The 100 Most Motivating Workout Songs of All Time


By: , – With Melinda Hershey & Megan Patrick, Staff Writers
1/28/2014 5:00 AM   :  85 comments   :  1,213,537 Views

When it comes to motivational workout music, everyone likes something different. I know people who love to run to instrumental music, seemingly innocent friends who exercise to hardcore gangster rap, and people whose musical tastes in "real" life don't match up with the songs that inspire them to work out.

I like a huge mix. For me, almost anything that's catchy and has a good beat will work. But sometimes, you need something better than that. Sometimes you need the motivation to get off the couch, or go the extra mile, or push through that heavier lift, or muscle through your first marathon. When you really need a boost, what you need is an inspirational work out song.

Our editors and fitness experts compiled a list—130 songs to be exact—of songs that have fast beats worthy of exercising to, but also have motivational messages and lyrics.

These are great to listen to when you find yourself at a crossroads or needing that extra push. This list features everything from modern day pop songs to oldies to country to rap, so you're sure to find something that speaks to you. All of them have a positive message that will lift you up and inspire you to reach your fullest potential!
Links will take you to where you can preview or purchase the mp3. I also threw in just a few YouTube videos for some of my personal favorites, so you can listen to it right now.

The Best Motivational Songs That Will Inspire You to Work Out

12 Stones  -  We Are One
Ace of Base  -  Beautiful Life
Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire
"Looks like a girl, but she's a flame so bright
She can burn your eyes, better look the other way
You can try but you'll never forget her name
She's on top of the world..."

Angels & Airwaves - The Adventure
"Even if your hope has burned with time,
Anything that's dead shall be re-grown,
And your vicious pain, your warning sign,
You will be fine."

Aretha Franklin - Respect
Avicci  -  Wake Me Up
Basement Jaxx  -  Good Luck
Bastille  -  Pompeii
Bee Gees  -  Stayin' Alive
Beyoncé - Run the World
Bill Conti  -  Gonna Fly Now (theme from "Rocky")
Black Eyed Peas  -  I Gotta Feeling
Bon Jovi  -  It's My Life
Bon Jovi – Livin' On A Prayer
Britney Spears - Stronger
Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run
BT  -  Never Gonna Come Back Down
Calvin Harris  -  Let's Go

Capital Cities - Safe and Sound
"I could lift you up
I could show you what you wanna see
And take you where you wanna be
You could be my luck
Even if the sky is falling down
I know that we'll be safe and sound"
Christina Aguilera - Fighter
Classified ft. David Myles  -  Inner Ninja
Daft Punk  -  Harder Better Faster Stronger
Daft Punk  -  One More Time

David Guetta ft. Sia - Titanium
"I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium"

Des Ree  -  You Gotta Be
Destiny's Child  -  Survivor
Destiny's Child - Independent Women
DJ Khaled - All I Do Is Win
Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky

Elton John - I'm Still Standing
"Don't you know I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I'm still standing after all this time"

Eminem  -  Lose Yourself
Eminem  -  Til I Collapse

Eminem - Not Afraid
"I'm not afraid to take a stand
Everybody, come take my hand
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you're not alone"

Europe  -  The Final Countdown
Fatboy Slim  -  Wonderful Night
Fleetwood Mac  -  Go Your Own Way
Flo Rida  -  Good Feeling
Florence + the Machine  -  Dog Days are Over
Foo Fighters  -  Monkey Wrench
Fort Minor  -  Remember the Name

Fun. - Carry On
"If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone,
Carry on.
May your path be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground,
Carry on."

Fun. - We Are Young
George Michael  -  Faith
George Michael  -  Freedom
Gloria Gaynor  -  I Will Survive
Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder  -  The Fighter
Heather Small  -  Proud
Imagine Dragons  -  On Top of the World
Imagine Dragons - It's Time
James Brown  -  I Got You (I Feel Good)
Janelle Monáe  -  Tightrope
Jason Derulo - Undefeated

Jimmy Eat World - The Middle
"You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in
Live right now, yeah, just be yourself
It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else
It just takes some time
Little girl you're in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be alright, alright"

Jordin Sparks  -  You Gotta Want It
Journey - Don't Stop Believin'
Junior Senior  -  Move Your Feet
Kanye West  -  Stronger
Kanye West - All Of The Lights
Kanye West - Touch The Sky
Katrina & The Waves - Walking on Sunshine

Katy Perry - Roar
"I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar"

Katy Perry - Firework

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone"

Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
Kris Allen  -  Live Like We're Dying
Kristin Chenoweth  -  Defying Gravity (Wicked Soundtrack)
Labyrinth  -  Express Yourself
Lady Gaga  -  The Edge of Glory
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It
Lupe Fiasco - The Show Goes On

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton -  Can't Hold Us
"Raise those hands, this is our party
We came here to live life like nobody was watching
I got my city right behind me
If I fall, they got me.
Learn from that failure gain humility and then we keep marching ourselves
Can we go back, this is the moment
Tonight is the night, we’ll fight 'til it’s over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us
Like the ceiling can’t hold us"

Mandisa  -  Good Morning
Mandisa  -  Overcomer
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell - Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Matchbox Twenty - How Far We've Come
"I believe the world is burning to the ground
Oh well I guess we're gonna find out
Let's see how far we've come
Let's see how far we've come"

Matthew Wilder - Break My Stride
Mausi  -  Move
MC Yogi  -  Give Love
MercyMe  -  Move
Michael Jackson  -  Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Natasha Bedingfield  -  Pocketful of Sunshine
Natasha Bedingfield  -  Unwritten
Nelly - Heart of a Champion
Nelly - Warrior
New Radicals - You Get What You Give
"But when the night is falling and you cannot find the light
If you feel your dream is dying, hold tight
You've got the music in you
Don't let go
You've got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don't give up
You've got a reason to live
Can't forget you only get what you give"

No Doubt  -  It's My Life
NoNoNo  -  Pumpin Blood
One Direction - Live While We're Young
OneRepublic  -  Counting Stars

OneRepublic - Life in Color
"Well this is life in color
Today feels like no other
And the darkest grays
The sun bursts, clouds break
Well this is life in motion (motion)
And just when I could run this race no more
The sun bursts, clouds break
This is life in color"

OneRepublic - Good Life
Owl City - Good Time
P!nk  -  Raise Your Glass
Paolo Nutini - New Shoes
Passion Pit - Take a Walk
Paul Engemann  -  Push It to the Limit
Paul Van Dyk  -  Time Of Our Lives
Pharrell Williams  -  Happy
Queen  -  Don't Stop Me Now
Queen - We Are the Champions
Queen - We Will Rock You
R. Kelly -  The World's Greatest
Ricky Martin - The Cup of Life
Rihanna - Diamonds
Santigold - Unstoppable
Skillet  -  Hero
Snap - The Power
Stevie Wonder - Uptight (Everything's Alright)
Survivor  -  Eye of the Tiger
Swedish House Mafia  -  Save the World

Swedish House Mafia - Don't You Worry Child
"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."

T.I.  -  Live Your Life
Taio Cruz ft. Travie McCoy  -  Higher
The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize
The Killers  -  Human
The Matches  -  Wake The Sun
The Script - Hall of Fame
The White Stripes  -  Seven Nation Army
Timeflies  -  Worth It
Tinie Tempah ft. Eric Turner  -  Written in the Stars
Toby Mac  -  Get Back Up
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers  -  I Won't Back Down
Twisted Sister  -  We're Not Gonna Take It
Two Door Cinema Club  -  Something Good Can Work

U2  -  Beautiful Day
"It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day"

U2  -  Elevation
Van Halen  -  Jump

You may also like our best running songs of all-time.

What lyrics or songs motivate you the most during a workout?

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  • 85
    You can't beat "I will Survive" ! :) - 4/23/2016   10:45:33 AM
    I can work out with "Miami" from Will Smith and Blurred line, any time!
    - 4/19/2016   7:14:05 PM
    Looks like a lot of different music. Everyone should be able to find something. - 4/17/2016   12:33:33 PM
  • 82
    Don't know most of these songs. Give me classic 60's and 70' rock and country. And of course Garth, Reba and early Tim McGraw. Not to mention Phantom and Les Mis. - 4/9/2016   10:20:01 PM
  • 81
    I'm older than most of the Spark leaders - That Old Time Rock and Roll gets me going!! - 4/4/2016   11:08:27 AM
    I love when I have a good beat in my head, especially oldies! - 3/23/2016   2:59:08 PM
  • 79
    awesome list! Thank you so much for compiling this! - 2/12/2016   8:41:48 AM
    Great list - I had forgotten some of there. I would add "Fight Song" by Katy Perry. Gets me going every time I hear it. - 2/2/2016   12:38:03 PM
  • 77
    CC Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now - 12/27/2015   8:47:18 AM
  • 76
    Some of my favourites:
    Beastie Boys - Sabotage
    Bif Naked - I Love Myself Today
    The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
    Fitz and the Tantrums - The Walker
    Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker - Laces Out

