40 Upbeat Songs to Make Your Workout Fly By


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  226 comments   :  954,894 Views

I think most exercisers agree that listening to some great music goes a long way when you're working out. It helps increase your energy and motivates you to work harder. In many ways, it even distracts you from the discomfort of exercise so that you'll keep going even when it's tough.

However, not just any music will do. We all have our own tastes and preferences for what we like to listen to when we exercise: pop, dance, techno, rock, metal, hip hop (Coach Jen's favorite), or all of the above. Sometimes, it's not the genre that matters; it's the pace (or beat). Others like inspirational lyrics. Personally, I think the beat matters. It has to match the pace of my workout—something I can't listen to and sit still. At the very least, I want to know (or be familiar with) the song that's playing. When I go to Spinning class, for example, and I encounter music that's too slow for the tempo of the workout, or too obscure for me to "escape" by singing along with the song in my head, I am not a happy exerciser.

Recently, I've been thinking about song length. Most radio hits are around 3 minutes long—you'd have to listen to 10 songs to get through a 30-minute workout—make that 20 for a full hour! I don't know about you, but my mind perceives that as a long time. So I've started to incorporate some longer songs into my playlists. Think of it this way: Would you rather know you have to exercise through 20 songs or 12? I pick 12. So I've gathered some of my favorite 4- to 6-minute workout songs to share with you! By selecting any 6-12 of them, you'll have a 30-60 minute workout playlist that's upbeat and motivating. As each song passes, you'll know you've hit a milestone in your workout. Stop watching the clock and start working out with these songs! 

Click on each link to listen to a preview (or purchase the mp3) at Amazon or iTunes.

Aerosmith, Sweet Emotion (5:10) –  Amazon  iTunes 
Angels & Airwaves, The Adventure (5:12)  – Amazon  iTunes 
Audio Bullys, Shot You Down (6:33) – Amazon  iTunes 
Beastie Boys, Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix) (4:08) – Amazon  iTunes 
Benassi Bros, Feel Alive (4:48) – Amazon  iTunes 
Coldplay, Clocks (5:07) – Amazon  iTunes 
Dave Matthews Band, Drive In Drive Out (5:54) – Amazon  iTunes 
Dave Matthews Band, Tripping Billies (5:00) – Amazon  iTunes
DJ Sammy, Boys of Summer (4:55) – Amazon  iTunes
Fatboy Slim, Praise You (5:23) – Amazon  iTunes
Fatboy Slim, Wonderful Night, (4:46) – Amazon  iTunes
Faze Action, Samba (5:58) – Amazon  iTunes
Flock of Seagulls, I Ran (5:08) – Amazon  iTunes
Global Deejays, What a Feeling (Progressive Follow Up Mix) (5:31) – Amazon  iTunes
Jefferson Starship, We Built This City (4:54) – Amazon  iTunes
John Mayer, 3x5 (4:50), – Amazon  iTunes
Kanye West, Stronger (5:11) – Amazon  iTunes
Lauryn Hill,  Doo Wop (5:20) – Amazon  iTunes
Lo Fidelity Allstars, Battleflag (5:40) – Amazon  iTunes
Lynard Skynard, Sweet Home Alabama (4:43) – Amazon  iTunes
Madonna, Get Together (5:14) – Amazon  iTunes
Madonna, Ray of Light (5:20) – Amazon  iTunes
Michael Jackson, Thriller (5:57) – Amazon  iTunes
Miranda, Vamos a la Playa (6:09) – Amazon  iTunes
My Chemical Romance, Welcome to the Black Parade (5:11) – Amazon  iTunes
New Radicals, You Get What You Give (5:00) – Amazon  iTunes
New Radicals, Mother We Just Can't Get Enough (5:48) – Amazon  iTunes
Oasis, The Shock of the Lightening (5:09) – Amazon  iTunes
Outkast, Bombs Over Baghdad (5:04) – Amazon  iTunes
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dani California (4:42) – Amazon  iTunes
Rusted Root, Ecstacy (5:02) – Amazon  iTunes
Silversun Pickups, Lazy Eye (5:54) – Amazon  iTunes
Sonique, Feels So Good (4:44) – Amazon  iTunes
The All-American Rejects, The Last Song (5:00) – Amazon  iTunes
The Jacksons, Shake Your Body Down to the Ground (3:44) – Amazon  iTunes
The Killers, All These Things That I've Done (5:01) – Amazon  iTunes
The Music, Take the Long Road and Walk It (4:53) – Amazon  iTunes
The Verve, Bitter Sweet Symphony (5:58) – Amazon  iTunes
U2, Walk On (4:56) – Amazon  iTunes
Vinylshakerz, One Night in Bangkok XXL Mix (5:22) – Amazon  iTunes

Do you prefer exercising to short songs or long ones? Which songs above would you add to your own playlist?

