Morning routines of successful women: Arianna Huffington, Dame Jacqueline Wilson

arianna huffington, jacqueline wilson, steph souglas, alex hoffler, grace winteringham

How important is our morning routine? Does it make a difference whether you roll out of bed and grab a coffee – or spring out, meditate and do a 20-minute of yoga routine? To find out, we asked five successful women to share their morning routines…

Five successful women – Huffington Post founder and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington, children’s book author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Meringue Girls co-founder Alex Hoffler, Don’t Buy her Flowers founder Steph Douglas and co-founder of PATTERNITY, Grace Winteringham – share their morning routines…

1. Arianna Huffington – founder and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post

After many years spent ignoring her wellbeing; prioritising work over self-care, Arianna Huffington – founder and CEO of Huffington Post – had a breakdown. She then decided to completely change the way she unwinds at the end of one day, and starts the next.

So she banned electronic devices from the bedroom and spends time before bed and upon waking practising gratitude (listing the things in her life she is grateful for). Her routine is now so tight, that she doesn’t rely on an alarm clock. “95 percent of the time I get eight hours of sleep a night,” she says, “and once I started getting enough I found I would just wake up naturally.”

She wakes feeling “Joyful. When I get the sleep I need I almost always wake up feeling joyful about the day’s possibilities.” She then sets her intentions for the day, does 30 minutes of yoga or on an exercise bike, 30 minutes of meditation, has a shower, drinks two Bulletproof coffees, eats fresh fruit then gets started on work.

Arianna Huffington on getting dressed…

“I’m a big believer in repeats, and it’s one of my missions to make repeats cool! It would save women so much time and energy – which would mean more time and energy they can spend getting things done. Or sleeping.

Women feel that they need to wear something new every single day, while men like Mark Zuckerberg can wear the same hoodie and jeans! So I purposefully will wear the same dresses over and over again (really, check my Instagram) because I love finding something that’s comfortable and I feel great in. And I always wear flats or kitten heels.”

Read the full interview with Arianna Huffington.

2. Grace Winteringham – co-founder of PATTERNITY

Grace Winteringham co-runs PATTERNITY, which started life as a pattern archive and is now a globally influential style brand. Grace wakes up at 7am, using a sleep cycle app. She says: “it works on airplane mode, and is great for bringing you round gently.”

She does a 10-minute meditation after listening to some music, has a quick shower and then has a breakfast of herbal tea accompanied by eggs, spinach and parsley on toast before hopping on her bike and cycling through Hackney’s Victoria Park to the studio.

Read our interview with PATTERNITY co-founders Grace Winteringham and Anna Murray.

3. Alex Hoffler – Meringue Girls co-founder and food stylist

Alex Hoffler, of hugely successful baking enterprise the Meringue Girls, says her daughter Indi wakes up at 7am on the dot, “not even 6.59am or 7.01am – she’s our alarm clock”. They get up, rush to have showers while Indi jumps on the bed and then squeeze in a family NutriBullet before her partner Neil heads to work.

More on Alex Hoffler and the Meringue Girls – baking, motherhood and work-life balance.

4. Dame Jacqueline Wilson – children’s book author

We asked Dame Jacqueline Wilson what time she gets up and how she feels first thing. She said: “I get up around seven. I feed the cat, take the dog into the garden, make myself a cup of coffee and then go back to bed to write for an hour or so in my pyjamas.”

And how does she choose her outfit for the day? “If I’m going to be mostly at home I’ll wear jeans and a shirt. If I’m going out to do an event or an interview I’ll probably wear posher jeans and a prettier shirt – or a dress if it’s a grand occasion. I always wear rings and bangles whatever I’m doing.”

You can read more from Dame Jacqueline Wilson here.

5. Steph Douglas – founder of Don’t Buy Her Flowers

Steph Douglas, upon waking, gets straight in the shower or puts on her gym stuff – if she’s doing a workout.

She says: “We went to the Lake District last year and had no phone signal or wifi where we were staying, and I realised how much better it was to not start the day looking at your phone. I’d blame being tired on the kids, and they are pretty tiring, but I found not jumping straight in to emails and social media means you actually sleep more. We have alarm clocks and I leave the phone downstairs . I highly recommend it.”

Read Steph’s Monday Morning Mantra – and about how she starts the week.


Annie Ridout, The Early Hour’s editor, will be speaking at Stylist Live on Friday 10 November – on the Morning Routines of Successful Women, alongside wellness and nutrition expert Jasmine Hemsley and Propercorn entrepreneur Cassandra Stavrou.