    I like a really solid beat, and those always get me runninng a bit faster. :) - 12/8/2015   10:48:40 PM
  • 75
    Sublime- What I Got, Santaria, & Jailhouse, all good!!! - 12/8/2015   1:57:14 PM
  • 74
    I have a playlist on spotify that is for my cardio and for my weights. I plan on using them now. One of my favorite songs is I by Kendrick Lamar and Work B@$%h! by Brittany Spears. I have several others on that playlist, but those are the ones that stick out to me today. On other days, it may be another song that moves me more. - 12/8/2015   10:22:34 AM
  • 73
    It is good to see a list and hear some new songs that I haven't heard before. - 12/3/2015   5:20:34 PM
  • 72
    Thank you. - 11/23/2015   8:44:56 PM
  • 71
    The best motivational song ever is "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston which was recorded for the 1984 Summer Olympics in LA. I wish she had listened to this song herself - maybe it wouldn't have ended so terribly. A link to the official video is below.


    The related song is obviously John Williams' "Olympic Fanfare and Theme", also from the '84 Olympics.


    - 11/16/2015   2:24:08 PM
  • 70
    What about "Living in the Past" by Jethro Tull? - 11/10/2015   10:41:02 PM
  • 69
    Lots of great songs here! Good to see some of my favorites, too. Thanks for sharing this list. I'll be checking out some of the less familiar songs :) - 10/29/2015   9:36:05 AM
  • 68
    I am so ready for new music. I plan on making new playlists this weekend. - 10/28/2015   12:08:08 PM
  • 67
    Would love to hear from CAT-IN-CJ as to what her play list of moldy oldies - I am wanting to create one for the 70's... And for those who are into such things, I took all these songs and found them on Spotify. I've created the list and pretty much used the same title as on this blog (prefaced by "SP - " for SparkPeople). It should be searchable, as I've saved it as an open playlist. My user name on Spotify is MSDRPEPPER ... I am in the process of using these songs to also rebound to, as very often a song with a good running beat is useable for rebounding as well. Many of these songs I was not familiar with (particularly these from the 80's or 90's when I wasn't listening to radio as much, because of other issues in my life.). So I'll have to listen to these again and finetune lists. Oh....and the title says "The 100 most...." and I looked up each one of these. Spotify counts them as I add them to their list - and according to their list, there is 127 songs!! (I counted 128 manually, but I know I confused myself at points because the links with videos kinda threw off my rhythm.).

