workout playlist

Working out sucks. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you when you know that exercise is hard. More than that, it’s difficult to find the fun in it unless you’re some kind of a body builder. (I think we all have those kinds of friends.) Often we have to psych ourselves up to go to the gym, or we bribe ourselves with new workout clothes or special meals. However, there is one way to make your exercise experience more exciting: having a great workout playlist! These days most people rely on Spotify to give them the music they want, but sometimes even Spotify lets you down. So while it’s always great to find that generic playlist that some intern made for working out, here are some tips on how to create a workout playlist to make working out not suck!

What to put on your workout playlist

Top 40

This one is kind of obvious. If you’re making a playlist for working out, sometimes top 40 radio is the way to go. Find some of the newest pop hits and jam them together to create a loud, boppin’ playlist. You may not be in love with these songs, but you will probably find yourself moving along to the catchy beats. Plus, if you truly hate some of these hits, maybe it will force you to run faster in order to stop listening sooner.

Movie Soundtracks/Scores

If you haven’t looked into film music for your workout playlist, you need to do that right away. There’s nothing more exciting than running along to some Lord of the Rings battle music. Obviously you can find traditional orchestral scores with great fight music, but there are also more unique soundtracks like compilation albums (Think The Hunger Games). You may even find some different kinds of film scores like Junkie XL’s work for Divergent. Whatever the case, you can boost your energy by feeling like you’re in one of your favorite films, and I promise it’ll be awesome.


What do you mean you don’t know what Hamilton is? It’s only the biggest musical on broadway right now! I know it may seem weird put a musical on your workout playlist, but Hamilton is different. This musical focuses on the life of Alexander Hamilton, as told through rap/hip-hop music. Imagine people rapping about the revolutionary war, and you’re halfway there. Hamilton has great beats and loud, fast-paced songs that will keep you on your toes as you fight through your workout. Of course, you may want to avoid all the songs that can make you cry. If you already work out to Hamilton, have you tried The Hamilton Mixtape?

Old classics

Sometimes you just need some good old fashioned classics on your workout playlist, whether it’s 80s hair bands or “Bohemian Rhapsody” or even just The Beatles. Old hits may not have the same loud production as today’s hits, but it can sometimes be more motivating than songs by Katy Perry or Maroon 5.

Throwback pop hits

This category is very similar to the old classics section of your workout playlist, but the stipulation is that these throwback pop hits come from a pretty unique time: the early 2000s. I’d hardly call Britney Spears or the Backstreet Boys classics (although someone of you may argue with that), but they can hype you up just as much as “Eye of the Tiger.” Break out your old favorites, guilty-pleasure or not, and run to your favorite millenial hits.

Whatever you choose to add to your workout playlist, make sure it’s something that makes you want to move. Remember, no one else has to listen to this music, so you can make it as ridiculous as you want, just so long as it actually helps you exercise. Working out doesn’t have to suck if you have the right music!