The Science-Backed Playlist To Optimise Your Morning

The science-backed playlist to optimise your mornings

Say goodbye to groggy mornings and hello to the perfect wake-up playlist. Don't hit snooze, check it out now.

THIS YEAR, I am making it a habit to get out of bed earlier and without the grogginess and sour mood that normally comes with waking up early. 2024 seems to have many of us on a morning health grind, adding pre-dawn run clubs, sunrise workouts and cold plunges to our morning routines. It’s become trendy to be an early bird, getting up and at ’em before the rest of the country falls out of bed. 

Let’s face itthe sound of an iPhone alarm in the morning is like a bad hangoverit’s annoying, and despite that pretty much being its sole job (to annoy us enough to wake us up) it just seems like the wrong way to start the day. While some of us are early birds by nature, others need a little extra motivation to get out of bed. For those who struggle to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we have some good news, with a recent study commissioned by mattress retailer Bedroom Furnishing, offering an optimised playlist that could provide the ultimate sonic jumpstart to your mornings. 

The wake-up study

The study analysed over 600,000 tracks from 3,000 Spotify playlists comprising ‘wake up,’ ‘motivation,’ and ‘feel good’ themes. Using a Spotify playlist analyser, the songs were pooled together, and duplicates were removed to create one master playlist. The researchers then honed in on three essential attributes of each song: Energy, Danceability, and Valence. Energy relates to the ability of a song to give your day an intense kickstart, while Danceability measures how likely you are to bust out sleep-deprived dance moves while you make a morning coffee. Finally, Valence, is the song’s ability to evoke happiness, because let’s face it, as much as we love the odd sombre ballad to get in our feels, no one wants to start their day on a down note. Combining these three factors gives songs a total score; the more points they have, the better the wake-up song is.

Considering these three factors, the researchers determined the top ten songs to help you rise and shine. The result is a playlist that includes everything from electronic tunes to modern pop bangers. No matter your taste in music, there’s a song in here to lift your morning vibes.

The best songs to wake up to

 

INSTAGRAM I @theweeknd

10. The Weeknd – Popular (with Playboi Carti & Madonna)

It’s easier to find a needle in a haystack than to stumble upon a musical list that doesn’t have The Weeknd’s tracks playing on repeat. As readily played as this track is, you can’t help but bop along, and the numbers don’t lie, with 80 million views across the official audio and music videos. The track sees one of the kings of RnB team up with musical icon Madonna for the hit HBO series The Idol. The track perfectly blends RnB and pop. It’s a pop-music match made in heaven, and the world can’t get enough of it. ‘Popular’ took out joint ninth place for best songs to wake up to and was awarded 290.5 points in the study. 

9. Calvin Harris – Feel So Close

Talk about iconic. This tune has almost been a theme song in the lives of electronic music lovers since it dropped in 2011. Viewed over 300 million times on YouTube alone, ‘Feel So Close’ is just one of the Scottish DJ, singer, songwriter, and producer’s many chart-topping bangers. A summer anthem with catchy lyrics and an upbeat melody, this song just gives off the perfect mix of energy and happiness; it’s easy to see why it edged its way onto a list that is intended to get you moving in the AM.

‘Feel So Close’ is the joint ninth-best song to wake up to, with 290.5 points in the study. 

8. Spice Girls – Wannabe

Can you believe that ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls was their debut single? Only a few solo musicians or groups can muster a first tune this successful. And it’s clear we still can’t get enough of the cult classic, amassing more than 600 million views on YouTube since being uploaded 14 years ago. Known for its catchy chorus and empowering message about the importance of female friendship over romantic relationships, it became a global sensation and a defining anthem of ’90s pop culture and is now seen as one of the best songs to start the day, too. 

‘Wannabe’ was awarded 292 points in this study.

 

INSTAGRAM I @travisscott

7. Travis Scott – I Know ? 

Travis Scott is a once-in-a-generation type of artist, enjoying a powerful grip over the music industry for the last decade and continuing to produce some of the craziest rap albums of all time. ‘I Know ?’ Dropped in 2023 and saw Travis explore a different tone in his music, a slight shift from the head-banging theatrics. He explores personal encounters with fame and relationships, discussing the significance of being truthful and open as well as the intricacies of love in the public eye. The album title showcases his awareness of how his way of life impacts his love life, combining lively beats with contemplative lyrics to provide an insightful glimpse into his world. If you are yet to bust out this track, give it a go tomorrow morning!   

