A Playlist a Day keeps the Exam Stress Away

Trinity term. The term with a promise of sun, pimms, and the dreamy reality of not having to take a coat on a night out. Only one thing in the way… exams.

No one’s exam experience is quite the same, and the extent to which we feel and express our stress tends to vary from person to person. Prolonged stress can be detrimental both mentally and physically, and so it is important to take a bit of time in the day (no matter how short) to relax and take some time for yourself in which you aren’t thinking about exams. Your wellbeing is always the most important thing, and I’ve compiled a list of songs to help you relax and stay calm during the exam period.

The Morning Montage

Mornings can be a struggle. Particularly in the exam period. But with these groovy tunes, it is impossible to feel sluggish for long. Treat yourself to a feel-good, energised morning, because the more motivated you are at the start of the day, the more productive you’re probably going to be for the rest of it. With this playlist, your morning could easily have been taken straight out of a rom-com morning routine montage.

A Little Less Conversation, JXL Radio Edit – Elvis Presley Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder Starman – David Bowie I feel Good – James Brown Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys Mr Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra

The Country Break

After spending hours in the library, your room, or wherever your chosen revision haunt may be, getting outside in the fresh air can have a surprisingly powerful effect on your mood. So why not, next time you take a break, have a wander through your nearest patch of green - be it your college gardens, university parks, port meadow, or the botanical gardens. These smooth acoustics are the perfect relaxant to clear your head and return stress levels back down from the danger zone.

Going to be wonderful – Tom Rosenthal Fever to the form – Nick Mulvey Big Black Car – Gregory Alan Isakov All The Pretty Girls – Kaleo Anchor – Novo Amor Atlas Hands – Benjamin Francis Leftwich

The Evening Wind Down

It’s important when it gets to the end of the day to take some you-time before going to sleep. Exam stress should never be brought to bed, and you’re much likely to get a good night’s sleep if you let yourself wind down first. So get into your comfiest pjs and make a cup of herbal tea. Why not treat yourself to a face mask, read a book, or just do whatever it is that helps you take your mind off the horror ahead. These ambient tunes provide the perfect soothing background to alleviate the stresses of the day, and unwind.

Warm Foothills – alt-J We’ve Never Met but Can We Have a Cup of Coffee – In Love With a Ghost Michicant – Bon Iver Coffee – Sylvan Esso Open - Rhye Only – RY X


If you are the type of person whose stress is too tough for the most relaxing of songs to crack, then maybe you would benefit from trying to expel your stress through more energetic means. Sometimes letting loose, turning the music up, and having a boogie by yourself in your room is all that needs to be done.

September – Earth, Wind and Fire Lola’s theme – Shape shifters Lady (Hear me tonight) – Modjo Dancing with myself – Billy idol Brooklyn – Fickle Friends Part time lover – Stevie Wonder

It doesn't matter whether you are someone who needs an extra push to get out of bed, assistance in shutting off thoughts of exams, or simply someone who needs to dance the stress away. These four playlists should help you do just that, or at least make this term’s run up to exams a bit less horrible.