Running Songs 2015: Songs for Mind & Body

By June 25, 2015 Music
cc image by Sascha Kohlmann at Flickr

Yes! Time for some new music! Our post today features running songs in two special playlists: One for your mind (to stay engaged and inspired during the run) and one for your body (to bring your attention back to your running form).

Songs to help your running form


Keep your cadence up! Faster turnover leads to faster times. Try timing your footstrikes to this song’s beat, and see how it feels for you.

Justin Timberlake
“Let the Groove Get In”

Are you comfortable? If your answer to JT’s question is no, you’re not alone. Partway through a run, I always find tension creeping into my shoulders. When you hear this song, take a moment to roll your shoulders and let them drop away from your ears.

Taylor Swift
“Shake it Off”

(Yes, I know. I know, I KNOW! Go ahead, take a moment to mock me. I will wait. Are you finished? Okay.) Now, take Taylor’s instructions and SHAKE! Drop your hands and shake them out. Remember to release your hands and not waste energy on clenching your fists – instead relax them. It’s usually most comfortable to let your hands be gently closed, as though you have a potato chip inside each hand. (Haha. Feel free to practice with real chips when you get home.)

Isley Brothers
“Fight the Power”

Get the original song that inspired Public Enemy. Groove to the funk, fight the good fight against that insurmountable hill you’re climbing. And when you feel your form getting weak, remember to use the most powerful muscles in your body – think about pushing off with the power of your glutes.

“The City”

One of those rare songs that’s great for running to, and the lyrics are actually about running.
I can feel the heartbeat underneath the concrete: Try to keep your stride underneath and behind you, because overstriding not only slows you down, but can also cause injuries.

“House that Heaven Built”

And if they try to slow you down
Tell em all to go to hell
If you want to run faster, you can do it by leaning forward just a little bit (from the ankles – not from the waist), while keeping your foot turnover fast. I was surprised how much faster my run got when I started thinking about these two pieces of form advice!

Songs to keep your mind engaged


This song’s imperative, Gotta follow the Light to the Love, keeps me focused when the route is hard.

Tom Petty
“You Wreck Me”

One of my favorite power songs.
AWW, you break me in two. Oh, but you move me, honey – Yes you do
Doesn’t it sound like the times in your life when you’ve lived with your whole body and soul? Who cares if it wrecks us? Life is here to be spent, not tucked away.

“She’s a Genius”

Because, come on. You know you are. Enjoy the compliment and keep on flying.
Hey there, girl, tell me what do you do? She said nothin’, but I’m damn sure it’s more than you.

LCD Soundsystem
“Daft Punk is Playing at My House”

AAAUGH I love this one! I always do a little celebration when this song comes on. I love to just climb into the lyrics and live with the adolescent excitement of having Daft Punk playing in your own house. It’s all I can do not to squeal out loud when I hear:
And the robots-uh! DESCEND FROM THE BUS!
But my love of Daft Punk causes me to digress.


You’re one of us! The spotlight is on, and it’s time to let it shine.
You know the one thing you’re fighting to hold
Will be the one thing you’ve got to let go
When you feel the war cannot be won
You’re gonna die to try what can’t be done

Carly Rae Jepsen
“Tiny Little Bows”

Surprise! I like to mix a super light and fluffy pop song into my playlists. Even if this isn’t a song you’d listen to on a regular basis, give it a try – especially if the rest of your music has a very heavy sound. You might find that during a run it lightens your step, wakes up your fuzzy running brain and gives you a chance to check in with yourself.

Lauryn Hill
“Everything Is Everything”

Where were you in 1998? Maybe you weren’t flippin’ in the ghetto ‘pon a dirty mattress like Lauryn, but you can let her journey from there to stardom inspire your grit and toughness.
Let’s love ourselves and we can’t fail to make a better situation
Tomorrow our seeds will grow, all we need is dedication.


I press trigga I don’t press people’ button
Time to remind ‘em all you’re not to be underestimated. Runner Mama knows your style is the bomb diggy bomb de dang de dang diggy diggy.

Royksopp & Robyn
“Do It Again”

Are you tackling a race for the second time? Trying to best that personal record? Let this techno track get into your head while you:
Wait for the buildup – and then let’s do it again!

What’s your favorite power song? Let us know in the comments!

This page contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase a song after clicking the link. I only promote music I actually listen to and enjoy, so if you see Limp Bizkit you have full rights to tease me about that. Thank you for supporting the musical artists.

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