Travis Scott’s I know ?’ has the highest Danceability score on this list, contributing to his joint-sixth ranking, earning 293.5 points in the study.

6. Redbone – Come and Get Your Love

It’s a timeless song in this category, and it’s easy to see why it’s stood the test of time. Groovy melodies and iconic lyrics that you’ll be hard-pressed not to hear chanted at bars nationwide. It’s a feel-good song with a playful nature, you can’t help but dance to this song. Revived in pop culture through its inclusion in “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014), where director James Gunn chose it over ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ for the opening scene in which Chris Pratt’s character, Peter Quill, is blissfully dancing away. This 1974 hit might give you the same carefree vibes in your morning routine. 

‘Come and Get Your Love’ by Redbone ranks joint-sixth in this study, with 293.5 points. It also has the second highest ‘Valence’ score in this list. 

5. Rupert Holmes – Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

Another timeless tune that had a resurgence after its feature in Guardians of the Galaxy, Rupert Holmes’ ‘Escape’ is a catchy tune about a man attempting to escape his mundane life. The song’s famous chorus, “If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain”, is a playful and humorous twist on a familiar romantic trope. It’s a song that makes you want to sing along and maybe even plan your own escape. This song might spin a brighter tone to help you escape the bliss of your bedroom. 

The 1979 track cemented itself in the new list of wake-up bangers, claiming the fifth spot with 294 points.

 

INSTAGRAM I @iammarkronson

4. Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) 

It feels like ‘Uptown Funk’ was never not playing on the radio or somewhere nearby upon its release. It’s one of those tracks that has had its fair share of rotations, but it’s not difficult to understand why. Everyone loves a little funk now and then, and this track has it in abundance. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ groovy and catchy song instantly became a global sensation in 2014, and its infectious rhythm and entertaining lyrics have made it a staple at parties, weddings, and sporting events. ‘Uptown Funk’ has evolved into a modern classic that’s bound to get you up and grooving. Why not add it to your morning routine to start the day on a funky note?

Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ places fourth in this study with 299 points.

3. Paul Russell – Lil Boo Thang

Of course, a TikTok hit would make the cut, and sliding into the top three morning jams is Paul Russell’s ‘Lil Boo Thang’. A groovy track that captures the essence of a boy’s desperate crush on a girl, with its catchy lyrics, contagious melody and silky-smooth beats, it’s guaranteed to make your feet tap. This viral sensation is a testament to the massive influence of social media in launching tracks to instant fame.

‘Lil Boo Thang’ places third in this study with 300.5 points.

2. Outcast – Hey Ya!

Has this song ever not produced strictly great vibes? It’s a certified genre-defying hit, and after its release in 2003, has continued as a juggernaut across pop culture. A catchy and upbeat song that disguises its dark lyrics about love and relationships, the song’s infectious melody, fun music video, and iconic “Shake it like a Polaroid picture” line have made it a classic of the early 2000s. Still getting a run across bars and clubs around the country, this jam will no doubt get your body moving in the morning. 

‘Hey Ya!’ by Outkast is the second-best song to wake up to and is awarded 303.5 points in this study. Unsurprisingly, It also has the highest ‘Energy’ and ‘Valence’ scores in this list.

 

INSTAGRAM I @skrillex

1. Kendrick Lamar – Humble. (SKRILLEX REMIX) 

Capping off the list is the Skrillex remix of the popular track Humble by Kendrick Lamar. Our top spot takes us to an entirely different vibe from the last few songs, kicking it up a notch into the world of hard electronic music. Clocking up over 950 million YouTube views, ‘Humble’ combines Kendrick’s iconic lyrics with Skrillex’s signature dubstep beats. It’s a perfect blend of old and new school that will have you pumped and ready to take on the day. 

For those eager to explore the entire wake-up playlist of more than 200 songs, check out the specially curated Spotify playlist here.

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