Some leap out of bed, full of vim and vigor and other v-things. They bounce around getting ready, seemingly motivated only by their happy thoughts. Then there’s the rest of us.
If you need some help to get yourself going in the morning, I have some songs that can help you out. So, I’ve gathered together, what are, in my opinion, the best songs to wake up to ever.
They can be chilled out or full of energy. But the greatest wake up songs have to be positive, so those happy vibes soak in like rays of sunshine and brighten up your day.
Best Chilled Out Songs To Wake Up To
Different people like different vibes in the morning. Some want an electrifying espresso hit, while others want a soothing hot cup of tea to sip.
For the folks who want a soft, chilled-out start to the day, I have a bunch of light and beautiful songs to get you going in the morning. So lay back, relax, and let the day start on a beautifully bright note.
Top 101 Best Songs To Wake Up To
Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens
Cat Stevens was one of the softest, sweetest-voiced singer-songwriters to come out of the 60s/70s. He changed his name to Yusuf Islam and is now known as just Yusuf. But he still has the same rich voice as always. With “Morning Has Broken,” Stevens gave us a song of praise to the beauty of the world.
But did you know?
This song is a reworking of a 1931 children’s hymn by English poet Eleanor Farjeon of the same name. But Cat Stevens’ 1971 version from his album Teaser and the Firecat is much better known. This song is soft and sweet and has a classic, innocent beauty to it that will put a smile on your face.
Just look at these lyrics. “Morning has broken like the first morning – Blackbird has spoken like the first bird – Praise for the singing, praise for the morning – Praise for them springing from the fresh world.”
Brings a tear of soft joy, doesn’t it?
Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
If you want something soft, sweet, and deliciously chilled out, don’t look any further than Bob. “Three Little Birds” has to be one of his most loved and chill tracks ever. The song was released on 1977’s classic Bob Marley album, Exodus, and remains one of his top songs today.
Probably because of the simple beauty Marley captured in describing a simple morning scene. “Rise up this morning – Smile with the risin’ sun – Three little birds – Pitch by my doorstep – Singing’ sweet songs – Of melodies pure and true – Sayin’ “This is my message to you-ou-ou.”
Or, it could just be the comfort of a loving voice like Marley’s telling us, “Don’t worry about a thing – Cause every little thing is gonna be alright.” All this, set to a smooth reggae beat, makes this one of the best wake-up songs ever.
Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve
UK band The Verve has left us with one of the prettiest songs to wake up to ever. This Pop-Rock song has an appropriately slow, relaxed beat. And, a great strings hook that’s sampled from a Rolling Stones song.
It comes together and produces a very sweet sound for a song called “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” The bitter part of the song comes from the somewhat fatalistic lyrics.
“’Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, that’s life – Trying to make ends meet, you’re a slave to money then you die.” Yeah, that’s a bit of an odd idea to start your day with, unless you’re looking for a stoic acceptance of life. Or, well, just enjoy the music.
Circle of Life – From the Lion King
This lead track from 1994’s “The Lion King” has gained a reputation as one of the most inspiring songs out there. If it’s funny to be inspired by a cartoon movie, perhaps you’d feel better looking past the animation and to the sentiment.
This song was written by Sir Elton John after being given lyrics by Tim Rice. Apparently, he banged the song out in just a few hours. I don’t think he wrote the opening lines, though. Those are sung in Zulu and are perhaps the most memorable part of this song.
But the chorus is also lovely. “It’s the circle of life – And it moves us all – Through despair and hope – Through faith and love – ‘Til we find out place – On the path unwinding – In the circle – The circle of life.” That’s something I can wake up to.
Good Day Sunshine – The Beatles
The Beatles have a bunch of ultra-popular songs. And some of them truly are great tunes to wake up to. But a song like “Good Day Sunshine” is just so positive and topical; it’s one of their best additions to my wake-up song list.
The song was written back in 1966 and appeared on the album Revolver. It was mostly written by Paul but credited to both him and John.
A song to start the day…
It’s a simple ode to beautiful sunny days and is a celebration of life. And, a sort of love song. The recording is heavily piano-driven, with a lively beat and upbeat singing as well.
