Rise and Shine: Creating a morning routine with Danielle Carolan

Featured Beauty & Wellness

May 28, 2024

Carly Long

Danielle Carolan, the vibrant lifestyle content creator and co-host of the beloved Gals on the Go podcast, has embarked on a captivating new venture. Titled ‘AM Uncovered,’ this innovative Instagram series offers an intimate glimpse into the morning rituals of various creators, showcasing the unique blend of routines that kickstart their days. With a passion for authenticity and a penchant for storytelling, Danielle invites her audience to explore the essence of morning routines, unveiling the beauty and diversity woven into each sunrise moment. Let’s delve into the heart of ‘AM Uncovered’ and uncover the inspiration propelling Danielle’s latest creative endeavor.

Danielle Carolan photographed by Alex Frank

We’re really excited to chat about your brand new short-form video series. Can you share with us the inspiration behind “AM Uncovered” and what motivated you to launch it?

I tend to romanticize all aspects of my life, shamelessly. However, I love mornings the most. Every night, I look forward to my morning coffee, the music I will listen to, and even my skincare routine. This made me curious about how other people spend their mornings. Everyone has their own unique routine before leaving for work. Some people may need to work out, while others prefer to keep snoozing their alarm until they absolutely have to get up. I wanted to gain insight into the morning routines of people in different industries, not just for inspiration for my own mornings, but also to get a different perspective. Additionally, morning routines are fascinating to me – I’m a bit nosey!

With that, we need to ask – what’s your morning routine? Did you always have one? If not, how has it evolved over the years? 

My morning routine varies depending on the season of my life. I had a completely different routine when I was a student. In high school, I would wake up an hour early to do my hair and makeup perfectly, while still having time to run to Starbucks on the way to school. Then in college, that all went out the door. I woke up 15 minutes before class, made a quick Keurig coffee in my dorm, put on a T-shirt and shorts, and then bolted out the door. 

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized how important mornings are to me and how they shape the rest of my day. My morning routine as of late has included: Waking up two hours before I have to leave, daily planner/to-do list, decaf coffee (I’m an anxious girlie, so this has been a game changer), coffee house vibes playlist, Pilates, protein smoothie, shower, and then getting ready for the day. 

Danielle Carolan, photographed by Alex Frank

From beauty rituals to mindfulness practices, nutritional needs, disconnecting from technology in today’s digital age, the importance of social interactions, and cuddle time with loved ones – what are the core components to structuring a morning routine? 

I wish I could say I don’t look at my phone when I first wake up, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. I did however get a Hatch Restore alarm two years ago, and it changed my mornings. I don’t wake up in a panic trying to turn off my alarm. I now wake up to soothing ambient sounds with a beautiful sunrise light. I also purposely fill out my daily planner every day in the morning to avoid being on my phone. 

The morning hours are just so quiet and calm before the craziness, I try to lean in as best as possible.

Do you have any products involved in your morning routine that you can’t live without?

  1. Hands down the Naturally Serious Cold Pressed Peel Pads. I wipe one across my face and it wakes me up right away. 
  2. I also do love my Skinny Confidential Ice Roller.
  3. As well as the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Under Eye Patches.

Can you give us a sneak peek into any particular insights, common patterns, themes, or lessons from delving into the morning routines of different creators for “AM Uncovered?”

It has been so interesting to see what different people prioritize in their mornings. Some people prioritize sleep, others want to sip coffee while watching their comfort show, and some wake up before sunrise to get their workout in.

Danielle Carolan photographed by Alex Frank

What’s been the most surprising or unexpected ritual you’ve learned about during your exploration of morning routines?

Kelli Anne Sewell, a celebrity makeup artist and founder of a makeup tutorial platform, shared with me that she takes baths every morning. I love how she makes time in her busy schedule to still make sure she takes a quick bath – that’s adorable to me! She even takes a bath before she works out! 

When life throws challenges your way, whether it’s stress, sadness, fatigue, or any other strong emotion, what is the one essential element that you still must have in your morning?

Music. I am not a silent morning person. The minute my eyes open, I am asking Alexa to play the “Oat Milk Lattes in the Mountains” playlist on Spotify. No matter where in the world I am, I am listening to music to set the tone for the day.

Are nighttime routines equally as important? Any plans for expansion to “PM Uncovered?”

My nighttime routine is not as defined; however, I value my bedtime and skincare routine a lot. 

“PM Uncovered” is most definitely in the back of my head, as I love seeing what people do with their days once they’re out of the office or done for the day!

If you could step into the morning routine of anyone, a celebrity, historical figure or fictional character, who would it be and why?

I would love to experience the morning routine of a morning show host. They work unique hours, and I’m curious to see how they prepare for the day since they usually wake up around 3 or 4 AM. They always seem so chipper and full of personality, which I admire after waking up so early!

You’re known on Instagram for ‘romanticizing life,’ how do you think morning routines contribute to this idea? In what ways do you see morning rituals enhancing our perception of everyday moments and infusing our lives with a sense of enchantment?

I have noticed that starting my day intentionally helps me cultivate a mindset that seeks out beauty and joy in the little things. Whether I take the time to enjoy a cup of coffee, meditate, listen to music, or prepare a healthy breakfast, these acts of mindfulness help me be more present and appreciative of life’s simple pleasures. 

By prioritizing self-care in the morning, whether through exercise, taking care of my skin, or eating nourishing food, I show myself self-love and improve my physical, emotional, and mental well-being, which makes it easier for me to enjoy my life!


Written by Carly Long |  @bycarlylong

Photography by Alex Frank | @shotzbyalex

Follow Danielle Carolan and her ‘AM Uncovered’ Instagram series | @daniellecarolan