What’s on Your Workout Playlist?

The Best Workout Playlist

Now and again, a friend will hint at the sordid things they would hate for someone to discover in the event of an untimely death. I have no such things. I do, however, have one really embarrassing one: my workout playlist…

It is my personal belief that workout music is most effective when it falls into one of two categories: powerful and uplifting, or else something so cheesy you’d never admit to listening to it. I’m talking the kind of tune that, should someone hear even the slightest suggestion of it coming out of your headphones, would induce total mortification and complete denial.

In the very best cases, a song can be both.

Of course, the cheesiness of a song is completely subjective. What’s important is how it feels to you. For me, the epitome of ridiculousness is listening to Eye of the Tiger during runs. The lyrics are bonkers (what is “the kill with the skill to survive?”) and I am so not Rocky. It never fails to make me laugh.

“I always listen to Meghan Trainor,” says one friend. “On a recent run, I was listening to Dear Future Husband at a stop light, and I suddenly realized I was dancing around.”

“I only use Spotify while I’m at the gym. As a result, I’m terrified that someone will see my ‘curated for you’ playlists on Spotify and think that’s actually my taste in music,” laughs Allie. So, what exactly is on these playlists? “Katy Perry’s Firework features prominently.”

Just last night, while I waited for a fitness class to begin, the instructor plugged her phone in to cue the night’s music, and the most recently played song came blaring out of the studio speakers. It was “Rhythm of the Night” by Corona — the poster child of 90s dance compilations. She immediately turned it off, but my soul heard that one verse and went, “YES!” This is the epitome of a good workout song.

Naturally, different songs are good for different activities — upbeat anthems for high impact routines; and more methodical beats for long runs.

I’ve been coasting along with the same playlist I’ve had for ages. There is a musical cameo from the Hamilton soundtrack as well as soulful offerings from Laura Mvula and a healthy dose of Sia.

Does it also feature songs from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack? I don’t know! Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t!

I have a half marathon coming up in March, and it will be of the utmost importance that my music is on point. (To anyone who is like, “I run to the sound of my own breath,” I salute you, but I most certainly am not you.) And so, I need help making the most epic workout playlist that has ever been.

For the collective good, I implore you: What do you listen to when you run, dance, or clean up around your home (this, too, is cardio)? What songs help you go the extra mile?

P.S. The art of (bad) running and the best YouTube exercise videos.

  1. Sumerset says...

    My playlist is now a thousand times more embarrassing and I’m loving every minute of it.
    I’ve never even seen The Greatest Showman, but I’ve been spinning around at red lights to This Is Me.
    as for myself:
    i, Kendrick Lamar
    money maker, Ludacris
    gold, Kiiara
    the call, SACRE
    nobody speak, DJ Shadow, Run the Jewels.
    still I rise, Thutmose

  2. Susannah says...

    Marine Corps running cadences for me! You can hear footsteps to keep you in a rhythm and the words are at once ridiculous and inspiring. What’s tougher than a Marine? Not much. I’m sorry to my neighbors for how frequently I shout the responses to the drill instructor, but it’s worth it for how much it’s helped my postpartum body get strong again.

  3. annette says...

    BTS, the korean boyband, songs! Their music is so diverse, upbeat, and it doesn’t bother me to understand the lyrics as long as I can dance to them.

  4. Jessica says...

    Ummmm I know EXACTLY what song you’re talking about from the fifty shades of grey soundtrack…WORKOUT GOLD!!

    A smattering I love:

    Now I’m in it–HAIM
    A sky full of starts–COLDPLAY
    Never let me go–COLDPLAY
    Walk me home–PINK
    Missed Connection–HEAD AND THE HEART
    Delicate–TAYLOR SWIFT
    Weird one but I swear by it: 8 (circle)–BON IVER
    Possible all time favorite: Don’t Let me down–CHAINSSMOKERS

  5. ANA says...

    I listen to so many kinds ,genres of music …i often think I am the only one on this planet to enjoy such a wide range of rythms and I really love that abouy myself.
    So…i ll go by flashes in my mind…music that lifts me up:
    1. Don’t stop me now, Queen
    2. Pump up the jam, Technotronic
    3. Rythm is a Dancer, Snap!
    4. It’s like that, Run DMC
    5. U can’t touch this, MC Hammer
    6. Highet love, Whintey
    7. Push it, Salt’n’pepa
    8. Free your mind, En vogue
    9. Let me blow your mind, Eve ft. Gwen
    10. Pon the flor, Major Lazer
    11. Kamphopo,
    12. Party Rock Anthem, LMFAO
    13. Like a Sugar, Chaka Khan
    14. Don’t start now, Dua Lipa
    15. Italiana, Severina
    16. Moje leto, IN VIVO
    17. Da raskinem sa njom, CECA
    18. Ti se ljubis na tako dobar nacin – BAJAGA
    19. Tek je 12 sati – ET
    20. anything from our great Slovenian musician MAGNIFICO
    …for relaxation,relevation,for mindfulness and a deep good cry ZREJLO ZITO by VASKO ATANASOVSKI, VLATKO STEFANOVSKI