Paul sings, “I need to laugh, and when the sun is out – I’ve got something I can laugh about – I feel good, in a special way – I’m in love and it’s a sunny day.” Then the band comes in with the chorus in harmony, “Good day, sunshine,” and just makes this song a hit.
Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles / George Harrison
The Beatles are back on this list with one of the most loved morning songs ever. “Here Comes the Sun” was written by George Harrison and is probably his best-known tune with The Beatles. He also later recorded a version as a solo artist and played it in concert for years.
The Beatles’ version was released in 1969 on their famed album Abbey Road. It has also been covered by artists as diverse as Booker T, Peter Tosh, and Nina Simone.
What’s so wonderful about this song?
It was written as an ode to the sunshine and the spring, returning to drive away winter. But this can also metaphorically represent sunny happiness driving away depression.
The lyrics suggest as much. “Little darling – it’s been a long cold lonely winter – Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here – Here comes the sun (Doo-d-doo-doo).” It’s such a simple, happy, and refreshing sentiment that makes this one of the best wakeup songs.
Lovely Day – Bill Withers
Bill Withers is best known for his classic soulful songs, “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Just the Two of Us.” But that first song is a bit mournful and not the sort of thing you’d like to wake up to. And the other is more romantic than uplifting.
Instead, I recommend that you try out “Lovely Day” to get you started in the a.m. This song has a moderate-speed beat, a bit of funkiness, and some light horns and woodwinds. And, of course, Withers’ smooth vocals.
This 1977 song still holds a whole lot of appeal. It’s smooth, warming, and just plain nice. And, with its vocal refrain of “Lovely day” again and again, it’s a good way to convince yourself that the day ahead will be great.
Best High Energy Songs To Wake Up To
You might be one of those people who wake up invigorated and oozing with energy. If you are and you need a way to let it out, like singing in the shower or dancing in your underpants, these are the songs for you.
If the opposite is true, and you wake up blurry-brained and bleary-eyed, you can also use these electrifying morning songs to jump-start your day.
Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake has one of the sweetest, peppiest songs on this list. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” is infectiously happy. That makes it one of the top songs for starting your day.
This is a bound-out-of-bed and shake-your-rump song with a solid beat, groovy bass, and peppy synth horns to get you going.
What feeling is J.T. talking about in this song?
That’s the beauty of it – the feeling is whatever you feel when you listen to it. But it’s definitely positive, with lyrics like “I got that sunshine in my pocket – Got that good soul in my feet.”
This song came out in 2016 and was a part of the soundtrack for the DreamWorks film “Trolls,” to which Timberlake also gave his voice. So, you can watch it in that movie, or get some inspired dance moves from watching Justin’s video for the song.
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
The chugging guitars interrupted by chords and cymbal crashes (Du! Du-du-du! Du-du-du! Du-du-duuuu!) let you know what’s coming. The unmistakable sound of “Eye of the Tiger.”
One of the most inspiring songs in rock history…
Even though it was written and released in 1982, it’s still an intense part of so many people’s morning wake-up playlists. I know it’s on mine.
This song was produced as the theme song for “Rocky III.” And, a few seconds of listening bring back images of Sly Stallone running up stairs and laying into frozen sides of beef.
It’s definitely associated with boxing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to inspire your morning exercise routine or even yard work. When you need to get up and start your day with focus and determination, you need the eye of the tiger.
Start Me Up – Rolling Stones
“Start Me Up” is a great wake-up song. And it is also one of the Rolling Stones’ most memorable tracks coming from their 1981 album Tattoo You.
It could be the steady, driving beat courtesy of the immortal Charlie Watts. Or, it could be the accompanying hand claps and cowbell percussion sounds that add a sing-along feel to the whole song.
It could also be the jangly, interwoven guitar work by Ronnie Wood and the unkillable Keith Richards that drive the song along. But it’s probably the vocal work by Mick Jagger that sticks out in most people’s heads.
Jagger’s surprisingly big voice for his slight frame leaps out and gives this song explosive power. And, when he sings, “If you start me up – If you start me up I’ll never stop,” it can motivate you to start your day full of energy.
