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Essential study jams for spring semester

Playlists that are meant for studying can help you focus and get motivated during a stressful semester.  – Photo by Spotify

While a new semester begins once again under harrowing circumstances, it is important to find your groove to tackle online classes. Listening to music while studying and doing assignments is one of the best ways to maximize your performance and remain calm during the stress of college.

Studies show that listening to music while studying has incredible benefits. For starters, music activates both the left and right hemispheres of the brain at the same time. This activation means your brain is fully awake, which improves memory and maximizes learning.

In addition, music can ease stress and test anxiety and increase focus. 

Studies have also shown that there is a link between music, memory and emotions. Your brain looks for patterns to better understand, recall and process information. That’s why it's easier to memorize song lyrics than the structure of a molecule.

The connection between music, memory and emotion can be a beneficial tool in excelling in online classes. Essentially, if you listen to your favorite study playlist while studying and then listen to the same mix while taking your exams at home (probably in bed, like me), it's easier to recall the information because your brain recognizes the connection between the sounds and the material.

Recovering after a long, hard study session is key to keeping your brain healthy and improving brain function. This is why experts say wrapping up hours of work with classical music is the best way to relax your mind after exhausting it and even makes it easier to sleep. It’s almost like stretching and taking a hot shower after an intense workout.

Here are some artists that are a must-add for your spring semester study playlist:


The indie-rock trio is led by frontman Dylan Minnette, who you might recognize as Clay Jensen from “13 Reasons Why.” Wallows is great for studying when you’re looking for an indie vibe that keeps you motivated with electronic piano chords that make it easy to romanticize the 10-page paper you’re writing.

Listen to “OK,” “Are You Bored Yet?" (feat. Clairo) and “Virtual Aerobics.”

Kota The Friend

Kota The Friend is a hip-hop artist from Brooklyn, New York, whose chill rap tracks are all about positivity and achieving your dreams. Studying to Kota makes you believe that you can accomplish anything. (And you can!)

Check out “Pomegranate,” “Summerhouse” and “Colorado.”

Funky Notes

Funky Notes is a Switzerland-based beatmaker who specializes in lo-fi. Listening to lo-fi music while studying is one of my favorite tricks of the trade. With barely any lyrics and soft beats, it’s an easy listen to prioritize your work and increase focus.

Listen to “Sweetest Thing,” “In Luv Again” and “First Love.”

Tyler, The Creator

Trust me on this one. Tyler, The Creator is one of the hottest rappers of the last decade. He has branched out into essentially every subgenre in rap, from aggressive, almost vile lyrics from his Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All era to a more experimental disco sound on IGOR. Within his discography, there are a handful of songs I have found to be great additions to a study playlist that help increase motivation and productivity.

Try his indie-rap tracks: “BEST INTEREST,” “Glitter” and “Peach Fuzz.”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart is a legendary classical music composer. As mentioned above, finishing up a study session with classical music is one of the best ways to turn your brain off and get some rest. 

When you close the books, turn on these songs to chill out: “Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major, Köchel catalog (K.) 331: I. Theme & Variations. Andante grazioso,” “Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466: 2. Romance” and “Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622: II. Adagio.”

Open the books and turn on this playlist, and your GPA will thank you in May.

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