5 Morning Habits to Boost Your Mood and Start Your Day Right

Becoming a morning person was, for me, quite the journey.

I was a night person, pretty much by necessity, for the majority of my adult life. I would head to night classes after a full day of work and then stay up studying and writing freelance assignments into the wee hours of the morning.

This worked for me because it had to. I had few other options. But after I earned my degree and my career progressed, the night-person habits stayed with me despite the newfound freedom in my schedule. I would stay up late working on things I could have easily finished during the day, sleep in too late, and then rush around the next morning in an attempt to create the illusion that my life wasn’t a complete and utter mess.

I realized I wanted to be a morning person. I wanted to be cheerful before two cups of coffee — okay, maybe after just one. I wanted to wake up energized, positive, and ready to take on the day ahead of me.

Slowly, but surely, I began experimenting with different techniques to make my mornings more productive and put myself in a better mood before heading out for the day. Some habits were clearly not for me, but some stuck, and I feel happier, healthier, and more centered because of it.

Here are five habits to improve your mood in the morning and start your day off right.


1. Pick a mandatory out-of-bed time and stick to it daily

We’re all guilty of hitting snooze. The key to success in getting up-and-at-em without having to go through all seven stages of mourning is to regulate your internal clock and make things more biological than emotional. My alarm goes off at 6:30am, six days a week (sleeping in on Sundays has become a precious gift). I make it a point to be out of bed by 6:40 no matter what.

You’ll want to go to bed around the same time each night as well. I’ve learned that I thrive off lots and lots of sleep, so that means I’m in bed by 10pm as a rule of thumb, typically drifting off by 10:30 for eight hours of sleep. (Pro tip: If your mind wanders too much to fall asleep consistently, there are actually purposefully-and-brilliantly-boring podcasts you can listen to to help you drift right off. Works like a charm for me almost every night.)

If it helps, compartmentalize this experiment to 21 days — the standard accepted amount of time it takes to form a habit. Soon enough, your eyes will be snapping open whether or not your alarm is set.



2. Make your damn bed

I know you’ve heard this one before, so I added the mild profanity to further emphasize the point. Making your bed every day is literal magic, and study after study after study backs me up on this.

“When you are facing big tasks in your life, the little details are important,” said retired Navy SEAL and Admiral William H. McRaven in a now-viral commencement speech. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another.”

I can personally attest to this. Each morning after making my bed, I make sure any clutter is cleared away and clothes are tossed in the hamper or back in my closet. This, combined with the fact that I’m no longer rushing around like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, puts me in a productive state of mind for the whole day.



3. Move that body

Source: @barre3

Early on in my experiment, I discovered that the days I worked out in the morning were notably more productive than the days I didn’t. This is probably because working out wakes up my brain and body more than a cup of coffee ever could (and without the supplemental shakes and anxiety, to boot!)

I don’t always have time for a full workout in the morning, and I understand this is probably the case for lots of people. On the days when a full trip the gym is implausible, a 10-minute yoga session at home (like this one, this one, this one, or this one) can work wonders. I also love doing 15-minute HIIT sprints on my gym’s track in the mornings for a fast way to get my heart rate up. If you don’t have time to leave the house, doing a quick HIIT workout with bodyweight exercises (like this one, this one, this one, or this one) would have a similar effect.



4. Have a few go-to outfits for the mornings you can’t even

Source: The Everygirl

I want to be more positive about mornings, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a realist. There are, inevitably, days I just don’t feel like caring. For those days, I streamline my morning process to involve as little time and as few decisions as possible, minus the rushing around and showing up at work looking like Frankenstein’s monster. Every season, I have three or four chic-but-simple outfits I decided on ahead of time, which I’ll resort to on the days my time or motivation leaves something to be desired. It makes me look like I’ve tried on the days I don’t remotely feel like trying, which can be a game-changer for the day ahead.

Looking crisp and put-together almost always transfers over to how I feel. (Pro tip: Quick hair and makeup hacks also work wonders in this department.)



5. Make a positive daily ritual with something you love

This is probably the most customizable element on my entire list. I developed a strong affinity for cappuccinos while living in Sweden this summer, and when I got back to the states I needed to find a way to replicate the experience without coughing up $4+ bucks on the daily.

Enter, my Bialetti Moka pot, AKA the most beautiful, adorable, and Italian espresso maker on this good earth. I am heavily attached to the thing. It brews delicious espresso in minutes, and my morning cappuccino at home is now something I look forward to like Christmas morning. I kid you not, it is sometimes the thing that gets me out of bed, and I’m okay with that.

After my quick workout and shower, I sit down at my dining room table with my cappuccino and let my hair partially air dry while writing down the things I need to get done that day. It is, at once, my morning treat and a way for me to focus on the important stuff ahead.