    I recommend to listen to everything from this list, especially from 15th on just to get to know to some foreign music which can be cheesy,funny and great too :)

    • Katie says...

      I just created a playlist using all these songs- fun!

  6. Kelly P says...

    I need something upbeat to power me through runs and lifting weights. Here are some of my faves:

    – Lose Yourself by Eminem
    – My Body by Young the Giant
    – Cabron by Red Hot Chili Peppers
    – Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
    – Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen
    – Run This Town by Jay-Z & Rihanna

  7. Emily J says...

    sabotage/ beastie boys
    mask off/ future
    show me how to live/ audioslave
    dance this mess around/ B52s
    one dance/ drake
    even flow/ pearl jam
    stand back/ stevie nicks
    been caught stealing/ jane’s addiction
    down by the river/ neil young (can’t explain it, makes me fast)
    KASHMIR / LED ZEPPELIN – you’ll rip up the asphalt!

  8. Emily J says...

    amen sister

  9. Liz says...

    Felt inspired by this post and all the comments to make a running playlist, added apeshit to it, listened to my new playlist for the first time today while out running, apeshit came on, I got super excited, ran SO FAST (for me), was thinking how awesome it was and looking forward to rocking my meet playlist during my next 5K race, but then like 5 minutes later I had to walk because I wore myself out. Haha. New runner problems.

  10. Rosie says...

    My trifecta is Robyn, Peaches, and Lizzo. Plus Because the Night by Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen.

  11. I’m in the same marathon. Training is long and boring so I’ve been catching up on radio or books. I like The Food program on BBC 4 or The Gardeners’ Question Time (I’m gardener) and Tana French. Also I like house music so its been Boo Williams or Black Coffee. Boo Williams took all the way through NYC Marathon. I also decided to discover new music so I’ve been listen to Russian tech/pop/rap music. Maybe I’ll be listening to Spanish music next week as I’m going to Spain.

  12. Rachel says...

    Apeshit – Beyonce and Jay-z
    We Appreciate Power – Grimes
    Fade – Kanye West
    Formation – Beyonce
    Hideaway – Kiesza
    Icy – Kim Petras
    Power Glide – Rae Sremmurd
    Mother’s Daughter – Miley Cyrus
    Work Bitch – Britney Spears

  13. Beastie Boys! And weirdly, I was on the treadmill and the gym pumped out Who Are You by The Who and I got into SUCH a runner’s high/rhythm I almost started crying. Talk about embarrassing! The beat was just perfect.

  14. Abie says...

    College student here! Seriously does no one here listen to raunchy rap while working out? For y’all who want to try something new:

    – i by Kendrick Lamar (single version)
    – Everyday by Logic
    – Good Ass Intro by Chance the Rapper
    – Blessings by Big Sean
    (and just for fun)
    – Godzilla by Eminem

    Pro tip: No one will interrupt you if you’re bumping Eminem and have your gym face on.

    • linda says...

      I’m 58 years old and I do! I love Marshall Mathers in spite of his naughtiness

  15. Ivy says...

    I have a few things to add on this subject, but first and foremost… the most life-changing workout playlist I heard was in a cardio barre class and it was a JT vs. JB theme. That’s right. Justin Timberlake vs. Justin Bieber. GUYS. IT. WAS. PHENOMENAL. I made my own JT vs. JB playlist after that night and it serves its purpose well.

    As corny as it sounds, “Run the World” by Beyonce has never failed to power me through a cardio burst. It really makes me believe I can do a-n-y-t-h-i-ng. Including burpees.

    • Millie says...

      Totally! When she sings, “Strong enough to bear the children and get back to business,” I do an air punch or two and kick my speed up a notch EVERY TIME!

  16. inna says...

    Ummm hello have you heard the new Rythym of the Night? “RITMO” By Black Eyed Peas?? There’s even a version with JLO and JBalvin!! Talk about a workout song playlist worthy!

