Exam season is upon us once again which (for me at least) means plenty of time scrolling through my music to find that perfect song to listen to when I eventually get round to studying. Getting your study playlist just right is an excellent procrastination method so to help you get straight to the books instead of Spotify I’ve put together a playlist for you.


  1. Marijuana – ‘Sparks EP’ by Chrome Sparks



A weird one to start off with but definitely essential to any study playlist is this song from Chrome Sparks 2013 EP. Like many of the songs on this list you can just stick it on and let the music and distorted vocals wash over you as you work. Definitely wear headphones for the best experience.


9. Þú Ert Jörðin – ‘…and they have escaped the weight of darkness’ by Ólafur




Yeah I have no idea how to pronounce it either. This peaceful track by Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds is great for both studying and getting to sleep so maybe one to avoid using when you’re already dosing off. Fun fact: Arnalds also composed the music for the last season of Broadchurch.


8. Themes (from Pirates of the Caribbean) – ‘Hans Zimmer – The Classics’ by various artists



A bit of a change of pace here but I find listening to this quick and upbeat collection of the themes from the film series really helps me get focused and in the mood to get to work. The track from this collection album combines a lot of different themes (as the title suggests) so you get wide range of styles.


7. Intro – ‘XX’ by The xx



This is definitely one of those songs that you hear all the time without knowing the name of. Funnily enough this track is the first from The xx’s debut album and the beat always really helps me get down to the work at hand.


6. Your Hand in Mine – ‘The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place’ by Explosions In The Sky



Another instantly recognisable tune and an emotional one at that. This track ebbs and flows between a simple, peaceful melody and a strong chorus backed with drums. A great one for getting inspired to read those final pages of notes or get to the end of those practice exercises.


5. The No-Colour Of Rain Or Dust – ‘Etch and Etch Deep’ by Haiku Salut



This one really draws you in, almost hypnotising you with its piano riff. It gives off ‘waiting at the station’ vibes but can also be great for carrying you through your study session.


4. Crystallised – ‘XX’ by The xx



This is just a really great album. I usually try to stay away from songs with lyrics when I study but in this track the vocals really mix into the overall song. That guitar riff from the chorus is pretty magical and gets you into the right headspace to work.


3. Wuppertal – ‘Dilation’ by Grandbrothers



A nice upbeat one at number three. The fast tempo of the track as well as the driving piano part throughout help to make this one a go to when you need inspired to plough through work at the start of the day or when you’re beginning to flag.


2. All The Shine – ‘Camp’ by Childish Gambino



Once again I’m breaking my rule of having no lyrics but this is a fantastic song for getting you to stop your study break and get back into the revision. It also runs perfectly into the next song on the album, ‘Letter Home’, which slows down just in time for you to get back into your work songs.


1.         Time – ‘Inception’ by Hans Zimmer



Zimmer is back again to take the top spot. I’ve always loved listening to soundtracks while I work and Hans Zimmer has a special place in my heart because he’s written the soundtracks for some of my favourite films. This is possibly his most famous track but I could have chosen any of them from across his entire body of work. The album from his concert in Prague is a great way for people unfamiliar with his work to get a taste of the various styles and moods he can convey in his music. Also who doesn’t wish they could have that little bit more time when your exam edges ever closer?