We hope you love these product a much as we do! SparkPeople may collect a small percentage of revenue from links on this page.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!
NEXT ENTRY >   Success Story: From 'Miserable' to a Full & Happy Life*


  • 226
    I've found that I workout longer with music! - 9/18/2017   9:27:18 PM
  • 225
    Love listening to music while working out! - 8/27/2017   8:10:09 AM
  • 224
    I like Clocks by Coldplay - 12/4/2016   7:46:27 PM
    I love Meatloaf, a lot of their songs are 6-10 minutes. And Staying Alive by the BeeGees is good but I'm not sure how long it is... - 8/24/2016   6:30:00 PM
    Mozart and lots of other classical music. - 6/16/2016   6:23:37 AM
  • SHAHAI16
    I like several of the songs listed, but most are too slow for my workouts, I like energy. I have a couple different playlists I use depending on the workout, usually a mix of short and long songs. Have one that's pop/techno/a capella (love Zedd, David Guetta, and Pentatonix), one that's classic rock/80's/metal(Thunderstruck, Paint it Black, and anything from Slipknot are my top picks), one that's hip-hop/rap/crunkcore (Macklemore, 3OH3!, Ludacris), and one that's oldies (50's&60's)/indie/instrumental stuff for yoga. Needless to say, my iPod has a ton of music. I also try to include some non-English music like reggaeton and European everything (Basshunter and Stromae are both good choices) and some eastern music as well. - 6/15/2016   11:30:38 PM
  • 220
    Some of the songs I like, some I didn't. My play list has to keep me moving so it's mostly rock and roll, 70s, 80s, and 60s music. I like some country but not a whole lot especially if I'm out walking. - 6/15/2016   4:52:40 PM
  • 219
    Doesn't matter if short or long I can rest. But I am over 70 and the list is just not something that appeals. I do like Taylor Swifts, faster song tho. - 6/15/2016   8:18:35 AM
  • 218
    If you search Spark for "work out songs" you will find a whole list of articles with different genres and paces of music lists. - 4/23/2016   1:35:51 PM
  • 217
    I need things from The Doors, Cream, Deep Purple, Metallica, Rammstein, and other head banging music just to keep me running... - 4/23/2016   8:09:43 AM
  • SNAFU1969
    Pink - So What and Funhouse. Britney Spears - I Wanna Go. Adam Ant - Friend Or Foe and Dog Eat Dog. The Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet With Butterfly Wings. - 4/23/2016   1:13:19 AM
    How about some ZZ Top? Aretha Franklin, War, Grand Funk Railroad, and Queen also get me feet moving. - 1/21/2016   4:44:20 PM
  • 214
    I have this playlist on Spotify for those who are interested in hearing these songs. Some I was not familiar with, or didn't think lyrics were particularly great (but they did have a workout beat to them.). Two songs on this playlist were not available on Spotify: Jefferson SpaceShip - We built this city on rock and roll; and Lynryd Skynryd - Sweet Home Alabama. Can search for other SparkPeople Workout lists I've created on Spotify by user name: msdrpepper
    Qg4Ra - 1/17/2016   7:42:45 PM
    I would add some more classic rock. Running to Paint It Black (Rolling Stones) or maybe some Led Zeppelin makes me super happy. Also, most Elvis Presley songs have a really good running beat. Otherwise, I may be adding a few of these to my playlist to keep me going! Thanks! - 12/10/2015   4:50:42 PM
    Awesome songs! - 11/13/2015   11:16:19 AM
  • 211
    What do you listen to your music on? I want to listen to music but dont know how to download it to my phone. Then I think hmm maybe I need to get an mp3 player. I would appreciate any and all suggestions!! - 8/23/2015   10:08:42 PM
  • 210
    I like the idea of a playlist. I have 3 to 4 different playlist for myself depending on what I am doing. But I am more old school music so there weren't any songs on this playlist I would add to my own, but it's truly a great idea to keep the workout fresh and motivating. - 7/1/2015   2:07:42 PM
    I like songs but some how the list of songs here like 2 to 3 songs I like and that's about it. I have a song list on my phone which have mostly all my favorites on it. - 7/1/2015   7:47:58 AM
    Awesome - 4/26/2015   6:33:45 PM
  • 207
    love a good collaboration to keep me going - 5/27/2014   12:26:52 PM
  • 206
    I am always looking for new workout songs but most of these don't quite get me going. Party rock, electronica or upbeat mixes are a go to for me. - 5/27/2014   1:13:16 AM
  • 205
    How about "I'm so excited", or Party Rock Anthem? - 10/17/2013   11:44:03 PM
  • 204
    An old song that was great for pacing when I run or walk is Evelyn Champagne King's SHAME, or SPACE JAM (which I hope to one day be able to jump rope through the entire length). The extended version of Sheila E's "The Glamorous Life" with the drum solos are really motivating. And Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough."
    However, my very favorite long songs tend to be Gospel - Fred Hammond in particular. - 5/2/2013   1:09:45 AM
    I love to listen to Motion Traxxs these are free if you join email. It is a number of song linked together or a mix, that have a beat and there are different speed or beat you can choose, along with the length of the mix. It has a difinite beat that keeps me going. - 4/21/2012   2:29:48 PM
    Found this awesome upbeat song and have been working out to it for the past couple weeks ... it keeps me moving the whole time!!! It's called

    "Haunted" by Matthew C. Shuman

    I first found it on YouTube and then downloaded it off of Amazon!

