Recently, I have reached the conclusion that I’m cursed: I’m a night owl permanently stuck with a morning person’s schedule.
Take this past year in college, for example. Browsing through my course catalog, my eyes landed on my most anticipated class: screenwriting. Writing and movies had always been two isolated passions for me, but the combination of the two seemed surreal. I didn’t even read the class description. I knew that was what I wanted to dedicate myself to.
It was perfect. It was also at 9 AM, one of the earliest classes offered, and would be not just a semester commitment, but a year-long class.
It’s not that I hate mornings—I’m just useless during them. I’ll gladly work until 2 AM any day: I can crank out essays, write scripts, and plan out articles all while eating a late-night snack. Mornings, however, make me turn off my alarm twenty times, curl further into my blankets, and dependent on at least two shots of espresso before I’m a fully functional human being.
We all have days we want to sleep until noon, but sometimes you need to abandon your bed early to do what you love. Whether you’re working a summer job, going to the gym, starting a new project, or just waking up early for the heck of it, here are eight songs to motivate you throughout your mornings.
“PYNK” by Janelle Monáe
“I wanna fall through the stars / Getting lost in the dark is my favorite part.”
It’s not easy to wake up as the sun rises. If you’re anything like me, you probably got lost in some deep Internet search on a 2010 low-budget film that seemed inexplicably fascinating to you at 3 AM. The next day, however, you’re tossing and turning in bed, eyelids struggling to open as your alarm rings loud enough to wake up the neighbors.
Facing the music is tough, but trust me: it’s not that bad if the music is “PYNK.” It starts off just softly enough to gently soothe anyone awake, and the verse has a kick powerful enough to get you out of bed—a perfect alarm song if you ask me.
“NASA” by Ariana Grande
“You know I’m a star; space, I’mma need space.”
This song is about a relationship: in this case, you and your bed.
An ideal choice to blast while starting off my morning routine, “NASA” reminds me that I need to put space between my sleepy self and my bed if I’m going to get anything done.
So take a shower. Wash your face. Start a karaoke concert if you want. Do anything, but don’t go back to bed.
“ME!” by Taylor Swift ft. Panic! At The Disco
“One of these things is not like the others / Like a rainbow with all of the colors.”
What do you change into when all you want to do is stay in your pajamas?
“ME!” brings all the excitement of an all-caps-plus-exclamation-point song. Take that energy to start off your very own makeover montage moment. Try on multiple shirts before choosing one. Line up shoes and debate their comfort and appearance levels. Toss scrunchies all around your room until you find the right shade that matches your nail polish or hair color.
Will this probably result in your room looking like a hurricane blew by? Yes. But if Taylor Swift can go through more than five costume changes in one music video, then you can change your accessories a couple of times before finding the one that makes you happy.
“You should see me in a crown” by Billie Eilish
“Bite my tongue, bide my time.”
Now focus: we all have things that demand our utmost attention.
For me, that’s my eyeliner. I like it thin and winged, like a cat eye. However, I have incredibly unsteady hands and twitching eyes. Doing the perfect eyeliner can take anywhere from 5 to 35 minutes. If my eyeliner pencil isn’t sharpened enough, if my skin isn’t dry enough, if the mirror isn’t close enough—it’s a disaster.
“You should see me in a crown” is calm and steady. Whether you’re focusing on your hair or makeup, it will keep you motivated without any loud surprises to distract you. Or, in my case, without any eyeliner smudges to clean up after.
“I Really Like You” by Carly Rae Jepsen
“I really really really really really really like you.”
Is this about a love interest or coffee? For me, it’s both.
My morning cup of coffee is warm, strong, and has way too much sugar. It also makes me feel like every part of my body that it still sleepy is finally waking up. Having grown up with coffee, the sweet kick of caffeine is comforting.
Whether you’re a coffee or tea drinker, please do yourself a favor: eat a good breakfast and launch yourself into a mini impromptu dance party to this song to shake the lingering sleepiness off your body.
“Hey Girl” by Lady Gaga ft. Florence Walsh
“Hey girl, hey girl / We can make it easy if we lift each other up.”
I don’t like leaving my house.
Whether I’m getting an Uber, taking the subway, or simply walking, I have this irrational fear that something will go wrong. Maybe I forgot my wallet. Maybe I’ll make the wrong turn. Maybe I left the stove on.
If leaving your house also leaves you a nervous wreck, then let Lady Gaga and Florence Walsh reassure you that everything will be OK. “Hey Girl” is a kind of “comfort song”: it’s good for any mood, and it’s excellent if you feel like everything is going wrong. For me, it calms me down, stopping me from madly scavenging my bag and letting me remember that my wallet is in my back pocket, that I’m in the right path, and that I don’t even cook enough to turn on the stove in the first place.
“Green Light” by Lorde
“I’m waiting for it, that green light. I want it.”
You’re running late, so of course, there is something in your way.
“Green Light” works regardless of how you are getting to work. Find yourself stuck at a red light while driving? Crank the volume up and shout the lyrics out loud. Waiting for a train that never arrives? Bop along to the rhythm. Just walking down the street? Dance around the sidewalk like you are in a music video.
You may be running a little late, but you’re almost there—might as well have a little fun.
“Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys
“She got her head in the clouds / And she’s not backing down.”
This one is simple: you deserve a song worthy of an iconic entrance.
You did everything you needed to do for a successful morning. You got yourself out of bed. You are wearing something that you are both comfortable and confident in. You ate a good breakfast. You got to wherever you needed to go.
Now all that’s left to do is let “Girl On Fire” play as you officially start off your day.
Waking up early can be a nightmare all on its own. However, it can be easier to do so if you have a soundtrack to it. Whether you are planning on changing the world today or just finishing off a school essay, hopefully this “mini-playlist” gives you the motivation you need to start your mornings off in a good mood and in epic style.