Even in an age where streaming music is bigger than ever, a good playlist can be hard to find. With tens of millions of sounds, countless artists, and a never-ending supply of new tunes to mop up with your ears, discovering who to trust when it comes to compilations can be a daunting task. Even a cursory search of Wikipedia’s List of Lists of Lists reveals nothing musical (and makes our heads hurt). For many, Spotify is the go-to source for all things music, and it’s full of both curated and home-brewed playlists. It’s all subjective, of course, but we think the best playlists on Spotify are the ones with a unified theme — playlists you can throw on and enjoy, even if you don’t know all the songs therein.
You could make your own playlist, but that means a substantial time commitment as you pore through the service’s depths. Sometimes it’s more fun to discover music than to choose it! With that in mind, weary streamers, look no further: We’ve talked through our favorites, listened for hours on end, and put together a list of the best playlists on Spotify in hopes that your stressful search for new music will be simplified. We’ve also thrown in a few celebrity-made playlists and a few user-assembled collections for you to sink your teeth into. Strap on some headphones and crank up the jams — these are our choices for the best playlists on Spotify. Make sure to check out our weekly best new music column as well.
Have a Great Day!
You can’t always be in a good mood, especially if you work for Soundcloud. The best way to fight a bad mood is with cheery music, and that’s exactly what Spotify’s Have A Great Day! playlist is made for. Featuring upbeat selections from classic artists and newcomers alike, even the corny cuts here — I’m looking at you, Counting Crows — will blast positive vibes your way.
New Music Friday
Every Friday, the fine folks at Spotify assemble this playlist of new music to check out during the week, a pop-centric blend that will help even the most behind-the-times listeners catch up with what’s going on in the music world today.
U.S. Top 40 Hits
Keeping track of the biggest new pop hits can be hard, so why not let Spotify do it for you? With this constantly updated Top 40 playlist, user Kieron tracks the biggest singles of the day, keeping you looking hip to your teenage children and young co-workers, and without the hassle of listening to vapid pop radio personalities.
Walk in Like You Own the Place
Whether you’ve got a big game, a big interview, or a big date, these songs are the musical equivalent of a pump-up speech. This is a rap-heavy flurry of self-confidence boosters which may just raise your game.
I Love My ’90s R&B
Who doesn’t want to dance around the living room to the classic sounds of Lauryn Hill, visit the pharmacy with Boyz II Men in the background, or pick up a friend while blasting TLC? This playlist is the perfect tongue-in-cheek throwback; it’s filled with excellent music, but it’s all stuff you might have forgotten about since the Spice Girls left the radio.
’90s Rock Renaissance
Featuring many of the hits that made Seattle the music capital of the world for a brief moment in time, this list is full of grunge, alt-rock, and industrial jams. Throw on some acid-washed denim and a worn red flannel and get your groove on.
Classic hip-hop masterpieces don’t find their way onto the radio enough these days, but Gold School puts a slew of favorites together in one place. This is the one place (other than Thugz Mansion, of course) where 2Pac and Biggie get along famously.
’80s Rock Hits!
The guilty pleasure playlist. Yeah, everyone hates on hair metal, but deep down, we know you love it. You might not miss some things about the ’80s — cough, cough, the hair — but it was undoubtedly a great time for music. There’s nothing like breaking out your hair dryer, using it as a makeshift microphone, and lip syncing to Juke Box Hero.
Outlaw country can be hard to find on the radio in the pop-country era, but those looking for classic Southern hits need look no further than Spotify’s Original Outlaws list. With songs from legendary lawbreakers like Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard as well as activist voices like Kris Kristofferson, these hits will effectively pull your ears right out of the Brad Paisley blues.
A playlist of older standout hits, Throwback Thursday is the list to turn to when you’re Hunting High and Low for “Ah-ha” moments. These nostalgia-triggering blasts from the past will dredge up moments locked deep in your brain and settings long forgotten.
As the saying goes, oldies … but goodies. Upbeat hits from the ’50s and ’60s come together on this three-hour mix of good-time singles. With jams from classic artists like Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke, you’re sure to be smiling soon.
Funky Jazz, Blues, & Soul
Since when is “soul music” limited to slow jams? This huge playlist (it’s nearly 500 songs long) is simply brimming with soulful tunes, from instrumental jazz to heartrending blues tracks. The selection of music in this playlist stretches back nearly 100 years, and it’s sure to make you feel some type of way.