17 Songs to Start Your Day Off Right (2023 Update)

A background image of a person listening to music with headphones and looking relaxed. Overlayed text reads: Morning Playlist. 17 songs to start your day off right.

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Starting the day off with a good vibe can set the tone for the rest of the day, especially if, like me, you’re not naturally a morning person.

Sometimes, using a few good songs to start your day off right can really give you that boost you need for the day ahead!

I’ve made it part of my daily routine to get up at 7:00 AM, and though it’s not as early as some folks rise and shine, sometimes it’s a struggle!

So, to keep me from slipping back into bed and out of consciousness on those days, I sometimes retrieve my laptop, fill a glass of water, get comfortable, and start my day with this playlist.

(For more on my morning routine and to discover what works for you, check out this post!)

Everybody’s got their own different music tastes, but I hope at least a couple of these songs can help you start your day right, or at least inspire you to make a morning playlist of your own!

1. Meditation on Breathing by Blue Cliff Monastery Ensemble

“Breathe in… Breathe out…”

If, like me, you like the idea of doing a morning meditation, but sometimes struggle to actually sit still for one, this calming 3-minute song might help you out.

Sometimes I’ll put it on before I even get out of bed, and just focus on my breathing while I relax and listen to the soothing sounds of the choir.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the best songs to wake up to first thing in the morning.

“When I breathe in, I breathe in peace. When I breathe out, I breathe out love.”

2. Fortyfive by Bootstraps

This is a great song to listen to while you slowly sip some tea (or coffee or whathaveyou) during a quiet morning alone.

Lyrically, there’s not really anything “start of the day” about it, but the sound is very soothing– which I’ve found especially helpful on those days when my anxiety has the audacity to wake up at the same time I do.

Maybe it’s just my overactive imagination, but when I listen to this one, I can’t help but think of being on a train ride, looking out the window as the sun comes up behind the mountains.

3. Today Will Be Better, I Swear! by Stars

Had a rough day yesterday? This song is a comforting reminder that today is a new day – an opportunity for a better one!

Stars is easily one of my favorite bands, so it’s only natural that one of their songs is going to be part of my morning routine.

This one is one of the most comforting and reassuring songs to start your day to.

4. The Heart of Life by John Mayer

This is another one of those encouraging songs that have ended up scattered across several self-care playlists of mine.

Sometimes, it’s a much-needed reminder that “the heart of life is good”.

5. Sunday Morning by Maroon 5

On any day of the week, this classic by Maroon 5 is a great song to start the day off to.

Especially if it just so happens that “rain is fallin'”.

6. L’amour Fait Ce Qu’il Veut by MIKA

Okay, so if you look up the English translation of this song, it might become evident that it’s actually a bit of a sad tune about a love gone wrong.

But as someone who doesn’t speak French and absolutely vibes with multilingual British artist MIKA, I’ve always thought this was a great, carefree-sounding song to wake up to!

7. Imagine by John Lennon

If, like me, your inner idealist likes to come out with the rising sun, then this classic idealist anthem is a must-have for your morning!

8. Holy by Jamila Woods

“Woke up this morning with my mind set on loving me.”

Well, I can’t think of a better way to help start the day with a self-loving mindset.

Also on my Self Love playlist, this song is a great reminder that we are all inherently holy and that choosing to love oneself is one of the most powerful (and important) things we can do.

9. Upside Down by Jack Johnson

Equally soothing and cheerful, this nostalgic tune from the 2006 Curious George movie is just too precious not to feature on any morning playlist.

10. Hello Sunshine by Jimmy Cliff

This is one of my all-time favorite songs, and a must-have for starting the day with a healthy dose of hope!

Hello Sunshine is such a feel-good tune, it never gets old (as far as I’m concerned).

The only downside is trying to refrain from singing along at the top of my lungs when my housemates are still asleep.

11. Sunflower, Vol. 6 by Harry Styles

Listen, not to fanby out, but I am personally of the belief that every day needs a little Harry Styles in it.

He brings such passion into everything he does!

And those quirky little vocalizations at the end of the song?

They serve as the perfect inspiration to bring a little “silly” with you into the rest of your day!

12. You Get What You Give by New Radicals

Another one of my favorite pick-me-up songs, You Get What You Give is an encouraging reminder not to give up on your dreams, that you can achieve anything if you are willing to keep working at it.

A great mentality to kickstart your day!

13. Make Believe by Steam Powered Giraffe

Alright, stick with me, here.

To anyone who hasn’t been introduced to the innovative musical project of Steam Powered Giraffe, the imagery of the robots on the album cover might seem a bit too niche.

But if you’re willing to give them a chance, I highly recommend this whimsical tune!

Make Believe reminds us all that it’s okay to step outside the bounds of society and be ourselves, while spreading love to others.

If you need me, I’ll be in my room, “dancing for no reason”!

14. Now Is the Start by A Fine Frenzy

What is the “start” that A Fine Frenzy sings of?

That’s up to you!

I love this song because it can represent hopeful new beginnings of any kind.

It’s a great way to kick off the start of a brand new day, and it’s almost impossible not to feel a burst of energy when the chorus hits!

15. Best Day of My Life by American Authors

Arguably one of the most upbeat pop songs of the 2010s, I would be remiss if I didn’t include this hit by American Authors in my morning playlist.

Energizing and inspiring, this is the quintessential wake-up-and-have-a-good-day song!

“Everything is looking up, everybody up now!”

16. I Was Made For Sunny Days by The Weepies

Another optimistic, bright tune is this underrated song by The Weepies.

The sweet vocals and upbeat yet relaxed melody are the perfect combo to help you ease into your day with a smile.

17. Lovely Day by Bill Withers

This song speaks for itself!

Soothing, optimistic, and groovy, you’re in for a lovely day indeed when you start off with this Bill Withers classic!

…And that’s about it!

I realize some of this playlist has been a bit niche, but I hope you can use at least some of these songs to start your day.


Signature of the name Riley
Riley, he/they pronouns

Trying to build a great morning routine while living with other people? Check out these helpful tips!

What songs are on your morning playlist?
Did you like any of the ones featured here?
Share your rise ‘n shine tunes in the comments below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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