  17. GaElle says...

    I turn to Britney when i need some boost :!
    Britney Spears : work bitch
    Britney and Scream and Shout

    • adrianna says...

      ALL. THE. BRITNEY!!!

  18. jill says...

    In the spirit of President Obama, please make your ultimate, perfectly curated playlist available to us all when it’s complete!

    • kd says...

      This. Please. :)

  19. gg says...

    Purple Hat by Sofi Tukker will you make you run SO FAST! Also YES to everyone who wrote Dance Monkey.

    Old School Cool Kids (e.g., Mikey Rocks, Bassment Party) is also great.

  20. laura says...

    I tried out a cycling class one time, though I didn’t realize it was “themed” until I got there. The theme was broadway. There I was, struggling to cycle, while all these fit men around me were keeping up and and loudly singing every lyric. My only regret was that I didn’t know more broadway and couldn’t partake in the karaoke. It’s one if those moments in life where you feel like maybe you accidentally stumbled into a movie and didn’t belong there. Though, I did thoroughly enjoy it, despite struggling to even breathe.

  21. almko says...

    Like potent seasoning, I use Greyhound by Swedish House Mafia sparingly for running. It amplifies runners high better than anything I’ve ever heard! I’m so scared I’ll get sick of it so I only use it when need that extra kick. Works every time.

  22. here are some mixed genre songs that keep me pumped, steady and feeling good while running at night.

    Im Every Woman – Chaka Khan
    Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
    Bitch – Meredith Brooks
    Crazy Youngsters – Ester Dean (Pitch Perfect OST)
    Ultra Violet- U2
    You Gotta Be- Desree
    Nothin on You – Bruno Mars
    Dancing on My Own – Robyn
    Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean
    Yellow – Coldplay
    UnderPressure – Queen feat. David Bowie
    IDGAF – Dua Lipa
    The Remedy – Jason Mraz
    Just a Girl – No Doubt
    Doo Wop (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill

    • Simone says...

      this Lust is perfect!

    • HaleyChanel says...

      This playlist is everything! love Robyn!

  23. Woah, I’m getting so many good suggestions from these comments. I’d like to add

    I think I’m Paranoid by Garbage
    Teardrop by Massive Attack for the cool down part of your routine.

  24. Jenna says...

    The Space Jam theme song is EXCELLENT and I believe falls into both of these categories.

    • Ivy says...

      Baller. Love it.

  25. Eilidh says...

    Caroline — do you have running headphones you recommend? I’m a new runner and in the market! Thank you <3

  26. J. M. says...

    At home with a sniffly little one and put this together during the naps! I definitely missed some (they didn’t come up in searches, for whatever reason, or I just missed them in the comments) but I think I got most. I did make an editor’s decision to leave off the 45-minute LCD Soundsystem track, and I didn’t include entire albums.

    CoJ readers love Beyonce and they REALLY love “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. There is some serious genre whiplash on the playlist, but I don’t agree that any of the songs are embarrassing! Just good fun.

    Perhaps ironically though, I did this while listening to a podcast…

    • V says...

      Thank you so much!

    • Heather says...

      Gah! I can’t believe you did this! It must have taken ages. Thank you so much!!

    • Ginny says...

      You’re amazing! Thank you!!

    • Michelle says...

      Bless you woman!

    • Megan says...

      So awesome of you!

  27. I typically listen to podcasts when exercising, unless I need that extra uplifting music… then its typically Black Eyed Peas for running, and some classic rock for lifting, like Green Day or GnR.

  28. OMGGG I love
    Mask Off – Future
    Ficcion – Costa, Bebe
    Dance Monkey – Tones and I (which is everywhere right now)

  29. dontlookatme says...

    I wanna dance with somebody – whitney houston
    booty – jlo
    hey mama – feat. nicki minaj, david guetta
    stronger – kanye
    holding out for a hero – glee
    lose my breath – destiny s child
    ride with me and country grammar – nelly (covering my eyes now)
    let me blow your mind – eve
    praise you – fatboy slim
    charlie’s angels soundtrack (the 00s movies)
    lose control – missy elliott
    can’t stop the feeling – justin timberlake
    Good feeling – flo rida

    • Haley says...

      Yesss to this playlist!!

  30. beth says...

    Years ago I had a dance teacher that always had us warm up with push-ups and sit-ups while listening to Beyonce’s Irreplaceable, and every now and then it will pop up on a playlist, and I immediately have an impulse to do sit-ups, ha

  31. Amy says...

    Greg Gillis aka GIRL TALK — album: All Day. It’s a free download on Girl Talk’s site. It’s a bunch of absolutely brilliant mash ups of 80’/90’s pop + early to mid 2000’s hip hop, C’MONNN!!! It’s so good.

