Here Are 50 of the Best Workout Songs to Get You Motivated

18 minute read

With the thrill of New Year’s resolutions behind us and a long winter ahead, it can be hard to keep going with workout goals. But sometimes, all you need is the right song to give you the push you need to keep at it — whether running, biking or weight lifting. TIME is here to help with an essential workout playlist: a mix of songs that are tried-and-tested crowd favorites and some deeper cuts worth your attention from recent years and beyond. Normani’s “Motivation,” Lizzo’s “Good As Hell” and Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” are just the beginning; from hip-hop to classic rock to EDM, there’s a little bit of everything.

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“Getting on a treadmill or a bike or going for a run is a very solo activity, so having an artist sing to you along the way can be reassuring,” Spotify’s trends experts Shanon Cook told TIME about the popularity of music in getting people going with their fitness routines.”Music can help you find your rhythm or help you set your pace.” From motivational lyrics to driving beats and tunes that bring back good memories, it’s no secret that music has power in helping you stay on track.

We sorted through hundreds of tunes to select the critical picks that help us get our hearts pumping at fitness classes or while working out solo. The end result: a list of 50 of the songs that are best used for motivating you while working out — whatever the activity, from running to weight-lifting to getting in your crunches. As Cook says, “every person’s different, and every person’s going to listen to different types of songs when they’re working out.” But certain things are nearly-universally appealing, like hip-hop jams. And certain songs, like Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” (Spotify’s most popular workout-related tune for four years in a row), Kanye West’s “Stronger” and Survivor’s perennial classic “Eye of the Tiger” remain favorites across the board. Others — a Ricky Martin deep cut, some Brazilian baile funk and even a K-pop track — might be new surprises for the casual listener. Turn on the music and turn up your heart rate.

These are the 50 best workout songs.

50. “FU,” Miley Cyrus feat. French Montana

Miley Cyrus‘ 2013 album Bangerz was an interesting experiment in genre mixing; there’s country, EDM, pop and rap all wrapped up in one project. What Cyrus brings to everything is her signature personality and bold vocals. On “FU” with rapper French Montana she holds nothing back. The result is a cheeky kiss-off over a gritty dubstep beat that’s certain to get you moving.

49. “I Don’t Care,” Ed Sheeran feat. Justin Bieber

“We at a party we don’t want to be at” is not a particularly inspiring sentiment, true. But the hollow, insistent drumbeat of Sheeran and Bieber’s 2019 collaboration will get under your skin; there’s a reason Sheeran remains a chart mainstay. The thought behind the song works for any kind of workout, too: just keep going and put up with the situation and you’ll get through it.

48. “My Oh My,” Camila Cabello feat. DaBaby

Camila Cabello has an instinct for wildly catchy Latin-inflected riffs; chart hits “Havana” and “Señorita” are proof of that. “My Oh My” is a little slower but just as effective, dark and brooding with its echoing chorus and her own intensity. Throw in the joyful rhymes of DaBaby, and suddenly it’s a track with extra kick to help you keep pumping.

47. “Raising Hell,” Kesha feat. Big Freedia

Kesha‘s latest phase is full of exuberance: “Raising Hell” sees her having an absolute blast over a bouncy bass, with an assist from Big Freedia. Her tendency to love a chanted chorus makes it easy to sing along to as well, which might help when you need that extra workout boost.

46. “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” Ava Max

Albanian-American pop star Ava Max can’t help but make catchy songs (see: breakout hit “Sweet But Psycho”). “Blood, Sweat & Tears” riffs off of a playground chant but ends up as a driving anthem that parallels the concept of working hard quite nicely.

45. “God Is a Dancer,” Tiësto and Mabel

English singer Mabel brings soulful vocals to this fast-paced electronic track from Dutch DJ and producer Tiësto. “Keep that pace… take it step by step,” Mabel sings, appropriately for any workout: its consistency makes it an ideal jam for the gym.

44. “I Win,” Lethal Bizzle feat. Skepta

British grime artist Lethal Bizzle’s anthemic, confident “I Win” starts with punch and never lets up. If positive self-talk were enough to get you through a workout, then “I Win” would be all you need to hit every goal.

43. “Don’t Stop the Music,” Rihanna

“Don’t Stop the Music” came out back in 2007, but it’s Rihanna’s gift that keeps giving. Intense from the get-go, there’s something about the directness of its bassline that resonates no matter what. Plus, as it builds to its big chorus, it’s impossible not to find the beat of whatever you’re doing.

