Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Why Are All the Best Running Songs About Getting High?

Disclaimer: I do not want anyone to think that by writing this post that I am in any way condoning the use of illicit drugs. 

Why are all the best running songs about getting high? I'm pretty sure most of you've probably never had this thought. I'm also sure it will be no surprise to most of you that I have thought about this. With plenty of time to myself on my last long run, I settled into my pace and my music. I pondered this question while listening to my current favorite running song, appropriately titled High by the alternative group Sir Sly.
"It feels good to be running from the devil, another breath and I'm up another level, it feels good to be up above the clouds, it feels good for the first time in a long time now..."
Maybe you're reading this and you're thinking, "what is she smoking?" or "did she finally accept that medical marijuana from her rheumatologist?" (she offered, I declined) or maybe "I don't know what she's smoking but I want some of that".

Or maybe you are just rolling your eyes. Maybe you listen to pop music when you run or maybe you listen to nothing. But I bet there's a group of us out there who listen to music and run not only for fitness but for the entire experience. Running isn't just a physical act, but a feast for the senses. Running is a mind/body experience. Yep, I grew up in the 1970s.

Life isn't always a peaceful, easy feeling. Maybe you're like me and you run because you are high strung and need an outlet. Road therapy, right? I don't always solve the world's problems on my runs, but when I do, I do my best thinking when I'm running.

Then there are those times when you don't want to think. Sometimes, you need an escape from the reality of life. Music is and has always been, for me, the perfect escape. Running to music? Even better.
"Swallow me whole, finding my peace of mind." ~Sir Sly. 


I often joke that if I didn't run, I'd probably be an alcoholic. It's really not a joke because I did party my way through my 20s until I couldn't do that anymore. Although I do have a lot of good stories. Running truly saved me from me. I'm fortunate that I've been able to run all these years and rid myself of stress and angst. It's not easy being me, but running softens the edges.

Just because I don't party like I used to doesn't mean that I don't enjoy a good runner's high. I've written posts about the runners high and how running releases not just endorphins, but endocannabinoids. Yep, the same substances that are released on a run as when people smoke on the peace pipe or ingest whatever mind-altering substance they choose to get high. So it makes sense to me that the songs written about getting high are the ones that are in heavy rotation on my playlist.

Does this make sense to you? Hold my beer. Let's go for a run. Running is my drug of choice. I'll bring the music. Some of my choices might surprise you because the references are subtle. It's no fun to go for the obvious choice. You won't find any Afroman on my playlist. I need lyrics that make me think when I'm running!



Here are some of the songs that I've run to while I'm in search of that runner's high.

I Can't Feel My Face The Weekend
"I can't feel my face when I'm with you but I love it...and I know she'll be the death of me but at least we'll both be numb..."
Semi-Charmed Life Third Eye Blind
"I want something else...to get me through this semi-charmed kind of life...I won't come down, I keep stock, with a tick-tock rhythm and a bump for the drop..."
Hymn for the Weekend Coldplay
"And said, drink from me, drink from me. When I was so thirsty, pour on a symphony, now I just can't get enough... Got me feeling so drunk and high.."
Up All Night Beck
"I've been running like an animal struggling, looking for a diamond, I'm trying, I'm fighting, back into the rhythm now..."
Learn to Fly Foo Fighters
"I'm looking for a complication, looking 'cause I'm tired of trying, make my way back home, when I learn to fly high"  PS The video is hilarious.
Half Full Glass of Wine Tame Impala
"thank god I've been blessed with a patient mind, 'cause what I want to happen won't happen in a very long time..."
My Own Worst Enemy Lit
"It's no surprise to me, I am my own worst enemy, 'Cause every now and then, I kick the living shit out of me...."
Blurry Puddle of Mudd
"Preoccupied without you, I cannot live at all. My whole world surrounds you, I stumble then I crawl."
Feel Good Inc Gorillaz
"Don't stop, get it, get, We are your captains in it (feel good), steady, watch me navigate..."

What kind of music do you listen to when you run, if any? Do you pick your songs based on the music or the lyrics? Do you think what you listen to affects your running performance?

I'm linking this post up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run and with Debbie, Lora, and Rachel for Coaches Corner.



49 comments :

  1. ha ha...well, I do have one of these songs on my playlist (Semi-Charmed Life), but I do recognize most of them. I typically choose my music for the "sound" and don't pay much attention to the actual lyrics...I'm usually in my own thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do use the lyrics for motivation! Some songs have great music but if it's negative--I had one song I really liked but it was titled Barely Breathing--it can mess with my head.

      Delete
  2. I love this post Wendy! I like that song by “The Weekend!” I have a mixture of music on my playing from Ed Sheeran, 80’s, Britney, and my Praise and Worship songs. I love Journey and Foreigner too. There’s nothing like a good song like “Juke Box Hero” to finish a run strong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do love Ed Sheehan--anything by him is a win in my book.

      Delete
  3. LOL, I never noticed this before but you're totally right! I listen to a mix of music when I run - basically everything besides country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried to find country songs to run to but the only one that ever really worked was Miranda Lambert's Fastest Girl in Town!

      Delete
  4. There was a song on the radio yesterday (yes I still listen to the radio) and I thought, oh my these lyrics are just awful! I do enjoy listening to music while running and you are right, it is part of the entire experience. I didn't realize some of the lyrics you posted where about something "more".

