Our Glastonbury Highlighters Playlist: The Best Festival Tunes to Help You Revise


  1. Music to stay motivated
  2. Music to elevate your mood
  3. Music to increase your concentration 
  4. Can music help you study?

Being stuck indoors under a pile of books and revision notes while your friends frolic in fields to the sound of your favourite bands can be a real downer. Here at GoStudent, we see no need for you to miss out! We’ve asked an expert to cherry-pick the top tunes from this year’s Glastonbury line-up. The result - our Glastonbury Highlighters Playlist, the perfect soundtrack for any revision marathon. 🏃🏽‍♂️

Our Glastonbury Highlighters Playlist has been carefully curated by a music psychologist to help you focus on your revision. With three different sections, it features songs to motivate you, boost your mood, and aid concentration. It includes a mixture of classic tracks and newer releases to give you all the festival feels while you crack on with your exam preparation. ⛺🎶

Music to stay motivated 

Whether you’re cramming last-minute or preparing well in advance, staying focussed while you study can feel like an impossible task. Suddenly, tidying your room, walking the dog or helping your parents with the smallest of tasks all seem far more important than tackling a mountain of revision. ⛰️📚

When procrastination strikes, music can be effective in kick-starting you back into action! A 2005 study published in Psychology of Music found that music helped to increase worker motivation and enhance productivity – and who are we to argue with science! Feeling energised can lead to increased focus, so turn up the volume and let music stimulate your brain! 💡

The first part of the playlist, the ‘Musi-vation’ stage, is bursting with upbeat tracks to help you when your energy levels have taken a nosedive.  Whether it’s the iconic intro to Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right Here, Right Now’ or the thrashing instrumental in ‘Live and Let Die’ by Guns N’ Roses, these tracks will lift you up and get you going.

The songs featured in the ‘Musi-vation’ section of the playlist are:

  1. Right Here, Right Now - Fatboy Slim 
  2. Live and Let Die - Guns N’ Roses 
  3. Do I Wanna know? - Arctic Monkeys 
  4. Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley 
  5. King Bromeliad - Floating Points

Music to elevate your mood

It’s common for your mood to go up and down as you deal with the stress of exams. The whole exam period can feel like a rollercoaster - one minute you feel like you’re winning, and the next you’ve forgotten everything you know about a particular topic. When the world feels a little topsy-turvy, finding comfort in the familiar can be the perfect remedy. 🙃

Enter the ‘Familiar Favs’ section of the playlist, featuring songs that will slip into your brain and soothe you. These tunes have been chosen in part because studies suggest that music that we know well can be easier to process, making them the perfect soundtrack to a study session. 🎧

When top athletes prepare for a big sporting event, they often listen to music as part of their training to stay positive, get into a flow, and improve their performance levels. Getting ready for exams is often viewed as a marathon, whether you warm up by lining up your stationery or stocking up on healthy snacks, don’t skimp on the uplifting tunes as you run your own race. 🎽

The songs in this middle section of the playlist have been chosen both for their familiarity and for their ability to elevate your mood. It’s hard not to be buoyed by classics such as ‘Your Song’ by Elton John or Blondie’s ‘The Tide Is High’. There are newer vocalists too, and you can immerse yourself in the stripped-back production of Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Bruises’ while you take on those past papers. 

The tracks included in the ‘Familiar Favs’ section of the playlist are:

  1. Your Song - Elton John
  2. The Tide Is High - Blondie 
  3. Little Bit of Love - Tom Grennan 
  4. Bruises- Lewis Capaldi 
  5. Boys Will Be Bugs- Cavetown 
  6. Worst of You - Maisie Peters 

Music to increase your concentration

So, once you’re in the zone, the challenge is staying there! The final part of the playlist, the ‘Background Beats’ section’ is designed for those moments when you really need to knuckle down and get on with intense or complex tasks -  we’re thinking complex problem-solving, tricky past papers or challenging essays. 📜

These tracks in this section of the playlist have been picked for their calming qualities, which can come in handy while revising or as you prepare to take an exam.  Featuring songs with an instrumental feel, the ‘Background Beats’ section rounds out the playlist by bringing the listener into a harmonious world of chilled tracks. 🧘🏾‍♀️

You can embrace the soothing rhythms on The Comet is Coming masterful track ‘Unity’ or lose yourself in the other-worldly vocals of ‘Catrin (Liverpool Street Station)’ by Fred Again.  Either way, these laid-back and low-key tunes will help you when you really need to concentrate. ⚡

The tracks in the ‘Background Beats’ section of the playlist are:

  1. Brooklyn Baby - Lana Del Ray
  2. Unity – The Comet is Coming
  3. Space is the Place – Ezra Collective
  4. Catrin (Liverpool Street Station) - Fred again

Can music help you study?

The Glastonbury Highlghter’s Playlist was created by Cristina Harney, a music psychologist from the University of Leeds. Cristina is clear about the many benefits of listening to music while you work.

“Music can be used as a powerful tool when it comes to revision. The scientific arousal-mood hypothesis says music can increase energy, and potentially focus, while some music has been shown to lower our stress levels. Music can even help make revision potentially enjoyable – surely that’s worth a try!”

The playlist has been crafted with revising students in mind, and a whole range of things have been taken into account. The songs in the last two sections are all between 80-100 bpm, to match the typical resting heart rate of someone studying for their A-levels. Matching the tempo of music to your resting heart rate is believed to have a relaxing effect. 💓

You don’t need us to convince you, though! If you’ve ever ramped up the volume of your favourite track after a difficult day, you’ll already know the power of music. There are scientific theories that suggest that music works like a stress ball, helping us make our way to an altogether calmer state. 

It goes without saying that most people struggle to study effectively while stressed out, so lowering stress levels can make learning easier. Another thing that can help ease the stress of exam preparation is working with a knowledgeable and helpful tutor. Here at GoStudent, we have a range of expert tutors in a range of subjects just waiting to help you find the best path to exam success! 🏆