Returning to school already? Worried about not having the motivation to power through your assignments? That extra cup of coffee just not amping you up enough?
We’ve all been there! Luckily, music has your back: when all else fails, listening to your favorite artist or band can help you bounce back, more motivated than ever.
If you’re searching for songs to inspire you to read those textbooks or write those papers, look no further! As part our our Back2School series, we have you covered with this playlist to keep you inspired when all you want to do is hit the snooze button and skip class.
Warpaint – “By Your Side”
“Got my girls, I’m not alone,” sings Emily Kokal of Warpaint, a Californian quartet, also made up of Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg, and Stella Mozgawa. And really, is anything more motivating than girl power? Get your girls and allow the dreamy sounds of “By Your Side” embolden you to take that test by storm!
ANTEMASQUE – “In the Lurch”
Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, both of the Mars Volta and At the Drive-In fame, reunited several years back to form ANTEMASQUE, a fast-paced rock group, perfect for getting your adrenaline running. “In the Lurch” in particular is an ideal tune for those needing an extra kick in the morning. Unable to wake yourself up for that 8:00am class? Grab some coffee and turn the volume up on “In the Lurch” – you’ll certainly be wide awake.
Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny – “Atlas”
Beth Jeans Houghton, who also performs under the name Du Blonde, is a Newcastle upon Tyne-born musician, sings “Atlas,” a song whose tempo goes back and forth between slow and fast – this constant changing might be what makes it so motivating. When it’s fast, it’s upbeat, and listeners can’t help but be happy when hearing the singer’s high voice. However, when the track slows down, it’s hard not to be retrospective. Either way, it’s a great song to get you thinking, which is always good when you need inspired!
Foxy Shazam – “Unstoppable”
Lead singer Eric Nally wants listeners to know one thing: “We are unstoppable,” he cries, “no, we can’t be defeated.” This is the song you need to hear when you didn’t get the test score you were hoping for. Sure, it might seem like the end of the world, but you are capable of so much, and “Unstoppable” will remind you of that. And its music video will certainly cheer you up, if nothing else.
Brody Dalle – “Carry On”
“Carry On” by Brody Dalle, formerly of punk band the Distillers, doesn’t sound like an optimistic song at first listen. However, if you pay attention to the lyrics, it can really help you from feeling uninspired. Dalle is desperate in the song, wondering where to go when it seems like there is nowhere. However, the simple chorus can help you get out of any school-related funk: “All I really know is that I’ll carry on,” Dalle sings. Make this your motto this school year to keep you going.
No Doubt – “Hella Good”
Sometimes, you have to turn to a classic to get some motivation. “Hella Good” by No Doubt is a perfect song for that! Released in 2001, it’s upbeat, fun, and a little funky, great for when you’re in abit of a slump. Whenever you’re feeling down, stressed by the overwhelming amount of assignments you need to do, give yourself a much needed pick-me-up and start feeling hella good.
Ra Ra Riot – “Dance With Me”
In “Dance With Me,” vocalist Wes Miles claims to have had mostly had a good day, only to stop and claim, “It wasn’t that great.” This proclamation doesn’t sound promising, but it actually is, as Miles goes on to describe the solution to a bad day: dancing. “Come and dance with me, bittersweet fool,” he sings, and suddenly the day is no longer bad. The song is light and positive, keeping you uplifted enough to take on any challenges the school day presents.
Paolo Nutini – “Scream (Funk My Life Up)“
Scottish-born singer Paolo Nutini is known for his soulful voice, but “Scream” is his first real venture into any funk-inspired tune. Fortunately for him (and listeners as well), that first attempt is successful. The mellow sounds of “Scream” paired with Nutini’s voice are calming, while the lyrics are fun and lighthearted. You’ll be humming this song for days afterwards.
Vampire Weekend – “Finger Back“
Vampire Weekend have a habit of making catchy tunes, almost designed to make you bop along, and “Finger Back” is no different. Listen to this on your way to take a test or turn in an important assignment: while these moments likely fill you with a sense of dread, this song can be the anecdote, as its . The lyrics are at times indecipherable, but that contributes to the fun! You won’t be able to stress about school work when trying to figure out just what Ezra Koenig is singing.
Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger“
Can a motivation playlist be complete without this classic song? “Eye of the Tiger” is the ultimate tune to inspire you to be your best person and produce your best work. Your schoolwork is your rival, but you can (and will) come out on top – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
What songs motivate you? We’d love to hear what you’re listening to, so let us know in the comments!