- Use your curated ‘Daylist’ for a foolproof way to discover new music based on your preferences. No Premium subscription required.
- Check out your friends’ Spotify activity for recommendations from music scene experts. Available in both Free and Premium accounts.
- Make a music mix with friends for travel or vacation. Find the middle ground and explore new content. Blends is available in the free version of Spotify.
Audio rules my world, from music to podcasts to audiobooks, I’m rarely without my headphones dancing along or background music blasting while I work. Spotify, the streaming giant that rules social media, is my number one music app. Even if music is as big in your life as it is in mine, sometimes you can get stuck in a rut and feel bored by all your usual favorites. Unless it’s Adele’s 30th album, which I can confidently say I’ll never tire of.
For me, musical regret comes with the thought that I have no idea what to listen to, so I’ll try different options to shake things up. Throwing an old favorite playlist into the mix, listening to vinyl instead of digital, and turning on a current radio for FM stations are some of my standby options. But in the middle of a busy day, I often don’t have time to read my records or find an FM station.
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Spotify changed Spotify Wrapped this year, and let’s just say the Burlington, Vermont tourism board is going to be very happy.
In recent years, I’ve turned to Spotify’s tailored, creative and personalized mix of music to get me out of a musical funk. Here are seven of my favorite features that you may not be familiar with that I love about Spotify.
1 Use the curated “List of the Day”.
More like morning, noon and night list
Going viral earlier this year, Daylist is a feature I quickly became obsessed with. An AI-generated playlist, your Daily Playlist is refreshed up to three times a day, targeting your preferences based on past listening data. The title changes throughout the day and with your listening habits. It’s a foolproof way when I have no idea what to listen to, I let HIM take over. It also hit TikTok and Instagram in early 2024 as a fun trend to share your auto-generated caption on Daylist.
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Horoscopes are out, fortune tellers are in. I’m no longer a Gemini rising, I’m an emotional lyrical nocturnal. Thanks for the bake, Spotify.
Bonus — The Day List does not require a Premium subscription.
2 Use ‘Your Friends’ Activity’ for some inspiration
Old school buddy stalking at its finest
While this feature has been around since the early days of Spotify, I’ve found that most of my friends no longer use it. I’m here to say out loud that I still use Friend Activity at least weekly. If your friends or other people you follow on Spotify allow others to see their activity, you’ll see a handy feed that you can use as recommendations. While I love music, I know I follow people on Spotify who are deep into the music scene in a way that I am not; the crowd of original music hipsters who “heard that album first”. I’ll take a peak at their latest listens and hop on board as well.
Viewing your friends’ activity is a feature available on free and Premium Spotify accounts — depending on their privacy settings.
3 Make a music mix
Have a music match with up to 10 friends
Blends is just so much fun, and the fact that it gives you a percentage that matches musical tastes takes me back to the old Love Calculator website (Gen X and Millennials, don’t pretend you don’t remember that). My partner and I got together before the Blends feature and, as a way to get to know each other, created a joint Spotify playlist of our favorite songs at the time. When Blends arrived, it felt like Spotify looked at the Truman Show style of our shared playlist and then said, give the slide dating generation a playlist-matching feature now — and I’m so glad it did they did.
Blends is perfect for road trips, reunions or vacations, as it will find the middle ground for a group and give everyone a taste of their favorites while showing them some new content they can fall I recently did a mixtape with my mom and we adjusted the music preferences to 73%, which explains why there is so much 80s dance music on my list of days.
How to use Spotify Blend to create shared playlists with friends
Quickly create a playlist based on your and your friends’ listening preferences.
Blends is available in the free version of Spotify and is not limited to Premium subscriptions.
4 Use the Fresh Finds feature to expand your taste
Give the snooze button a break for really new music
I love the Fresh Finds feature. You can limit a Fresh Find playlist to a favorite genre. I frequent Fresh Finds Folk and Indie. But if you’re really stuck and can’t find a genre of music to focus on — try Fresh Finds’ comprehensive playlist and travel through a variety of different genres and sounds to really get pulled from the music rot. You might find a previously unexplored genre to spend a month or two on.
Fresh Finds is available without a Spotify Premium subscription.
5 Your top, niche and custom mixes
Custom playlists to jam to your heart’s content
Mixes are found directly from your Spotify home page and include some incredible custom content. Most days, Spotify presents me with a Pop Mix, 2010s Mix, Fleetwood Mac Mix, and Moody Mix. I love this feature when I’m feeling a genre but not one of my playlists. It’s a great way to mix up your frequent games for a little variety.
I use Spotify on my phone and as a desktop app, so there are a few ways I can recommend to find your best mixes. On your desktop, you can find them from main page, then click Look at everything.
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On your phone, swipe down to see mixes recommended just for you, find them in search or in your recently played games. One of my favorite aspects of Spotify as a music streaming service is its ease of use, and it does not disappoint.
Your master mixes, special mixes and custom mixes are all available with a free or Premium Spotify account.
6 Travel back with the Time Capsule
Live in the past … at least for an hour or two
Another great option from Spotify’s Made For You section, the nostalgic Time Capsule never fails to make me smile. The songs of jam sessions and nights out at college flood my Time Capsule, so when I need a boost, I go back to revisit what made me tick in the 2010s.
This usually ends with me catching up with friends for a reminiscence fueled by Icona Pop’s I Love It or shocking myself that I forgot a song I claimed to be my favorite. If you’re in the mood for some beautiful memories, Time Capsule is the way to go.
Like the features above, Time Capsule is available for free and Premium Spotify subscriptions. Find under Search > Created for you > Time capsule.
7 Let Spotify AI DJ do the work
HAL 9000 you want to hear
Spotify’s AI DJ brings an automatically generated radio experience to your Spotify Premium platform, including an English-language AI host that walks you through your playlist. DJ beta released in February 2023 and the sound impresses with a realistic tone. If you’re not feeling the current DJ selections, you can tap or click the DJ logo at the bottom to get a new vibe. Like Daylist, I use the DJ feature when I’m really on my mind about what to listen to and let AI guide me based on my past listening profile.
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DJ is still in beta and only for Spotify Premium, but available in 50 countries, including Canada and the United States. To see the full list of places available to use DJs on Spotify list here.
Frequently asked questions
What is Spotify Premium Duo?
Spotify Premium Duo is a version of Premium that allows you to split the cost of the premium platform into two separate Spotify accounts. You both have to live at the same address — that’s the catch — and the platform uses your address as the verification code for your second user. It’s easy to invite another person and a little cheaper for families of two who don’t want to pay for Spotify Premium Family subscriptions. Premium Duo costs $14.99 per month, charged to one account.
What does free Spotify include?
A free Spotify account includes many features, if you don’t mind ads. You have access to over 80,000 songs, podcasts, audiobooks, and you can even download podcasts to listen to later. All of the above features, except DJ, are available to free Spotify users. If you want a little more usability, the desktop app allows more pick and play order options, while this will be limited on mobile.
Creating playlists and using your favorites are the best ways to use a free Spotify account, since even on a mobile device, you’ll be listening to your chosen songs, often not in your preferred order. You can’t download music on a free account, but you can travel abroad and use your Spotify account for up to 14 days.