10 Types of Playlists to Make So You’re Prepared to Have Aux in Any Situation

Imagine a movie with no soundtrack. Boring, right? In movies and television series, the scenes have music to reflect the characters' emotions and the action happening on-screen. Whether they're walking into a house party, battling with the villains, or reaching the top of a mountain, the songs perfectly match the energy of the scene. In your own life, you may not have an automatic soundtrack following you and your friends everywhere you go, but you can certainly create playlists for all of your main character moments.

Spotify and Apply Music have graced us with the ability to make playlists in minutes, filled with any songs you want. While everyone has the usual sad or party-themed playlists, there are situations where music is needed and a specific playlist can improve the atmosphere. If you want to establish a certain vibe, or match the energy of a room, you need the right playlist to fill the silence with music. Read on to learn more about every type of playlist you'll need to ensure you have a soundtrack for any given situation.

  1. 1. Ultimate party

    Although we are still remaining socially distant due to the pandemic, you can prepare for a post-lockdown world or get ready for a virtual hangout with your friends by creating an epic party playlist. The playlist must include a mix of pop, throwbacks, rock, rap and indie, because a mix of genres will ensure that everyone is happy. As long as the song is upbeat and gets everyone dancing, it belongs on the playlist. When quarantine is over, you’ll be ready to party with your friends with the best music mix.

    My recommendations include “The Spins” by Mac Miller, “Die Young” by Kesha, “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry, “Sweet Talk” by Saint Motel, “Bummerland” by AJR, “Someone To You” by BANNERS, “Afterglow” by Myriad, and “NO WORRIES” by Paycheck.

  2. 2. Granola aesthetic

    This is the kind of playlist you listen to when you take a long drive on an autumn day, go camping, and/or hike through the mountains. These are the types of songs you would play as you’re taking a quick break during your hike while eating a snack from Trader Joe's. The music matches the exciting, sunny, autumn day energy and is mostly upbeat acoustic songs. Any type of folk, pop-folk, indie-folk and rock-folk music, can go on  this playlist. Songs by The Lumineers, Vance Joy, Mumford & Sons, and Kodaline are all great options.

    My personal favorite songs for a granola playlist are: “Saturday Sun” by Vance Joy, “Home” by Phillip Phillips, “Holy Ground” by Taylor Swift, and “Ophelia” by The Lumineers.

  3. 3. Nighttime drive

    Sometimes, there’s nothing else to do during quarantine but grab some fast food and go on a drive at night. Despite being an activity that sprouts out of boredom, nighttime car rides always have the best vibes and deserve a playlist to cheer you up. After quarantine, these nighttime drives might occur with your friends on the way to the movies or out of boredom. You need a playlist that can match the high spirits of you and your friends when you all are excited in the car. Songs for this playlist can be fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping, and should get everyone singing. The main genres are pop, indie and alternative. My recommended artists are: Conan Gray, AJR, Lorde, COIN, and Taylor Swift.

    The best songs to fit this vibe are “Getaway Car” and “Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift, “Overdrive” and “Little League” by Conan Gray, “Ribs” by Lorde, and “Kids” by MGMT.

  4. 4. Rainy day

    Whenever I’m down in the dumps, I either need a mood-boosting playlist or to listen to comforting music. Slower, comforting music is perfect for a rainy and sad day. You can listen to a rainy day playlist curled under your blankets with a cup of tea as raindrops hit the window and thunder crashes outside. This playlist can include indie, alternative, emo-rap, neofolk, chill pop and R&B. Phoebe Bridgers, Mac Miller, Billie Eilish, Hozier, Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey have all released songs that are perfect for a rainy day.

    I personally recommend the songs “Like Real People Do” by Hozier, “Funeral” by Phoebe Bridgers, “Come Back to Earth” by Mac Miller, “From the Dining Table” by Harry Styles, and “Cardigan” by Taylor Swift.