If you’re less espresso-obsessed than me, I’d encourage you to think about what other simple pleasures you could turn into a morning ritual. A pleasant walk with your dog and a good podcast or audiobook? A few minutes to read the news? A real breakfast? Whatever it is, make sure it feels like a treat and not another hassle to add to your to-do list.



What do you do to start your morning off right? Share your tips in the comments! 

  • My mandatory out-of-bed time is 6:00 am, and it has made a huge difference! I am always too exhausted to tackle my to-do list after work, so I’ve found an alternative — do it in the morning BEFORE work! For me, starting off my morning right begins with sleeping well and early. I’m usually asleep before 11:00 pm!

  • I’m a total night-owl ever since university. And it’s really hard to change my body clock back to the normal again. I’m trying to stick on a bedtime and wake up time. great tips!

  • Great tips! I became a morning person before most people my age because I worked at a bakery and would have to be at work by 6/7 am. When it was 2/3pm and I was done work- what a wonderful feeling! Working out in the morning is amazing and I always look forward to doing my skincare and makeup in the morning (a quite 5-10 mins to myself to start the day) 🙂


  • Jackson Miller

    Amazing tips! I’m a college student and these really helped me get my own morning more organized and in proper shape so thank you!

  • I wake up at the same exact time every day and it makes iy so much easier, waking up at 7AM is almost so pain-free now! haha x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • Ellese Launer

    I love love love these suggestion! I am going to try the get out of bed time. Making my bed works like a charm and so does having go to outfits. Thanks for sharing! Xo, Ellese


  • I like to meditate for five minutes in the morning =o)


    • Hanny

      Do you use an app or no?

  • Nikki Laraja

    Love these ideas, if only I could always make my damn bed!


  • really useful and inspiring post!
    Miki x


  • I drink warm water with lemon in it and putter around the apartment doing a quick 5-minute tidy.

  • Stacey

    These are such great ideas. I have always been a morning person, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle to get motivated in the morning. I make myself be in bed my 10:30 every night and up at 6:45 every morning. If I feel rushed in the morning it seems to throw my whole day off.

    @stylingsofstacey | http://staceylyynn.wixsite.com/stylingsofstacey

  • Lily F.

    Any tips for using your Bialetti Moka? I’ve got one and so far my espresso has been weak. What kind of grounds are you using? Kind of a tangent but I love the way the thing looks and want to make it work.

    • DarylSchmidt

      Hey! My favorite espresso grounds are local to Utah from Blue Copper coffee. I never have a problem with the espresso being weak, but I do pour myself two shots in each cup. I have them grind it for me to the correct consistency at the shop because I can never get it right at home and then I store the grounds in an airtight container.

      How much water are you putting in the bottom chamber & are you using enough grounds? I basically fill the little filter cup up with grounds though I’m not sure if that’s correct. I’m not an expert, but if I had to guess, I’d recommend buying some really good grounds as well as using less water in the bottom chamber to brew a stronger batch.

  • Monica

    Wonderful post! I was never the morning person myself. Luckily, I am also a light sleeper. My boyfriend gets up and starts his day at around 6:30-7:00am. Once he’s up I generally take few more minutes to roll out of bed but thanks to him, I’ve become a morning person. I feel so guilty sleeping in now. I have found that having a morning ritual really helps. When I roll out of bed, I walk straight to the sink and wash my face, brush my teeth. Afterwards, I walk upstairs and make tea and read for a good half hour or poke around blogs and news articles. This little routine has made it a lot easier for me to get out of bed. Next, I am going to try to incorporate sun salutations in my daily morning routine.

  • Great tips, I recently wrote a similar post. I’m still learning to become a morning person after being a night owl for so long.


  • Wow, so glad I found this blog hahaha. I’ve been STRUGGLING to stick to a schedule, or even make a schedule for that matter. Which makes me stay up in the wee hours for absolutely no reason at all…YouTube, doing nothing and then sleeping in wayyy more than I should be sleeping…I’m too ashamed to share. But I will definitely take these tips so I can be more productive and get my butt goin’! I can never wake up at 6am though. It’s just not happening. Great blog 🙂

  • nicci marquart

    I was the same, one day I realized I actually want to be a morning person! I like your number 4 – think if you pre-set some outfits you don’t have to struggle with that in the mornings 🙂
    Here are some of my morning “rituals” if you are interested :


  • Making my bed is essential to my morning routine. Love these tips!

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  • Maja Harder Thygesen

    So true! I especially agree in the outfit part. When you force your self up those days where you really don’ want to, already having an outfit prepared really makes a difference 🙂
    – http://www.majaharder.com

  • Izzy K

    I really need to stick to these rules! Especially the getting out of bed early, I’m way too guilty of hitting that snooze button.