When it comes to the early hours, most of us fall into two camps—we’re either all in and soaking up that sunrise or we’re all under the covers and soaking up caffeine. We tend to fall into the latter but despite our general a.m. disdain, we have found some ways to make our mornings better. And dare we even say, enjoyable? Truthfully, science has a lot to do with making our mornings manageable, and there’s no way we could keep that hidden from you. So in honor of sharing good news, we’re giving you some of the best research-driven ways to have a happy morning.
49 Science-Backed Secrets for a Happy Morning
Still don’t think happy and morning belong in the same sentence? Try out some of these tips, and you might just be singing a different tune. Okay, or at least you won’t be completely miserable before noon. Change is all about baby steps, after all.
One of the keys to transforming your morning is nailing your routine. Before you start panicking, we don’t mean that you need to rise at 4 a.m. to greet the daylight. A good routine doesn’t have to take longer than a half an hour, but it’ll do wonders for your entire day. Find out how to make the most of your 30 minutes and see just what a happy morning is all about.
Keeping with the theme of morning routines, maybe you already have one but want to take it up a notch. That’s where these research-backed morning routine ideas come in. You can focus on all five to build a morning that’s really revved up or just add one to your pre-work plan to reap benefits all day long. Regardless of your choice, you’ll be one step closer to a happy morning every morning. And well, couldn’t we all use that?
Maybe “routine” is a generous term for what you do in the early hours. (Grumbling your way out of bed and to the coffeepot totally counts as a routine, right?) For smaller steps, which science says work wonders, try making the most out of the time you do have by following one of these micro-routines. These are all about starting your day off more slowly and in a better headspace so you can be fully prepped to take on whatever challenges come your way. Bonus? Most of them don’t add a single minute to your morning. We got you.
If routines aren’t your thing, you might just need some inspiration to have a happy morning. Thankfully, we have a quote for that. In fact, we have 12 of them. Take on your day with some of the best wisdom from the people who study happiness. And trust us, they’ve really nailed this whole joy thing. Better yet? Read one a morning for 12 solid days of uplifting a.ms.
When it comes to mornings, the easier, the better, right? We think so too. That’s why we put together a quick morning yoga routine that crosses off that whole exercise thing from your list first thing. And all you have to do is hit play. Alright and actually do the video, but you don’t have to think about what comes next. Just follow along with our certified yoga instructor as she walks you through a 10-minute series to make your happy morning dreams come true.
Yes, we’re still on yoga for a minute. Why? There are research-backed benefits to getting bendy, especially if you struggle with low-back problems or high stress. And let’s be real—that describes most of us. If you’d rather take it at your own pace in the mornings, try any combination of these 11 yoga exercises to greet the day more calmly. Add a few to your routine or run through the whole flow. Either way, you’re introducing some peace into your day before it gets away from you. Now that sounds like a happy morning to us.
So now you know what things to add to your happy morning routine, you feel inspired, and you even have step-by-step instructions on accomplishing it. Seems like everything you need, right? Well, almost. As you know, we’re big on behavior change around here. And in order to turn your happy mornings into something repeatable, you need to make them habitual. What’s one of the best ways to build a habit? Track your progress. And that’s exactly what these happiness apps can help you do. Choose one that makes it easy to log your routine, build a streak, and check in on your mood. This way, you’ll see just how happy that morning routine is really making you.
Need more ideas on what habits to add to your morning to make it certified happy? Then this is the article you need. New York Times writer Benjamin Spall interviewed over 300 successful people on their best morning routines and made some interesting discoveries about what works. Check out the five themes that came up the most and see what one would make the perfect addition to your a.m.
Your turn: What’s your idea of a happy morning? Describe your ideal a.m. in the comments below.
Need more morning inspiration? Check out these morning routines from 10 successful women.
Author: Chelsey Taylor
Chelsey likes words, especially adjectives, and has been perfecting her perfectionism since infancy. She’s an endorphin-gatherer, top-knot connoisseur, and content manager at Panda Planner.