The Perfect Study Playlist

If you’re a college student around this time of the semester, you're probably suffering from a lack of sleep, massive snack consumption, and mounds of stress. Sometimes it feels like your brain just needs to shut up, which is why many students like listening to music while they study for midterms. Sadly, it can be extremely difficult to find the right music to vibe with during study sessions without getting distracted. After asking several students and listening to some songs myself, here are five types of songs that will make a perfect playlist for last minute cramming.

Chill Indie Songs 

These songs are usually what people think about when they want to play music as they study. Why? Most often the top Spotify study playlists include mellow vibes and hipster music. The slow beats behind chill indie songs helps reduce stress, which makes it easier for students in mental frenzy to focus. By far the best part about these songs is they're good to listen to but harder to sing along with because they are not as well known as “America’s Top 50”. A few songs in this category include:

  • Ho Hey by The Lumineers
  • All I Want by Kodaline
  • Like Real People Do by Hozier
  • Cross My Mind by ARIZONA

Slow Ballads

These songs are also highly preferred when is comes to listening to music and studying. One reason is because slow songs are easier for the brain to follow, which lets you concentrate on school work. Additionally, the slow beats of these songs will surely soothe any potential mental breakdowns. The only warning? These songs can hit you in the feels and distract you from your work. Examples include:  

  • Someone Like You by Adele
  • Innocent by Taylor Swift
  • Yours by Ella Henderson
  • Little Did You Know by Alex and Sierra
  • Tee Shirt by Birdy
  • Leave Your Lover by Sam Smith

Soft & Upbeat

This type of music is the best to study when you are not to excited about the subject. Since there is an upbeat aspect to these songs, they will put you in a better mood. Studying seems less miserable when you are in a positive state of mind. Being positive will also push you to understand more about the subject you're studying. It's almost the same as when you play uplifting music before going out or playing big sports game. This music makes people more confidently and that is an immediate game changer whether it is for a big match or for a final test. This type of music will surely lift your spirits during finals week. The following will not disappoint:

  • Cleopatra by The Lumineers
  • Photograph by Ed Sheeran
  • Life Of The Party by Shawn Mendes  
  • Only Love by Ben Howard
  • YOUTH by Troye Sivan

Pop Covers

Pop songs are often much harder to listen to when studying because they are so catchy. Luckily, many artists make beautiful covers of some of our favorite pop songs. Since the covers are often more stripped down than the original, it is harder to become distracted by them. Also, because the songs are so popular, they are really enjoyable to listen to and lighten up the mood of any work that can get frustrating. You need to hear the following covers:    

  • Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) covered by The Civil Wars
  • Iris (Goo Goo Dolls) covered by Sleeping With Sirens
  • XO (Beyonce) covered by Allie Simpson and Ryan Beatty
  • Heaven (Bryan Adams) covered by Boyce Avenue and Megan Nicole
  • You’re The One That I Want (Grease) covered by Angus and Julia Stone


Throwbacks are probably the most fun to listen to while you study so there should be some caution during the selection process of these songs. Fortunately, there are so many songs from the past that it is easy to find ones to make up a great study playlist. Many of the songs from the early 2000's are great songs to use for studying. They are catchy and rememberable but pretty stripped down compared to pop music nowadays. As long as you're careful to choose songs that will not distract you, these songs will be a great addition to your studying. These throwbacks are perfect:

  • Bubbly by Colbie Caillat
  • She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5
  • For The First Time by The Script
  • So-Sick by Ne-Yo
  • How To Love by Lil Wayne
  • Because Of You by Kelly Clarkson
  • Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

With these songs on your finals week playlist, you'll be calm, well prepared and ready to ace all of your exams. Good luck!