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Top TED Talks to Get You Motivated to Study

Some days you want to study and some days you don’t. Some days the thought of looming assignments and endless deadlines makes you want to crawl back into bed and sleep until the semester is over. When you’re stuck like this, the best thing you can do is look outside the box to find some motivation, to do something different and expand your mind.

TED Talks —which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — are short, powerful talks, designed to share ideas and knowledge, from gifted minds all across the world. Clocking in at roughly 20-25 minutes each, they’re easily digestible, informative, inspiring and fun to watch.

While you might not be studying your coursework, you’ll be doing your mind a valuable service, getting your creative juices flowing, and getting that spark of motivation back at the same time. You might even find something to discuss with your tutors and lecturers, and motivate them too.

Here are a few that we recommend to get you started.

TED talks for confidence

Emily Jaenson went from being extremely shy to talk to strangers to becoming the first female general manager of a Triple-A baseball team in nearly 20 years. Here she shares six valuable tips to improve confidence.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham, an educator and activist, has decoded confidence and shares not only how you can build your own, but to spark it in others. Watch her talk for a valuable boost when you need one!

TED talks for motivation

Tali Sharot is here to teach you three things that drive behaviour and mind. If you’re feeling unmotivated, this talk might just get you going.


Simon Sinek tells you his theory on how all great leaders think, how to think and act from the inside out, and how to change your thinking to inspire.

Dan Pink gives you the story and psychology behind motivation, and how to get motivated in a different way.

Tim Urban explains procrastination and how you can still get things done and study for success despite having this habit — yes, seriously.

TED talks for stress management

Stress is an inevitable part of life – especially during exam season. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin pushes you to think ahead and anticipate failures, so you can plan for them, remain calm and manage stress effectively.

See stress in a positive light by checking out psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s talk. She gives stress a new reputation and encourages viewers to reach out to others as a means of managing their stress. 

TED talks for creative inspiration

David Kelley talks you through his experience of seeing the benefits of letting yourself be creative, and how this can frame your confidence.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ tells you how to tackle the notion of ‘genius’, of creativity, and how to let yourself be creative, and not worry about the outcome.