Sometimes our minds get caught in a tornado of worries that are extremely hard to get past and that is OK. I have had those moments myself and tried many methods to ease my mind when life has become too overwhelming, but the one that has been by far the most effective is going on a bike ride while listening to a soothing playlist.
Prior to this school year, I rarely ever took my bike out from the backyard, but being away from home for my first year of college turned my bicycle into one of my most prized possessions.
I am the type of person that places a great deal of importance on privacy, especially when I am feeling stressed, but living in a dorm with four other people made privacy hard to come by. There was one day in particular last semester in which I felt completely weighed down by my thoughts, and the only thing I wanted was to be alone, so I grabbed my phone and earbuds and rode away from my dorm on my bicycle.
I had planned on looking for somewhere empty to sit down and relax, but instead, I ended up riding my bicycle around campus for an hour. Feeling the wind blow on my skin as I rode down a hill with soft music playing in my ears and an orange sunset surrounding me made me finally feel at peace.
These 7 songs were my favorites that I listened to on that day, and I still continue to listen to them every single time I go on a bicycle ride.
1. "Lover Is a Day" by Cuco.
“Time changed / We’re different / But my mind still says redundant things / Can I not think?”
Cuco is one of my go-to artists for dream pop music, which is a subgenre of alternative rock that usually has slow, electronic textures. “Lover Is a Day” in particular is perfect for when your mind is going at a million miles an hour because the melody gives you a calming and nostalgic feeling while the lyrics describe the struggle of sorting your mind out after a break-up.
2. "Dream, Ivory" by Dream, Ivory.
“The way the skies are turning blue / Pastures on my mind / Running, searching just to find / A thing or two that once was true”
Honestly, the entire EP that “Dream, Ivory” is on should be a part of everyone’s bicycle ride playlist. If you need to get away from the stress of your daily life, this song will definitely send you soaring into the clouds.
3. "Move On" by Garden City Movement.
“Late night stories / Running naked, cutting through the breeze”
Whenever I hear this song, it reminds me to “move on” from whatever has been making me feel anxious and take a moment to admire nature and all of its beauty. I recommend playing this song as the sun is starting to set for maximum relaxation.
4. "Drifting Away" by Khai Dreams.
“Now I just want me and you / To watch the sunset just soak in the view and / If it’s all just a dream / Then I don’t ever want to wake up”
This is one of the sadder songs on this playlist, but I think it is therapeutic to listen to sad music when you feel down because it allows you to get out all of your emotions and feel rejuvenated.
5. "Maybe Maybe" by Lola Amour.
“And I’m wondering / What keeps me tied down / I need some help / Pull me back to the ground”
Yes, this is another sad song, but the playlist would be incomplete without it because of how it explores the feeling of loneliness. When I am overwhelmed, I often feel alone, and this song reminds me that everyone has those days.
6. "Hindsight" by Family Hahas.
“These days will all seem better in time / Waiting on that hindsight”
“Hindsight” is all about feeling frustrated when your days have been full of mistakes but knowing that in the future, you will be able to look back on them and grow as a person.
7. "Promises" by Aly & AJ.
"All this is, is another mistake. Is another mistake to check off my list"
In case you did not know, Aly & AJ, the iconic musical duo of the early 2000’s, released an EP this year and it is full of dreamy tracks. “Promises” is my personal favorite, because it builds on the idea of accepting your mistakes and not dwelling on the past.