Here at The Badger Herald office, we take school seriously. When we’re not out chasing stories, putting together beautiful print issues, producing a steady flow on online content or getting blackout drunk, we’re studying like mad for exams. Because school is cool. But sometimes it’s hard to stay focused; these songs will help you do that.

Nujabes — “Aruarian Dance”

Nujabes’ “Aruarian Dance,” with its mixture of guitar arpeggios, strings and a steady hip-hop drum beat, is perhaps one of the most soothing and uplifting works of music ever created. Some gracious YouTube user strung the song together into a continuous, hour-long “homework edit,” and man, is it ever effective. An hour’s worth of the same song repeated over and over sounds like an exercise in monotony; in actuality, it’s an experience of complete relaxation, perfect for any type of schoolwork. —Erik Sateren

Helen Jane Long — “Porcelain”

This classical piano ballad is a must when it comes to your midterm study playlist. Listening to music while studying fuels creativity and determination, but lyrics can sometimes be a distraction. This song strips away the sidetracking qualities of words and allows you to pace yourself with simple, yet enchanting scales. The aura that the song creates is one of ease and relaxation, breaking up the intensity of crammed textbook pages with its melodic and symphonic qualities. You can never go wrong with the “classical route” when hitting the books, and this song stands at the top of the classical selection. —Sam Sklar

Atmosphere — “Like the Rest of Us”

Studying is always a fragile balance between actually getting things done and watching Jimmy Fallon’s latest YouTube videos. If I’m actually going to study, I need some music that promotes a calm disposition and intelligent thoughts as opposed to procrastination and the Shmoney Dance. Atmosphere’s album When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold brings this mood to life. Turn on “Like the Rest of Us” and get in the zone. —Louis Johnson

​Helen Jane Long — “Expression”

I always have a hard time studying to music with lyrics, and listening to classical makes me feel like I’m about to don a pair of tight silk pants, powder my wig and sip imported tea from a comically small cup. Ever since I discovered Helen Jane Long she’s been my main girl for studying music. Rhythmic enough to not be distracting yet melodic enough to remain interesting, I feel like her music could be the soundtrack to a movie scene in which a character pens a heartfelt poem or impassioned essay. This thought gives me the mental boost I need to power through a paper of my own and the emotional boost to believe that I’ve written a modern masterpiece of literature. You’re the real MVP, Helen Jane Long. —Aaron Hathaway

The Glitch Mob — “Drive It Like You Stole It”

The Glitch Mob’s forceful electronic beats and ascending notes inspire a heightened resolve and focus in my oft-distracted mind. Listening to this song usually causes me to feel fairly badass, which is a refreshing feeling among the usual ones I associate with schoolwork, namely guilty for procrastinating. My calculus assignment is now no longer a bland list of equations, but a list of tasks that I must complete in some sort of legendary hunt. It’s no longer studying. I’m in the midst of a daring adventure. —Sandra Kinzer

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2Cellos — “We Found Love”

In theory I’m a firm believer of the Mozart Effect, but ultimately my love for pop music makes it hard for me to ever really test it out. Listening to 2Cellos is a happy compromise. The group’s instrumental covers of pop songs provides a classical sound paired with familiar melodies you know and love. I always need music when I’m studying to put me in my own little world, but I like it to be as little distracting as possible. This song is perfect for that. Listening to 2Cellos “We Found Love” will make you feel like a classy scholar without putting you to sleep in the middle of the library. No offense, Wolfgang. —Laura Schmitt

Banks — “Warm Water (Snakehips Remix)”

I love Banks. She lives in this dark, moody alternate reality that is R&B and smoky late-night lounge from another time. Plugging into her songs feels like a break from the hustle and stress of the library. It’s a similar effect to that of ducking your head under water, but a great deal more interesting. When I get into hardcore study mode, usually from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., I need to check into that. I need to duck my head under water, turn off the outside world and power through my frighteningly extensive to-do list. —Mekea Larson

Vance Joy — “Mess is Mine”

There’s something about “Mess is Mine” that is both peaceful and motivating at the same time. It’s upbeat, but also not a song that will distract you from homework. Vance Joy’s voice will comfort and encourage you through the struggle that is studying for midterms. Let Vance Joy’s beautiful vocals take away your stress and inspire your thinking process while you muddle through those boring textbooks. —Monica Sather

Secret Garden — “Song from a Secret Garden”

When I listen to this song I imagine I am in an English garden, sitting by an exquisite carved table, having a cup of Chai tea and reading a book. The sun radiates its warmth and gloss over me, and a breeze softly pets my face and body. It’s so quiet that I can hear the chirping of birds and the flowing of springs. I can focus on what I am reading and absorb it in with all the beauty of the nature I am listening to. —Penny Peng

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