A man in a green sweater sitting behind two stacked coffee mugs.

The Ultimate Study Mix: A Playlist

By Kaitlyn Watson
Music Journalist

Like most people who jumped into college after high school, being a student has been my most prominent identifying factor for the majority of my life. Mentally, I’ve gained and lost a lot, but one thing I’m proud of is that I’ve achieved my perfect playlist for studying (or for staring at the wall while I put off an impending research paper). I’ll spare everyone the entire playlist that reaches over ten hours long, but it’s with great authority and opinion that I introduce my favorite songs off of the playlist I’ve been cultivating for about four years so far. 

“I Heard Love is Blind” by Amy Winehouse 

If there’s a time and place for a smooth, beautiful song about cheating on your significant other, it’s a study playlist. There’s also no better artist for that role than Winehouse. “I Heard Love is Blind” reads a lot like taking those first steps to stop procrastinating before you have to participate in the shameful act of asking for a deadline extension. Bittersweet and painful, but sometimes successful. 

Studyability (aka: how well can I focus on my homework if this song is playing?): 3/5

“Season 2 Episode 3” by Glass Animals 

My real words of wisdom concerning this song are that if you can get past the lyrics, “my girl eats mayonnaise from a jar,” without gagging, then you’re certainly strong enough to study for that bio final. This unobtrusive melody can put any “lofi chill study beats” YouTube video to shame when it comes to being groovy without breaking your concentration. 

Studyability: 4/5

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

Unknown Mortal Orchestra wrote the handbook on songs that are frequently played in Urban Outfitters that simultaneously pair well with trying to finish a quiz that’s due by 11:59 p.m. at 11:47 p.m. It wouldn’t put you to sleep while driving down the highway, but it also wouldn’t induce a ton of singing and dancing on your part, and that’s what makes it my perfect study song. 

Studyability: 5/5 

“Girl” by The Beatles

This song might be distracting for me personally because it causes me to stare at a wall for two minutes and 32 seconds while contemplating the opening scene of “Across the Universe” in which Jim Sturgess’s version makes me levitate. However, it should not pose a threat to the general public who recognize Rubber Soul as one of The Beatles’ most chill albums and “Girl” as a defining song of the overall sound. 

Studyability: 4/5

“This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads

The opening notes of this song have repeatedly sent serotonin directly to my brain for years. This holds true for whenever I think about David Byrne’s big suit as well. In true Talking Heads fashion, we were delivered a love song in an experimental sound that’s held up for decades and through generations of kids that are too cool for mainstream radio. “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” has also been used a few times in romantic comedies, and if that’s not significant enough to land it on the best study mix of all time, then I don’t know what is. 

Studyability: 3/5

“Redshift” by Darwin Deez

Here we have the song that was stuck in my head throughout two semesters of astronomy classes. “Redshift” is used to explain that our universe is constantly expanding, so it came up quite often. Pairing the title of a song that was already in my rotation with the short attention span I have when tasked with any homework of the scientific variety guaranteed “Redshift” a spot this playlist. With a passionate chorus and a sound that switches up enough to be interesting, you may find yourself a little distracted, but we all need a break sometimes. 

Studyability: 2/5

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts. 6-9)” by Pink Floyd

Everybody has days where they just need 12-and-a-half minutes of peace. “Wish You Were Here” would be labeled as the best Pink Floyd album overall to study to if I was in charge, but I digress. Not to be confused with “(Pts. 1-5),” this track is not lyrically heavy and is perfect for the times when you run out of steam and are debating if deep cleaning your entire house would be a better use of your time than starting the philosophy paper that’s due in the morning. 

Studyability: 5/5

Featured image by Kaitlyn Watson.

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