    - 3/31/2012   11:51:31 AM
  • 201
    always looking for new song ideas.
    thanks - 8/31/2011   3:18:43 PM
  • LRW1233
    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who still listens to "I Ran" lol I like the idea of longer songs but some of them are a little slow for me. - 8/14/2011   7:57:11 PM
  • 199
    Don't know much on this list. but I would love to put together a few gospel tracks that are upbeat. I set up pandora on my phone with Kirk Franklin and get some of what I like but I still end up getting some music that is not conducive to working out, sometimes I end up hitting next a lot. Otherwise Pandora is great for music selection. - 4/20/2011   6:59:17 PM
    I need new songs!! - 3/17/2011   6:11:06 AM
  • 197
    I see I'm going to have a create an exercise music list for us Flower Children and 70's - although I also like a lot of the 80's music too ... not familiar with probably 80% of these groups/songs. I tend to like longer songs if I'm going to have to put in some serious time, but for a short walk then shorter songs are nice too... - 11/5/2010   3:05:24 PM
  • 196
    While I own a couple of those, they're not on my list. I have a collection of "regulars" on my playlist like Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, and Placebo. I change out the rest on a monthly basis so I don't get bored of hearing the same ole rotation. - 9/24/2010   6:49:40 PM
  • 195
    I'll have to try some of these, you forget some of the old favourites! - 8/23/2010   7:49:44 AM
    Michael Jackson "Thriller" is a great work out! - 7/20/2010   11:23:11 PM
  • 193
    Great list. I DVR "talk shows" and watch them while walking on the treadmill. Makes the time pass fast because I get interested in the show and lose track of the time I've spent walking. - 6/9/2010   9:30:44 PM
  • 192
    I agree with MCJULIEO I feel old because I too do not recognize half of the songs! - 6/9/2010   3:38:45 PM
    I usually talk when I am exercising - 3/30/2010   2:05:45 PM
  • 190
    I don't so much mind how long a song is... I really like a steady beat. Unfortunately, a lot of exercise mixes don't sound like the originals to me, so I will use the original over a remix. - 3/12/2010   10:32:55 PM
  • 189
    Great list! Thanks for sharing - 2/11/2010   11:41:26 AM
    I also love to listen to music while working out, usually Praise, Contemporary Christian, or Oldies, but I do have a broad array on my ipod. It helps me forget about the tiredness, pains, and to perservere through to success. - 2/4/2010   2:56:24 PM
  • 187
    Holy crap. You have awesome taste in music. o.o It's pretty rare to see someone else who rocks the GaGa and the Flock of Seagulls at the same time.
    - 1/7/2010   9:35:52 AM
  • 186
    Man, I feel REALLY OLD... I don't even recognize half of these songs! - 1/6/2010   4:58:33 PM
  • 185
    I'm with the older crowd on country...personally my favorites for workouts are Rodney Atkins "The Middle", Brooks & Dunn "Hillbilly Deluxe", and Aaron Tippin "Big Boy Toys". And pretty much anything (upbeat) by Toby Keith!! ("She's a Hottie" always gets me motivated...) - 1/6/2010   2:36:21 PM
  • JONES132...
    I do like songs at least 5 min. I find Michael Jackson has quite a few that fit my aerobic pace and energize me. But I also like a lot of music from the Baroque Era. Once Bach or Vivaldi set up a tempo, it's consistent to the end of the piece and a lot of these are quite lively (vivace). Truly I can't exercise without music!!!!!!!!!!! - 10/18/2009   7:02:49 PM
    The list is very interesting. There are a bunch on there that I know and several I don't. I think longer songs make the time go by faster, especially if it's a favourite. I would probably have some of Hillsongs more faster paced songs on there and plenty of 60's, 70's, 80's and a few 90's on my list. - 9/21/2009   10:53:52 AM
  • 182
    One of the best inventions of the IPOD is Genius. I like to put my IPOD on shuffle, but in the middle of a workout I could end up hearing something from the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack...not always the beat I need. Genius puts music together for you that is all similar to the first song you chose - 8/9/2009   2:02:18 PM
    I personally like country music - I'm just starting out with an MP3 player so some good country music suggestions to exercise by would be great! - 8/7/2009   11:29:05 AM
  • 180
    Awesome list!
    Definitely going to add the songs I don't already have, to my playlist!!
    - 8/7/2009   11:18:01 AM
  • 179
    Mostly listen to full CDs, a few are on your list. Thanks for the additions. - 8/6/2009   11:50:55 PM
  • 178
    Great list of songs! - 8/6/2009   6:35:32 PM
    when i'm walking, there are several tracks on the Lord of the Dance (irish step dance) CD that really get my feet flying. and they're fun to listen to! very upbeat and energetic. - 8/6/2009   4:55:40 PM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›