You’re huffing and puffing, sweat is dripping down your brows and into your eyes, and you wish for nothing more than to be back in bed, under the gentle breeze of your ceiling fan, with your head resting on the cool side of your fluffiest pillow. It’s a fantasy that seems so far out of reach; you’re already questioning whether your legs of jello will be able to hold you up for much longer.
But then, a beacon of hope: a song comes on your playlist, and just like that, your mental strength soars to new heights. Your heart begins to pound to the beat of the music. The sound of Beyonce’s voice is blasting in your ear, telling you over and over again that you RUN. THE. WORLD. And before you know it, you’ve surpassed your daily running goal, thanks to Queen B.
The feeling that you can literally “run the world” doesn’t have to be a fleeting 3 minutes and 57 seconds. Who says runner’s high can’t last the entire duration of your run? It’s actually much more achievable than you’d think, and the key is to listen to empowering songs on repeat. Here are the top 5 you should definitely add to your running playlist.
1. “Midnight Sky” by Miley Cyrus
I was born to run, I don't belong to anyone, oh no
I don't need to be loved by you
Fire in my lungs, can't bite the devil on my tongue, oh no
I don't need to be loved by you
Are you getting in shape to impress all your Instagram followers? Are you trying to get back at your ex with your new "revenge body"? Whatever your motivations, remember that at the end of the day, the most important person in your journey is you and no one else. Getting caught up in what people might say or think about you can lead you down a spiral of toxic thoughts. Some days it's more encouraging to forget that noise, and focus only on yourself and your well-being. Miley's lyrics are a fitting reminder that approval from others comes only second to self-love.
2. “Do It” by Chloe x Halle
And that's just how we do it
Yeah, that's just how we do it
And you could do it too
Left the heels at home, I'm on my sneaker game
There are days where I feel like my mind is playing tricks on me, telling me I'm too tired to keep going despite the fact that I've proven that to be false hundreds of times before. Thankfully, Chloe x Halle's repetitive affirmation "that's just how we do it" is all you need to hear to power through intrusive thoughts. Instead of trying to take your mind off the running, settle into the rhythm of each step you take. Some might disagree, but I think the most empowering runs aren't the mindless ones where you zone out and distract yourself, but the ones where you fully embrace the act of running. "Do It" by Chloe x Halle is the perfect hype song to drive this mindset — it’s been the background music of some of my best runs.
3. “I Love Me” by Demi Lovato
I'm my own worst critic
Talk a whole lot of shit
But I'm a ten out of ten
Even when I forget
I'm a ten out of ten, don't you ever forget it
Demi's song empowers me, not by telling me to activate my beast mode, but by reminding me to take it easy on myself. If you're stuck in a rut that you can't seem to overcome, or if you haven't crushed all your goals yet, it's hard to not beat yourself up about it. When you push yourself so hard that you just end up quitting, it's not worth it. But when you think about how far your strength has already taken you, and how much you've accomplished up until this point, things don't seem as overwhelming, especially when Demi Lovato is singing to you through it.
4. “Brave” by Moriah Peters
I'll fight like a soldier
(BRAVE) rise like a warrior
(BRAVE) won't stop till the final day
(BRAVE) I want to be stronger
(BRAVE) gonna be bolder
(BRAVE) look up and I see the way
You make me brave
The only thing better than a personal trainer telling you to keep going, is Moriah Peters chanting BRAVE through your headphones until you feel it in your soul, coursing through your veins and radiating through your sore legs. This song is both grounding and empowering at the same time, encouraging you by declaring that not only are you brave, you are not alone, and anything is possible. Finding strength from within is easier said than done because some days, praying through your aching muscles is the only conceivable way to build yourself up from the discouragement you're facing. But Moriah Peters' lyrics can help you through it every time.
5. “Juice” by Lizzo
If I'm shinin', everybody gonna shine (Yeah, I'm goals)
I was born like this, don't even gotta try (Now you know)
I'm like chardonnay, get better over time (So you know)
Heard you say I’m not the baddest, bitch, you lie
Runs don’t always have to feel like a super intense Nike commercial, especially since all the positive energy you could possibly need can be found in a single Lizzo song — seriously, I feel like I can run a whole marathon whenever I listen to her music. Whether I’m lost in the beat or in the lyrics, this song is the embodiment of the state of mind I wish I was in all the time, even if I’m not on a run. Loving yourself is one thing, but letting everyone know that you do takes it to a whole other level. There’s nothing like a good Lizzo song to keep your heart pumping, your feet moving, and your spirit lifted.