Even though streaming music is dominating your listening time, a good playlist can be tough 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.
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 have gone 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.
Daft Punk’s Favorites (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo)
A hand-picked playlist from Daft Punk member Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, this collection of songs offers an interesting glimpse at what’s ticking under the helmet. An eclectic mixture with sly nods to massive pop stars like Drake and cult heroes like The Ramones and Ariel Pink, there’s a depth to the song choices here, and each pick seems carefully juxtaposed within the list.
Kendrick Lamar’s The Making of ‘good kid m.A.A.d. city’
A handpicked selection from Grammy-winning wordsmith Kendrick Lamar, this playlist explores the influences behind his epic debut album, Good Kid M.A.A.D City. It’s a curious look into Kung Fu Kenny’s inspirations, which go deeper than just hip-hop.
Snoop Dogg’s Merry Jane Playlist
Merry Jane is a relaxing set of songs, curated by none other than the D – O – Double G himself. While the famed rapper likely uses this list in less-than-legal settings (in some states, anyway), it’s also just an excellent way to relax at the end of a long day.
This Is: Sir George Martin
This Is: Sir George Martin offers an interesting glimpse into the mind of the recently deceased Beatles mega-producer, showcasing his intense talent for sonic layering and classical-influenced arrangements. Think of this as a history lesson in which the textbook is brilliant music.
This Is: Max Martin
Among the most interesting (and wealthy) music producers in the history of pop, Swedish songsmith Max Martin has lent his sonic palate to virtually every important pop star of the past two decades. This list features many of Martin’s hits, offering an interesting look at his own creative development through the years, as well as a mix of some of the most iconic pop songs from the mid-’90s onward.
This is: Disney
You don’t have to be a little kid to appreciate some Disney movie music (though it definitely helps). Many of us grew up watching the company’s animated musicals — and still hold a soft spot for the songs. Spotify’s This Is: Disney playlist has it all, from classics like Pinocchio to recent hits like Moana and Finding Dory.
Songs to Test Headphones With
The best way to get to know that new amp, receiver, or pair of headphones is to play an assortment of well-mixed music through them — and that’s where Spotify’s Songs To Test Headphones With comes in. A 12-hour playlist of tunes to check out your latest audio gear, this one is packed with excellently produced jams.
This listener-made playlist of classic hip-hop instrumentals provides just the sort of steady groove you need to focus on the task at hand, without words to distract you. And with classics from J Dilla, Pete Rock, and various other storied producers, it’s also a great way to educate yourself on the sounds of famed beatsmiths.
Family Road Trip
It can be hard to know just what classic jams your children should hear first. This playlist takes care of that issue for you: Hits from the Beatles, Jackson 5, and Van Morrison provide the perfect starting point for your new music listener (or twins!).
For those who aren’t into Hot 100 hits, it can be hard to find good music to take to the gym, and that’s where the Indie Workout list comes in. These are positive songs with infectious beats — just the kind of thing that you need to get you through the day’s motions, but without the radio sheen that you might be used to hearing through gym speakers. Plus it’s a great way to test out your Mighty Music Player.
Bassheads, this is for you. This massive playlist, courtesy of Spotify user Kyle Easson, is absolutely dripping with dirty drops that’ll make you jump up and down uncontrollably. It’s not all dubstep and trap music — there’s a fair smattering of hip-hop and pop tunes as well — but it is all bass, all the time.
For those that appreciate avant-garde and experimental music, we present the Future Beats playlist. From artists like Flying Lotus, Flume, and Shlohmo come an assortment of tracks that dare to color outside the lines, utilizing live instrumentation and synthetic sounds alike to create unique, living soundscapes.
Not to be confused with Britain’s Grime rap scene. Sometimes, you just want to feel like a supervillain, you know? That’s where the Grimy Rap playlist comes in. Dark, skittering instrumentals provide the backdrop for some of hip-hop’s finest lyricists, each armed with a monotone drawl that will make you want to mean-mug your way down Crenshaw Boulevard.
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