04/28/2013 09:13 am ET Updated Jun 28, 2013

A Walking Playlist


It's early in the morning, and you're off to start the daily grind. Playlist selection is crucial to alter your mood -- from groggy to human in a pre-caffeinated state -- and ultimately to shape your day.

I am lucky enough to walk to work, but the sentiment of this playlist can fit swimmingly into any type of commute, let it be heard by bus, subway or scooter!

The early morning promises a new beginning, but even when the day has barely commenced, it's very possible to be grumpy. Missing the train, forgetting your phone (gasp!) or simply not being a morning person -- and for the very fortunate, a triumvirate of all three -- are just a few reasons of an infinite number that can leave you a little downtrodden in the a.m.

Enter music.

I amble to work accompanied by sounds that both excite and sympathize because, let's face it, sometimes you want the soundtrack of your day to seem profound and other times you just need to know it will get better. Filling your ears with sounds that signal potential experience or wonder allow you to find inspiration in the very world surrounding you. Tracks like these always instill a sense of marvel in the very remarkable city I inhabit -- rocking out to "Living For The City" in New York City is a must-try. Strolling around New York provides endless inspiration, and thus, I need an accompanying urban soundtrack that both thrills and comforts to enhace the experience.

But then there are those bitter days of uncertainty, the days your dread before they begin, when you need the right music the most.

An appropriate mix of motivational songs to face the hours ahead, infectious beats to get your feet a-tappin and more contemplative tracks to reflect on the gravity of the moment and the day ahead. This playlist combines all of the above emotions in entirely random chronology. Moving is next to tragic is next to vague, because that is my brain on music.

I highly recommend starting any day off with the seminal work of Talking Heads "Road To Nowhere," because sometimes you might not end up where you thought you would, and embracing the idea is liberating. A little N.W.A action requires a purposeful, brisk walk, which translates splendidly into The Clash's catchy "Straight To Hell." Somewhere between Talking Heads and Bob Dylan you'll indubitably find something worthwhile to ruminate over. If you're looking to take a long walk in your spare time -- and walking provides numerous health benefits -- I use this playlist to bring more meaning to my environment and encourage you to look around and explore your neighborhood as well. Shift your gaze from straight ahead to above and beyond. You might be surprised by what you discover.

Talking Heads -- Road To Nowhere
Stevie Wonder -- Living For The City
Matt & Kim -- Cameras
N.W.A. -- Straight Outta Compton
The Clash -- Straight To Hell
Phantogram -- When I'm Small
Jay-Z -- On To The Next One
The Echo-Friendly -- Same Mistakes
LCD Soundsystem -- Tribulations
Talking Heads -- Once In A Lifetime
Joy Division -- Disorder
Cock Sparrer -- Riot Squad
Bob Dylan -- It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Cock Sparrer -- We're Coming Back
Jurassic 5 -- Concrete Schoolyard
The Notorious B.I.G. -- Ten Crack Commandments
Solomon Burke -- Cry To Me
The Kinks -- All Day And All Of The Night
Thom Yorke -- Black Swan
Hilltop Hoods --Chase That Feeling
Lil Wayne, Mannie Fresh -- This Is The Carter

For more playlists, click here.

For more by Lily Avnet, click here.