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A Music Lover’s Playlist for Overcoming the Day, by Heather Rolfert

A new semester. A fresh start. Changing schedules, different people all around, and an overwhelming amount of new experiences. It’s often a great time, but papers, exams, and presentations don’t help. Before you even realize it, stress comes along and ruins anything. Everything. That’s not exactly what’s needed when all you’re trying to do is readjust.


Don’t lose hope. There’s a way to fix things and it starts with music. A music playlist.


Whether music is a must for you to make it through a day of college or you’re just looking for new songs, this playlist takes it all into consideration. With familiar artists like Imagine Dragons and lesser known artists like Ashley Serena, each song is intended to help you take on a day when stress refuses to leave your side.


Songs for Waking Up


Imagine Dragons’ Enemy

Do you find yourself struggling to wake up every morning? Do you always beg for five more minutes? Then this newer Imagine Dragons song is for you, the one who never wants to get out of bed. Once your ears detect the opening for “Enemy,” there’s no way it will ever leave your head. In a matter of minutes, you’ll find that you actually want to get up, get dressed, and begin the day—even if it may be a stressful one. If anything, the song will push you to get through that boring lecture class. Sooner than you expect, your dorm, apartment, or car will greet you and grace you with the song that kept you from sleeping the day away.


AURORA’s Warrior

Do you sometimes still crave to be under the covers, basking in the comfort and heat from all of the blankets piled on your bed? If so, you need a song that makes you want to climb out of your blanket fort and look forward to the day. No more dreading what may or may not happen. AURORA's “Warrior” is the song that will make you toss away all of your sleepy comfort. Once her voice hits your ears, you’ll be more awake than ever. You’ll find that you want to sing along. Don’t keep yourself from belting out the lyrics. In fact, sing them as loud as you can. You might find that you will become a “Warrior” of the morning from doing just that.


Songs for Motivation


Barns Courtney’s Champion

Are you trying to get through homework but just feel like you aren’t getting anywhere? Barns Courtney's “Champion” is the song to help you push through that challenge and face it head on. The stomp-clap-stomp-clap beat is enough to get one’s energy flowing and heart racing in no time. In a matter of seconds, you’ll discover your fingers flying against the keyboard trying to keep pace with all of the ideas continuously popping up in your head. Pretty soon the challenge won’t seem like a challenge anymore. Like the champion in the song, you’ll realize that the homework, studying, and paper will never get the best of you when this song is playing.


Sia’s Unstoppable

Are you in need of a push to get you through your mid-morning laziness? Do you feel sluggish and need a push in the right direction? “Unstoppable” can definitely be the cure for that. Sia's song repeats the same lines, but that doesn’t stop it from earning the title of a powerful song. The continuous, upbeat drumming is enough to get your head moving up and down. You might even find yourself swaying from side to side to the beat. It’s okay if others see you dancing. This is a no shame song. Don’t be afraid to show your true self as the music blares through your headphones. Sia even tells her listeners that over and over: “I’m so confident / Yeah, I’m unstoppable today.”


Songs for Studying


Ruelle’s Find You

Do you need a song that can meld into the background but still keep you focused on studying the night before an exam? “Find You” is a great option for fulfilling that crucial role. Ruelle’s mellow voice is like a gentle wisp of wind wrapping around your shoulders while nudging you to follow its path. Her words cradle your mind, keeping it from crashing under the pressure of everything you desperately need to memorize. Whether it be psychology, calculus, or english, the song will always be there for you alongside your struggles. You may find yourself completely unaware that the song has ended while your mind continues to drift through each and every word.


Fleurie’s Breathe

Do you find yourself in need of another song to rely on during the dreadful studying time? “Breathe” can be that song. Fleurie’s voice is soft and steady, but the music accompanying her leans less towards melancholic and more towards an upbeat nature. This time your mind will feel as if it’s adventuring through the deep forest, looking for that one comfortable spot. Trees, tall and short, slender and stout, race past throughout the search. When your mind finds the perfect spot on a rock alongside a little babbling creek, you can finally “Breathe.” Now, you’ll feel as if the material you need to study flows right inside of you.


Songs for Relaxation

Lana Del Rey’s Love

Are you looking for a song where you can rest your brain for more than a few seconds? Then “Love” is the song for you. The inflection of Rey's voice stays the same for the majority of the song while the music consists of soft drum patterns. Like a soft heartbeat, the dum-ba, dum-da, dum-ba of the music makes one want to lay their head back, stare up into the sky, and lose themselves in the midst of everything. If you haven’t heard of this song or you want to listen to something lesser known by Rey, then “Love” is worth the listen. You’ll never feel like you’re in the same world after letting the beauty of this song enter your daily life.


Eurielle’s Arwen's Promise

Do you want a song that immediately calms you down from the first second? If so, then “Arwen’s Promise” is worth checking out and listening to. Differing from the previous song in this category, Eurielle tends to pack a wider variety of emotions in her voice. The music is gentle at times, but it easily picks up as her voice swells and carries itself straight through your headphones. It’s easy to let this song carry away all of your negative emotions and replace them with longing for a world beyond your fingertips. You might even begin to picture yourself in this word, echoing what Eurielle sings: “And I believe / You’ll return somehow.” The faraway world may be impossible, but you might be able to find it within your relaxation during this song.


Songs for Calling it a Night


Ashley Serena’s My Jolly Sailor Bold

Are thoughts racing around in your mind when all you want to do is to go to bed before your 8:30 a.m. class? Papers. Exams. Group projects. The thoughts won’t stop. It happens to everyone. The frustrating flipping from one side to another as the minutes and hours fade away. But, there is hope in the form of a song: “My Jolly Sailor Bold.” The soft, haunting sounds mixed with Serena's melodic voice are enough to lull anyone to sleep even if their mind keeps refusing to settle down. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you need a beautiful song to finally let sleep overcome your raging mind. If people ever question that, all you have to do is make them listen to this unforgettable song.


Billie Eilish’s No Time To Die

Do your racing thoughts still battle with you every night you try to get a few hours of sleep? Then you need to consider a slow, yet powerful song to allow yourself to triumph. Billie Eilish’s “No Time To Die” may be the right song for you. Eilish’s subdued voice slowly leaks into your mind, making you start to forget about what you were just worrying about. Adjust your head. Close your eyes. Let sleep overcome you. You might wake up hours later realizing that you've never heard the ending of her song. Let that thought comfort you. Now you’ll be able to sleep for more than four hours.


This playlist is just one of many. You can rely on these powerful songs for writing the last few words of your essay or simply making it through the end of a terrible day. But, don’t be afraid to search on your own. Find songs that emotionally appeal to you. Find songs that you can’t get out of your head. Spend hours searching through Spotify playlists. Let yourself fall down the rabbit hole while on YouTube. You never know what songs you may find if you just let yourself hit the shuffle button.



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