The 100 Best Workout Songs from the '80s

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Today, I am happy to deliver the mother of all '80s music lists: 100 awesome '80s hits that are perfect for exercising.

There's a lot of variety here, from dance and pop hits to a little rap and rock. These are truly the best '80s workout songs of all time.

After I created this top 100 list, I asked members of, America's #1 weight loss and fitness website, to vote on their favorites, too. Find out which song took the top spot and whether your favorites made the list, and how you can download a brand new 60-minute cardio workout mix of the top 15 songs (as voted on by exercisers like you)!

Go ahead and make a new mixtape--er, I mean update your iPod or mp3 player--with a blast from the past using these "made in the '80s" tunes next time you exercise.

No. 1 Workout Song from the '80s:

Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1983)

No. 2: Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot (1980)
No. 3:  Survivor – Eye of the Tiger (1982)
No. 4: The B-52's – Love Shack (1989)
No. 5: Michael Jackson – Beat It (1982)
No. 6: Bon Jovi – Livin' on a Prayer (1986)
No. 7: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – I Love Rock N' Roll (1982)
No. 8: Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)
No. 9: Van Halen – Jump (1984)
No. 10: Journey – Don't Stop Believin' (1982)
No. 11: Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine (1983)
No. 12: Prince – Kiss (1986)
No. 13: Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal (1987)
No. 14: Kool and the Gang – Celebration (1980)
No. 15: Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (1983)

Download SparkPeople's 132-BPM 60-minute continuous cardio remix of the 15 most popular 1980s workout songs on iTunes for $9.99, or at for just $8.99!

Here's the rest of the list (in alphabetic order). Click on each link to listen to a preview (or purchase the mp3) at

A Flock of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away) (1982)
a-ha – Take On Me (1985)
The Bangles – Manic Monday (1986)
Billy Idol – Mony Mony (1981)
Billy Idol – White Wedding (1981) (1982)
Blondie – The Tide is High (1980)
Bobby Brown – My Prerogative (1988)
The Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star (1981)
Cameo – Word Up! (1986)
The Cars – Shake It Up (1981)
Culture Club – I'll Tumble 4 Ya (1982)
Culture Club – Karma Chameleon (1983)
The Cure – Just Like Heaven (1987)
David Bowie – Let's Dance (1983)
David Bowie – Modern Love (1983)
Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) (1985)
Depeche Mode – Just Can't Get Enough (1981)
Depeche Mode – People Are People (1987)
Deniece Williams – Let's Hear It for the Boy (1984)
Duran Duran – Girls on Film (1981)
Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf (1982)
Duran Duran – Rio (1982)
Eddie Money – Take Me Home Tonight (1986)
Eddy Grant – Electric Avenue (1983)
Erasure – A Little Respect (1988)
Falco – Rock Me Amadeus (1986)
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax (1983)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes (1984)
The Gap Band – You Dropped a Bomb on Me (1982)
George Michael – Faith (1987)
The Go-Go's – Our Lips Are Sealed (1981)
The Go-Go's – Vacation (1982)
The Go-Go's – We Got The Beat (1981)
Grandmaster Flash – The Message (1982
Guns N' Roses – Paradise City (1987)
Guns N' Roses – Sweet Child O' Mine (1987)
Guns N' Roses – Welcome to the Jungle (1987)
Janet Jackson – Control (1986)
Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation
Kenny Loggins – Footloose (1984)
Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen (1982)
Madness – Our House (1982)
Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride (1983)
Madonna – Borderline (1983)
Madonna – Holiday (1983)
Madonna – Into the Groove (1985)
Madonna – Like a Prayer (1989)
Madonna – Lucky Star (1983)
Madonna – Material Girl (1984)
Madonna – Papa Don't Preach (1986)
Men At Work – Down Under (1981)
Michael Jackson – Bad (1987)
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (1982)
Michael Jackson – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) (1982)
Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (1982)
Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)
Naked Eyes – Always Something There to Remind Me (1983)
New Kids on the Block – Hangin' Tough (1988)
New Kids on the Block – You Got It (The Right Stuff) (1988)
New Order – Blue Monday (1982)
Pat Benatar – Love is a Battlefield (1983)
Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl (1988)
Paula Abdul – Opposites Attract (1988)
Philipp Bailey ft. Phil Collins – Easy Lover (1985)
Prince – 1999 (1982)
R.E.M. – It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) (1987)
R.E.M. – Orange Crush (1988)
R.E.M. – Stand (1988)
Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up (1987)
Rob Base – It Takes Two (1988)
Sammy Hagar – I Can't Drive 55 (1985)
Scorpions – Rock You Like a Hurricane (1984)
Shannon – Let the Music Play (1983)
Sheila E. – The Glamorous Life (1984)
Soft Cell – Tainted Love (1981)
Talking Heads – Burning Down the House (1984)
Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam (1989)
Tone-Loc – Wild Thing (1989)
Toni Basil – Mickey (1982)
U2 – New Year's Day (1983)
U2 – Pride (In the Name of Love) (1988)
U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (1983)
Van Halen – Hot for Teacher (1984)
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun (1983)
Wham – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (1984)
Yaz – Situation (1983)

You might also like our 100 most motivating songs of all-time.

Are any of your '80s favorites missing from this list? Share them below!

