Music serves as emotional outlet for students amid finals week


Chase Cerrell

As finals week arrives and stress runs high, listening to music can help process difficult emotions and increase motivation. These playlists focus on benefiting productivity and conserving happy feelings while also helping get over mental breakdowns.

Chase Cerrell, Staff Writer

As finals week begins, a significant amount of time is dedicated to studying. This uptick in workload may elicit various emotions, whether it be motivation, sadness or stress. Although we may try to remain productive, breakdowns just seem to be inevitable. In times like these, it is sometimes healthy to have a good cry. Yet, every so often, we are just on a roll and knock out task after task. 

This range of emotions can be easier to manage when accompanied by music that matches one’s mood. Here are three playlists to help one persevere through the rigorous final stretch of the school year. 

Academic Times

This playlist consists of low fidelity music for times when productivity is key. The lo-fi musical style emphasizes specific production qualities such as hums or background noise. 

The songs compiled in this playlist all contain relaxing, light tunes that give listeners extra energy for studying and ensure a focused mindset. As these songs are primarily instrumental, they will limit distractions due to their lack of lyrics and soft sound.  

According to a study conducted by Stanford University, listening to lo-fi or other instrumental music while working is beneficial as it allows the brain to engage in and process information more effectively. Lofi cafe, a website which exclusively caters to those hoping to boost their productivity, offers an expansive selection of lo-fi songs for different moods.

However, this instrumental music does not have to be limited to simply studying. In fact, it can also be used as background music when going to bed or commuting to school.

Feeling good

Calling those seeking a playlist for a mood boost with high-energy music: this “Feeling Good” playlist is here. Perfect for times when one is looking out the car window or traveling on the tube, this playlist includes nostalgic 2000s music, classic pop and hip-hop songs. It is sure to maintain the liveliness needed during finals week. Whenever you need a dance break in the midst of studying, this is sure to be your new go-to.

If you enjoy dancing to 2000s throwbacks, Just Dance recently released an app enabling users to play via iPhone. It consists of a variety of songs, allowing users to select their preferred genre. Therefore, you can have a 5-minute dance break before returning to your studying.


While studying is a viable method of maintaining good grades throughout finals week, undoubtedly, the intense-workload can become extremely overwhelming. Often, that constant stress and pressure piles up, which is when the “Blues” playlist comes into play. Whether it be tackling a challenging math problem or revising a bad essay, this gloomy music will support you through the times when you are crying your eyes out.  

Moreover, a study conducted by Kazuma Mori of the University of Osaka and Makoto Iwanaga of Hiroshima University reveals that listening to sad songs when crying can actually boost overall mood. Hence, these somber songs actually elicit a positive response and restore studying motivation. 

This playlist of songs will ultimately support these dispiriting emotions that may arise amid end-of-year stress.