Kayla Heisler

Whether you have a case of Monday Morning Blues or know an extra hectic day is on the horizon, there are some days when going to work is harder than others.

For those days when you’re in need of an a.m. pick me up, I have a formula I swear by for creating the perfect workday morning playlist. So the next time you're dragging your feet out the door on a Monday morning, pop in your headphones and fire these up — you can thank me for the burst of renewed energy and productivity you'll feel later. 

Instant Confidence Boost Tunes

This playlist is full of tunes that make you feel fine, fierce, fabulous and ready to take on anything the work day can throw at you:

1. 6 Inch (feat. The Weeknd) -  Beyoncé  

Even while wearing flats, hearing Beyoncé’s voice is all it takes to make me strut like the self-assured boss lady she croons about in the song.

 2. I Like That - Janelle Monáe

Monáe exudes woman power on Dirty Computer, and this is one of my favorite tracks where she celebrates knowing her worth regardless whether or not others know it.

3. ***Flawless (feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) - Beyoncé

Seriously — is there any better way to spend your morning than reveling in your own perfection?

4. Milkshake - Kelis

As soon as the opening notes play, any sidewalk instantly transforms into a runway.

5. Woman (feat. The Dap-Kings Horns) - Kesha

This is by far my favorite track from Rainbow. The energizing beat and declaration of confidence feel like a double shot of espresso for the soul.

Feel-Good Tunes

These are songs that immediately perk up your mood. For me, this is a lot of fun alternative tracks I jammed to as a teen:

1. The Middle - Jimmy Eat World

This whole track is basically a power pop rendition of a speech Danny Tanner would give one of his daughters on Full House. In other words, it’s the perfect pep talk before heading into any unpleasant situation.

2. One Week - Barenaked Ladies

This zany tune never fails to lift my spirits. The nonsensical verses paired with the storyline of the absurd aftermath of a lovers’ quarrel reminds me that even when things don’t go my way, I can always find a reason to laugh.

3. Buddy Holly – Weezer

In addition to being one of my all-time favorite go-to karaoke songs, this song never fails to lift my spirits.

4. Everything Is Alright - Motion City Soundtrack

Nothing makes me feel more like everything is alright than having the phrase ‘tell me that you’re alright, everything is alright’ screamed at me repeatedly for 3 minutes and 27 seconds in blaring falsetto.

5. All the Small Things - Blink 182

Whatever I’m dreading, for whatever reason I’m dreading it, is ultimately a small thing. The fast pace and flippant attitude in this track reminds me that whatever craziness happens, the night will go on.

Keep On Keeping On Tunes

These tracks get you hype for the day ahead:

1. Moral of the Story - Watsky

Cardboard Castles is the first album I turn to when I need some motivation, and this stand-out track exemplifies that whatever it takes, you have to keep striving even when the going feels impossible.

2. Wrote My Way Out – Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc

This was my most played track from The Hamilton Mixtape. Hearing so many tales of perseverance in one song gives me the boost I need to get my head in the game.

3. Get Up 10 - Cardi B

Cardi ascends from struggle in this opening track to Invasion of Privacy. Hearing her talk about how she had to struggle to get where she is gives me to hope that my workday struggles will pay off—even if I don’t become a billionaire rapper.

4. DNA - Kendrick Lamar

The whole album is Pulitzer Prize-winning fire, but this track especially makes me feel like I can conquer even the worst day. Why? Because it’s in my DNA.

5. Independent Women, Pt. 1 – Destiny’s Child

I wasn’t old enough to have a job when this track came out, but as soon as I heard the lyrics, I knew when I grew up I wanted to be independent. On days when just getting out of bed seems like a major chore, this track reminds me that the feeling of independence is why I do it.


Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize nominated poet. She is a contributing writer for Color My Bubble. Her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets anthology.