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Devils' Advocate

A winter playlist to alleviate finals stress

Kaan Turkyilmaz
A winter playlist to help you reduce your stress about finals.

As exam season rolls around, students are busy preparing for their finals and looking for ways to alleviate stress. Many students have found themselves listening to familiar tunes to take their minds off of approaching exams. 

Here is a winter Spotify playlist full of timeless holiday classics and some fresh new tracks with futuristic twists. After a long, draining study cram session, students can wind down with this chill, cozy assortment of tracks. 

“Farewell Transmission” by Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee 

Jason Molina initially released the song “Farewell Transmission” in 2003. After his alcohol-abuse related death in 2013, many avid listeners left this song in the dust. Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee recorded a revamped version of this nuanced, delicate track in 2017 to commemorate Molina. 

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“[I like this song] because it sounds atmospheric and very comforting during stressful times,” said Alice Quaranta, junior. 

The mellow, deep lyrics of this song combined with the tuneful synth line capture the dreary, yet hopeful atmosphere of December. 

Favorite lyric: “Long dark blues, through the static and distance.” 

“Resonance” by Odyssey 

“Resonance” is a song without any lyrics, and yet listeners are instantly drawn into the hypnotizing instrumentals that build up as the song progresses: starting off with a smooth base line and layering on electronic percussion. After listening to the song, it feels like your brain has shut off and restarted, effortlessly clearing your thoughts between study cram sessions. 

“Resonance” is a fresh, futuristic track to ring in the new year with a mental clean slate.

“Coming Home” by Leon Bridges 

Many students can relate to the feeling of reuniting with family members and friends during the winter season: siblings coming home from college, cousins gathering by the TV to watch the new year’s countdown. “Coming Home” encapsulates this sentiment of comfort, peace and familiar love.

Instrumentally, the soft guitar and sultry backing vocals creates an enticing melody that you can’t help but sway to. 

Favorite lyric: “The world leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, girl.” 

“Relax” by Vacations 

With just two verses and two choruses, “Relax” is a lyrically short and straightforward song. However, the extended “ooo’s” and “aah’s” carry and amplify the message of the song. This track is simply about letting go of your stressors and finding someone to confide in with your deepest emotions.

Also, with the first lyric of the song, which is my personal favorite, the song boldly states that all of the worries, stresses and anxieties that we might face in life truly don’t matter in the long run. 

This track is not only an enjoyable listen, but also conveys important life lessons that we can all learn from, especially during exam season. 

Favorite lyric: “We’re stressing out, over nothing real.” 

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry and The Pinafores 

You can’t have a winter playlist without the holiday classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Listeners are immersed in a charming story about a reindeer who didn’t fit in with the rest of the pack of reindeer due to his iconic, shiny red nose. 

“[I love Rudolph] because he was the smallest and most powerful reindeer, and I love his shiny nose,” said Chloe Masood, junior. 

This song automatically brings back nostalgic memories for students and teachers alike. 

Favorite lyric: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you’ll go down in history.” 

“Christmas Tree Farm” by Taylor Swift 

“Christmas Tree Farm” by Taylor Swift was released in 2019, but still remains a favorite among students. Every time I go back to listen to the song, I always pick up on a new production element. On my most recent listen, I noticed the bells at the beginning of the song which emulates the vibe of the holiday season. 

“I like [this song] because I can sing it well,” said Kimberly Kim, science teacher. 

The heart-warming lyrics about Swift’s childhood growing up on a farm coupled with the festive, cheerful beat makes for a great listen every time.

Favorite lyric: “Stress and holiday shopping traffic, but I close my eyes and I’m somewhere else.”

The playlist is available to stream on Spotify. (Clara Pappas)

To listen to this playlist, please click here.

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About the Contributors
Kaan Turkyilmaz
Kaan Turkyilmaz, Writer
Kaan Turkyilmaz, junior, is excited to continue writing for Devils’ Advocate this year. In addition to contributing to the online newsmagazine, Kaan is a copy editor of the print newsmagazine and designer of the Daily Devil and What’s Trending columns. At school, he enjoys participating in BPA, Forensics and Link Crew. During his free time, Kaan enjoys watching “The Great British Baking Show.” You can contact Kaan at
Clara Pappas
Clara Pappas, Editor-in-Chief
Clara Pappas, senior, is excited to return to Devils’ Advocate as Editor-in-Chief this year. At school, she is a member of Radio Club and Link Crew. She enjoys watching the White Sox, listening to music and going to concerts with her friends. Her favorite music artists are Mitski and Johnny Cash. You can find her at [email protected].

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  • Ozlem DubauskasDec 19, 2023 at 9:04 am

    Great List! Very useful, Thank You guys?