CU student Dean Garibaldi listens to music on his headphones while studying for a philosophy final at Norlin Library.

Music is a multi-purpose medication.

It can be therapeutic in a clinical sense, or more commonly, when administered in doses of carefully constructed playlists. It’s the social lubricant of any good party (for best results, mix with alcohol) and it’s the fuel for long runs. It’s non-prescription Adderall for all-night cramming or Xanex for after the test.

We’re not your psychiatrist, doctor or pharmacist, but we can recommend some songs to help you survive the semester.


A good study playlist is a particularly tricky cocktail. Everyone’s needs are a little bit different, but one consistent element should be that there are little-to-no lyrics. Words and narratives are distracting when you’re trying to memorize formulas or dates. We’re putting a robotic spin on this one in the hopes that you’ll study like a well-oiled machine.

“Brainfreeze” – Fuck Buttons

“Pyramid Lake” – Airhead

“Genesis” – Grimes

“Total Fascination” – Pretty Lights

“Yeah (Pretentious Mix)” – LCD Soundsystem

“Crescendolls” – Daft Punk

“Seventeen Years” – Ratatat

“Glitter Freeze” – Gorillaz


Songs for the other side of the test are much easier. When it’s time to sit back and relax, it’s all about mellow.

“Obvious Bicycle” – Vampire Weekend

“Subway” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

“XXIII” – Smith Westerns

“Piano Manta” – Mikal Cronin

“Hide and Seek” – Imogen Heap

“Total Carnage” – Sweet Valley

“Karma Police” – Radiohead

“Pink Matter” – Frank Ocean feat. Andre 3000

“Goin’ to the Party” – Alabama Shakes

“Love Like a River” – Girls

“A Simple Answer” – Grizzly Bear

“One Sunday Morning” – Wilco

Working Out (and/or Shredding)

So much pent up stress and energy. So much time spent sitting on your ass. So much beer. Sweat it off with some beats and riffs.

“Fitta Happier” – Quakers feat. Guilty Simpson & MED

“Off That (feat. Drake)” – Jay-Z

“H.a.m.” – Kanye West & Jay-Z

“Crown On the Ground” – Sleigh Bells

“Search and Destroy” – Iggy & The Stooges

“Black Math” – The White Stripes

“Born Free” – M.I.A.

“B.O.B.” – OutKast

“Bonfire” – Childish Gambino

“Lose Yourself” – Eminem (You knew this was coming.)

Partying — Mainstream

Time to cut loose. House parties are no time for obscure taste in music, even if it’s great, so here are some party songs everyone knows and loves, even if they won’t admit it.

“Send It Up” – Kanye West

“Somewhereinamerica” – Jay-Z

“Clique” – Kanye West, Jay-Z and Big Sean

“Can’t Hold Us” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

“Countdown” – Beyonce

“I Love It” – Icona Pop

“Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke

“Body Party” – Ciara

“Take Back the Night” – Justin Timberlake

“Power Trip” – J. Cole feat. Miguel

Partying — Indie

OK, more indie party music is also in order, too.

“Date With The Night” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

“Last Night” – The Strokes

“Younger Us” – Japandroids

“Diane Young” – Vampire Weekend

“Let’s Go” – Matt & Kim

“Carried Away” – Passion Pit

“Lost In My Bedroom” – Sky Ferreira

“Drunk Girls” – LCD Soundsystem

“Riot Rhythm” – Sleigh Bells

“Backseat Freestyle” – Kendrick Lamar

“Enemy” – Idle Warship

“The Party & The After Party” – Weeknd

Contact music writer Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter:

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