    Soooo there is like 8 hours of music - should keep you busy awhile!!
    Have fun! - 10/19/2015   11:41:44 PM
  • 66
    This is a pretty impressive list! I've picked out the ones that work for me and will add them to the list I've already got. Awesome! Thx. - 9/30/2015   1:51:22 PM
  • 65
    I admit I'm an old fogey . . . I've got my own list . . and I love it. oldie moldy goldies . . . - 9/23/2015   10:36:10 AM
  • 64
    I admit I'm an old fogey . . . I've got my own list . . and I love it. oldie moldy goldies . . . - 9/23/2015   10:36:10 AM
  • AUNTEEM5235
    Just my opinion but they are missing 2: Can you feel it by The Jackson's and someone else mentioned More by Usher. - 6/10/2015   12:04:14 PM
  • 62
    My favorite is Metallica - Seek & running song ever! :) - 6/2/2015   12:24:25 PM
  • 61
    IMHO the best, best, BEST song for people working out is 'Get on the Natch' from Boz Scaggs' album Dig.
    - 5/16/2015   4:50:47 PM
    i love this
    cs/sets/aesthetic-bodybuilding-and - 3/29/2015   2:46:22 PM
  • 59
    Kansas or Carlo Santana. The beat good for warming up. running hard and cooling down. - 3/14/2015   5:01:20 PM
  • 58
    Only 10 songs I actually like on there. What about some disco? Those songs usually have a fast beat. - 3/6/2015   8:47:12 PM
  • 57
    My current favorite is the theme from Mission Impossible, whether I'm working out or decluttering the house. When I'm finished I listen to We've only Just Begun to keep me mindful of the "forever" nature of what I'm doing. - 1/22/2015   10:16:29 AM
  • 56
    "More" by Usher is my absolute favorite. There's a line that says "I'm a beast, I'm an animal, I'm that monster in the mirror", and it gets me so amped for some reason! - 11/15/2014   10:28:09 PM
  • 55
    Anything from Machel Montano gets me pumping... if not, some updated Pop-Rock like Fall out Boys or Maroon 5. I had this Shania Twain CD that had me going for years - I think I'll drag that one back out! PINK is good for workouts too:) - 9/29/2014   3:14:24 PM
  • 54
    As someone who listens mostly to classical, showtunes/soundtracks, and country music, this list leaves me sad. Maybe a better title: Top 100 POP workout songs from the past three decades. I was glad to see conti's theme from Rocky (which is on my playlist) and defying gravity on your list but that's it for me. - 9/29/2014   7:05:09 AM
    Wow... I only have 1% on my own personal playlist. Many of these songs are just plain tired from being played constantly. Some even seem like they're only on the list because they're popular (lookin' at you, U2). Almost surprised "Let It Go" isn't on here for that reason. No accounting for musical tastes, perhaps. (This coming from the guy who has both Dragonforce and "Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: In the Hall of the Mountain King" on his playlist) - 9/29/2014   1:08:39 AM
  • 52
    Several I'll be adding to my list! - 9/20/2014   1:38:00 PM
  • 51
    Fantastic list glad i finally looked at it. I will be downloading all of them - 7/5/2014   11:47:04 PM
  • 50
    Kenny Loggins "Danger Zone" - no workout playlist is complete for me without it! - 6/23/2014   9:01:16 PM
  • 49
    Made a public playlist of these on Google Play. Called it "100 Most Motivating (Sparkpeople)". Feel free to search it and save it! - 5/12/2014   12:03:43 PM
    Best Day Of My Life by American Authors - 4/22/2014   5:23:45 PM
  • 47
    Could you develop a list of workout songs from the 50's and 60's for us older folks??? - 4/7/2014   2:32:21 PM
  • 46
    Great list of tunes! Thank you for compiling, I'll be adding several of these to my work-out playlist! - 2/28/2014   3:09:00 PM
    I love this list I would also include Sara's "Brave" for me. Wildpink3 - 2/18/2014   2:45:16 PM
  • 44
    I thought this was a very interesting article.I like the music above also, - 2/17/2014   9:57:01 AM
  • KAYCA73
    Did Mickey Mouse put this list together? I would fall asleep if I listened to most of this while I was working out. Best of all time? Um. No. - 2/16/2014   5:43:59 PM
    I like this set will save this email great styles - 2/16/2014   5:42:24 PM
  • 41
    not for me. Nothing from any of the bands I like (that probably had more #1 albums than any of these). There was hardly any classic rock on this list. I know I am not the only person who feels this way. And I make NO apologies for this.
    - 2/16/2014   4:10:07 PM
    None of my fav's are on here either. I enjoy several styles of music, 60's, 70's, 80's, Tejano, Pop, Rock, Country, like Brooks & Dunn, Dwight Yoakum, James Brown, disco & oldies songs like Wolly Bully, 96 Tears. Artists like Elvis, Rick Nelson, Creedence Clearwater, The Bee Gee's, The Stones, and one of my favorite songs to run to is 3 Doors Down's, "Kryptonite". - 2/16/2014   1:19:58 PM
    There were certainly some songs on here I missed and will add to my workout collection, but there are many that I have that are are essentially an injection of adrenaline. For example, Gonna Fly Now (Maynard Furgeson), Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (Elton John), Gotta Be Somebody (Nickelback), Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen), Take it Easy (The Eagles), All Heaven Broke Loose and Roll with the Changes (REO Speedwagon), The Fire Inside (Bob Segar) and Livin on a Prayer (Bonjovi). - 2/16/2014   1:16:49 PM
    This list is great and can't wait to add some of the songs to my ipod. I love to workout to music - nothing motivates me more. I love sixties music and have a lot on my ipod, but some other suggestions are Getting Stronger Every Day/Chicago, Just Dance/Lady Gaga, Mustang Sally/Commitments, All I Want for Christmas/Mariah Carey (seasonal I know, but it gets me going).
    - 2/16/2014   9:51:47 AM
  • 37
    All of these are good songs but not exactly work out songs for me . Were is I love the way you move. Or pink or avril lyvine or kc and the sunshine band. I need a kicking beat to feel good when I work out. What is great is everyone's idea of a good song is different . You have a wide variety for all - 2/16/2014   8:35:40 AM
  • 36
    Please keep the music playlist ideas coming! - 2/12/2014   5:11:18 PM

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