Sixth Form’s exam stress relief playlist

Sixth Form’s exam stress relief playlist

Inspired by a poll undertaken by mental health service Kooth, our Sixth Form students have developed a revision relaxation playlist to support students in Year 11 who may be struggling to unwind during this GCSE exam revision period.

The students were moved to take action after overwhelming evidence that music is students’ preferred method of relaxation at their recent in-school ‘Support and Advice for Everyone’ (S.A.F.E.) day poll, which gave the following results:

  • Listening to music: 41%
  • Eating: 12%
  • Taking a Nap: 10%
  • Me Time: 8%
  • Exercise: 8%
  • Reading a Book: 6%
  • Talking: 5%
  • Spending time with Family: 5%
  • Getting Creative: 5%

The playlist, which includes tracks such Holocene (Bon Iver), About Today (The National), Time is Dancing (Ben Howard) and Ocean Eyes (Billie Eilish) has been made accessible to all and can be played at

Hear from our Sixth Formers

Sixth Form playlist poster

Paige Rowsell, Year 12, who helped curate the playlist said, “It was so interesting that the vast majority of students across the whole school identified listening to music as their number one coping mechanism when things get tough. Young Minds research tells us that 1 in 8 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder – that’s roughly 3 children in every classroom. With mental health so firmly on the agenda, we felt we had to do something practical to help us all deal with the stress of exam revision.”

Commenting, Alicia Mackenzie, Year 13 said, “I know how daunting exam revision can be. Learning some great relaxation tips can be key to keeping calm during the stressful exam period. We really hope this playlist can be of some practical help to all those students at Sexey’s but also further afield who might be looking for some help from other students who really know what they’re going through.”

Clare Wilson, Pastoral Manager at Sexey’s School said, “Empathy and Kindness are some of core Christian values that make up the ethos of Sexey’s and it’s so wonderful to see it being put into practice by our Sixth Formers. This playlist is a great practical tool to help students keep on top of their mental health. We’ll certainly be playing it in the school’s pastoral support area!”

Hear from the experts: XenZone

Kooth research_Sexeys Sixth curate playlist for Year 11XenZone is a provider of online mental health services for children, young people and adults. Kooth, from XenZone, is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people. It is accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use.

Dan Mills-Da’Bell, XenZone’s Head of Safeguarding states, “It’s fantastic to see young people taking positive action to manage their wellbeing and sharing practical coping mechanisms with their peers. Research has found that music releases dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical in your brain, so it’s no surprise that young people are turning to it to cope with exam stress. I can certainly relate as for me personally, music provides a soundtrack to my life. Whether playing, creating, or listening to music, it’s able to engage me emotionally when everything else can feel distant, or when words aren’t enough. On Kooth young people often chat to our counsellors during sessions about how powerful music can be as a coping strategy. We have a number of dedicated forums where users have supported each other through their passion for music and hope that this initiative in Sexey’s Sixth Form inspires others to do the same.”