I’m obsessed with music. I listen to it when I’m writing on this blog, when I’m strength training, when I’m running, and when I’m washing the dishes. Every day, I have to force myself to silence the noise so I can hear the sweet nothings. It’s hard to do because I love music. It’s my addiction.

The danger with listening to music all day or worse, too much of the same kind is that the message of the music sneaks into your subconscious. For example, if you listen to DMX all day, don’t be surprised when you have road rage or start barking at your co-workers. On the other end, if you listen to Adele 24-7, don’t wonder why you’re stalking your ex on facebook or crying every time you see a loving couple – or a cute puppy. What you listen to is powerful.

I’m not telling you to boycott the aforementioned. I’m telling you what you hear affects how you feel, how you act, and how you perceive. Check your playlist. Is it upbeat? Is it sad? Is it angry? Granted, you might want an angry playlist for a tough workout sessions or vigorous bathtub scrubbing. Otherwise, I want you listening to stuff that makes you better.

Here are a few songs, artists, and podcasts that put me in a good place.
1. Miracles by Mambo Sauce. Genre: go-go [My ultimate motivational song.]
2. Sunrise by Yeasayer. Genre: pop/rock
3. Something by Musiq Soulchild Genre: soul
4. Awesome God by Fred Hammond Genre: gospel
5. Closer (remix) by Neyo. Genre: r&b/dance
6. Rich Roll podcast. Focus: vegan nutrition & fitness
7. Paleo Solution podcast with Rob Wolff. Focus: paleo diet & fitness

I could go on and on.

Day 3 of the 21 Day Fitness Jump Off

1. Listen to and share good music. I want you to create a new playlist, with songs that make you smile, nod your head, or drum the steering wheel. Maybe it’s funky, soul music, think James Brown. Maybe it’s slow, meditative tracks, think Buddha Bar. Maybe it’s full of songs that bring back good memories. Respond to this post when the task is complete. In your reply, I’d also like you to respond to the following question:

What songs, ebooks, podcasts put you in a better mindset?
(If everyone contributes, imagine how much good music we’ll discover.)


Jessie · 12/18/2012 at 1:09 pm

I’m playing major catch-up here–spent the last few days traveling/trying to fight a cold. I’m struggling but I’m still with ya; I promise!

Recent additions to my workout playlist:

I Cry–Flo Rida. (I’m not proud of this, but it has a good beat.)
First 48-Chris Brown
World Go Round–Busta
Clique–Kanye, Jay Z, Big Sean
Forest Whitiker–Brother Ali (one of my favorite feel-good songs)
Definition–Mos Def, Talib Kweli (claaaaaasic)

Felisha · 12/15/2012 at 1:48 pm

“Lionheart” by Emancipator and “Clubbed to Death” by Rob Dougan have been great at getting me warmed up for my workout. Then I listen to some Eminem, a little Ozzy and the like and cool down with “Moon” by Little People.

Angie · 12/14/2012 at 8:24 am

Don’t judge: Flo-rida.

Earthquakey People (Aoki) and Blackout (Breathe Carolina) are currently holding strong on my running playlist. Skrillex, Deadmau5 and Pendulum get me to push a little extra on hard intervals.

C’mon (Diplo ft Tiesto) will always get a fist pump or two out of me. 🙂

Angel · 12/14/2012 at 8:10 am

@Mairead. #1 always makes me happy. I need to check out #2 and Phedippidations. Haven’t heard either. Thanks!

Angel · 12/14/2012 at 8:09 am

@aisha. I need to check that out. thanks.

Angel · 12/13/2012 at 8:28 pm

@Elena. Yes, for Allison Krauss. She takes you to another place! I have to check out your #1. Thanks and I died at your husband’s recommendations. 🙂

Soon & Very Soon · 12/13/2012 at 8:24 pm

“One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain….so hit me with music.” – Robert Nesta Marley

Mairead Sauter · 12/13/2012 at 8:11 pm

I, too, love Rodrigo y Gabriela. I listen to them when I run.

But some of my favorite workout songs are as follows:

1. Rihanna, “We Found Love” (I was rocking out to this on the treadmill a few weeks ago, it made me feel so FREE!)
2. Black Keys, “Work Me” – this is a great weight lifting track
3. Justin Timberlake & Madonna – “Four Minutes”
4. The xxx – “Crystalized”
5. Janet Jackson – “All Night”

As for podcasts, for running I have always listened to Phedippidations. It makes me feel like I’ve got a running buddy…

BUT I am going to look up some of these other jams – it’s always great to mix up the music!

Aisha · 12/13/2012 at 7:36 pm

Joy the Baker podcast makes me happy.

Slomo · 12/13/2012 at 7:07 pm

Oh and podcasts: Best of the Left, Underground Wellness, Savage Love, Radio Lab, anything on NPR (Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me).

Elena · 12/13/2012 at 12:32 pm

I’m an NPR junkie as well but not for working out.
For the gym, I usually prefer instrumentals or mostly instrumental songs. Both of the Rodrigo y Gabriela Albums are great and fast paced. Words usually get the in the way of my own thoughts or require too much concentration I lose track of what I’m doing in the gym.
On the sadder side but I find them life affirming in a quiet way:
1. Sondre Lerche’s “Modern Nature”
2. Allison Krauss “The Lucky One” : and most everything on the New Favorite Album
3. Allison Krauss/Robert Plant “Stick with me Baby” and the rest of the Raising Sand album

And yes I totally sound like a person 2ce my age. Oh well.
I also told my husband I’m doing this and he of course suggested the various USMC cadences and his personal versions which have a lot of “special” words and content.