    • Jenny says...

      Seconded! I also love that the songs just flow into each other for pacing purposes!

    • kd says...

      Third this. 100%. A go to for many years. Amazing mashups!!! :)

    • Rachel says...

      Yes yes yes! All Day is almost the only thing I listen to while running or at the gym. It’s perfect!

  32. Meredith says...

    Playlists! My favorite subject ever! So good for running: Florence + The Machine “Shake It Out” and Queen and David Bowie “Under Pressure”.

  33. Michelle says...

    As a fitness instructor (and always making playlists), this comment section is a gold mine. Thank you EVERYONE!!!!

  34. Jana says...

    I honestly marvel once a week at the perfect workout album Lizzo created. Just, wow.
    Missy Elliot is also a fabulous source of running tunes!
    And I like socca in the gym.

  35. Alexandra says...

    I LOVE listening to reggaeton/Latin trap while working out (think Bad Bunny, J. Balvin, etc.). It gives me such an energy boost and makes me want to dance… which can be a little embarrassing in the weight room. Lol.

    • Kim says...

      Work Bitch made me run my fastest marathon mile in last years NYC and it was mile 26! That song is magic.

      Also, for running, I feel it all, by Feist is great for the end of a long run, bc you do indeed, feel it ALL and Wildflowers by Tom Petty is great for the beginning. And Still Havnt Found by U2 makes me cry during races when I add it in.

      I feel like Running/Workout playlists are our true selves. It gets to the core of what motivates you to get up, keep at it and get you where you’re going. Cheers, Caroline, to your run!

  36. Marjan (the Netherlands) says...

    On some runs, I let the shuffeled playlist ‘dictate’ my run (most have a 170-180 bpm). My reliable gems:
    all my life – foo fighters
    wild horses – gino vanelli
    long blond animal – golden earring
    wide awake – katy perry
    always on the run – lenny kravitz
    chandelier – sia
    stronger – sugababes (for cooling down)

  37. Carol says...

    Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory. Wait for the the drop.

  38. A whole lotta Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. Not my typical everyday music at all. I have never been particularly pop-y. With a side of Hamilton.

    The first time I listened to Hamilton it was straight through during a 20-mile run when I was training for a marathon. I had to stop running to ugly cry at the end.

  39. Amanda says...

    this is bad, horrible actually… I listen to the anthem of my grade-school self…. Ace of Base, The Sign. The entire album has the perfect jogging/running beat for my speed.. lol

  40. Crystal says...

    Mistaken for Strangers – The National
    Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone – The Walkmen
    Rebellion (Lies) – Arcade Fire
    Ceremony – New Order
    Motherless Child – Romare
    Whiteout – Warpaint
    Wolf Like Me -TV on the Radio
    New Gold Dream – Simple Minds
    Transmission – Joy Division
    Disorder – Joy Division
    I Wanna Be Adored – The Stone Roses
    Lips Like Sugar – Echo & The Bunnymen
    Ageispolis – Aphex Twin

  41. Kristina says...

    Parov Stelar Clap your Hands
    My balet class teacher recently played it while doing some faster exercises at the beginning of the class! Just great!

  42. Paula says...

    Anything by Prince

    • Leah says...


  43. Lauren E. says...

    My workout playlist is all over the place, but one that never fails to pump me up is Bombs Over Baghdad by Outkast. It invigorates me like nothing else!

    • Jenn says...

      This is my go to as well! Always gets me pushing myself harder.

    • AMK says...

      Hey guurrrl yes!!! Bombs Over Baghdad all the way!!

  44. Jess says...

    We should never be embarrassed of what we listen to :) We’re so conditioned to be by music snobs but how crazy is it to think some sounds are better than others? haha it’s like taste buds :)

    • KJ says...

      I so agree with this and would expand not to be embarrassed by the books we read or shows we like. Let’s just like what we like.

      I’ll never forget my college roommate telling me a band was over as soon as it got a large audience and popular. She let silly rules about what’s “cool” determine what music was OK to listen to and what wasn’t.

      I’ll like something forever no matter what anyone else thinks. Which is why I still have a Celine Dion French CD and will not give that thing up for anyone, anytime!

    • Jane says...

      I so agree with this. The idea of bad taste is such an oppressive phenomenon. I’ve mostly lost the ability to feel joy over music because the people closest to me are taste snobs. I’m not particularly insecure otherwise but somehow this judgement is so difficult to shake even though I think it’s complete BS.

