In recent years, multiple studies have taken place throughout the world to show the therapeutic effect music has on the brain. Music has proven to help individuals battling depression, anxiety, and even recovery from surgery. “Music is a non-invasive, safe, cheap intervention that should be available to everyone undergoing surgery,” according to Catherine Meads, Ph.D., of Brunel University in the United Kingdom. Often college students struggle with the anxiety of balancing all of their responsibilities and adapting to living on their own. Unfortunately, college students typically indulge in in alcohol and drug usage to relieve their anxiety rather than a healthy alternative.

Research shows that different genres of music are preferred for different moods. Sad music was found useful in releasing bottled up emotions and allowing individuals to come to terms with their feelings. Upbeat music is proven to improve the moods of people suffering from depression and anxiety and is associated with happiness. Motivational songs proved to inspire individuals to be more active and improve their physical fitness. Humans experience several different moods and emotions, therefore individuals are encouraged to have playlists that correlates with their current state of mind. Students can benefit from having these playlists by reducing their academic anxiety, homesickness, and increasing mental and physical motivation. Listed below are some examples of playlists that can help students based on their current mood/situation.

(The playlists listed below are based on the author’s personal preference. Each reader is encouraged to create their own versions of these playlists based on their own taste in music.)

Female Empowerment Playlist/Post Breakup Playlist

“Statistically speaking, women experience anxiety disorders at twice the rate of men. This fact is not limited to just one type of anxiety disorder, either: women outnumber men in being diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia, PTSD, and different kinds of specific phobias.” Kate Thieda, MS, LPCA, NCC, is a patient advocate for Women's and Children's Services at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. It is very important for young women to feel empowered and confident due to the fact that they twice as likely to suffer from depression and anxiety as men. A simple playlist could make a substantial difference in the life of a college female.

1. Best Thing I Never Had: Beyonce

2. If I Were a Boy: Beyonce

3. Never Again: Kelly Clarkson

4. Before He Cheats: Carrie Underwood

5. Obsessed: Mariah Carey

6. Cockiness (Love It): Rihanna

7. I’m Out (feat. Nicki Minaj): Ciara

8. Fighter: Christina Aguilera

9. Feedback: Janet

10. Confident: Demi Lovato

11. Needed Me: Rihanna

12. Praying: Kesha

13. Potential Breakup Song: Aly & AJ

14. Maneater: Nelly Furtado

15. Don’t Cha: The Pussycat Dolls

Male Empowerment Playlist/ Post Breakup Playlist

Although women are statistically more inclined to suffer from anxiety and depression, men still feel the weight of these diseases as well. Men are less likely to seek help for these issues because they are afraid of looking weak or less masculine. Something as simple as a playlist can drastically improve the mental state of college men. A confidence boost can be achieved just by filling the brain with empowering music.

1. Bounce Back: Big Sean

2. I Just Want It All: Kid Ink

3. Deuces (feat. Tyga & Kevin McCall): Chris Brown

4. Zero: Chris Brown

5. All I Do is Win (feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross): DJ Khaled

6. Choices (Yup): E-40

7. Ain’t Worried About Nothin: French Montana

8. I Mean It (feat. Remo): G-Eazy

9. Heartless: Kanye West

10. Humble: Kendrick Lamar

11. Man of the Year: Schoolboy Q

12. Congratulations (feat. Quavo): Post Malone

13. No Worries (feat. Detail): Lil Wayne

14. I’m Different: (2 Chainz)

15. Switch Lanes (feat. Game)

Throwback Early 2000s Playlist

One amazing thing about music is that it can bring back memories that has not crossed the mind in years. Hearing songs that are associated with good memories can improve someone’s mood drastically. It is important for college students to have a playlist that they can always count on to make them happy. A throwback playlist where everyone knows every word to every song can only bring laughter and smiles. This one playlist can be the factor that keeps someone from giving in to their depression and/or anxieties.

1. Laffy Taffy: D4L

2. Ms. New Booty: Bubba Sparxxx

3. Candy Shop: 50 Cent

4. Smack That: Akon

5. Buy U a Drank (feat. Yung Joc): T-Pain

6. Gold Digger (feat. Jamie Foxx): Kanye West

7. Umbrella (feat. JAY Z): Rihanna

8. Hollaback Girl: Gwen Stefani

9. Give It To Me (feat. Justin Timberlake & Nelly Furtado): Timbaland

10. My Humps: The Black Eyed Peas

11. Hips Don’t Lie (feat. Wyclef Jean): Shakira

12. Shake That: Eminem

13. Ignition (Remix): R. Kelly

14. Whatever You Like: T.I.

15. Low (feat. T-Pain): Flo Rida

Workout Playlist

As schedules get hectic and it's hard to balance both work and school, working out and staying active can be a challenge. Having a workout playlist that is motivating to get to the gym is crucial in a student’s life. Music not only can help improve mental/emotional health but also physical health by inspiring fitness. This playlist should be full of energetic songs that make fitting workout in to the schedule easier.

1. Fade: Kanye West

2. Get Low (feat. Nicki Minaj, Tyga, Flo Rida): Waka Flocka Flame

3. O.K. (feat. Tyler, The Creator): Mac Miller

4. Lie to Me: Future

5. Love Sosa: Chief Keef

6. Throwback (feat. Chris Brown): B.o.B

7. Sacrifices (feat. Eminem): Big Sean

8. Collard Greens (feat. Kendrick Lamar): Schoolboy Q

9. Feelin’ Myself (feat. Miley Cyrus, French Montana, Wiz Khalifa, Dj Mustard): will.i.am

10. Lotta That (feat. A$AP Ferg & Danny Seth): G-Eazy

11. Everyday (feat. Future): Ariana Grande

12. Mask Off: Future

13. Stronger: Kanye West

14. Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J): Katy Perry

15. Promises: Nero

Emotional Release Playlist

Sadness is a natural human emotion that occasionally needs to be released in order to move forward. For some individuals it is hard to break down and release their bottled up emotions. This particular playlist can assist in coming to terms with certain emotions and the beginning of moving forward.

1. Fix You: Coldplay

2. Not About Angels: Birdy

3. Bourbon In Kentucky: Dierks Bentley

4. She Will Be Loved: Maroon 5

5. Won’t Go Home Without You: Maroon 5

6. Picture (feat. Sheryl Crow): Kid Rock

7. Say You Do: Dierks Bentley

8. Second Chance: Shinedown

9. Jesus, Take the Wheel: Carrie Underwood

10. When I Look At You: Miley Cyrus

11. Just a Little Bit of Your Heart: Ariana Grande

12. You Lost Me: Christina Aguilera

13. Old Habits (feat. Miranda Lambert): Justin Moore

14. Til It Happens To You: Lady Gaga

15. Keep It to Yourself: Kacey Musgraves