Even for the most dedicated athletes and fitness enthusiasts, finding the motivation to get up and work out can be an eternal struggle. Sometimes (or, um, all the time), you’ve gotta dig real deep to start that new yoga routine or running program you’ve been meaning to try. But motivation, unfortunately, doesn’t just materialize when you need it. And when we’re talking about feeling inspired to actually hit the gym, well, that’s an entirely different level of motivation. So how do you “dig deep,” you ask? The right workout soundtrack is definitely a good place to start.
Music, after all, is the best way to stay motivated when you’re feeling stuck. The right song can take a workout from a chore to a seriously fun jam sesh, and before you know it, you might even be feeling yourself a little bit! We know that curating a truly epic playlist can be a challenge, so we’ve done the hard work for you. (And TBH, it was fun.) Oh, and if you’re struggling with what to do once you get to the gym, there are plenty of apps to help with that, and of course, you’ll want to find that fire gym ‘fit to flex your moves while you listen to your *perfect* playlist.
From dance vibes courtesy of Dua Lipa to blood-pumping beats from Lil Nas X, there’s truly a bop for every fitness personality. So regardless of your music vibe, these hot tracks will get you through your workout feeling more pumped than ever.
“Sweetest Pie,” by Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa
Say hello to 2022’s best duo yet: Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa. They really delivered with this upbeat track that will have you bopping around in between sets.
“My Love,” by Florence + The Machine
Praise the music gods: Florence is back! And she is just as awe-inspiring and motivating as ever. Press play on this one when you’re pushing through your last lap or during your morning sun salutations.
“iPad,” by The Chainsmokers
Strange name for a song, we know. But we’re not asking too many questions because this beat hits just the right balance of upbeat and chill.
“How We Do It,” by Sean Paul ft. Pia Mia
Not in the mood to hit the gym? Trick yourself into a clever cardio workout by playing this song and turning your living room into a dance club.
“Tick Tock,” by Boza
You know how some songs are just vibes? Even if you don’t speak Spanish, we challenge you to not sway from side to side when this starts playing.
“Cryo,” by Inna
You know that feeling when you’ve got five more minutes left of your workout, but they’re somehow the longest five minutes of your life?! That’s when you need a song like this, with a driving beat at the chorus, that’ll keep you on track through the very end.
“Gucci Fendi,” by Justin Quiles and Eladio Carrion
This Spanish language song is a streaming favorite, probably because it has an irresistible, body-moving beat. Perfect for your cool down or warm-up, tbh.
“High Rise,” by Diplo (feat. Amtrac and Leon Bridges)
Easing into your day with some meditation or yoga? This song is a must on your playlist — it sets such a positive tone for the rest of your day.
“Freaky Deaky,” by Tyga and Doja Cat
If you want to listen to something both blood-pumping and libido-boosting, this song might just help ya out on both fronts 😉
“RBS (Rich Bish Shit),” by BRS Kash
Sometimes you simply need a standard hype song that gets you in an ultra-confident mood. And this track will definitely have you in that beast mode kind of mindset!
“Cold Heart (PNAU Remix),” by Elton John and Dua Lipa
The most unexpected and yet somehow completely perfect duo delivers an up-tempo track that’s perfect for easing into your workout with a warm-up ride or run.
“Out Out (feat. Charli XCX & Saweetie),” by Joel Corry x Jax Jones
This high-intensity song will push you through that tough incline or endurance sprint — though you may be tempted to take a brief dance break.
“Industry Baby,” by Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow
When you just wanna feel hype, turn up the volume on some Lil Nas X. This is the perfect track to listen to when you’re upping the weight on leg day.
“Woman,” by Doja Cat
Gonna log a few miles on the treadmill or bike? Weave in a few chill songs that are still upbeat — but not too intense — for those active recovery moments during your cardio workout.
“Up,” by Cardi B
Literally just put this song on repeat for your entire gym sesh and you will be motivated the whole time. Guaranteed.
“Savage Remix (feat. Beyoncé),” by Megan Thee Stallion
Because who else is gonna make you feel like the ultimate fitness savage? This song is a forever standard on our gym playlist.
“Butter,” by BTS
If you end up breaking out in complete BTS choreography in the middle of your gym, we would fully support that.
“Pa’ Ti,” by Jennifer Lopez and Maluma
Queuing up your cool-down? Hit play on this muy caliente canción, which will have you feelin’ sweaty and steamy in more ways than one.
“RITMO (Bad Boys For Life),” by Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin
No HIIT workout stands a chance with this song on your playlist. Get ready to do all the burpees and push-ups.
“Let’s Go,” by Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo
When all else fails, call on Calvin Harris and Ne-Yo to get you up off the couch and ready for some serious reps.
“Good as Hell,” by Lizzo
Whether you’re pushing it on the treadmill or just hanging out in child’s pose, our one and only full-bravada queen of all things self-love will have you feeling good as ~helllll~ all workout long.
“All the Stars,” by Kendrick Lamar and SZA
This serious bop off the Black Panther soundtrack is the ideal track to blast while you ~pound that iron~.
