A new (obscure) studying playlist for you

(Courtesy of Mahdis Habibinia)

Most of us listen to music on a daily basis. For example, I listened to 16 hours worth of music this week, mostly while I was doing school-related stuff. But did I benefit from it? 

Kim Innes, professor at West Virginia University, says that I actually might have. She compares music to meditation and states music can improve your mood and even the quality of your sleep. But make sure you listen to music you enjoy!

Different people prefer to listen to different types of music. Nadiia Anufriieva, a second year business & society major, composes her study playlist mostly of calm songs. “It is easier to concentrate on my studies,” she says.

According to an interview with Time, Joanne Loewy, an associate professor at the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine, listening to “the wrong music” can cause a difficult frame of mind, including negative thoughts and overthinking. She emphasizes to compose your playlists carefully, and only listen to songs you enjoy.

While some students might prefer relaxed genres for studying, I am easily bored by these, so my playlists tend to be more diverse. In fact, here is a mix of 50 songs I love:


Of all the artists featured on this playlist, Lana Del Rey is my absolute favourite. While I love all of the songs I added, West Coast is by far the one that I enjoy the most. It is calm, just like any other of Lana’s songs, but there is just something special about it — perhaps the hints of rock ‘n’ roll amid her dreamy, sultry voice (which sounds especially good in this song).

Alongside Del Rey, Immaterial by SOPHIE is one of my recent favourites. The artist unfortunately passed away earlier this year, and with her passing, her music means so much more to me. 

Hyperpop, an interesting new genre which SOPHIE explores in Immaterial, may seem too chaotic and loud for people to focus on their studies. Eli Enis for Vice describes hyperpop as a style which “pulls heavily from rap of the cloud, emo and lo-fi trap variety, as well as flamboyant electronic genres like trance, dubstep and chiptune.” While it may seem obscure and different, I enjoy listening to it while I study. 

If you’re interested in hyperpop, I also highly suggest checking out Charli XCX, Rina Sawayama, Kim Petras, and Slayyyter.

Last (but not least), I want to talk about Sebi, a pop song by Slovenian duo zalagasper. The song was originally an entry into the popular show, Eurovision, an international song competition in 2019, and is the only non-English song on my playlist. In fact, I think it might actually be one of the most obscure songs I listen to. Sebi is a cute, calm, three-minute song that always warms my heart, even though I don’t understand what they’re singing about.

While I encourage you to add my playlist to your library, try to compose your own study mix as well. Anufriieva says she tends to listen to Russian rock, which she describes as melancholy. “My life would be a nightmare without music,” she adds.

About the Author

By Maxim Volovik


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