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.
Just in case you wanted the playlist…
Obviously YES I NEEDED THIS.
And please, TEACH ME YOUR TECHY WAYS TO MAKE THESE THINGS.
I remember singing “Unwritten” on our way to Hillsdale’s sketchy Taco Bell to pick up a spicy chicken crunch wrap supreme, and on the trip from the Cincinnati airport back to Lexington after the best spring break ever, trying to stay awake. So I can attest to your eternal love.
What can I say? I AM LOYAL FOREVER. Also that song is awesome. And you are an awesome roadtrip buddy! Let’s do it again some day.
I’m not a stronger person than you. NO ONE ELSE CAN FEEL IT FOR YOU/ONLY YOU CAN LET IT IN…
Yep. I have a special love for this subset of songs, too. Throw in a little Florence and the Machine and I’m pretty much set.
IT IS POWERFUL AND MOVING. Forever and ever.
Ah, man, I hate it when people judge other people’s taste in music. How can you judge a song when it might be comforting, inspiring, or touching to another person? Music snobs are just yuck.
I’m not sure if I really love any girl-power jams, but “Try” by Colbie Caillat comes to mind.
They totally are. It’s music people- not a moral imperative!!!
RIP Juliet and Jacoby. Hopefully we get some good new ones out of the new venture because I will so miss those and the NFL podcast. Love these Rachel Platten songs, I had not known who she was before but totally have heard them before!
I miss them sooooo much. The witty rapport! The juicy deets! Everything! What will we get to fill the void????
I even listened to her talk about the NBA with Chris Ryan on the Bill Simmons Podcast today. I don’t even follow basketball!
Do you need some bagpipes in your Fight Song? Got you covered: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOO5qRjVFLw
Indeed I did need these! Thanks!
LOVE. THIS. POST. SO. MUCH. My top 5 female empowerment songs…oh boy where to start:
1. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cindy Lauper. This 80s classic is my go-to 30-second-dance-party [although I dance way longer than 30 seconds] song. It just does it for me in way that only 80s music can.
2. Roar – Katy Perry. I may or may not have shed a tear listening to this song the first time, but now it’s the song I sing loudly and boldly offkey because it’s just that good. It reminds me to never downplay who I am.
3. XO – Beyonce. Whenever I hear this song, I just wanna attach a go-pro camera to my body and film life being lived. I also feel really cool when I listen to it, must be the beat.
4. Shake it Off – Taylor Swift. THIS. This is MY JAM. I totally walk-dance to this song and seriously shake off any bad vibes I’m feeling.
5. Wanna Dance with Somebody – Whitney Houston. a) because her voice is stellar. b) it makes for a pretty epic lip-syncing video and c) it’s just another late 80s gem.
EXCELLENT selections. Top notch, every last one.