31 Best Songs to Wake Up To

How you wake up is probably the most important first part of your day, and having a wake-up song will help to make sure you wake up right. 

For those of us who like to set our alarms to actual songs, instead of the digital ringing bell, this playlist is catered toward you.

1. Wake Up – Arcade Fire

Considered one of the most popular wake-up songs on the internet, if you haven’t heard “Wake Up” yet, you’ve been missing out. 

It’s got a nice, slow intro buildup that really sets the pace and tone for a carpe diem feel to your day.

2. Wake Me Up – Avicii 

This song was a huge international hit around the time of its release, and while it’s not a song about waking up, it’s definitely a song about wisdom for life and the passage of time’s role in growth. 

The upbeat composition and the catchy club/dance feel to the song will have you dancing in your pajamas, which is a great way to start the day if you ask me.

3. Wake Up – The Vamps

A real feel-good song to brighten up your morning. 

With a bit of a retro-pop feels to the synth bassline, “Wake Up” stands out nicely among the crowd of pop songs released back in its day. 

It’s mainly a love song, but the whole message is uplifting and positive and is a great way to start your day.

4. Mountain to Move – Nick Mulvey

If indie/folk music is more your style, then this is the song for you. 

Mountain to Move is a great song to start your day off with a good vibe, still sitting in bed, enjoying the smell of your fresh coffee as you wake up. 

It’s a song about moving to life and the moment, but it’s so gently confident that you’ll be feeling total peace for the day by the time you leave your bedroom. 

5. Break My Soul – Beyonce 

If you perhaps had a rough night and need something to lift your spirits, this is the song for you. 

A song about resilience with an R&B feel and a house beat, “Break My Soul” is a decent song for blowing off the weight of your last few days and taking on a new day afresh.

6. Brave – Sara Bareilles

If you don’t remember this song from back in 2013, that’s fine, when you hear the chorus, it’ll all come back to you. 

Bareilles wrote this song for a friend who was struggling with coming out as gay back when she released it, but she leaves the lyrics open enough for it to be personal to each listener. 

7. Lovely Day – Bill Withers 

Man, this really hits the spot for an easy starter day. 

Bill Withers brings his characteristic sound to this song and fills your room with rainbows and sunshine as the notes pour out from your speakers. 

I can’t recommend it enough for at least one listen.

This soulful track was released back in 1977 and has been named one the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone, and I have to agree.

8. A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton 

A piano-driven pop song supported by an orchestral strings arrangement, Carlton managed to create a great wake-up song for teenage girls basically. 

It’s less a song about waking up and more a song with an uplifting sound to it. 

Everyone born in the early 2000s knows this song from the movie Hot Chicks.

9. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson 

Man, where did Kelly Clarkson go? 

This is such a good song for a pop hit, and I don’t even like pop that much. 

The song starts off at a pretty quick pace but still stays calm enough to be a build-up to the explosion of a chorus. 

It really gets your spirits lifted, and it’s a perfect start to the day if you’re waking up a bit groggy or have a big day ahead of you that you need the motivation to face.

10. Stronger – Kanye West 

Another song about being stronger, but with a slightly different approach. 

Kanye West’s confidence and musical genius really showed in this one. 

It’s catchy, it’s got some cool rap sections to it, and the instrumental gets you wanting to dance. 

The song is a form of musical emancipation for the past and simultaneously an anthem for strength for the adversity to come- perfect for waking up to.

11. Soak Up The Sun – Sheryl Crow 

Released all the way back in 2002, Soak Up The Sun was a huge feel-good hit, with its breezy and light feel to it, it makes for a perfect morning song. 

The song is mainly about enjoying what you have, forgetting about any sorrows you might have, and enjoying the moment instead.

12. Respect – Aretha Franklin 

If you want to start the day with an attitude, then this song is best for you. 

Aretha Franklin really encapsulated what it feels like to finally stand up for yourself and take what’s yours. 

Originally written in 1965 by a fellow soul singer, Otis Redding, Franklin covered it and rearranged it into her own style. Respect became a feminist anthem back in the 70s and I think it could still be today.

If you’re a guy and enjoyed this song, try the Otis Redding version, it’s more geared toward men.

13. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley 

Three Little Birds is as perfect now for waking up to as it was when it was first released back all the way in 1980. 

Being an activist for peace, a lot of Marley’s music was always about spreading that very message, and that’s what this song is about: peace. 

14. It Was A Good Day – Ice Cube 

For a rapper, Ice Cube is pretty tame in this song, but I think that’s part of what added to his mass appeal back in the day. 

It Was A Good Day is a song about just that, I would say it’s more a song about looking back on your day, but it can also get you in the mindset of having a good day. 

Ice Cube wrote this song back in 1992, at the height of his career, with Ice Cube stating that he had been inspired by how well he was doing to write about it and be thankful for it. 

At the time, there were riots going on, and people were used to Ice Cube writing about gangster themes, but he specifically wrote this song to be positive.

15. Roar – Katy Perry 

This song reminds me a lot of Brave by Sara Bareilles, in that it has a similar verse melody and piano tune to it, but it departs at the chorus. 

“Roar” was pretty big when it came out and even young kids know it today. 

It’s a song that really epitomizes good wake-up music because it’s about being strong in the face of adversity.

16. Pocketful of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield 

I think anyone over 20 has to know this, and if you didn’t hear it on the radio, you likely heard it featured in a couple of movies and media around the time of its release. 

Lyrically, the song is about escaping from difficult situations and finding a place of peace, and as far as waking up goes, peace makes for a good start to any day.

17. Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & the Waves 

Something a little brighter and peppier, walking on sunshine is very reminiscent of Beach Boy’s music, with its overly bright feel to it. It feels like listening to the color yellow. 

It might surprise you that it was released back in 1983, considering how timeless it sounds, even today.

18. Put Your Record On – Corinne Bailey Rae

This song is mostly geared toward the female reader unless you’re a guy who’s feeling a bit girly at some particular time, that’s fine too. 

It’s a pleasant feel good song for any occasion really, but you won’t regret waking up to it.

19. Downtown – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis 

20. Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better) – Felix Jaehn 

21. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson 

22. On Top The World – Imagine Dragons 

23. Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles 

24. This Too Shall Pass – OK Go 

25. Morning has Broken – Cat Stevens 

26. Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve 

27. Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones 

28. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift 

29. Mr. Blue Sky – ELO 

30. Best Day of My Life – American Authors 

31. Happy – Pharell Williams