Sure, Jagger probably meant this in a sexual way. But, you can take it to mean doing your best with incredible energy. Or, for some folk, that might mean the same thing!
Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
If you think you’ve never heard of Electric Light Orchestra, think again. The signature song from ELO, “Mr. Blue Sky,” has been used in TV and movies ranging from “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” to “LAX” to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and many more in between.
This song was written in 1977 by multi-instrumentalist Jeff Lynne. It features the entire Orchestra on violins, cellos, piano, and even a fire extinguisher in addition to the standard 4-piece rock instruments we’re used to. It was a decent hit back then and has only grown in popularity since.
This song was inspired by a beautiful cloudless day. It’s an ode to the sky itself, and that’s instantly relatable. It has this light, happy, and airy feeling that just feels like a beautiful sunny morning. So, if you need your day started right, get this song into your wake-up playlist.
Beautiful Day – U2
Since we’re talking about being inspired by beautiful mornings, we don’t have to look much further than “Beautiful Day” by Irish legends U2. This track was released in 200 on their album All That You Can’t Leave Behind, though it sounds a lot like their older work from the 80s.
The construction of this song is clever. It starts airy, with wavering guitar, light strings, and a subtle beat, making it sound like it’s coming right out of a crappy old clock radio coaxing you awake.
Then it jumps into a fully awake mode with a crashing chorus. The rest of the song builds up, and the energy is impossible to ignore.
If this doesn’t ignite a fire in your blood, what will?
The song is about overcoming difficulties in life, and that’s why we can all relate to it. But the message keeps coming back in the chorus – “It’s a beautiful day – Don’t let it get away.” In other words, carpe diem, seize the day and get things started.
Happy – Pharrell Williams
I bet there are a bunch of songs out there named “Happy,” but none of them made a splash like Pharrell Williams’ track did. Maybe it was the clean production, maybe the snappy beat, or Pharrell’s high-pitched falsetto vocals? Or maybe all of the above?
And, of course, there was also the fun video featuring everyone from the mailman to your grandma shaking their tail feathers. Or maybe it was just the happy gushing sentiment, coming at the right time in the right place.
Whatever it was…
It made the song the most successful single of 2014. It was originally released as part of the “Despicable Me 2” soundtrack and took off from there. The single sold about 14 million units around the world in 2014 and also won the Grammy Award for Best Video.
This song is peppy, soulful, and unforgettable. So, if you need a boost to get you out of bed, or if you’re already over the moon and need to dance it out, this is the track for you.
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
If you want a song to wake up to, try “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” to get you go-going. This track from the UK duo Wham! (George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley) was a massive hit both in the UK and the US.
It was released as a single in 1984 and went to #1 in both countries. Well, to be honest, it went to #1 just about everywhere else, too.
The song is cute and innocent…
It has a bouncy jitterbug rhythm and a simply infectious chorus. “Wake me up before you go-go – Don’t leave me hanging on like a yo-yo – Wake me up before you go-go – I don’t wanna miss it when you hit that high.”
It also has some under-appreciated backing vocals and some bright, hard-hitting horns that add a huge amount of fun energy to this track. Try not to dance your way out of bed – I dare ya.
Wake Up – Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire is a powerful, massive American-Canadian band with about 100 members, or so it seems. And, when this group starts chugging along like a well-oiled machine, their music gets big and beautiful.
Their very first album, Funeral, came out in 2005, and “Wake Up” was one of its strongest tracks for sure. This song is a powerhouse, a long, slow-building crescendo with enough energy to get anyone out of bed.
The album version has about umpteen instruments on it…
Including horns, strings, multiple drums, and even a harp. Yeah, a Rock and Roll harp! And, while it’s not a call to get out of bed, it still works. The “wake up” in this song means to gain realization, though the lyrics are open to interpretation.
But, when the final refrain, “With my lightning bolts a-glowin’ – I can see where I am goin’,” builds to a speeding tempo, you’d better look out below.
Walking On Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
I’m trying to think of a peppier, bouncier song, and I just can’t. Katrina and the Waves “Walking On Sunshine” just can’t be beaten for an electrifying, positive morning vibe. If you’re not walking on sunshine by the end of this track, you may just be a zombie. Get it checked out.
