This time last year, I was beginning my prep for the psychosis induced by the upcoming exam period. I realise exams are still far away but I want to pre-emptively give some motivational study playlists in advance, perhaps to get you in the spirit. I should preface this by saying I have indeed listened to all of these for longer than I should have, however, I have yet to make it further than 6 hours into any one of them.

Here are my top 5 motivational looped songs to listen to when you really gotta get to the finish line and hit that deadline but you can’t quite push yourself there without help:


There are many interesting mash-ups of the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song (yes, I’ve listened to at least 15 – there’s a playlist), but this is by far my favourite. If you find yourself humming this in public, I’m sorry, there is no option but to admit what you’re singing.

Recommended for: when you need to reference an essay.



Once, I hosted a society committee meeting with this playing in the background. It took almost 45 minutes before somebody noticed that 1) this was a singular song on loop, and 2) it was the bad lip sync Yoda song.

Recommended for: Highlighting those notes you just typed up and now need to print out because you’re hallucinating pixels when you take a toilet break from staring at your laptop too long.



Marina and the Diamonds will never fail you. Period. This song reminds me that, on occasion, I have to take study breaks because I’m not a robot. Even if you don’t feel like you have enough time for a break, walking away from the studies is sometimes a better idea than trying to push on through. That being said, if you’ve already taken six breaks in the last hour, maybe readjust your motivations.

Recommended for: After 9pm when you’re stuck in the library and the only person smiling is that happy security guard at the front desk.



When I was in my second year of university, a friend gave me a CD for Valentine’s day. A real-life, regular ol’ mixtape. After listening to the first 6 tracks I found it was just this song on loop for the entire 13 track disk, and I wasn’t even upset about it. And I suppose most people will have seen it by now but just in case:

Recommended for: Singing loudly in the shower either late at night or early in the morning. It helps.



After a particularly difficult essay writing session, I discovered the one song I can listen to for over 3 hours and still feel productive to. That is, until three of my flatmates told me to shut up and change the song. I’m still surprised it took that long, to be honest. Another friend came into my living room yelling along to the song at the top of his lungs, so there’s also that. Just remember, you, too, can feel so MoneySupermarket.

Recommended for: Literally anything. All day, every day. Appropriate for all situations. Play this at my funeral.