There are many theories about the benefits of starting your day early. From Benjamin Franklin's "early to bed, early to rise" to Forbes claiming there's a direct correlation between early rising and success, it seems most people find value in waking up early.
However, in line with my worldview of finding grey along every black-white continuum, I believe waking up early in the morning may not be for everyone. Each person is built differently, and there simply has to be advantages for night owls who sleep in. That's what I found throughout much of my twenties, at least.
Now that I'm in my thirties, working at several colleges around San Diego and trying to complete writing projects, I have found that my habit of staying up late is simply not feasible. My old habit of going to sleep after 2 am and functioning the following day is a failed proposition. By 9 or 10 pm every night, my mind gives out on me and I can no longer get meaningful creative work done.
So I've decided to wake up early.
Now, since I do not wake up in the morning with great ease, I need a catalyst. Often this comes in the form of music -- songs that get me feeling like it would be better to be up and about than to lie in bed. So what songs are they? Too many to name. But if you're looking for a good start to the day, here's a few to start with:
1) "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Daryl Hall & John Oates
You would think that their success would have given them a larger music video budget than just jumping around in place like idiots (also, knowing that music videos are pantomimed, it's fun to put this one on mute and watch what the directors were seeing). However, it's hard to deny the lift this song can give you first thing in the morning. The opening keyboard riff brings a smile to the corner of your mouth, the bass drum lead-in gets your head moving, and before you know it, your whole body seems to respond with energy. This is a morning winner.
2) "Jump" by Van Halen
It's blindly optimistic, filled with 80s synthesizers, and the title is a simple action verb that literally tells you to move up. A bit more redundant than the first entry, but it provides the energy and positivity that can get anyone out of bed and ready to get their day started.
3) "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
This one offers multiple sources of joy. First, it's impossible to deny the sheer energy that accompanies the rhythm and lyrics of this song. It talks about waking up, going-going, and the band name even has an exclamation point. Then there's the video. Quoting a spattering of Youtube comments (never a safe thing to do): "I hope this is the first thing aliens see when they study Earth," "Even gay porn stars feel this is too much," and the obligatory "Orange Mocha Frappuccinos!" A fun one to start the day.
4) "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & the News
You can't listen to this song without feeling like you are on a skateboard rolling through the set of Back to the Future. Again, the song is upbeat and positive, making you feel like the day is not something to dread but instead something to embrace. If it's good enough for Marty McFly, it's good enough for me.
5) "A Beautiful Morning" by The Rascals
The first lyric bluntly tells you what you want to hear when you wake up: "It's a beautiful morning!" Unlike the spattering of 80s songs above, this one is more mellow; however, that doesn't take away from the mood it sets. What it lacks in energy, it makes up for in serenity. You hear the steady rhythm, the alto voice, and the calming lyrics -- what could go wrong today?
6) "What's Up?" by Four Non Blondes
What a stupid song, right? Who wakes in the morning, steps outside, takes a deep breath, gets real high, and screams from the top of his/her lungs, "What's going on?!" I'll tell you who: insane people. Those who are batshit crazy. However, it's another song that gets you up out of bed and puts a smile on your face, so why over think it?
7) "In the Mood" by the Glenn Miller Orchestra
Perhaps the best of them all. It's fast, it's swingin', it's got a cymbal line that makes you want to be a drummer, and it doesn't have any pesky words to make you think. I dated a girl in college who called this "pancake music," because it's perfect to wake up to on a Sunday and make pancakes. No matter how you stack it, this is a track that will get you ready to go for the day!
There are tons of other songs, but these were the first that came to my mind. Feel free to add to the list!
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