  45. Sarah says...

    Daft Punk! My cardio playlist is pretty diverse with Wilson Phillips, Macklemore, Katy Perry, Zac Brown Band and evening the Chemical Brothers. But I’m always happiest when I get one of their songs. Also, Rebellion by Acrade Fire is such a great running song.

  46. Sigrid says...

    Wow, I loved all of these comments!
    Here are some of my favorites for working out:
    Push it to the limit – Scarface loooove it
    Seven nation army
    Thousand foot krutch – scream, welcome to the masquerade, and move
    Trouble – neon jungle

  47. Sophie says...

    A recent addition to my running list is Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” – a coworker once shared the story of watching The First Wive’s Club with his sister growing up, how they’d belt out that song together, and how she’d declare that was going to be the song she walked down the aisle to when she got married someday ?. I think she went for something more traditional when that day came (missed opportunity!) but I loved the idea and decided that feminist anthem would be just as good as an “I can do hard things” running song when the legs are getting tired. It works!

    • Robyn says...

      Oh my God, I would LOVE to go to a wedding where some badass bride walked down the aisle to this! Might keep this in mind for if I ever get married…

      I love that song. A few years ago I got into the habit of sending a link of the First Wives dancing to this to my brother if he ever asked me to do anything (however simple and innocuous).

  48. I usually listen to audiobooks these days at the gym but I will admit I’d be embarrassed if someone saw what’s on my workout playlist. I have one that has some pretty dirty songs for when I really need to push through. To give you a taste of what I mean think David Banner’s Play.

  49. Maranda says...

    I use Aaptive for my Thursday interval runs and they have a Greatest Showman themed interval run that I LOVE to listen to. I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie, but when This is Me comes on I just sprint all out and feel so invincible.

    This is also a slightly embarrassing running song choice, but Power by Little Mix ft Stormzy is my POWER SONG! If I’m having a bad running day I immediately put it on and am ready to kick some ass.

  50. Kaitlin says...

    I will do dishes after a party if, and only if, you’ll let me blast show tunes. It’s how I’ve discovered many of my favourite musicals.

    My cardio of choice is running, and I have both a long run playlist – a lot of Americana, folk, and older rock music – and a list for tempo or speed runs. That one is full of fun and fast songs: Macklemore’s Can’t Hold Us, Shout, Harvey Danger’s Flagpole Sitta, Mamma Mia, Jimmy Eat World’s A Praise Chorus.

    I think that my Spotify data is probably the truest representation of myself: It’s not something that I put out there to share with others, nor is it really informed by the people around me (except for the frequency with which I listened to Baby Shark on repeat last year). It’s just out there in all of its Bruce Springsteen meets Coheed and Cambria meets Lizzo glory. And I really like that.

  51. TC says...

    Jihn Newman – Love ma again
    Robyn – Dancing on my own
    Dua Lipa – IDGAF
    Sia – Chip thrills
    Portugal – Feel it still
    The weeknd – Can’t feel my face
    Blinding lights
    Gossip- Move in zhe right direction
    La roux – bulletproof
    The ting tings – that’s not my name

    • Siobbahn says...

      good list — thank you!

  52. Ellen says...

    Let The River Run from the Working Girl soundtrack. It’s epic.

    • Siobbahn says...

      So agree!

    • TC says...

      Please excuse the typos

  53. Allison says...

    For running, the Run Lola Run soundtrack is naturally perfect.

    • Siobbahn says...


  54. Nectar says...

    Rupaul – “The Beginning” and “Sissy That Walk”
    Britney Spears – Work It
    Missy Elliot – anything and everything
    LCD Soundsystem – 45:33 — they were commissioned by Nike to do music for runners. Timeless
    Daft Punk – Alive 2007 (live)

  55. Check out Sam Fender – I run through the woods to him every day!

  56. Elle says...

    Dance Monkey!!

  57. Jane I. says...

    True story: I work out to heavy metal. It is such a release! I feel like I burn way more calories from the adrenaline rush of hearing super loud thrash-y drums.

    • riye says...

      YES! :-D

  58. Ellie says...

    KEXP: Music that Matters – Runcast vol. 1-17 and Marathon

    There are 17 volumes of this running podcast plus a three hour marathon playlist too! The host, John Richards, includes runners quotes between the songs. It has gotten me through many training runs and races. Good luck with the half marathon.

    • jen says...

