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Here are some music selections that motivate and inspire.


Research has shown that studying while listening to music helps students focus and learn, especially for the generations who have been taught to multitask, thanks to technology. As the semester is winding down, college students around the country will be hitting the books ten times harder, so having the right study album is crucial.

This list will break down each of the chosen works to fit into the different types of music that are commonly used to study so everyone can walk away with new albums to check out.

For the “No Lyric” studiers: “Greetings from Amarillo” by Hayden Pedigo

What to expect from the album: Unlike what many would expect from instrumental music, this study album incorporates a country twain to folk music. As a whole, it tells a story of the artist’s hometown of Amarillo without having to say anything; the music from his guitar transports listeners there. This album is so great that even people who prefer music with lyrics will find themselves loving every second.

Stand out songs: Having the same title as this study album, “Greetings from Amarillo” provides listeners with a calm, upbeat instrumental track that makes everyone feel ready to take on both the world and their upcoming finals.

Appropriately titled for a song on a study album, “Buried Alive” makes listeners feel like they can break out of all the stuff piled on top of them. The beat repeated throughout the song can greatly motivate anyone, especially college students, as thoughts of grades and the future seem to weigh down their lives.

For the “Coffee Shop” studiers: “I Forget Where We Were” by Ben Howard

What to expect from the album: Somehow, Howard is able to make adding drums to an acoustic guitar still sound like it could be played at a coffee shop. This whole study album allows listeners to have an open mind towards this niche genre of music and to rethink how they will approach their life.

Stand out songs: “Time Is Dancing” explores the ideas of putting off disagreements to make room for all the greatness life can give. While in the moment, studying hard for finals may seem like the only thing college students need to be doing at the end of the semester. Though it should be a priority, many forget that it’s crucial to leave time for fun; this song provides a great reminder of that.

Giving listeners a more classic folk feel, “She Treats Me Well” describes the importance of having someone that can help support you through the rough parts of life. Many college students are far from home, while also being far from who they would normally turn to as they feel walls caving in.

As they go through school, friends and significant others gain this new responsibility, but often don’t show appreciation for these people’s efforts. “She Treats Me Well” is an acknowledgment of recognizing all that these people do in our life. Before going separate ways, put this song into action and tell your support system “thank you!” 

For the “Upbeat” studiers: “‘Sing Street’ Soundtrack” by Various Artists

What to expect from the album: “Sing Street” is a breakout British indie musical that found its way into the hearts of many across the world. The music combines an ‘80s feel with a touch of rock and roll. Every song gives listeners a new story and captures a different part of adolescent life.

Stand out songs: One of the best songs to listen to while wanting to pump yourself up for your finals is “Drive It Like You Stole It.” The high-tempo and uplifting lyrics makes listeners feel like they can do anything. This song can be so motivating that it’s important to take caution if you’re listening while driving because you just might take the title of this amazing piece of music too seriously.

Another good song from this possible study album is the romantic jam “Up.” Capturing the feelings of first love it transports listeners into a world full of hope, which every college student needs as they prepare for the biggest tests of the semester.

For the “Party” studiers: “Feed the Animals” by Girl Talk

What to expect from the album:  This artist takes clips of popular party songs and adds his own flavor to it. The music takes listeners back in time and allows newer listeners to get a taste of the artists that came before them.

Though this seems like it wouldn’t be a good study album, some people need to get pumped up to push through all the work they have to do. Girl Talk somehow hasn’t become a big name, but this album could be the way that they make a name for themselves, even if the music was released a decade ago.

Stand out songs: “Play Your Part (Part 1)” similar to “Drive It Like You Stole It” has the ability to make everyone feel like they are on top and can do anything. Also, this song’s chorus adds an element of crowd instructions and no one can resist music that tells the listener what to do.

Playing on the popular “Sonija Boy,” Girl Talk’s “Don’t Stop” can motivate college students to power through the work they need to do. On top of this, this song is impossible to listen to without dancing, which can create a great outlet to let out their frustration and stress.

There are many great musicians out there who have produced outstanding albums, but these four stand out as motivators that all college students can use as the semester winds down. Though listed, these albums aren’t foolproof for every person due to everyone having different study needs.

Hopefully, now you can have new music to listen to during your next study session, or at least have new artists to add to your favorites.

Writer Profile

Ana Greening

Texas State University

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