Radio formats were built on the idea that listeners could be divided up into fans of music genres: rock, pop, R&B, country, jazz and so on. But the “new radio”— playlists on streaming services, often regularly updated — frequently takes a different approach. The curators choose songs to suit a feeling or occasion, such as an intense workout or a casual dinner party.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to make playlists that fit moods and moments,” says Talia Kraines, a senior editor at Spotify. “When we’re looking at mood playlists, it’s less about the new music coming out every week and more about using our music knowledge and our ability to look broadly at what people are listening to.”
Here, some playlists to try — when you’re in the right mood, of course.
Have a Great Day! (Spotify)
The tunes: Sunny, singable hits, including faves from Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder and dozens of other artists (most of whom aren’t named Stevie)
Listen when: You’re feeling good about life or need a pick-me-up.
Confidence Boost (Spotify)
The tunes: Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women, Pt. 1” and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” are just a few of the tracks that have been featured on this playlist intended to make you walk tall and stand proud.
Listen when: Life’s got you down.
Beer & Wings (Spotify)
The tunes: Fist-pumping tracks from the likes of Green Day, Miley Cyrus and Aerosmith
Listen when: You’re prepping for game day.
Stay in Bed (Spotify)
The tunes: “Snuggly” songs from Sam Cooke, Khruangbin, Etta James and Fleet Foxes
Listen when: You’re having a lazy Sunday.
Cleaning the House (Amazon Music)
The tunes: Current pop hits from Dua Lipa, the Weeknd and others will get you off the couch.
Listen when: You’d rather shimmy than trudge when tidying up.
Tear in My Beer (Amazon Music)
The tunes: Comforting country from Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves
Listen when: You need some music to pair with that box of tissues.