Living the Alternative: 5 best TED Talks for dealing with college stress

Taylor Felver

Hangovers aren’t the only things that can hit you like a ton of bricks in college. What can hurt just as bad and sometimes have longer lasting effects is stress.

TED talks is a great platform to have short and sometimes relatable conferences with professionals and sometimes even amateurs. With genres ranging from entertainment to personal stories, they are a great resource.


As college students, we are not new to any type of stress be it financial, relational, educational or even the stress it takes to put ourselves back together when we’ve fractured our motivation.

Here are five of my favorite TED talks sure to help you stay inspired to get through your homework or to help you stay relaxed enough to even say the word without having a meltdown:

1. When you will feel the stress starting to creep up, go watch “How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed” by Daniel Levitin. Cloudy thinking equals a cloudy life. It is so annoying to feel stress slowly creeping up and most of the time not knowing how to stop it. Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist, explains how stress can be prevented if we just take the time to think about how we can prevent it from occurring later.

2. If you have 10 minutes to spare, check out “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes” by Andy Puddicombe. From a different approach Andy Puddicombe gives a brief run down on the power of meditation and relaxing just by being mindful for ten minutes. Ten minutes to change the way stress is experienced is the best deal all day.

3. But if you only have five, watch “Are you human?” by Ze Frank. In a more humorous manner, Ze Frank presents a test rather than a speech. This speech will make you laugh and may make you blush from embarrassment, but either way it will help make you feel a little more human and a little less alone.

4. If you have an entire 15 minutes available, go watch How to make stress your friend” by Kelly McGonigal.While the beginning may be daunting with its statistics, this Ted Talk helps shape how you and your body deals with stress. Turning a big problem into a small problem is simply shown in this video with just a fix on your mindset.

5. If you just want to motivate yourself, “Embrace the near win” by Sarah Lewis is what you should watch. Everyone likes to win, and winning feels good. That is a common notion, and even for the days when winning may feel like the least realistic possibility, this video will motivate enough to remind you that sometimes the near win is more valuable than the actual victory.