Soundtrack to My Life

Sometimes when you feel bogged down by work, school, friend drama, family issues, etc., you need to get away and take some time for yourself. Often, that means exploring somewhere new; adventuring to take your mind off of things. Whenever I need to shake things up a little and be on my own, I grab my bag, plug in my headphones, and put on a personalized Spotify playlist.

Having music to accompany you on a trip is essential. It becomes the soundtrack for the adventure on which you’re about to go. It’s important to remember all the essential elements of your playlist before you leave. Crafting this playlist in advance is key. Having it ready to go allows for ample time to explore.

When you start picking your songs, it’s easy to cover all of the bases by creating categories. This will allow you to pick and choose songs that fit the vibes of your outing. You want to start off strong with something that gets you in the mood to walk—something that makes you want to move around—but subtle enough that it doesn’t overwhelm you.

As you progress through the playlist, it’s crucial to have songs that you can get in sync with. You want to be able to walk to the beat of the music and feel powerful with every step that you take. You want the music to compliment the experience, not take away from it. Something to remind yourself is that you can add any kind of music to this playlist so long as it gets you in the mood to see and experience something new. Songs with percussion are great for walking. Classics are nice because they allow you to sing and hum along as you wander through new parts of town. It’s always great to have a couple of songs that are a bit different and quirky, while finally topping it off with your favorite song. You need something familiar to accompany you on your adventure.

You might be on your way to a new café that you haven’t tried yet, or maybe you’re going to visit a different park than usual. It might just be a stroll, but having a great soundtrack on this journey will make the trip all the more interesting. Allow the time traveling to the destination to be spent reflecting and thinking. Let the music wash away anything that could ruin your mood. If you’re looking for inspiration to create your own playlist for exploration, take a listen to some of these songs.

Strong, Yet Subtle


  • “Gibraltar” by Beirut
  • “Golden Sun” by Hotel Eden

Lots of Percussion


  • “I Love You, Honeybear” by Father John Misty
  • “Electric Love” by BØRNS

The Retro Classic


  • “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore
  • “Lady Godiva” by Queen

The Modern Classic


  • “Sweet Pea” by Amos Lee
  • “Roses” by The Chainsmokers (feat. Rozes)

Smooth Tune


  • “The Bells” by Lowell
  • “Gooey” by Glass Animals

Something Breathy


  • “Holocene” by Bon Iver
  • “Manastra” by Summer Salt

The Quirk


  • “Relaxed Lizard” by Soft Hair
  • “Whale” by Yellow Ostrich

A Song That Brings You Back


  • “Valerie ’68 Version” by Amy Winehouse

Evoking Your Sense of Adventure


  • “Katie Queen Of Tennessee” by The Apache Relay
  • “Goodbye L.A.” by Blah Blah Blah

The Personal Favorite


  • “17:35” by Stoop Kids
  • “Pascualita” by The Derevolutions

Text by Delia Curtis

Illustration by Morgan Wright