      Whoa! This is great. I love KEXP And John RIchards and had NO IDEA this existed. Thank you!!

    • Siobbahn says...

      Where have I been — this is a great podcast! Thanks for sharing this. Will definitely give these a play.

  59. Morgan says...

    Anna Sun by Walk the Moon. One of their first hits and it is so energizing. Plus, the video is dancey, friend-filled fun!

    • TC says...

      Jihn Newman – Love ma again
      Robyn – Dancing on my own
      Dua Lipa – IDGAF
      Sia – Chip thrills
      Portugal – Feel it still
      The weeknd – Can’t feel my face
      Blinding lights
      Gossip- Move in zhe right direction
      La roux – bulletproof
      The ting tings – that’s not my name

  60. Sisu says...

    I am just now reading this post and all the comments and i love them all! Feel free to follow my Running playlist, which is ridiculous and all over the place but it is all suepr upbeat so it is really motivating!

  61. Nancy says...

    The B-52s – bounciest music ever!

  62. Jane says...

    “Horns (Extended Mix)” by Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman fills me with a power that could probably propel me to the top of Mt Everest. My favorite barre3 instructor plays it at a tough part of class and it just gives me strength.

  63. cindy says...

    Fighter by Christina Aguilera. Never fails to get me moving and I feel like I can conquer anything.

    • Meg says...

      Both Fighter AND Dirty (you know, gotta have that balance…) :)

    • Maranda says...

      Omg, this is the song I put on when I’m running and have a really big hill in front of me that I know I have to push through. So funny that this is also a motivating song for someone else.

  64. allison says...

    My workout playlist is by far the most embarrassing and my greatest accomplishment. A couple of the stand-outs include:
    Boom Boom Boom – Frank Ti-Aya f. Yardi
    Control Myself – JLo f. LLCoolJ
    Timber – Pitbull f. Kesha
    Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore
    I Love It – Icona Pop
    Let’s Have a Kiki – Glee
    My Body – Young The Giant
    Dance & Shout – Shaggy
    Someone to Call My Lover – Janet Jackson
    Boys Boys Boys – Lada Gaga

  65. Katie says...

    One of Us is Gonna Die Young by the ark, Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon, Mama Said by Betty Who, Run the World by Beyonce, FNT by Semisonic, and my favorites, Zero to hero from Hercules and I’ll Make a Man Out of You from Mulan.

  66. Dayna Goldman says...

    Your marathon playlist request reminded me of a time a friend asked dozens of his friends for them to record short “uplifting quotes” he could insert in between songs on his marathon playlist. Loved the idea of him hearing “Be the change you wish to see in the world” in the middle of his race :D

  67. Anna says...

    I always love how you implement carrie bradshaw’s writing style: “It is my personal belief that…” Miss SATC so much!!

  68. Inga Halldorsdottir says...

    Titanium – David Guetta, Sia
    Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
    Hydrogen – M|O|O|N
    Booty Bounce – Tujamo
    Black Skinhead – Kanye West
    BOOM – Tiesto, Sevenn
    Don´t Start Now – Dua Lipa
    Bad guy – Billie Eilish
    Makeba – Jain
    Don´t Be so Shy – Imany, Filatov & Karas

  69. Doris says...

    Clocks by Coldplay! Perfect for spinning classes

  70. anita says...

    I’m from Spain, and I hope no one sees my workout playlist with reggaeton and Enrique Iglesias songs. There’s also some Shakira, who did such a great job at the Superbowl half-time! :)

  71. Grace says...

    Level Up – Ciara to get things started, Pump It – Black Eyed Peas when I need a little extra boost. One song I haven’t worked out to yet but dance to while cleaning: Puppy Dog Bouncin by RxCKSTxR. Obsessed!!!

    • sara says...

      Don’t stop, don’t stop…bounce with it!
      YES, Grace!

  72. ale norris says...

    -i turn my camera on – spoon
    -3 nights – dominic fike
    -hollow life – coast modern
    -crazy – gnarls barkley
    -electric love – BORNS
    -woman – kesha
    -a dios le pido – juanes
    -good – twin XL
    -this is America – childish Gambino
    -genghis khan – miike snow

    • JL says...

      I listen to genghis khan too haha!

    • Lindsey says...

      I Turn My Camera On! YESSS

  73. Abby says...

    This is SO cringe-worthy… but the Mortal Kombat theme song is TOTALLY my power track!

    • Veronica says...

      I love you Abby

  74. Jill says...

    Love your writing as always Caroline! I definitely fall into the uplifting pop category for my workouts. Lizzo is on heavy repeat right now.