    Where do you get some of your graphics for the blog?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wait. So The Weekend can't feel his face cuz he's high?? Here I thought he was out running in the cold. Honestly I don't really listen to the lyrics. Music is a backdrop for my thoughts.If anything I'm making up my own lyrics as I go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe he was running and he was cold--you never know!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the recommendations. I need to update my play list.

    Sometimes I choose a song because of the beat and sometimes the lyrics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to go with the beat, but I really do need motivating lyrics!

      Delete
  7. While I don't listen to music on my run, I definitely enjoy hearing it while I'm out running a half or a full marathon. There's just something about it that makes me happy! I have visions, sometimes, of me manning a "disco" cheering station at a race. Just because. Think of the costume potential! lol

    I know some of these songs, didn't know some of the others. And to be truthful, I never once considered any of those songs to be about drugs or being high. Clearly, I need to pay more attention. haha

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have random songs, but they need to be upbeat for those pick-me-up moments during a run or race. I have a lot of fun building playlists, and then finalizing one for a race.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right there with you! I do love me some good music!

      Delete
  9. Oh yeah, I grew up in the 70s, too. Still the best music around. I love my old school Christian Rock. Here in Hawaii I can get a double runner's high at the park with the amount of "medical" marijuana being smoked ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we were in Seattle, we experienced something similar!

      Delete
  10. I have almost everything on my playlist but some songs I'm embarrassed to admit I love so much because while they might be trendy artists on the radio no one respects you if you admit you love them... *cough* Pit Bull *cough* But I pick songs with fairly high energy as well as super mellow songs that still are pretty complex and inspirational. I love seeing other people's lists though - I was just thinking that I needed to add some songs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always say don't judge a runner by their playlist--I have some trash on my playlist too, but what ever gets you moving, right?

      Delete
  11. I don't listen to music when I run outside but I have been listening to it on the treadmill. I forgot how much a good song can add some motivation! But there is something about running just with my own thoughts that helps me to relax.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I especially like my music for my long runs. Since I'm not pushing the pace, I like to sit back and relax.

      Delete
  12. ok I am so lame that I didn't even realize these were about drugs lol. I was just recently talking to my son about this exact thing and how all of today's rap music is about guns

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very subtle, right? That's why they work so well for running. It was a lot harder to find songs like this than the blatant songs about drugs.

      Delete
  13. This is fantastic! Yes, so many of the greatest songs are about getting high because it's an escape and running happens to be our drug of choice. I always say I don't need medical marijuana for my anxiety because I have endorphins!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I say that too, but she says the offer stands! LOL!

      Delete
  14. I am laughing so hard because I make that same statement to people about if I didn't run I'd be an alcoholic and I get the strangest looks! Glad to know i am not the only one! Love the playlist!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that the beauty of blogging? One of us puts something out there and the rest of us nod our heads--it's not just me!

      Delete
  15. I'm just impressed with your list of songs you've identified, ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be when I started working on this post! I wanted songs that were subtle references, not blatant smoking songs. LOL.

      Delete
  16. I don’t know the research on RA and pot but I know it has made a difference for people suffering from other diseases and is worth looking into. The non-stony type, CBD has many benefits too and doesn’t get you high.

    I know so many people who have turned to running after stopping drinking. I guess the addictive personality makes for dedicated runners.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This post is hilarious! It's not something I've ever thought about but now that you mention it, I agree... for me, music definitely affects my runs, I always push the pace when Alanis comes on (my playlist is almost entirely 1990s...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to have a lot of 90s songs, now I'm all over the place!

      Delete
  18. This is awesome!! I love the way your mind works and now I have even more fun songs for my marathon playlist!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mind is a little scary, even to me! LOL! But this was a fun post.

      Delete
  19. I read this post yesterday but my stupid phone wouldn't let me comment. Anyways -- hilarious! All the best songs are totally as you say. Also, your graphic is on point!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't listen to music when I run because we have bears and I want to hear them in the woods. Ha. Also I grew up not doing it because there were not any good options. Remember Walkmans? Yep I'm old. But I do listen to music when I'm lifting weights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do remember Walkmans and I still have one--I don't use it since I don't have cassettes anymore, but I can't bear to part with it!

      Delete
  21. I rarely listen to music when I run. However, lately I've been doing longer runs (90-100 minutes) that require music. I like music that has a good beat and makes me want to move and dance. I also have a playlist for "slower" music for when I do "easy" runs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I listen to music that makes me want to dance, then I don't run well! LOL!

      Delete
  22. When I attempted to run (like 10+ years ago), I'd always listen to Oasis. Now, looking back, this may have been why I didn't stick with running. They were so whiny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have some Oasis on my playlist. Because sometimes you just need to whine!

      Delete
  23. I have a mix of everything on my playlist and what I gravitate toward depends on the day and my mood during the run. Sometimes I listen to my Jesus music, sometimes I listen to songs about getting high, haha. I'm recently downloaded some of The Weeknd and I love Bruno Mars!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am with you--I have a mix of everything on my playlist!

      Delete
  24. This is hilarious! Runners high is real!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is my kind of music! I think that "running" is often used metaphorically in music for headed in a particular direction quickly, potentially escaping something or going excitedly to a better place. I love Panic! At The Disco for running as well as Anberlin, Shinedown, Fall Out Boy, and Foo Fighters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone just hipped me to a new FOB song called Champion, and it is a winner!

      Delete