I really do not like exercising. I don’t like running or biking or swimming or any of that just for the sake of doing it. In school, I was always the kid that had to do something healthy for a reason. In fact, I was one of the few athletes that I knew that didn’t run cross-country (at least through 10th grade, after that everyone started focusing on their chosen sport). I hated doing things that I thought had no purpose. Unlike my younger siblings, I couldn’t run just for the satisfaction of running.
Soon, I’ll be travelling overseas and participating in some seriously strenuous abilities for the next nine months. Because of this, I have found it necessary to go from just plain thin to toned. I have started to go on daily runs (I actually ran my fastest 1K today and I plan to run at least a 5K before leaving on the 24th). And, starting on Monday, I will begin doing resistance strength training. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate exercise, but I know I have to do it. In fact there is only one thing getting me through all of this: Disney music.
Like many people my age, I grew up in the prime of Disney animated movies and Disney Channel original movies. This means that Disney songs are literally the playlist of my life and songs like “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan help me powerthrough the last 100 meters of my daily runs. I need songs like “I’m Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog to help me do those final 10 pushups. Even Mary Poppin’s “A Spoonful of Sugar” helps me through my daily core work. These songs and all of my other favorites (I’ll share my entire playlist) help me push myself to do all of this exercise a hate. Not only do I start my work out with good wake-up songs (see “When Will My Life Begin” from Tangled), but I push through with uplifting songs (“Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas), and I finish with songs that make me feel empowered, strong, and on top of the world (“Let It Go” from Frozen).
Every single song on my playlist does not just help me through my workouts, they also help me through life. Unlike a lot of my favorite non-Disney songs, I think that every single Disney song is not only applicable in everyday life, but that they all have the perfect moment in which any listener needs to here those particular words and that particular tune. Every single song is linked to at least two emotions: 1) the emotion of the listener at the time; 2) the emotion the listener wants to achieve. I’ll share some of my thoughts about the most well-known and well-loved Disney songs that I love to listen to:
- “Strangers Like Me” from Tarzan: curiosity
- “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story: trust
- “Circle of Life” from The Lion King: anticipation and belonging
- “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and the Beast: wistfulness
- “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan: determination, courage
- “A Star Is Born” from Hercules: joy
- “Touch the Sky” from Brave: exhiliration
- “Dig a Little Deeper” from The Princess and the Frog: enthousiasm
These are 8 of my favorite songs. Songs that I will listen to when I’m in a good mood or want to be in a good mood. It is not often that I find a (non-Disney) song that actually changes my mood and I like having that kind of control over my emotions.
Granted, the thing that all Disney songs have in common is that they all bear some sort of meaning for me because they are the songs that were literally the soundtrack of my youth. Now, they offer more than just an entertaining interlude in Disney’s feature length animated movies. Now, all of these songs offer wisdom, fond recollection, and solace.