    I ran two half marathons last year. And actually, what got me through all the many hours of training (running is such a time consuming sport!) was listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks as read by Stephen Fry. Cannot recommend highly enough – it made running so much more fun :)

  75. Alyssa says...

    Jock Jams all the way. For whatever reason, they literally do pump me up.

    • Jane says...

      Jock Jams! Yes!

  76. C says...

    COJ team, can we get y’all to put together a Spotify playlist with the music from these comments!? That would be incredible!

    • Angela says...

      oooo this begs the question…are there COJ playlists already in existence? I would love that!! I am a lover of playlists on Spotify. You can follow me @ angekleonard if you are so inclined.

    • Sigrid says...


  77. Amanda says...

    I really, highly recommend listening to soca music and Bollywood songs when you’re working out. Not only are they super fast-paced and exciting, but they also expose you to different cultures of music if you don’t already have this shared background! I recommend these songs as a good place to get started:

    Lucy- Destra
    Raze- Fay-Anne Lyon
    Jaani Tera Naa- Sunanda Sharma

  78. Megan Lec says...

    Combing through the comments and contemplating upgrading my Spotify so I can add all of these hits to my repertoire. On long runs I usually listen to podcasts. They have a way of keeping my mind busy and keep me distracted from thinking about time. At the gym, I love anything I can sing to but the end all be all for me is “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. It never fails to get me to run faster, lift heavier, push further. As an aside, I have a 2.5 year old who constantly keeps me on my toes with music requests. During a dance party he will shout to me “tiger song!” or “jumping song” and then its up to me to rack my brain for a song that features prominently his request. This has led to an interesting ever evolving playlist that includes “Jump Around” (jumping song), “Run it”(running song), and “Jingle Bells” (haters will say it’s a holiday song but for us it’s all year long).

  79. Mónica says...

    Some of my favourite (non-shame inducing!), workout songs:

    The Hand That Feeds – Nine Inch Nails
    Never Fight a Man With a Perm – IDLES
    Hey Boy, Hey Girl – The Chemical Brothers
    Violent Games – Poliça
    Kool Thing – Sonic Youth
    Ty Cobb – Soundgarden
    Red Eyes – The War on Drugs
    I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor – Arctic Monkeys
    Sabotage – Beastie Boys
    Everlong – Foo Fighters
    Bulls on Parade – Rage Against the Machine
    Lisztomania – Phoenix
    Galvanize – The Chemical Brothers
    The Fallen – Franz Ferdinand
    Ain’t No Easy Way – BRMC

    • adrianna says...

      girl, GREAT LIST!!

  80. A lot of French pop and hip hop, especially “Claque-le” by Bagarre :)

  81. Precilia says...

    Earth, Wind and Fire !!

  82. Rue says...

    I keep music as my secret weapon for long runs when I need a boost. In races I find myself doing this combo of, like, run-dance-conducting-crying? I’m a classical music nerd and even though I don’t listen to classical stuff while running, apparently that “conduct your heart out” instinct is deeply rooted.

    I go to Orangetheory classes and the music in there is bonkers. I mostly love it but occasionally feel trapped by somebody else’s terrible choice. I also go to an adult ballet class and our teacher picks a great mix of boy band era throwbacks and heartfelt piano covers of Lady Gaga. We’re her last class of the day and we’re the same age as her so I think she really gets a kick out of letting loose, no tweenage dancers to please. It also helps me keep my sense of humor while I try to do crazy hard dance moves and get maybe 5% of the way there.

  83. Elizabeth says...

    Stronger by Kanye West! I always get a boost of energy when I hear it!

    • Andrea says...


  84. Hayley says...

    Some of my favorites!

    -Doesn’t Matter by Christine and the Queens
    -Girl, by Maren Morris (SUPER empowering!)
    -Keep the Car Running, by Arcade Fire
    -Bring the Pain, by Missy Elliot
    -How You Like Me Now, by The Heavy
    -First, by Cold War Kids
    -The Next Episode, by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog
    -Volcano Girls by Veruca Salt
    -Bad Guy, by Billie Eilish

  85. Steph says...

    Pretty much the entire album of Celebrity Skin by Hole. I got into running in college, with this album in my discman. Just thinking about running around with this and headphones makes me chuckle. I had to switch it back and forth between my hands because it would get sweaty.

