you won’t have to wish on a shooting star for a good grade if this is on your playlist.
18. “Montezuma” – Fleet Foxes
You would expect a song named after an Aztec king to be violent and a little bloodthirsty. But you’d be wrong. No human sacrifices were made in the production of this song. Most likely.
19. “Salad Days” – Mac Demarco
Despite what you may have heard, listening to Mac Demarco isn’t just for stoners. The song’s psychedelic feel is (currently) legal in all 50 states and won’t get your roommate contact high.
20. “Kick, Push II” – Lupe Fiasco
Whether you’re grinding rails on your skateboard or grinding through your calculus notes, turn up to Lupe’s soulful bars.
21. “Hey Ya!” – Outkast
What’s cooler than being cool? Another study break! Sprint around the library and shake it like a Polaroid picture for everyone to see.
22. “The World at Large” – Modest Mouse
Time to get sentimental again. Isaac Brock’s voice is magic and his lyrics are straight-up poetry. Just don’t listen too closely. He somehow manages to encompass every anxiety of a college student in antithetical sentence constructions. Show off.
23. “I Need My Girl” – The National
Thank God for the instrumental background that counters Matt Berninger’s baritone voice and utterly depressing– and prophetic– lyrics. “Remember when you lost your shit…” How relatable is that right now?
24. “When You Get to Asheville” – Steve Martin
Yes, comedy legend Steve Martin from SNL and an infinite number of movies. But I bet you didn’t know that he also tours the world as a banjo player. He’s even won a Grammy in his “secondary” career.
25. “You and I” – Ingrid Michaelson
A much-needed break from all the melodrama, Ingrid Michaelson’s cheery voice—and a sex joke about bunny reproduction—will remind you how to smile. Bonus: the study session is almost over!
26. “You Ain’t Alone” – Alabama Shakes
Not all blues songs are lonely and depressing, especially not the dirty roots rock of Alabama Shakes. You’ll be comforted by the fact that you’re not alone in the trenches.
27. “Circle” – Miles Davis
*Sensual radio host voice* If you’re going to listen to jazz, you might as well listen to one of the legends, Miles Davis. The piano and trumpet combo is unbeatable.
28. “We’re Going to be Friends” – The White Stripes
Get excited. You’ll recognize this one from one of the funniest movies of all time, Napoleon Dynamite. You’re almost done with this terrible study session, gosh!
29. “The Funeral” – Band of Horses
The title is just too fitting not to end your study session on this one.