Why I Regret Using Spotify

Okay, so I claimed I wake myself up in the morning to workout, but I lied. I actually have help and owe more than a few people ‘thanks yous’  for getting my lazy ass out from my warm bed. These people have no idea how much they’ve motivated me over the years. Even on days I don’t think I’ll ever have enough energy to get going, they make it possible. And despite my desperate desire to be best friends with these people, they don’t know I exist…

Yeah, I’m looking at you Lana.

I’m talking about the musical artists in my life. When I’m feeling my most sluggish or unmotivated, all I really need is a good playlist to fire me up. I have study playlists, running playlists, dance around the house with my roommates playlists, long distance drive playlists – basically a song for every occasion. In my house, when you fall in love with a song, you play it on repeat for 24 hours a day until everyone in the house can’t stand it anymore and wants to throw you off a cliff. That song on repeat in the background right now is Worth Wondering by Bronze Radio Return. Better believe it’s soon going on the “NEVER LISTEN TO THIS SONG AGAIN” playlist.


Music has a way of defining memories and moments. So, like Carly, I decided to create a Appalachian Trail playlist – something to motivate me to climb that last mountain before camp or to savor while looking out over a spectacular view. While not everyone agrees with music on the trail, for me there will be times when music is the only thing that will get me (or keep me) going. 

What I thought would be an easy project has become quite difficult for a few reasons. First, turns out it’s just as hard to predict what music you’ll want on the trail as it is to predict what foods you’ll be craving. So, to cover all bases, I’ve created a mix with songs & tempos ranging from a bluegrass tribute to The Shins to Ellie Goulding’s electro-pop. I’m still constantly adding new songs to the list, but recently I’ve had to pause as I’ve run into a technical problem.


Horror among horrors, I’ve realized most of my music is on Spotify. I’ve fallen for the magic illusion of music streaming and now I don’t actually own any of the songs I listen to daily!! In “normal” society, this isn’t so much of a problem. It was amazing when services like Pandora and Spotify came about and we no longer needed to buy CDs or songs off iTunes to enjoy them. But, now, as I enter a world where phone battery is a precious commodity, I can’t expect to listen to my music on Spotify and still have enough battery to take that unpredictable black bear photo!! I’ve relied too heavily on a music service where I don’t actually own the music, and now I’m left scrambling.

In an attempt to solve this, I’ve purchased an mp3 player/recorder to store my audio. I’ve added a few audiobooks to the player – titles like Lean In, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Bossypants, & Moonwalking With Einstein – books I’ve been meaning to read and now find I will have the time to do so. What’s left to do is sort out this Spotify vs. mp3 dilemma. Not sure how the playlist will come together, but I’ve got to figure something out…

So I ask: How do you all feel about music on the trail? Are you/have you used an mp3 player or do you rely on services like Spotify on your phone?

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