  86. Anais says...

    I’m not proud of this, but One Direction sang a few perfect-for-running-bops, Little White Lies, Kiss You and Live While We’re Young are my work out faves (I swear I’ve stopped listening to them the rest of the time)

  87. Lauren says...

    I have two fave artists for workout music – Robyn and Dua Lipa. Upbeat pop anthems with a solid beat. Particularly a fan of Dancing on My Own, Hang With Me, Blow Your Mind (Mwah) and Don’t Start Now. Whenever I hear these songs now it makes me feel like running!

  88. Alex says...

    Raising Hell- Kesha and Big Freedia
    Glorious- Macklemore

    These are my running Anthems!

  89. Christine says...

    Aqua – specifically the Aquarium album (disc?). It is completely cheesy but “move worthy”. I also have a few Spotify playlists that I add to all of the time, not as cringe-worthy as Aqua – lots of Sia, Wild Child, Sweet Crude, The Weepies, and some Lindsey Stirling.

  90. Bethany says...

    Speaking of cleaning up music, a good friend of mine with 5 kids turned me on to a great trick to get the kids to help clean up around the house. Search Clean Up Songs on Spotify….it’s genius and actually works! My girls love it.

  91. Becky says...

    I’m so with Courtney and Robyn on late 90s/00s hip hop, the angrier the better for ultimate catharsis.

    Somehow though, I’ll Make a Man Out of You from the Mulan soundtrack has snuck its way in there, and as far as I’m concerned no workout playlist is complete without Donny Osmond belting out “LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS”

  92. Emma Sawyer says...

    I almost strictly listen to musical theater when working out. There is a level of emotion actors allow themselves to express in musicals that doesn’t often come through in other music. I feel those same emotions myself and it fuels me physically! I think people probably think I’m a little crazy though; I can’t listen to it without “acting” the music on my face and lip-syncing.

  93. Maria says...

    I love running to gold old classic hard rock: Breaking the law by Judas Priest is perfect, and also Poison by Alice Cooper.
    Also, I always schedule for the last km No Surrender by Bruce.
    Oh yes. It always works.

  94. sara says...

    Express yourself (… Don’t go for second best, baby..) by Madonna

  95. Alex says...

    I train Muay Thai so no headphones during class, but the other day our coach put on a 90s grunge playlist during class and it was AWESOME. Took me back to highschool and all the angsty feelings definitely made my striking harder that day. :P

  96. Alexandra says...

    Girl Talk! I spent about two years at the gym listening exclusively to Feed the Animals and Night Ripper. Still one of my go-tos.

    • Rebecca says...

      Yes! Those two are my jam!

  97. Sarah says...


    • Natalie says...

      yes! Fancy Footwork is always on my workout playlists…

  98. Jennifer says...

    Seriously, did no one mention the Chariots of Fire theme? Mambo No. 5? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, and Taking Care of Business, both by Bachman Turner Overdrive? Mony Mony by Billy Idol? Summer of ‘69 by Bryan Adams? Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows? One, Two, Three by Gloria Estefan? We Built this City by Jefferson Starship? You Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer? Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot? Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap? Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane? Yep. Please don’t ever tell my children. I would die if they knew what my running playlist contained.
    Good luck, Caroline!

    • Amanda says...

      Yes! Songs I actually know ? This is my kind of running playlist!

  99. anne says...

    OK I’m a cis gender female but when I run, my inner gay man is unleashed! I love spin classes but I’m suspicious of your playlist if you’re not a gay man. Out gay men don’t have shame about good “bad” music and neither should we!!! As RuPaul says in “Sissy That Walk”:
    Better beware, ain’t no tea, ain’t no shade
    But at the same time, bitches better get out the way
    I’m a femme queen, mother of a house of no shame
    My pussy is on fire, now kiss the flame…
    And if I fly, or if I fall
    Least I can say I gave it all.

    I challenge ANYONE to find a more inspirational guide!

    Some go-to running songs:
    Groove is in the Heart -Deee-Lite
    Gay Bar -Electric Sex
    All Over Your Face; I Seen Beyonce -Cazwell
    Freedom! ’90 -George Micheal
    Sissy That Walk; Cover Girl -RuPaul
    Kiss -Prince
    Your Makeup Is Terrible -Alaska Thunderfuck

    • Nectar says...

      RuPaul’s The Beginning is my favorite workout track! Gets me so pumped up.

  100. Peg Serena says...

    Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden was always on my running list. You can’t help but laugh and it’s so awesome ?

  101. Starla says...

    Gorillaz’ Dare!

  102. elizabeth says...

    So Lonely by the Police, Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen and Shakedown Street by the Grateful Dead are all really good on a running playlist!