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Final exams are already among us, which means endless searches for motivation despite the nice weather, lots of coffee runs, and procrastinating by making the ideal finals playlist. Whether it’s a need for intense study songs or for motivating jams on your walk to a Monday 8am exam, music can be a cathartic and motivating outlet for getting through a particularly stressful time. Below are some of my favorite songs to repeat during the end of each semester.


  1. “Dream a Little Dream of Me”--Ella Fitzgerald

Really any song from Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Etta James, etc. is a soothing presence during long hours of studying. Maybe it’s the old soul in me, but the jazz vibes can help get me through even the worst of study guides. Other particular titles I recommend in this genre are “Fly Me to the Moon,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “Beyond the Sea.”

2. “Billie Jean”--The Civil Wars

This cover of a Michael Jackson classic embodies your traditional coffee shop

playlist. The Civil Wars have a distinct folksy sound that is a more entertaining take on your regular studying music. Other favorite titles from the Civil Wars include “Safe & Sound” (featured in The Hunger Games), “Dance Me to the End of Love”, and “The One That Got Away”.

3. “Shake it Out”--Florence & the Machine

When things just cannot seem to go your way during finals week, at least there

are loads of pick-me-up songs to help. This empowering tune from Florence & the Machine never fails to give me a renewed sense of motivation. Other uplifting songs are “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys, “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson, and “Fight Song” by Rachel Platton.

4. “Here Comes the Sun”--The Beatles

Since the sun is finally shining for the first time in four months, why not listen to

some happy tunes to celebrate? Spotify has great feel-good playlists like “Happy Hits” and “Good Vibes”. Some of my go-to happy songs are “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & the Waves, and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!


By the time you rotate through these different playlists, finals will almost be behind us! Of course, all of these tunes are great to continue throughout the summer--unless they are just too associated with 2am Hes trips to ever revisit. Best of luck during the last couple weeks of the semester, and happy listening!


Photos 1, 2, 3, 4 provided by author

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Grace Dean

Notre Dame '21

I am a sophomore at Notre Dame majoring in International Economics & minoring in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service. I currently serve as the Director of Health & Wellness within Student Government’s Executive Cabinet and am a proud member of Badin Hall. In my free time, I love spending time with friends & family, drinking coffee, and playing guitar. I am a Hoosier at heart (originally from Noblesville, Indiana) and love writing for Her Campus!
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