There are few things in this world more real than the post-grad struggle. Unemployment is already an incredibly difficult thing to live through, but crawling the streets to find a job after you’ve fought your way through the academic boot camp that is university is damn near degrading. With every brutal rejection paired with a strategic binge of Netflix and junk food grows the sense of under-appreciation and instability. Nights once spent staying up until dawn with some of your favorite people in the world drinking wine on rooftops is all too soon replaced with restless sleep, staring at your virtually worthless degree and begging someone — dear God, please, anyone —  to hire you.

In order to calm their minds and stay positive, some people find exercising or retail therapy to be a solid stress reliever. As post-grads with literally negative funds to our name, online shopping or purchasing a gym membership is simply out of the question most of the time. If you find yourself saying, “I barely have change for the parking meter,” then you’re in luck — a strong Wi-Fi connection is all you need because streaming music can be free. And listening to music is one of the best ways to blow off steam when the post-grad struggle gets to be too much.

I find that mixing a little bit of old with the new is a beautiful way to gracefully enter the next stage of your life. If you’re looking for a way to quell those grown-up nightmares, check out these bangers and jazzy classics that have helped me crawl out of my own post-grad slump. 

1. “Schoolin’ Life” – Beyoncé

If Queen B gets you then that’s all that really matters.

2. “WTF (Where They From)” – Missy Elliott ft. Pharrell Williams

This isn’t the official music video, but it never fails to get me as hype as a Saturday night back in the ‘ville.

3. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” – Whitney Houston

An eternal go-to dance/karaoke song. There’s no such thing as sad with Ms. Whitney by your side.

4. “American Girl” – Elle King

A phenomenal cover of the Tom Petty original. Elle King’s signature rasp will have you hoping for warmer weather and brighter days.

5. “Wagon Wheel” – Darius Rucker

For me, this brings ALL the nostalgic Southern feelz!!!

6. “Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen

The soundtrack to any hometown heartache.

7. “Victorious”- Panic! at the Disco

Let’s take a decade rewind and throwback to 2006… but Panic! is back and more lit than ever.

8. “Water Under the Bridge” – Adele

#SlayMamaSlay #RealTearz

9. “Love Yourself” – Halsey

Forever the rebel with a cause? Halsey’s explicit cover of a new Bieber favorite will have you feeling some type of way.

10. “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” – Amy Winehouse

Because if anyone understands the pining of an old soul, it’s Amy.

11. “Unforgettable” – Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole

A twinkly Sunday-evening classic for the ages. Rest in peace, you jazzy gems.

12. “Dream A Little Dream of Me”- Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

There’s nothing quite like a tall glass of wine, Ella and a good book.

13. “Fire Fly” – Childish Gambino

“Bein’ me isn’t as hard as it used to be.” I hope you get there someday soon.

14. “Wonderful Everyday: Arthur” – Chance the Rapper ft. The Social Experiment

To all my ’90s kids: Believe in yourself, for that’s the place to start.

15. “Time” – The Mowgli’s

For those days when adulting just isn’t possible.

16. “Rivers and Roads” – The Head and the Heart

Yep. This pretty much sums it all up.

17. “I Wanna Get Better”- The Bleachers

post-grad struggle


What are your favorite songs for getting you through times like these? Share the artists and tracks below!

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