5 Songs That Can Help Alleviate College Stress

You’ve all read the articles on how to eliminate stress from your life by buying a planner, making lists, planning out your day, making goals, and a whole bunch of other things that although helpful, might not make you any happier in the process of eliminating your stress.

In this article I am going to list a potential stressor in your life, give you a song that could potentially make you feel happier, and then list an activity (that doesn’t involve any of the things a listed above) that I feel could relieve some stress and brighten your mood!

Too many papers!

Song: Space Jam by Quad City DJs

One of the many wonderful first experiences you’ll have at college is the first week you realize you don’t have just one or even two but three papers due in the next few weeks. When it hits you, you might be in the shower, about to fall asleep, or on the bus. Wherever you are, the urge to cry, scream, or a combination of both will wash over you. I’m not going to tell you not to indulge in a few tears but after your slight freak out I have a few things to make you feel better.

Watch cartoons! Yes, this might seem counterintuitive when you have a boatload of work that you need to do, but your sanity is just as important is your school work. Find your favorite cartoon show from your childhood and just zone out. My personal preferences these days are SpongBob Squarepants, Courage the Cowardly Dog, or Samurai Jack. Whatever you choose, take some time to yourself.

Looming interview!

Song: Let’s Go by Matt & Kim

Jobs, internships, advisory boards, and so many other things require some sort of interview. With that being said, you’re not going to be able to go through your four years without encountering multiple interviews. As much as the actual interview is terrifying and fear inducing, sometimes waiting to do an interview can be just as bad. You’ll want to sit in your room looking over your resume at least 30 times while also trying to plan out how you’re going to answer all of the questions you expect them to ask you. It’s an exhausting process.

So instead of being a pile of mush only able to talk about your strong people skills, grab your favorite book and go to a coffee shop for an hour or so. Go order yourself a nice cup of something warm, cuddle up in a comfy chair, and get lost in a good book. There is nothing much better than taking some time to get away from the world by reading a wonderful book.

Friendship/relationship issues!

Song: On Melancholy Hill by Gorillaz 

I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you that all the drama that you thought you’d be leaving behind in high school will not totally be gone from your life when you make the move to college. You’ll still have issues with the person you like not liking you back, miscommunications, friends ignoring you, and all the other silly things that come along with having people that are close to you.

When you’re in one of these pickles, my favorite thing to do is make playlists. Obviously this isn’t for everyone but I think it’s a very therapeutic way to get some of the unwanted feeling out of your head. I personally get on Spotify and just start putting together a playlist from whatever I’m feeling at the moment. Along the same lines, just searching for new music is a relaxing way to relieve stress and find great new music. Pandora, 8tracks, and Spotify radio are all great places to start finding great new songs.

Dwindling money!

Song: On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons

I wish I didn’t have to talk about money so much in my blog posts but it is so much a part of the world that it is almost impossible not to address it, especially when it comes to college. There will be weeks when you realize that you won’t be able to go out to eat with your friends or you’ll have to skip going to see your favorite musician just because your bank account is looking dangerously low. It’s going to suck, a lot, but there are plenty of alternatives when you have to limit your spending. Movie nights with friends, although obvious, is one of my favorite things to do.

I find them to be especially fun when you pick a really bad movie so you can all laugh and make fun of the storyline together. So really, anything with Nicolas Cage. Another great somewhat obvious alternative is game night. Recently a card game called “Cards Against Humanity” has blown up around my school. If you like Apples to Apples but want a little more stupid college humor involved, pick it up and start playing.

Growing waistline!

Song: Go Outside by Cults

Sometimes you just don’t have the mindset or the motivation to go to the gym, flail around on the treadmill, and try to figure out the dangerous looking equipment all while surrounded by seemingly “perfect” bodies. So you know what, skip the gym and find some other way to get yourself up and moving. Taking a simple walk around campus is a wonderful way to get exercise while also getting to know your surroundings a little better. It’s funny how unobservant you can be to the things you see every day.

If you’re feeling a little more active, throw a Frisbee around, shoot some hoops, pop in a hip-hop DVD, or go on a bike ride with some of your friends. All it takes is for you to go outside and do something besides stare at a computer screen or textbook.

You’ll be stressed. You’ll buy a new planner. You’ll make a list of things you have to do. But make sure you take some time for yourself and realize that sometimes steps need to be taken for your happiness that do not directly correlate with productivity.

Be productive but also make sure you are happy.

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Abby Thomas

Abby Thomas

Abby Thomas is a freshman at University of Iowa studying Journalism and Nonfiction Creative Writing. She plans to one day be able to get paid to travel around the world writing about her adventures. The day you can find her travel book on the shelves of bookstores will be the day she has finally reached her life goal. When she is not pursuing her dreams of travel writing, she is either at the University's radio station or on her computer wasting time on Tumblr and Netflix.