42. “…Ready For It?,” Taylor Swift

Swift’s 2017 self-referential album Reputation was filled with intensely anthemic pop; “…Ready For It?” has the biggest drop, the most hard-charging beat and the most soaring chorus, making it the best of the workout options.

41. “Jungle,” X Ambassadors feat. Jamie N Commons

The last decade’s update to Queen’s “We Will Rock You” came in the form of “Jungle” from rock band X Ambassadors and soul singer Jamie N Commons: a hand-clap, foot-stomping, bluesy song with searing guitar and reverberating intensity. It feels like the soundtrack of the best scene in an action movie; it should certainly do the trick at a workout.

40. “Mic Drop (Steve Aoki Remix),” BTS

There’s a reason K-pop supergroup BTS inspires such avid fandom: hits that range from sweet ballads to intense tracks like “Mic Drop” off their record-breaking album Love Yourself: Answer, which seamlessly mixes their prodigious rapping skills with dance beats and a dark, catchy edge. Steve Aoki’s remix adds extra oomph to a song that already hit hard. (Also inspiring: the sharp choreography in the music video.)

39. “Survivor,” Destiny’s Child

A classic Destiny’s Child banger, “Survivor” is the kind of workout song you need when you’re getting close to reaching your limit. Singing along to “I’m a survivor, I’m not gon’ give up, I’m not gon’ stop, I’m gon’ work harder” is the ultimate boost. Thank you, Beyoncé, Kelly and Michelle.

38. “On the Ball,” Bryce Vine

Breezy and bright with a surf-rock vibe, Bryce Vine’s “On the Ball” is exactly what it says it is: a celebration of being on top of things. Vine oozes confidence over the pop-rap beat, making it perfect for soundtracking a workout.

37. “BOP,” DaBaby

Rapper DaBaby was one of 2019’s biggest breakout stars, a vivacious presence in whatever music he popped up in with a distinctive, fast-paced flow. His “BOP” is just that: over a wavering flute, DaBaby comes out swinging with his infectious energy.

36. “Giant,” Calvin Harris feat. Rag’n’Bone Man

“I am giant, stand up on my shoulders, tell me what you see” — that’s the uplifting refrain in Scottish DJ Calvin Harris’s latest hit, backgrounded by bold horns and a soulful beat. In other words, it’s a great jam for hitting the gym with.

35. “Work From Home,” Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign

Fifth Harmony may have broken up, but “Work From Home” — their blockbuster hit as a group — is still one of the catchiest pop releases of the 2010s. And it is technically about “working,” (right?) which makes it even better for a workout.

34. “Satisfaction,” Benny Benassi

Italian DJ Benny Benassi’s debut single “Satisfaction” may be from 2002, but its sticky electronic beat is both sonically pioneering and deeply, yes, satisfying. With a chorus that repeats “Push me,” what better to keep you in the workout game?

33. “Trampoline,” SHAED feat. ZAYN

Who knew a trampoline would be such a compelling song subject? Indie pop trio SHAED started things off and tapped Zayn for a later remix of their viral hit; the result is a dance-pop track that’s heavy on the down-beat, spare with its production choices and intense with its focus.

32. “War Paint,” FLETCHER

Viral 2015 hit “War Paint” is one of those soaring pop anthems that can’t help but get people to their feet. With bouncy percussion and a rollicking, uplifting chorus, it’s a perfect workout track: “Bring the big guns out,” singer Fletcher insists. “Watch me put my war paint on.”

31. “Stronger,” Kanye West

One of only a handful of songs that speak directly to the physical experience of working out, West’s seminal hit “Stronger” was born to soundtrack the hardest parts of your time in a gym.

30. “Vai Malandra,” Anitta, MC Zaac and Maejor feat. Tropkillaz and DJ Yuri Martins

A heavy hitting squad of Brazilian artists and one American — starring Anitta — came together for the baile funk alchemy that is “Vai Malandra.” With its juicy, consistent beat — and lyrics that translate roughly to “go on with your bad self” — it’s like a shot of saucy energy straight to your veins.

29. “No New Friends,” LSD

LSD is the supergroup consisting of pop mastermind Sia, hitmaking DJ Diplo and producer-singer Labrinth; with that DNA, their collaborative work was always destined to basically be a series of pure bangers. “No New Friends” from their 2019 group project is big, bold pop with heavy percussion and a melodic chorus: an ace for workout pump-ups.

