Hiking is really the only type of exercise I actually enjoy doing. Middle school gym class conditioned me to dislike (fear) any sport that involves a ball, lots of running, or really anything remotely competitive. So, here we are left with long nature walks.
In Raleigh, my favorite place to hike is on the Sal’s Branch trail at Umstead Park. It’s a beautiful wooded loop that I find really relaxing to walk on. Sometimes I prefer to hike without music just to hear nature, but I find that if I’m feeling especially overwhelmed, music and walking is the perfect combo to get me out of my head.
Here is a sneak peek into my hiking playlist. At first glance, it may look like a completely random and weird mixture of artists, which it absolutely is. However, if you take a listen, all these songs combine gentleness and beauty that allow for reflection, along with a steady or upbeat tempo that keeps you walking at a consistent pace. Don’t be fooled by the Jimi and Zeppelin appearance.
Go outside. Start walking. Take a listen. I hope it’s as meditative for you as it is for me.
1. Cherokee Mist – Jimi Hendrix
2. Orange Peel – Sopwith Camel
3. Heart to Heart – Mac Demarco
4. Benzo – Blood Orange
5. Nikes – Frank Ocean
6. Give It to Me – HOMESHAKE
7. Purity – A$AP Rocky (feat. Frank Ocean)
8. The Rain Song (Live) – Led Zeppelin
9. Stormy – The Meters
10. Lost My Mind – Will Van Horn
11. Mango (Freestyle/Process) – Orion Sun & Mulch
12. You Don’t Have to Change – Kool & The Gang
13. Hit Me Like That Snare – alt-J (feat. Rejjie Snow)
14. T.M. – Jack Kilmer
15. Too Late to Turn Back Now – Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose
– DJ butter