The Power of a Morning Playlist

I’m not the most tech-savvy person when it comes to using fancy music apps like Pandora or Spotify. The extent of my music customization has traditionally been to simply change the radio station when the sound coming out was no longer bearable, or the commercials didn’t have an end in sight. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I realized how invigorating a hand-picked playlist was to my morning drive — and how it helped set the tone for a fabulous day ahead.sunrise2

I only came to this happy epiphany, however, when the music (ironically) wasn’t there. Here’s how things went down.

I used to drive my kids to school on a regular basis, and the car atmosphere would be filled with conversation about the day’s events. It was typically a who-needed-to-be-where-and-at-what-time discussion to ensure everyone in the family was in the loop — the ultimate goal being to orchestrate all carpools ceremoniously convening in the driveway around the same time so we could all eat dinner together.

As the kids got older, though, this logistics discussion didn’t take very long, and I soon found the sounds in my car being replaced with musical stylings. What started out as music playing from my mom-approved radio station, soon turned into whoever was sitting in the passenger seat plugging their phone into the USB port in the front console, setting the radio to USB mode (who knew that feature was even there?!) and listening to, gasp, teenager-selected music. Very loud teenager-selected music, mind you.

I finally embraced this evolution, and soon found myself rocking out to the tunes as well — to sounds we dubbed as the motivational one to get you jazzed before that test-from-hell, or that edgier song to help prepare for bully Mildred giving you “the stare down” as she did every morning while walking to PE class, or the soothing number to calm everyone down from the “oh crap, my alarm clock didn’t go off and we have seven minutes to get to school” episode we had just peeled away from back at the house.

But I digress.

My kids soon began driving themselves to school which meant I was no longer subjected to these musical interludes. And guess what? I missed them. The radio just didn’t sing to me anymore. It was clear that I needed my own playlist, because listening to the right music on my morning drive had become a happy habit.

While I didn’t need a song to get me jazzed for a math-test-from-hell, I definitely benefited from some upbeat momentum in preparation for a challenging meeting, that flu shot I’d been putting off due to my serious distaste for needles, or…fill in your blank here.

My morning drive is now something I look forward to, traffic aside, and an opportunity to be energized by sounds I enjoy while tackling my day. It makes me happy to know that my kids (and husband!) do the same, and it’s fun when we find ourselves back together in the car again for family outings and can share our latest song discoveries.

My hope is that you feel inspired to create an energizing morning playlist of your own to get you going this week (or update one you may already have since you’re probably way tech savvier than I am and have had playlists on your phone for years!)  Regardless, I’ve listed a few of our family faves below to get you moving in the right direction.  And if classical music or heavy metal are your cup of tea instead, so be it!  It’s all about finding what sounds help you feel positive in the morning, and getting yourself motivated for the rest of your day.

So what’s on your playlist?  I’d love to hear what works for you.  In the meantime, check out this sampling (one song recommended from each of my family members), in no particular order:

#1 – “Kids” by OneRepublic
#2 – “Kill A Word” by Eric Church
#3 – “Like a Match” by TobyMac
#4 – “She (For Liz)” by Parachute

Here’s to a new (or updated) happy habit in your life!