28. “Rock It,” Ofenbach

Sometimes you just need a consistent beat that is exactly right for the treadmill. That would be “Rock It,” from French DJ duo Ofenbach. It’s bright and layered, just distracting enough to keep you interested but insistent enough to help you keep the pace. And with “get in the groove” as its refrain, it’s right on theme for a workout, too.

27. “Bruised Not Broken,” Matoma feat. MNEK and Kiana Ledé

For an uplifting boost while putting in the gym work, look to MNEK: a sought-after pop producer, his own work is anthemic in nature, often focused on self-empowerment. “Bruised Not Broken” is that perfect mix of syrupy pop instincts mixed with clubby beats thanks to producer Matoma and inspiring lyrical content.

26. “Bring Em Out,” T.I.

Back in 2004, this was rapper T.I’s big hit (thanks in no small part to a Jay-Z vocal sample that kicks things off). Today, it’s a workout soundtrack mainstay thanks to that dancefloor-ready beat and motivational energy.

25. “Jumpin Jumpin,” Destiny’s Child

“Ladies leave your man at home,” the women of Destiny’s Child told us smartly all the way back in 1999, “because it’s 11:30 and the club is jumpin, jumpin.” It was a hype song then, and it holds up twenty years later. The elliptical may not be the club, but we can certainly pretend it is.

24. “Higher Love,” Kygo feat. Whitney Houston

“Higher Love” has a long history: it was originally released by Steve Winwood, with Chaka Khan vocals, in 1986 — and nabbed him a Record of the Year back then. Whitney Houston put out her own cover in 1990, but with a limited release. It became a Billboard hit again just last year, and one of Spotify’s most popular workout tracks, when Norwegian DJ Kygo gave it a tropical house spin in a production that chops up the spiritually-attuned song into a club-ready dance tune. Resonant and soaring, thanks to Houston’s powerful voice, it’s hard not to feel the spirit.

23. “I Like It,” Cardi B feat. J Balvin and Bad Bunny

Arguably 2018’s song of the summer, “I Like It” is festive and fun-loving, thanks in part to its immediately memorable boogaloo beat, the contributions of fellow Latin stars J Balvin and Bad Bunny and Cardi B‘s singalong-ready chorus.

22. “La Mordidita,” Ricky Martin

This under-appreciated Latin jam is one of Ricky Martin’s best (yes, that Ricky Martin), thanks to its effervescent salsa beat.

21. “Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish is arguably 2019’s biggest star. Her number-one hit off her 2019 debut album proves why. Produced with her brother Finneas, it’s dark and quick with a juicy toe-tapping beat that’s just right for working out. The jazzy riffs and background snaps make it fun; the lyrics and vocal inflections make it memorable.

20. “Numb/Encore,” Linkin Park feat. Jay-Z

This 2004 cross-genre collaboration between rock band Linkin Park and rapper Jay-Z has stood up to the test of time as a tried-and-true workout hit. “What the hell are you waiting for?” is as good of a pump-up mantra as any, but it’s the unusual mashup of Linkin Park’s melodic punk and Jay’s rapping that gives the song its staying power.

19. “Purple Hat,” Sofi Tukker

Electronic dance duo Sofi Tukker have never been afraid to have fun with their music, taking cues from global musical cultures to make tracks that are bold and party-ready. “Purple Hat,” their 2019 hit, throws in some rock ‘n’ roll for a fresh take. It’s hard not to want to move to its insistent beat.

18. “Work B-tch,” Britney Spears

What Ms. Spears wishes becomes our command. “Work B-tch” reminds you that if “you want a hot body?” there’s only one way to get there: work… hard work. The song was a 2013 hit on Spears’s eighth album, but it’s seminal in its exhortation to keep grinding for what you want.

17. “Sicko Mode,” Travis Scott

Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” is the rapper at his slickest; it also became his first Hot 100 number-one in 2018. (The fact it features Drake doesn’t hurt.) But what the song does most unusually is mix and match samples and styles, creating an eclectic track that keeps things interesting — all over a driving, gritty beat.

16. “On My Way,” Tiësto feat. Bright Sparks

This peppy EDM tune from Dutch DJ and producer Tiesto has a message that matches perfectly with the fitness journey. Play it when you’re hitting your stride.

15. “Paint It Black,” Rolling Stones

The ultimate Rolling Stones song, “Paint It Black” starts with that meandering, hypnotic intro before building into a fiery rock ‘n’ roll hit with a steady beat that’s great for pounding pavement when you need to keep the tempo up.

