Nate Harris By Nate Harris • August 3, 2020

5 R&B Songs That Motivate Me to Study and Help Me Maintain My Focus While Earning My Degree

Music is powerful. Aside from the enjoyment it provides, it can heal the brain, improve memory and relieve stress.

That makes it a great tool for an academic journey in many ways.

R&B is by far my favorite music genre, so there are several songs that I go to when I feel unmotivated, stressed or just plain uninterested in studying. Sprinkled with a bit of soul and hip hop, these songs fit my every mood when I need a little boost. I hope they work for you too! Check them out, and leave me a note in the comments if there are any other songs you would recommend for a particular mood.

1. Mood: Motivation

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears

Ok, this may be a weird choice, but from my experience, this song draws your attention and helps you focus on what’s important. It is fun, yet relaxing, and I’ve always enjoyed the varied instruments that make up this composition.


2. Mood: Procrastination

“Yo Love” by Vince Staples x 6lack x Mereba

I first heard this song in the film Queen & Slim, and I instantly loved it (and thought the song was better than the movie!) Its energy convinces you to get up and get started.


3. Mood: Stress

“Back in the Day” by Ahmad

This song always takes me back to my childhood, a time when I was stress free and relaxed, so it’s very therapeutic. It helps me focus on clarity, and it lets my thoughts flow freely. Just let the beat find you.


4. Mood: Feeling Bad/Down

"Outstanding” by The Gap Band

I wanted to take this one way back into soul, and you might have already heard this song since it’s been popular forever. The sound will instantly put you in a good mood. The up-beat rhythm of the guitars and drums fosters happiness in your soul.


5. Mood: Time for a Break

“Loves Comes Down” by Evelyn “Champagne” King

When I need to take a breather from school work, I love this wild card song because it fills me with joy. I listen to it even when I need a break for my own sanity. It will leave you feeling refreshed, re-energized and ready to get back to work.

Nate Harris

Written by Nate Harris

A Trenton native, Nate Harris is interning with TESU through the Mercer County Office of Training and Employment Services (MCOTES) One Stop Career Center Summer Youth Jobs Connection. Harris graduated from Mercer County Community College with a degree in general communications and is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in theatre and film studies.

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