Want to become a morning person? These 3 Alexa Skills have taken my early starts from good to great

Amazon Echo Dot on a table next to a person in bed with their arm outstretched to turn off its alarm, as well as a superimposed label reading 'Smart Home Week'
(Image credit: Amazon)
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Mornings can be tough and, for some, it can take a lot of effort to get your day started - especially if you lack a routine (I’ve been guilty of this in the past). However, my new Alexa speaker has helped me fix my morning routine in ways I never thought I needed, and this is all down to some of the best Alexa Skills

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Alexa Skills, they are essentially apps you can enable to broaden your Alexa device’s capabilities. Its range of entertainment and playback Skills have made a huge difference in rejuvenating my mornings, making my work-from-home days just as alive as office days. 

There are three Alexa Skills in particular that I’ve started to use more frequently in the mornings, spanning across music playback, news and information, and fun games to pass the time, ensuring a dynamic start to your morning. You can read how to enable Alexa Skills at the end of this, but first, these are the Skills that are integral to starting my day.

Amazon Echo (2020)

(Image credit: Future)


When I want to take a break from listening to my Spotify Daylist or Blend mixes, I can always rely on the BBC Sounds Alexa Skill to offer a different listening experience; if you’re in the US, a great alternative is the myTuner Alexa Skill. While Spotify generally has everything I need podcast and music-wise, there’s something about radio presenters - and even the annoying little ad breaks - that injects a sense of reality and humanness into the listening experience. There’s also the bonus of nostalgia, taking me back to the good ol’ days when the car radio would always be playing on my school commute.

With Alexa Skills, radio broadcasts have never been easier to access in my home; all I have to do is say ‘Alexa, ask BBC Sounds to play Radio One’, or whatever station I feel like starting my morning with… but this is live radio with a twist.

If you’ve missed a news round-up or a radio segment with your favorite presenters, BBC Sounds allows you to rewind and fast-forward broadcasts by asking Alexa - I’ve not been able to check if this is also possible on TuneIn. When I discovered this, it was like experiencing Sky for the very first time - but that’s just the surface. If I want to listen to a particular genre of music, I can ask Alexa to ask for pop, dance, classical, or whatever music I’m in the mood for - almost like radio station-made playlists.

The skill encapsulates all things music and news, and is a great way to get into podcasts (I’d recommend Sidetracked for all you pop music fans) - all you have to do is ask.

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2021)

(Image credit: Amazon)

Flash briefings

I find Alexa’s flash briefings are a useful way of getting a concise news round-up of daily headlines - a very practical Skill, especially if you don’t like sitting through an entire news report.

I’ve been getting into the habit of using the Sky News flash briefing, which gives you a quick summary of breaking news across topics like politics, entertainment, sport, and culture. Other news outlets have Skills available with Alexa like NPR News now, BBC News, CNN, and CNBC, so it’s all down to personal taste. Whichever Skill you choose, you can launch any of them by using the command ‘Alexa, give me my flash briefing’, and Alexa will sort you out.

Flash briefings have become the reason why I no longer scramble to open my news apps on my phone first thing in the morning. With my flash briefing, I get the surface-level news I need in record time, which works wonders for when I have a morning commute ahead of me and I’m running late.

A photo of an Amazon Echo in a home

(Image credit: Amazon)


I’m all for using Alexa to add some life to my mornings, and Alexa Skills don’t always have to be so serious and factual. Sometimes, you need a bit of fun to get you moving in the morning - which is why I’m hooked on the Jeopardy! Alexa Skill.

Just like America’s favorite game show, the Jeopardy! Skill puts you in the shoes of a contestant, sans the cash prizes. I got into this when I was experimenting with different Skills while working from home, and it came in handy when it was time for me to take breaks from staring at my laptop screen or to get the cogs turning in my brain before my morning coffee kicked in.

Use the command ‘Alexa, start Jeopardy!’ and it will read out the daily general knowledge questions which you answer in the form of a question, just like the TV show. The Jeopardy! Skill also has a song quiz feature spanning six decades of pop that begins after you’ve completed the daily clues. The only downfall with this Skill is that you’ll need to be a premium subscriber to unlock its full potential and go head-to-head in weekly events, but I find that the basic package is satisfactory and gets my intellectual juices flowing.

How to launch Alexa Skills

All of the Skills mentioned can be launched through the Alexa app and once I enabled them, I found them all very simple to navigate. Just head to the app and tap ‘Skills and games’ under the ‘More’ tab. That will take you to a search bar where you can find over 100,000 Skills. Tap ‘launch Skill’ and whatever Alexa device you use, and you’re all set.

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Editorial Associate

Rowan is an Editorial Associate and Apprentice Writer for TechRadar. A recent addition to the news team, he is involved in generating stories for topics that spread across TechRadar's categories. His interests in audio tech and knowledge in entertainment culture help bring the latest updates in tech news to our readers.