In November, I am running a half marathon. I did several of them in college, and I really love this race distance, love how it forces you to actually train but doesn’t totally take over your life. Plus, my race is strategically timed for the Saturday before Thanksgiving, meaning a super fit escalation towards the holidays… followed by a 6-week glutton fest where I drown myself in pie and stuffing.
For the longest runs, I run with a buddy, because I am an unabashed “conversational pace” loving run-talker. But for the shorter runs, 4-8 miles, I love to hit up those audiobooks or podcasts. Unfortunately, my favorite podcast host just left her station, meaning an abrupt end to my two absolute favorite pods, “The Right Reasons” and “Food News.” And so, I find myself turning back towards music to get me through these runs.
I do not have “good taste” in music, or so I have been told. I like what I like, it is almost never obscure and hip, and I stay loyal to songs FOREVER. Once a favorite, always a favorite. I also have a special love for a subset of songs I like to think of as “Female Empowerment Ballads.” And so, for this Friday, I give you 5 anthems of feminine might that I am loving, have loved, and will continue to love. You should know that my definition of empowerment is not if the lyrics are ACTUALLY affirming to feminine strength, but more based on how much I want to yell-sing when I listen along. Plus, with Adele hopping back on the scene and releasing music again (YAY YAY YAY), I just feel like I want to talk about women who sing. Adele, of course, deserves her own entire blog post, so let’s just move on to today’s 5.
“Fight Song,” Rachel Platten. When this song comes on, I crank it up and sing like I too have overcome great adversity, and you probably do too. Take that world – I have a fight song. I’m taking back all those rights through song.
“Halo,” Beyoncé. Yes, this might not be the typical pump-up song. But when I listen to it, I just always feel so empowered to go put on a leotard and dance my heart all over that floor.
“Wrecking Ball,” Miley Cyrus. Ok- hear me out. When this song came out, I saw images of Miley’s disturbing ball riding, but I didn’t actually listen to the song. Then one day on the way to work, I heard an amazing song on the radio and got totally swept up in the chorus of “I came in like a rainnnnnboooowww,” which sounded to me like an excellent way to enter a room. And so I decided to love this song. And even after I was corrected – by a student, in front of the whole class, when I tried to sing a line to teach the French word for rainbow – it was too late. My song love is loyal. (But yes, I didn’t link to that music video, because I still hate it, my love of the rainbow version of the song aside.)
“Stand by You,” Rachel Platten. Rachel gets on here twice because I love her these days. This was the song that they played during SoulCycle and I maybe listen to it on repeat these days. Yes, the theology is sketchy… but those tunes be perfect.
“Unwritten,” Natasha Bedingfield. If you can listen to this song without screaming and dancing, you are a stronger person than me. I WANT TO FEEL THE RAIN ON MY SKIN BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE CAN FEEL IT FOR ME.
What about you- what girl-power jams do you love? May your weekend be packed full of them, accompanied by all the best dance moves.