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The Complete Running Playlist Guide: More than 20 Running Playlists Organized by Moods, Genres, and Running Goals

Music can be a big part of all of our runs – it can set a mood, help us process our thoughts, and turn our pace up or down. It can be the reason you come home with a clearer head or a new PR

Over the years I’ve put together countless playlists for countless runs, and a little while back, I started sharing them with all of you and it’s been this fun, unexpected way to bond with so many people – because we can only listen to Try Anything together so many times before we realize that no matter how new or not we are to a sport – no matter how slow or fast – no matter what shape we are or how old or how rich or how poor, on the road, it’s just you and the pavement and we’re all in it together.

So, my gift to you: the playlists. Here they all are together. Some are silly. Some are fun. Some are for the 4th of July. Some are for the times when you just need to hold your head a little higher. I hope they make the miles that much more fun. 

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The Playlists:

  1. The Ultimate runDisney Playlist – 90 minutes of Disney songs that are GREAT for running, perfect to train for your first (or 100th) runDisney race!! Lots of fun for Disney-bound road trips too – and of course the lyrics are all kid-friendly. 
  2. Old School Speed Edition – Hair Bands and Rock N Roll, from Journey to AC/DC to Bon Jovi, great for speed work.
  3. Triumph Edition – A great playlist for when you’re feeling (or wanting to feel a little more) bad ass on the course. From Eye of the Tiger to Adele, this list of more of a mood than a particular genre. If you like this, you’ll probably also love the Girl Power Edition and the Confidence Edition.
  4. Old School Singalong Edition – All of the best high energy, crowd pleaser sing along songs in one playlist that’s perfect for a group run (or one where you don’t mind singing alone on the course). This one includes things like Sweet Caroline, The Time Warp, Come Sail Away, and Karma Chameleon and tends to make for a really good time whether you’re running or not.
  5. Antiestablishment Edition – Sometimes you just need to pound it out on the pavement and this is the playlist for it. Everything you’d expect from Nine Inch Nails to Rage Against the Machine along with (perhaps) a few surprises along the way.
  6. Girl Power Edition – When Alanis Morisette, P!nk, and Aretha Franklin are all on one playist, you know it’s going to be a good one. Two hours and ten minutes of women who aren’t interested in anyone else’s B.S. and will remind you to feel the same way. If you like this, you’ll probably also love the Confidence Edition and the Triumph Edition.
  7. 80s Edition – This one needs no introduction. From Africa to Take On Me to Total Eclipse of the Heart, the miles will fly by – and it’s one of those ones that I find myself still listening to after the run is long over, too.
  8. 90s Grunge Edition – This is 3+ hours of classic flannel shirt music. Pearl Jam, STP, and Nirvana make for a great running playlist when you just want to pound the pavement.
  9. Old School Hip Hop Edition – This is another long one. More than 3 hours of old school hip hop music – from Usher to the Notorious B.I.G. to Biz Markie to DMX. Lots of stuff you probably haven’t heard for a decade or two – all of it fun for a training run (or a party).
  10. Guilty Pleasures and Throwbacks Edition – Probably the most massive of these lists and for good reason. This is a good time set to music – Britney, Hanson, the Spice Girls, Vanilla Ice, and the Backstreet Boys. We dare you not to sing along!
  11. Showtunes and Musicals Edition – Almost 2 1/2 hours of stuff from Broadway and other musicals – Wicked, Les Mis, The Greatest Showman, and Hamilton all show up – along with lots of others. 
  12. Country Edition – With a little Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, and Rascal Flatts, this one will take you right from a chill run to a day at the beach or a barbecue.  
  13. Club Edition – Late 90s Early 2000s – The name speaks for itself. All the Usher, 50 Cent, and Outkast you could ask for.
  14. Remix Edition – Upbeat remixes of old favorites, all in one playlist. Including perhaps my favorite workout song of all time.
  15. Patriot Edition (Memorial Day 2021 Playlist) – There’s just something about this set of songs – from lighthearted music like Chicken Fried to tear jerkers like I Drive Your Truck – that reminds us that we’re lucky to be able to run, and to take some joy in it. If you like this, you’ll probably also love the Feel Good 4th of July Edition list.  
  16. Break the Sound Barrier Edition – The Ultimate No-Genres-Barred PR Playlist – This is the playlist that accompanied me on my latest PR and that COUNTLESS others have since used for the same purpose. No specific genre or other theme – it’s just all of the songs that make us take flight for some reason or another, from AC/DC to Greenday to Sia to Journey to Eminem. And it’s more than 3 hours long, so it’s made for skipping around and find what’s hitting right on any given day.
  17. Classical Edition – Part 1 – An introduction to running to classical music – great for runs when you want the drive of music but also the chance to let your mind wander. If you like this, keep an eye out – more will follow!! 
  18. Cosmic Rewind Edition – This one is dedicated to the newest (and perhaps best?) attraction at Walt Disney World. All six tracks that play on the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind along with a bunch of songs from the 2 Guardians movies that lots of fun on a run.
  19. Feel Good 4th of July Edition – The Beach Boys, John Cougar Mellancamp, Journey, Tom Petty, and The J. Geils Band – this is another set that transitions seamlessly from a chill run to a long drive or a backyard barbecue. I especially like this on an otherwise uncomfortably hot day.  
  20. Confidence Edition – I’m not the only one who’s cried her eyes out running to this one — in the best possible way. Try Everything, Brave, Fight Song, Roar, This Is Me…it’s a list made to shift your mindset about just how strong you are. If you like this, you’ll probably also love the Girl Power Edition and the Triumph Edition.
  21. Latin Energy Edition – When you need to push through it with a little help from some high energy music, this is the playlist for you. From the Gypsy Kings to Daddy Yankee, I put this on before dawn when I need a serious kick start and it never fails me.

For all of these lists, songs with explicit lyrics will be marked as such on Spotify – so be on the lookout there if you want to avoid those options.

Stay tuned for new lists on Mondays. If you have suggestions, let me know!! Happy running!

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You can find my complete guide to making the most of your runDisney race weekend RIGHT HERE and my guide to running trails on Disney World property RIGHT HERE.

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Please join me on Instagram for my day-to-day adventures living a mile from the magic. And join the conversation over in our community on Facebook!

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If you’re missing home (or love someone who is) and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.

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