There is nothing that will destroy your workout enthusiasm faster than looking out your window and realizing that it's pitch dark outside as your alarm is going off. And if that wasn't enough to kill your buzz, the temperature is starting to plummet. The only thing that keeps me from blearily hitting the snooze button 16 more times and bailing on a workout is the promise of a really great playlist to take my mind off the fact that it's suddenly so cold outside that any sweat that dares to leak out of my pores immediately freezes. And while we do have cold weather movie lists and cold weather nail design ideas, we are in dire need of a cold weather workout playlist to get us through the next few months. It's a very specific need, but a very real one.
So never fear, fellow masochistic winter runners and cold day adventurers. I've compiled a playlist that will get you in the spirit of braving the frigid, bleak mornings ahead. Every song on this list in some way celebrates winter, cold, or darkness, so now you won't feel so lonely hitting the pavement at the butt crack of dawn. So strap on your gloves and your oh-so-flattering reflective vests and give these snowy jams a try:
1. "Let It Go" from Frozen
I know this is the most overplayed and obvious of winter songs, but have you ever actually run to it? Because if you have, you'll know it makes you feel freaking invincible. This came on at Mile 7 of the Disney Princess half marathon and I had a second wind so epic that I basically sprinted to the finish line (I was also under the misguided notion that the song meant that Queen Elsa was going to be up ahead on the course. She was not, and I'll forgive Disney when I'm good and ready).
2. "This Is The New Year" - A Great Big World
This addictive tune is basically the personification of everything that is awesome about starting a new year. If you could turn that awestruck feeling you get watching fireworks go off at midnight into a melody, this would be it.
3. "Cosmic Love" - Florence & The Machine
The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out, you left me in the dark – basically the only way to revel in the solitude of being one of the few winter warriors in your neighborhood, plus a beat that will kick you in the butt.
4. "A Hazy Shade Of Winter" - Simon and Garfunkel
An oldie but a goodie. I wouldn't recommend this for crazy sprint workouts, but when you're out running to enjoy the view, this is a perfect upbeat winter tune: Look around, leaves are brown, and the sky is a hazy shade of winter.
5. "Summertime Sadness Remix" - Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais
Every now and then you just have to mourn the summer that once was so you can look forward to the one that's up ahead. And hey, maybe listening to this song about summer will inspire the blood in your fingers and toes to start circulating again.
6. "Carol of the Bells" - Trans Siberian Orchestra
You think I'm kidding! But turn this on during a workout and I guarantee within the first thirty seconds you'll feel like the Marvel comics version of Santa.
7. "Dark Blue" - Jack's Mannequin
"This night's a perfect shade of dark blue" and "We were boxing, we were boxing the stars" are just a few of lyrics in this song that will ease you through the dark winter months ahead. And the way it builds up to the chorus will have every muscles in your body working.
8. "Touch The Sky" from Brave
This song does not get enough street cred. In fact, this whole soundtrack deserves a shout-out, and if you're ever looking from running inspiration I highly recommend it. But "Touch The Sky" tells of the wintery cold weather in the Scottish Highlands and is sure to put you in the mood for the icy blast waiting for you as soon as the door opens.
9. "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" - Coldplay
I'm cheating on this one and calling it a winter song because of the word "cold" in Coldplay, but it's for good reason. If you haven't worked out to this song before, then you're welcome. Because it will change your life. When this song comes on my iPod, it's like someone injecting magical otherworldly steroids directly into every one of my limbs. And its presence is somewhat justified on the cold weather playlist by its epic placement in the Red Band Society pilot episode this autumn.
10. "Snowblind (feat. Tasha Baxter)" - Au5
This boppin' dubstep hit is a far cry from the Black Sabbath's Snowblind, but it'll wake you up no matter how late you were up eggnogging at last night's holiday party (is it too early in the season for that to be used as a verb?)
11. "Through The Dark" - One Direction
I'm sure we'll have plenty of other hits from One Direction to choose from when their new album drops this November, but this one has gotten less attention and still has a great rhythm for a workout, particularly for those times you are quite literally running through the dark.
12. "Winter White" - A Fine Frenzy
Fun fact: A Fine Frenzy released a holiday EP circa 2009, and this song was one of the three originals. "Winter White" has all the candid whimsy with an edge of darkness you've come to expect from this group. "Merry Christmas, happy goddamn New Year."
So there you have it, folks. That ought to be enough to get you through a workout, because if you have the motivation to go any longer than that, you have bigger problems my friend. Luckily I have a partial solution for you:
Just in case you really hate yourself, there's alway this timeless classic.
Images: Getty Images; YouTube