Slomo · 12/13/2012 at 9:28 am

I’m loving Thievery Corporation these days, as they have songs great for running, meditating, yoga, spinning, whatever – it’s so refreshing when artists switch it up. “El Pueblo Unido” is definitely my favorite – so much history behind the song AND a dope beat. Thanks to everyone for sharing, and to Angel for this post!

Angel · 12/13/2012 at 8:37 am

@Kate. I haven’t heard many of those songs. Will check it out today. They might work for m spin class. Thank you!

Angel · 12/13/2012 at 8:36 am

@JessC, I love me some MJ!!!!!!

Jess C · 12/12/2012 at 10:33 pm

A few of my favorites to work out to:

Baby Be Mine – Michael Jackson (not really inspirational, I just love it)
Motivation – TI
Let’s Go – Calvin Harris
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

Angel · 12/12/2012 at 9:55 pm

@Emily Arden. You betta knock this assignment out of the park! Funny thing: I played Macklemore’s “can’t hold us” in spin class! I played ‘dog days are over” in last month’s spin class. And I play the “valerie” remix with mark ronson every week while driving. I haven’t heard #4 or #7. Thank you for you list! And yes, Seth knows his stuff.

Emily Arden · 12/12/2012 at 9:44 pm

1. I’m super obsessed with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis right now. ‘Same Love’ is the bomb.com. (Yes, I did just say that. Don’t judge.)
2. Bruno Mars ‘Locked Out of Heaven.’ I wouldn’t lock him out of anything. ever.
3. Anything Beyonce. She always brings out my inner diva.
4. Miguel ‘Adorn.’ Need I say more?
5. Amy Winehouse’s version of ‘Valerie.” And the Jillian Meyers choreo to it makes me super duper happy, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSAvuDOr9Vo
6. ‘Dog Days Are Over’ by Florence & the Machine. Happy times.
7. I just discovered ‘To All My Friends’ by Atmosphere. A song about making a living being an artist. DO IT.
8. ‘One Day’ by Matisyahu. He’s just all around awesome.
9. M.I.A’s ‘Sunshowers.’ She’s crazy cool.
10. ‘Tightrope’ by Janelle Monae. Girrrrl power.

I don’t have much to add in the way of podcasts or ebooks, but I am a fan of Seth Godin. He has lots o’ books you can download “Unleashing the Ideavirus” for instance, and his blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com & twitter feed @ThisIsSethsBlog are pretty rockin, too.

Angel · 12/12/2012 at 8:44 pm

@Polly. I’m going to check out “right now”. Thanks!

Angel · 12/12/2012 at 8:43 pm

@Carrie Bean. I’ve been playing Girl on Fire in spin. It works.

Angel · 12/12/2012 at 8:42 pm

@Heidi. Whoa, whoa! You won’t believe what we have in common. 1. I played White Snake in my spin class last Saturday! 2. I LO-OVE “Something in the way she moves”. But I listen to the version by Musiq Soulchild. I can listen to that song over and over and over again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drY2EssuJ1s

Angel · 12/12/2012 at 8:38 pm

@FVR. No, it’s not weird that you don’t listen to music when you workout. However, it is weird that you are trying to get out of this assignment. Song recommendation, please?

FVR · 12/12/2012 at 7:03 pm

OK, is it weird that I don’t listen to music when I run or work out? I really cannot run with music in my ear b/c I try to match my pace to the song and invariably screw up. I also don’t listen to music if I’m working out at the gym by myself. If music is on in the room, fine, but I don’t plug in my iPod. I actually like the fact that it’s just me, and I really try not to think about anything (other than BEASTING OUT — hah, not really) but just kinda zen out.

Polly · 12/12/2012 at 6:04 pm

“Right Now” by Van Halen (Sammy Hagar era), plus that Whitney Houston Olympic song “One Moment in Time” both get me pumped.

Kate S. · 12/12/2012 at 3:18 pm

Songs that inspire me are pretty much any house/techno. Not the kind you would hear going to a rave, but more DJ Anthem beats. For example:

ATB: Could you Believe, Never Give Up
Calvin Harris: Sweet Nothing featuring Florence Welch
Kaskade: Angel on my Shoulder, Everything (all time favorite), Eyes

I also get pumped up by listening to old school hip hop.

Thanks for today’s blog!!

Chels R. · 12/12/2012 at 3:09 pm

Love it! So true too…I bet the energy in your spin class is electric. 😉

Heidi Rider · 12/12/2012 at 2:50 pm

Favorite optimistic happy song, it’s exactly how I feel about everyone I love: Something In The Way She Moves, James Taylor.
“…and If I’m well you can tell, she’s been with me now”. Isn’t that the truth.

Other songs I love, please please refrain from terrible laughter: Higher Love (Steve Winwood), Dancing in the Moonlight (Van Morrison), ….aaaaaand Here I go Again (White Snake, baby).

59 songs in my track, I’m really excited to use it!

Carrie Bean · 12/12/2012 at 2:42 pm

I personally feel really inspired by Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys and I have fun with Don’t Stop the Party by Pitbull (just think of your workout as the party).

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