Holding on to motivation

Playlist of the week 1/21/22


Courtesy of Emmy Meli

Emmy Meli’s “I AM WOMAN” is one of the many songs that will get you through your study sessions.

Christie Lanfear, Staff Writer

Online school is tedious and emotionally challenging at the best of times. In the absence of quality music, though, it becomes much worse. Attempting to remain focused on your homework without the perfect tunes is a laughable feat. An equally challenging task, however, is seeking out said “quality” music that simultaneously relaxes you, motivates you and allows you to maintain your focus. 

Over my years as a student, making study playlists has been a ritual. Combining my favorite music with studying makes the experience seem almost fun. Below, I have put together songs that meet my study music standards; I’m sure you will enjoy them as much as I do. 


I AM WOMAN – Emmy Meli 

If I’m feeling the need for a dose of serotonin or some extra motivation, this is the song that I play. It is so beautifully written and wonderfully celebrates being a brilliant person. Wanna feel awesome? Listen to this song. 


Winnebago – Gryffin (feat. Quinn XCII & Daniel Wilson)

This is one of the most carefree songs out there. The lyrics stress the importance of letting go and going with the flow. Everyone needs a little encouragement to loosen up every so often, and this song provides just that. 


Heaven Falls / Fall on Me – Surfaces 

This song describes the recipe for a productive day: wake up early, open the window and eat some banana pancakes—though preferably not from Leutner. 


Where Is the Love? – Black Eyed Peas 

A classic and a deserving member of this playlist. As one of my favorite songs, it conveys messages that I value highly and find especially relevant to our lives today. It encourages us to recognize society’s flaws and acknowledge that it is perfectly okay to feel overwhelmed or upset by the things that we read or watch or experience. When taking classes online, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, and this song is the anthem of accepting that feeling. 


I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free – Nina Simone

As one would guess from the title, this song is about the desperation to break away from things or people that are holding you down. Feeling restricted in this way is something that I have experienced during these past few weeks, so getting validation for those feelings really helped me to accept and move past them. It brought me a fresh feeling of the extra motivation that I needed. 


Power – Temani 

“The power lies within me.” I’m just going to leave this here. 


SPF10 – Requiem Inc. 

It’s hard not to be drawn in by the warm, sunny imagery and motivating affirmations beaming from this song’s hook. I promise it will help you power through even the most boring homework assignment or give you the energy to attend your last class of the week.


Just the Two of Us – Grover Washington Jr. (feat. Bill Withers)

I discovered this song again a few weeks ago, right before online school started. When listening to the lyrics, “Just the two of us / We can make it if we try,” people’s thoughts usually go to romance and all that jazz. But in the light of virtual school, my first thought was the relationship between myself and my computer, as we would be spending lots of time together in the online school experience of the coming weeks. 


Rise Up – Andra Day 

In this masterpiece, Day will empower you to keep going despite the monotony. If you believe in yourself, you can “take the world to its feet … move mountains … rise up.” Carry on. Push through. You’ve got this. 


The Good Part – AJR 

Despite powering through online school and trying to make the most of it, I know that all of us students are counting down the days until in-person classes begin. This song perfectly embodies this feeling: “Can we skip to the good part?” Although this waiting game we are playing with COVID-19 and all of its challenges can be tedious, I have confidence that the Case Western Reserve University Board of Trustees is working hard to keep us safe and get us back into the classroom as fast as they can. 


Orlando – Blood Orange 

Reggae-inspired and wonderfully cheerful, this song offers us the best way to wrap up the night after a hard day studying. The song ends this playlist with a fantastic line: “You know, it’s an insult we often put onto / A lot of folk is, like, ‘oh, you’re doing too much.’ … You know what? My resolution, my eternal resolution will be / To do too much. / Yes, I love it.” This song’s message is loud and clear: stay on your path and great things will come. 


As well as making my own playlists, I love receiving ones made for me by friends, even if we have slightly different music tastes. That is what I have done for you here. I have made what I hope to be a motivating and fun playlist to keep you and your homework company. Feel free to switch up the order and enjoy it however you like. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to finishing up your homework for the evening at lightning speed.