Some people prefer running to the metronome of their own footsteps and breathing. Others, like me, need headphones in their ears and a killer Spotify playlist to spur them on. Sure, there’s the whole debate from running purists that they wouldn’t be caught dead listening to music, and that only ‘joggers’ listen to tunes. But sod it, sometimes, the only thing that will get me through the last, painful kilometer of a knackering 10k is the dulcet support of Katy Perry’s ‘Wide Awake’ in my ears. Facing Primrose Hill with legs of jelly? Whack on Tegan and Sarah’s ‘Drove Me Wild’. Just need a solid pace-maker? Can’t beat ‘So What’cha Want’ by the Beastie Boys. And for helping you stomp through the woods like a maniac, only ‘Sun’ by Two Door Cinema Club will do. As well as keeping my legs going, music helps me forget that I’m exercising and provides that escapism and inspiration that the sounds of the city can’t quite match.

running headphones

Stiller knows the score.

Having trialled many different tracks this year on my runs, I’ve been quite interested to notice how ethereal, quite chill-out songs can be just as effective in helping you pick up the pace as the beats of a Drum & Bass track. And how, when you need a push to help you get up that hill, it’s often the more cheesy pop that serves the purpose (well, that’s the case for me anyhoo!)

So without further ado, here’s the tried and tested Collective Individualism running playlist. Whilst the selection may not be to everyone’s taste, most of these tracks make for awesome running music in terms of keeping pace. The playlist is heavily influenced by the music of my late teens, so there’s a fair bit of punk rock, Drum & Bass and some 80s classics in there, coupled with some modern electro-pop, Tinie Tempah and Katy Perry.. .(disclaimer: my running music is often v. different to the music I listen to generally in life!). When all is said and run (bmm, chh), it’s quite an eclectic mix.


Rancid – great to run to.


Just click on the title to access the playlist on Spotify. We’d also love to hear your recommendations!

p.s. To soundtrack my run with a Spotify playlist, I just run the Nike+ running app and Spotify app on my phone at the same time. I do also pay the monthly fee for Spotify premium so that I’m not interrupted by ads! However, if you don’t have the Spotify app, another (slightly pricier) option could be to just download the tracks to your phone/device.


  • I Belong in Your Arms – Chairlift
  • Pass Out – Tinie Tempah
  • Open Road Song – Eve6
  • Shake Ur Body (Original Mix) – Shy Fx, T-Power, Di
  • Lyric On My Lip – Marky & XRS Remix – Tali
  • All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem
  • DOA – Foo Fighters
  • Bloodclot – Rancid
  • Avenues & Alleyways – Rancid
  • Ruby Soho – Rancid
  • Cash, Culture & Violence – Rancid
  • Drove Me Wild – Tegan & Sarah
  • R.I.P. (Rita Ora Feat. Tinie Tempah Tribute) – The Dream Team
  • Gonna Fly Now (Theme from ‘Rocky’) – 2006 – Remaster – Bill Conti
  • Wasting Time – Best Friends
  • Wannabe in LA – Eagles of Death Metal
  • Cold Sweat – Thin Lizzy
  • California – Delta Spirit
  • Written in the Stars ft. Eric Turner – Tinie Tempah
  • Heartbeat Song – The Futureheads
  • Goodbye Service – Sons And Daughters
  • Call Me Anytime – The Cops
  • Misery Business – Paramore
  • So What’cha Want – Beastie Boys
  • Run Run Run – Dragonette
  • Five Seconds –Twin Shadow
  • Genesis – Grimes
  • LK Feat. Stamina MC –  DJ Marky, Stamina MC, XRS
  • Running Up That Hill – Chromatics
  • Letting Go – Saint Raymond
  • Tightrope – Walk the Moon
  • Kemosabe – Everything Everything
  • Crash – Gwen Stefani
  • Kickstart My Heart – Motley Crue
  • Going Down to Liverpool – The Bangles
  • Wide Awake – Katy Perry
  • Roar – Katy Perry
  • Run My Heart – Twin Shadow
  • What – Apparat Remix – Bodi Bill
  • Time to Run – Lord Huron
  • Love Is A Battlefield – Pat Benetar
  • Love Is Only Affection – Digits
  • Surround You – JAWS
  • Wildest Moments – Jessie Ware
  • Counting Stars – OneRepublic
  • Sun – Alex Metric Remix – Two Door Cinema Club
  • Waiting All Night – Feat. Ella Eyre – Rudimental
  • I Want Your Love – 2006 Remastered LP Version – Chic