The song came out on the Katrina and the Waves self-titled debut album in 1983 and made a huge splash. According to the band, it wasn’t their style, and some of them didn’t even like it. However, it has since been the track they’re most remembered for.
Of course, this is just a happy, optimistic love song. Just check out the lyrics. “I feel alive – I feel the love – I feel the love that’s really real – I’m walking on sunshine – and don’t it feel good?” Oh yeah, it does.
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
Good Morning – Kanye West
Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
It’s a Beautiful Morning – The Rascals
On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons
Rise and Shine – J. Cole
Saturday Morning – Eels
Something Good – Alt-J
Start Me Up – Rolling Stones
The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
Today – Smashing Pumpkins
Walking on a Dream – Empire of the Sun
Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
We Found Love – Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
You Get What You Give – New Radicals
Happy Hour – Weezer
Express Yourself – Madonna
Keep On Movin’ – Soul II Soul
Love Today – Mika
Perfect Day – Lou Reed
Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
The Middle – Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey
Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti and Spearhead
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
Wake Up – Rage Against the Machine
Wake Up Everybody – Teddy Pendergrass
Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Higher Ground – Stevie Wonder
Jump – Van Halen
Mr. Brightside – The Killers
Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
More 51 Best Songs to Wake Up To
- Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin
- Ain’t That a Kick in the Head – Dean Martin
- What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
- O-o-h Child – The Five Stairsteps
- Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
- The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades – Timbuk 3
- The Sound of Sunshine – Michael Franti & Spearhead
- Pocketful of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield
- Singin’ in the Rain – Gene Kelly
- Walking on the Sun – Smash Mouth
- Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
- Get Up, Stand Up – Bob Marley & The Wailers
- Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – The Temptations
- All Right Now – Free
- Hold On – Wilson Phillips
- Let’s Groove – Earth, Wind & Fire
- Dancing in the Street – Martha and the Vandellas
- A-Punk – Vampire Weekend
- California Love – 2Pac ft. Dr. Dre
- Kiss – Prince
- I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
- You’re the One That I Want – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
- Firework – Katy Perry
- Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson
- September – Earth, Wind & Fire
- The Tide Is High – Blondie
- Smooth – Santana ft. Rob Thomas
- Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
- A Beautiful Morning – The Rascals
- All Star – Smash Mouth
- Lovely – Twenty One Pilots
- Wonderful – Ja Rule feat. R. Kelly & Ashanti
- Gonna Fly Now – Bill Conti
- Believe – Cher
- Groove is in the Heart – Deee-Lite
- Higher Love – Steve Winwood
- Live Your Life – T.I. feat. Rihanna
- Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
- Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now – McFadden & Whitehead
- Feeling Good – Michael Bublé
- Good Times – Chic
- Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing – Stevie Wonder
- One Love – Bob Marley & The Wailers
- Ooh La La – The Faces
- Stand by Me – Ben E. King
- Titanium – David Guetta feat. Sia
- You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
- You’re the First, the Last, My Everything – Barry White
- How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) – Marvin Gaye
- We Are the Champions – Queen
- Happy Together – The Turtles
Looking for More Great Songs?
We can help with that. Take a look at our detailed articles on the Top Songs About the Beach, the Best Songs About Not Giving Up, the Best Songs About the Sun and Sunshine, the Top Songs About Water, the Best Songs About Magic, and the Best Songs about Friday for more great song selections.
Also, you’ll need to listen to those tunes. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, and the Best iPhone Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
The Best of the Best Songs to Wake Up To – Final Thoughts
Sometimes you have trouble getting out of bed. We all do. And, if you need a little help in the morning, look no further than these 16 excellent morning songs.
You can use them to help ease you slowly into the day with the best chilled-out morning songs. Or, you can go motor running by going for the highest energy tracks. Either way, these songs are going to change your mornings for good.
And, if you already have boundless morning energy, some of these songs are going to be the perfect outlet for you. So, throw off those covers, slip into your dancing slippers, grab a toothpaste tube microphone, and start rocking your way through the day.
Until next time, happy listening.