14. “Lean On,” Major Lazer, MØ and DJ Snake

After its release in 2015, the EDM-moombahton track “Lean On” became Spotify’s most-streamed song in the world. (Drake would later beat it with “One Dance.”) But its catchy mix of a stretchy beat and Swedish singer MØ’s emphatic vocals keep it in heavy rotation as a motivational song for the ages.

13. “Level Up,” Ciara

What’s more motivational than Ciara asking us to “level up?” Probably her music video for the track, which shows off Ciara’s jaw-dropping dancing ability — a motivating factor, to be sure. The song is fast-paced and perfectly timed for a workout; even better, it also kicked off a viral challenge that was about not only dancing but also figuring out ways to “level up” in your own life.

12. “Believer,” Imagine Dragons

Heavy drumbeats and a driving, anthemic chorus give this song its immediate pump-up power from rock show mainstays Imagine Dragons, led by their energetic frontman Dan Reynolds. It was inescapable on the radio and in ads in 2017 for a reason, and was further boosted by a 2019 remix.

11. “Good As Hell,” Lizzo

Lizzo became TIME’s Entertainer of the Year in 2019, but “Good as Hell” has been around since 2016: a soulful, uplifting song about realizing independence. “Baby, how you feeling? Feeling good as hell!” works as one of the most joyful affirmations in recent pop history, and made its way up the Billboard charts in 2019 upon its re-release as a single. It’s also a perfect tune to work out to, as it turns out; Lizzo preaches a gospel of body positivity, making every line a celebration of exactly where you’re at, not where you’re going.

10. “La Romana,” Bad Bunny feat. El Alfa

When Puerto Rico’s Bad Bunny surprise-released an album on Christmas of 2018, it was the ultimate gift for fans. From pop-punk to reggaeton balladry, his music spans sounds — but “La Romana” is the most hard-charging hit of the bunch, with a deeply satisfying rhythm. And when it switches gears halfway through to feature rapper El Alfa, it only turns it into more of an intense track. Work out at your own risk.

9. “Wake Me Up,” Avicii

When Swedish DJ Avicii blended together a country melody and Aloe Blacc’s gruff, soulful vocals with his own bulletproof talent for EDM drops back in 2013, he was pioneering a new course for electronic music — and crafted a magically compelling hit. Seven years later, the insistent buoyancy of the song holds up.

8. “Vossi Bop,” Stormzy

British grime star Stormzy is known for charisma in his music. “Vossi Bop” is characteristic of what has made him a global hit: creative beats, brilliant rhyme delivery and a sense of fun over it all. The 2019 track took him to number one in the U.K. — his first time atop the charts — and taught the world about the viral “Vossi bop” dance.

7. “Dance Monkey,” Tones and I

Australia’s Tones and I broke through in 2019 with the debut viral hit “Dance Monkey,” a deeply infectious pop ballad with a catchy chorus that won’t quit. Naturally, that makes it a good fit for a workout (or a dance party).

6. “POWER,” Kanye West

West’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has long been a fan favorite. “Power” remains its most motivating anthem. Based on a handclap beat and cheerleading-style shouts, it’s a workout stalwart.

5. “Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa made a name for herself with juicy, often-empowering pop in 2017; her return in 2019 was kicked off with the forward-thinking, bouncy disco vibe of “Don’t Start Now,” a song that manages to be both delightfully independent in its message and club- or gym-ready in its beat.

4. “Con Altura,” Rosalía and J Balvin feat. El Guincho

“Con Altura” takes its name from a radio personality’s catchphrase, suggesting taking something to a new level. The collaboration between Colombian reggaeton master J Balvin and Spanish pop artist Rosalía, known for her flamenco style, did just that. It’s a hit with attitude, perfect for leveling up a workout’s intensity.

3. “Eye of the Tiger,” Suvivor

“Eye of the Tiger” is one of those songs that just gets the people going. (Thanks, Rocky.) Don’t fight it; assume your best all-or-nothing attitude as soon as the early strums start, and keep going.

2. “Motivation,” Normani

Normani’s breakout single “Motivation” does exactly what the song title suggests: works as a fun dance song with a catchy, motivating beat. It doesn’t hurt that the accompanying music video shows the former Fifth Harmony singer and Dancing with the Stars favorite breaking it down with some seriously impressive moves. Motivation, indeed.

1. “Till I Collapse,” Eminem

One of Eminem’s big hits also happens to be a pep talk. “When you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up,” he intones, “but you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength.” Then he blasts off. When the going gets hard, Eminem is here to take you through to the finish line — whatever the workout, whatever the challenge.

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