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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ball State chapter.

With finals week fast approaching, so many students are facing stress in one or more categories of their lives. Between work, school, and trying to have a social life, it can be hard to take the necessary time for self-care. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Music has been shown to beneficially affect stress-related physiological, as well as cognitive, and emotional processes. Prolonged experiences of stress are related to poor individual health and associated with substantial financial costs for society.”

I know from personal experience that music is my number one form of therapy. Whether I’m in a great mood or a bad mood. I fully use music as a crutch. Not only is music a great way to de-stress from a long day, but it also embeds connections and memories that last a lifetime. Whenever I am feeling stressed, I put on more chill, lowkey, and mellow music because music that’s loud and has a fast tempo can make me more stressed. Here are the top 20 de-stress songs I religiously listen to.

We Had Everything by BROODS

  • This song is a sixth-grade throwback for me. Every time I hear this song the world stops moving and I can just take a deep breath.

Do It Again by Steely Dan

  • First of all, if you don’t listen to Steely Dan, I don’t know what you’re doing. I like this song for a more chill day because of its instrumental groove. Steely Dan is a band I always end up listening to when I clean my house.

Prom by SZA

  • This song has gained more attention on TikTok recently, well at least on my “for you” page it has. I like walking around on campus listening to this song because it makes you go “wow” and look around at nature (maybe that’s just me). SZA’s vocals in this song just exude chill to me. 

Delicate by Taylor Swift

  • Now, I am not the biggest Swifty but I do like Reputation and 1989. Fun fact, me and Swift have the same birthday. To me, this song is relaxing because it’s so quiet and mellow.

Nothing Burns Like a Cold by Snoh Aalegra

  • If you were chronically online in 2016, you know this song from Musical.ly. But, it is still a song you can put on and relax to. I really like that the instrumentals mash-up older ’60s music aspects with more modern DJ aspects. 

Do Better Blues by Jhené Akio

  • In my opinion, you can’t have chill music without Akio. She just takes R&B chill to the next level. Her voice always makes me feel relaxed. 

Human Nature by Michael Jackson

  • More and more I find myself gravitating toward Jackson’s music. I always find myself listening to him when I get stressed and need some redirection. This is such a walk-around and ponder song… at least to me. The instrumentals on the song are also just so calm. 

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) by Nancy Sinatra

  • Sinatra’s voice is so peaceful in this song and with the slower guitar instrumentals, it just makes a peaceful masterpiece. I started listening to her a few years ago and have not looked back since. 

Lies in the Eyes of Love by Part Time 

  • This song is 1000% a fall song, but at its’ core it’s a chill one. I always find a strange melancholy comfort in this song. 

 Feel It All Around by Washed Out

  • We are nothing as a society without indie sleaze. This song just brings me a sense of comfort in the absence of feeling. 

 I Fall in Love Too Easily by Chet Baker

  • Jazz is a next-level de-stress music genre for me. I’ve listened to this song for over a decade, and it will never get old. I am also a saxophone fanatic. 

 Bando- Instrumental by no/vox

  • Yes, this is the instrumental of Playboi Carti’s unreleased “Bando” song. But is it one of the most chill and calm instrumentals out there? To me, the answer is a million percent yes. 

 24k by Tkay Maidza

  • I found this song a few months ago. I really enjoy its trance, rap, and house vibe. It’s a perfect mix of some of my favorite genres. 

 Telephones by Vacations

  • This song, I will admit, is on the sadder scale of chill, but it’s still a very mellow and de-stress song. I find that music is always what you make it to be. Sometimes I sing this song with a happier attitude, and admittedly other times, with a more pessimistic outlook.  

 Swim Good by Frank Ocean

  • I came across this song this school year and it just makes me feel happy. It’s definitely one of those songs where you can imagine yourself at the beach with some friends. Ocean’s music always takes me out of a stressed mood. 

 Around Me by Brent Faiyaz 

  • The first time I heard this song my life was changed. Faiyaz really speaks to my Sagittarius sun and Leo moon. I find this song super chill due to Faiyaz’s delivery of the verses and the overall instrumentation. 

Kiss of Life by Sade 

  • Sade is the definition of chill. Her music makes me slow down and realize that nothing can ever be that bad. She is a de-stress music staple. 

I Want It All by Lana Del Rey (unreleased) 

  • This is the alternative version of “National Anthem” from Rey’s debut album Born to Die and honestly, I wish she would have stuck with this version. I like this song because it’s catchy, I can relate to wanting it all, and it takes my mind off of whatever I’m stressed about. 

Ride Wit Me by Nelly

  • It’s hard to believe this song is 24 years old… Hearing this song always makes me smile because it reminds me of me and my best friend singing this in the car. Plus it’s just a fun song that makes you get up and dance. 

Pressure by The 1975

  • As my co-worker said the other day, “I am a Matty Healy apologist.” I really like this song’s guitar riff and the overall feel of the song. “Pressure” has been on repeat for me for a couple of weeks now. It’s just a groovy, chill song.  

If you like these songs, or find them interesting to some degree, check out my Spotify!

jovi taylor

Ball State '26

mass communication major and criminal justice minor with a pre-law concentration. ball state 2026! sagittarius sun, leo moon, taurus rising.