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Thanks for the great blog! It brought a smile to my face just remembering all these songs-happy music! Love the picture, too; we had an 80s party at my dance studio a couple of months ago and I had to do a double take because it looks so much like one of the instructors. My only gripe-no Stray Cats! It's hard to NOT move to "Rock This Town"! Report
i like it!
I think I have the majority of these on my iPOD...I love 80s music....hmmm perhaps I am dating myself

Too bad Bow wow wow...W.O.R.K isn't on there... Report
LOL, this is my daughter's playlist! Then and now! And no Cher! If I could turn back time from '89 is one of my favorite workout songs. Report
Great List! The really sad thing is that I HAVE a lot of these songs on my iPod. I am going to make me a new mix today! This will be a great playlist to take on vacation for my morning hikes! Thanks!
I LOVE 80's MUSIC!! Report
love this list. Thanks
I love the 80's music. People at work make fun of me! Report
I have to say, i just purchased this playlist and am BITTERLY disappointed that the songs are not by the original artists - not cool at all! Report
How about BoneyM - daddy Cool and Sunny?
Abba - Money money money, Gimme gimme
And all the OST for "Top Gun"? Report
Almost all 80's songs work for great workouts. I love it.

Kaijagoogoo is missing. "Too Shy" and "Do I" are good ones! Report
Where is ACDC and Def Leppard? Report
I think I have most of these songs on my iPod! Child of the 80's here!

I would add to the list a couple of my current 80's shuffle songs-
Simple Minds-Alive and Kicking
Thompson Twins-Hold Me Now
Pet Shop Boys-What Have I Done to Deserve This & West End Girls
General Public-Tenderness
Bananarama-Cruel Summer

Dang, I have so many! Report
Love the 80's Music !!!!!
Specially Freestyle Music ! Memories of my childhood growing up.... 80's Rocked !!! Report
Missing songs from Def Leppard and Top Gun Soundtrack!! Report
LOVE that my guys, New Kids on the Block on here! Report
Thanks for the list and the memories! Report
What about (micki your so fine you blow my mind)
hey micki
I didn't catch if someone else recommended it already, but for an up-beat, fun song to exercise with:

Dancing with Myself - Billy Idol
@ DETERMINED569, I was about to type in Maniac and What a feeling and saw you noted them both down lol. I was wondering the same thing. Those 2 songs get me imagining Im the best dancer in the world getting filmed for a remake of Flashdance haha. Report
Only one song from Motley Crue?!?! Report
Lots of great songs! Report
I have a lot of these songs. Maybe it would help if I were to put them all on a playlist... Report
deleted Report
I wish I knew the new technologies! especially the MP3 type, I always work out better to music! Report
For me, all I have on my MP3 player is Bruce Springsteen-nothing like Dancing In The Dark :) Report
We voted on these about 3 - 5 weeks ago, right? I can't remember the timeline, but I wrote this on the blog when we voted -

WHERE'S DEVO'S "WHIP IT"?!?!?!?! Quintessential 80's song right there. Report
Ok really why is Maniac, What A
Feeling & Venus not on here? Why? And I see you have alot of Michael Jackson but why No Janet you know like Control Pleasure Principal, I mean really come on now these songs should of been on this list too! Im soo glad you finally listened & added Eurthymics & Footloose finally! Report
Good job, I guess I wasn't the only one asking for an 80's list. Report
I blogged about a better list just a couple of days ago. My intellectual property! I've been plagarized! Check my blog.

I miss the 80s music - it was always such FUN music. I was an 80s child and love grabbing other people's mixes to switch things up.

Another song that is great to move to is: Mirror in the bathroom - English Beat. Joe Jackson's Steppin Out also has a great fast beat to keep you motivated! Report
Where is Joe Esposito's "You're the Best" from the Karate Kid? If this was just iconic 80s songs, I could see leaving it off, but as a workout song it is fantastic! I start every workout with it! Report
I don't see air supply's songs
without you, chances, all out of Love
Lost in Love, Someone
these are good songs. Report
These songs are great thanks Nicole! Report
Not listed would like to see:
Freeze Frame, 867-5309/Jenny, Maneater, Gloria, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Centerfold, Funkytown, Ghostbusters Report
Bought it and love it too, especially when shuffled in with my other workout playlist. Report
I bought it and love it. Report
I love most of those songs!! I used to work out with my mom and we would listen to most of them :D Report
Go 80's GO!!! Report
...Am I the only person who works out to Man In Motion (St Elmo's Fire)?! Thought for sure it would be on the list. Report
Gotta love the 80's Hair Bands! Report
Gotta add the Vision Quest soundtrack (1985)......some great workout songs on that one!!!
I counted 34 tunes that I would listen to, anytime. Good pics,, no oldies though,,, NO led Zep? NO Deadies tunes? Overall, a pretty good list.. Report
Reading over this list of songs from the 80's is making me some serious flash backs to playing four years of basketball and listening to these songs during warm-ups and practices. I have many of the songs already but I'm just happy that I still don't have 80's hair!! Report
I remember working out with Jane Fonda in the 80's. I had a step video she did. It was fun. Report
Some great tunes here!! Finally!!!!! :-) Report
The problem I have with the mixes that Sparkpeople puts out is that they do not use the original artists--I realize that this would be more costly, etc. But my point is, when I vote on a song, I am voting on the combination of the song AND the artist.

Listening to a beloved song sung by someone else is like eating a favorite sandwich with different condiments--it's just not the same and you are left unsatisfied. Report
I love the 80s music!!! Report
This is exactly my era - I loved growing up in the 80s and was a huge music fan.
Having looked at the list I can honestly say I recognise every track on there.
Am very tempted to download the workout now! Report
I already have many of these songs on my MP3 player. Report
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