Prove your humanity

If you are a university student, chances are you’re a little stressed right now. As we approach the end of the semester and our exams and deadlines for assignments draw near, it can be difficult to fend off distraction and stay motivated.

Heck, reading this article is probably an act of procrastination in itself. I know writing it was…

But fear not, Grok Magazine has got your back.

We, the writers (who all are overburdened uni student ourselves), have banded together to create a list of go-to tracks to help uplift, inspire and concentrate you during this stressful time.

These songs have been tried in the furnace that is tertiary education; they have withstood the tears, sleepless nights and over-caffeination of their listeners, and gently cradled them through to their much-awaited semester breaks.

So, without further ado (as I’m sure you have to get back to actually studying) here is the list of the ultimate, auditory study-buddies:


‘Like a girl’ by Lizzo and ‘Dive’ by Beyoncé:

I listen to these songs when my soul feels depleted in assignment prime time and I need to feel like I can take over the world.

– Amber Weir (Editor-in-Chief, Writer)


‘FEEL NOTHING’ by HEALTH and ‘Overthow’ by Boyz Noize:

This song is perfect for when you need a heavy beat for motivation, and when you need to block out anxiety to get shit done. It’s got a bit of a darker tone, but the track has so much energy, you can’t help but feel it too. I also recommend these white noise sites, if you’re into that:, and

– Max Vos (Deputy Editor, Writer)


‘River’ by Leon Bridges:

It’s a slow track but it’s soulful AF and will lift you out of those bad vibes.

– Luisa Mitchell (Previous Deputy Editor, Writer)


‘Lumos! (Hedwig’s Theme)’:

Soundtracks are great for essay-writing, especially if you’re like me who when listening to music with lyrics will start typing the lyrics.

– Emma Ruben (Writer)


‘Small Talk’ by Julia Jacklin:

If I’m feeling distracted and seriously need to knuckle down, I put on Julia Jacklin’s ‘Don’t Let the Kids Win’ album for a sure-fire 43 mins of concentration. Her heavenly voice and western vibes also means it doubles as a kind of auditory massage as well: win-win.

– Naomi Worthy (Art & Film department sub-editor, Writer)


‘Tailwhip’ by Men I Trust:

It’s a soft and groovy tune. Its calming tone helped me to relax during the semester, but it’s also upbeat enough for motivation.

– Kenith Png (Writer, Photographer)


‘Old Friends’ and ‘Intrepid’ by Pinegrove:

Major Lazer and tropical house/dancehall got me through my final exams of law school. But before then I was very much into listening to NY alt-country rock band Pinegrove.

– Joe Wilson (Previous Music department sub-editor, Writer)


‘I got you (I feel good)’ by James Brown:

If I’m too stressed/dying inside I’ll this song and just spin around in a wheelie chair until a semblance of humanity returns to me.

– Maria Cristina De Vicente (Science department sub-editor, Writer)


‘Oxford Comma’ by Vampire Weekend:

It’s a poppin’ good tune for a poppin’ good mood.

– Chris Leopardi (Previous Head of Design, designer)


‘Arrival of the birds’ by The Cinematic Orchestra:

Yes, it’s a soundtrack piece but it’s just very soothing thinking about migrating birds and how, if they can overcome their journey, then I can get through my study!

– Kaelen Ruland (Writer)


‘Maybe This Time’ by Liza Minnelli:

When I’m burnt out, out of luck and love (uni will do that to you), I blast this track and lip sync battle to an empty room while gyrating with bucketloads of cabaret flair. RuPaul’s queens would fear me—and I’ll leave you to interpret what kind of fear that is.

– Jay Anderson (Previous Editor-in-Chief, Writer)



To make it easier for you, we made a playlist in Spotify so you can access all these bad boys in one place:

Enjoy and good luck!