Study songs for the stressed-out student

By in Culture

Good study tunes are crucial to a good study session. A solid mix of atmospheric beats can inspire your essays and guide you through all those academic articles you put off reading. Instead of spending hours of crucial cramming time compiling a playlist as procrastination, allow the Sheaf to set the soundtrack for your late nights at the library.

“Silver Soul”

by Beach House

Beach House is always a perfect accompaniment to a study session. Their sound is dreamy and alluringly hypnotic. If you’re looking to study to an entire album, consider Teen Dream. It has a beautiful track list that isLesia Karalash- study songs gentle and relaxing — perfect for keeping calm in the face of a dreaded paper due at midnight that you have yet to start.

“Turquoise Hexagon Sun”

by Boards of Canada

Keep your stress levels down with this breezy beat by Boards of Canada. This ambient electronic track is perfect for those who might find songs with lyrics a bit distracting. From the duo’s well-regarded first album, it’s a very nice sampling of their body of work.


by Rihanna featuring SZA

Stay with me here: Rihanna is not just for getting down. While you might not want to play the album Anti from start to finish when you’re trying to get to “work,” this particular track is a great jam to break up the monotony of boring course material.

“Gravity Rides Everything”

by Modest Mouse

This song is up-tempo for  some extra motivation. It’s a gentle little pep-talk, assuring you that everything will all fall into place. If this song were a person it would wake up early to watch the sunrise, read books for pleasure and definitely have its shit together.

“Les Étoiles”

by Melody Gardot

If nothing else has worked yet, this jazz hit en français is sure to put you in a good mood. This is another ideal song for those who have trouble tuning out lyrics, providing you’re not also fluent in French and free-style scatting. Put this on when reviewing how to conjugate the verb avoir and maybe you’ll learn by osmosis.

“So Good At Being In Trouble” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

This is a good song for dancing at your desk. It’s catchy and upbeat without being too much of an interruption. If the mood strikes, just go for it and dance a little —  at this point you deserve a break and all the other people on fourth floor of the Murray Library can just deal with it.

“Murder of Crows”

by Lindi Ortega

In the spirit of inclusivity, a country song has to make this list. Agriculture students have finals too, after all. This song is surprisingly good for really getting down to business. Let it light the fire of productivity in your belly so you can enter that Introduction to Field Crops final with confidence.


by Angel Olsen

Soft and soothing, this song is a perfect partner for student plight. Olsen croons: “I wanted nothing but for this to be the end,” and it feels like she understands the academic struggle. This is a short track, so it doesn’t give you enough time to really feel sorry for yourself. It’s a pleasant acknowledgment that everything does kind of suck this time of year, paired with the encouragement to keep plodding on.

“Little Garçon”

by Born Ruffians

I haven’t ever been to Paris, but this song sort of feels like the city of love to me. For a study break, find the cutest person in the room and imagine what a romantic relationship would be like with them when this song plays.


by Vancouver Sleep Clinic

Vancouver Sleep Clinic is another artist that produces nothing but great study music. This song has a certain moodiness to it that can inspire deep thoughts and help you grasp those challenging concepts in philosophy class. 


by Drake

When Safe Study closes for the night, you could finish off with the cliché Drake song “Just Hold On, We’re Going Home,” but for those who still have their dignity, I’d suggest “Jungle.” It’ll help you unwind and accept your fate. Just go home and get some sleep.

Emily Migchels

Graphic: Lesia Karalash