  5. 5. Pure happiness

    The first warm day of the year may arguably be the best day of the year. When you can finally drive with the windows down and step outside without your winter coat, you need the ultimate happy playlist. The songs playing on the car radio — and on your speaker once you set up your beach towels — need to be acoustic and upbeat. I recommend any genre: pop, rock, indie, country or  whatever else floats your boat. As long as it’s an upbeat and positive song, it’ll work perfectly for this playlist.

    Songs I suggest include: “Candy” by Robbie Williams, “Tongue Tied” by Grouplove, “No Control” by One Direction, “Kilby Girl” by The Backseat Lovers, “parking lot view” by almost monday, and “Remember When” by Wallows.

  6. 6. Indie sunset

    In my opinion, indie music fits in perfectly with sunset vibes. Indie songs are typically moderately upbeat and have unique acoustics and instrumentals. If you’re sitting on a towel watching the sunset at a beach, or watching a sunset from your window, indie songs will be perfect as the background music. Good indie and alternative bands, as well as artists, that you can  add to this kind of playlist include: Declan McKenna, Peach Pit, Cage The Elephant, Hippo Campus and Dayglow. 

    My favorite indie songs include “Scrawny” by Wallows, “Darling” by Christian Leave, "Jimmy the Chameleon" by Brookside, “Seventeen” by Peach Pit, and “Freaks” by Surf Curse.

  7. 7. Female empowerment

    Everyone needs a girlboss playlist. Whether you’re going through a breakup, need some female inspiration or want to listen to some tunes while getting ready for a stay-at-home date, a female empowerment playlist is a necessity. These songs are full of confident and empowering lyrics sung by women and will majorly lift your spirits and remind you of how amazing it is to be a woman.

    Some songs I would suggest are: “Sue Me” by Sabrina Carpenter, “Juice” by Lizzo, “7 rings” by Ariana Grande, “Confident” by Demi Lovato, “Shout Out to My Ex” by Little Mix, and “Woman” by Kesha.

  8. 8. Chill vibes

    While you are remaining COVID-safe, Friday nights may be a lot more chill than previous semesters. If you and your roommates are just sitting around talking, painting, playing card games, or doing any other relaxing activity, a chill vibes playlist is a necessity. The songs on this playlist shouldn’t overpower the conversations occurring, but instead should just easily fill the background silence. The songs have relaxed vibes and can be neo soul, R&B, rap and lofi. Some artists who fit into this playlist include: Frank Ocean, Mac Miller, Post Malone, SZA, Dominic Fike and Tame Impala.

    I recommend “Lost” by Frank Ocean, “Good Days” by SZA, “The Less I Know The Better” by Tame Impala, and “Sunflower Seeds” by Bryce Vine.

  9. 9. Angry car ride

    Sometimes, when all other stress-relieving methods fail, you just need to go on a drive and scream some lyrics to release any pent-up anger. These songs are generally rock or pop-rock, but any fast-paced song with angry lyrics works. 

    My song recommendations are: “Miss You” by Louis Tomlinson, “Still into You” by Paramore, “I’m Just a Kid” by Simple Plan, and “MORBID MIND” by Jack Kays.

  10. 10. Karaoke

    If you want to sing in the shower or get the whole friend group singing loudly together after the pandemic, you need a killer karaoke playlist. This playlist is best for when you feel the need to belt out a tune. Put on a couple of throwbacks and some of your all-time favorite songs.

    The best songs for a karaoke playlist that even your shyest of friends won’t be able to refuse singing along to include: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John, “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, “Piano Man” by Billy Joel, “Party In The U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus, “Love Story (Taylor's Version)” by Taylor Swift, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.

Now that you have read through the types of playlists you need to make, you can go ahead and get started on the fun part: actually making the playlists! Sorting through songs and handcrafting a flawless playlist can be a great stress reliever and enjoyable hobby. Once you start creating playlists, you won’t be able to stop. Before you know it, you’ll have a playlist ready to go whenever you need a little background music.

You can follow Isabella Cavallo on Spotify.