“Love Myself,” by Hailee Steinfeld
While Hailee’s lyric vibes might be intended for a self-love sesh between the sheets, that same attention can be turned into instant motivation when you’re hitting the gym.
“FU,” by Miley Cyrus and French Montana
If workouts get you fuming *raises hand*, then this breakup and rage anthem is sure to support you. You can channel Miley’s superior “FU” energy.
“Survivor,” by Destiny’s Child and Da Brat
Literally, name a better way to help you make it through your routine than Beyoncé and Co.™ belting out your true survivor potential. I’ll wait.
“The Runner,” by Foals
It never hurts to throw a touch of indie rock into the mix. These angsty riffs will have you leaning into that cardio. Remember: Even if you fall off that treadmill, you can always get up and “keep on running.”
“Physical,” by Dua Lipa
This hit screams jazzercise, and truly, who doesn’t want to “get physical” with Dua and this track’s supreme ’80s vibes??
“It’s Raining Men,” by The Weather Girls
Okay, this one is a classic. Like, the humidity is rising? The barometer’s getting low? It’s RAINING MEN! “Hallelujah.” I’ll sweat to that.
“Woman,” by Kesha and the Dap-Kings Horns
She’s jazzy, but this Kesha masterpiece is really the ideal song to make you forget how much you hate cardio.
“Love on Me,” by Galantis and Hook N Sling
This song sounds like sunshine, rollerblades, and palm trees (aka my ideal workout).
“Salt Shaker,” by Ying Yang Twins and Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz
Shoutout to the DJ at our middle school dance who introduced us to this number. We’ve been sweating to it ever since.
“Dumb Blonde,” by Avril Lavigne and Nicki Minaj
Welcome back, Avril angst. We missed you. Perfect for your next boxing class or when you just really want to punch something. Either way….
“Be Like Me,” by Lil Pump and Lil Wayne
WARNING: Flexing in the mirror to this jam could result in extremely high levels of baller vibes. Proceed with caution.
“Back That Azz Up,” by Juvenile and Lil Wayne
If there were ever a song made for squatting heavy things, it’s this. Your booty-sculpting game will never be the same.
“So Am I,” by Ava Max
For all those times you’re feeling self-conscious about yo’ moves or those judgy stares (which we promise only exist in your head), crank up this Ava Max anthem, keep calm, and drip sweat.
“No New Friends,” by Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo
If you had to run to only one song for the rest of your life, it should be this one. This flirty, beachy beat will make that 11-minute mile feel like an 8.
“Thotiana,” by Blueface and Cardi B
Is it me or are hip-hop and lifting weights the most perfect pair ever? Do some curls for the girls (or more specifically, Thotiana) with this as your theme song and prepare to feel like a gd badass.
“The Light Is Coming,” by Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
If “Side to Side” by Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj has been your stationary-bike staple since 2016, you’re definitely going to want to throw “The Light Is Coming” into the mix. This song will probs inspire you to get a ponytail extension and whip it around while you’re werkin’ the pedals.
“Taki Taki,” by DJ Snake, Cardi B, Selena Gomez, and Ozuna
Picture this: It’s your first time back at the gym in weeks (months? I’m not judgin’), and you’re contemplating leaving early. Suddenly, you hear Cardi B growl, “But I’m a boss bitch,” and your fatigue is CURED.
“1999,” by Charli XCX and Troye Sivan
It is physically impossible to sit still while listening to “1999.” Also impossible? Getting this song unstuck from your head. Sorry.
“Solo,” by Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato
A breakup song that’s also a perfect power gym bop? Say no more, no more, no mooooOooOoore.
“Bad at Love (Dillon Francis Remix),” by Halsey and Dillon Francis
You know that gym machine you are low-key terrified of and have no idea how to use? Pop in your headphones, hit play on this “Bad at Love” remix, and give it a go. If anyone calls you out, just take a page out of Halsey’s playbook and be like, “You can’t blame me for trying.”
“Fade,” by Kanye West
Need a stair-climber jam? Listen to “Fade” on repeat. Your workout is complete when you feel as confident as Teyana Taylor does morphing into a weird, albeit fierce, lioness thing at the end of the music vid.
“Circus (Diplo Circus Remix),” by Britney Spears
First off, you should be playing at least one Britney Spears song per workout. That’s just the rules. Second, Diplo’s “Circus” remix is perhaps less of a song and more of a secret propaganda tactic to turn us all into skilled runners.
“You Don’t Know Me,” by Jax Jones and Raye
Does listening to “You Don’t Know Me” while squatting guarantee the booty of your dreams? I can’t say it does, but I can’t say it doesn’t either.
“Nonstop,” by Drake
Maybe Drake is on to something here. Maybe the reason that a treadmill minute feels so effing long is that this a Rollie, not a stopwatch. Sh*t don’t ever stop.
“Jackie Chan,” by Tiësto, Dzeko, Preme, and Post Malone
Okay, technically, “Kick it, Jackie Chan” is a reference to chilling out, but I think it’s fair game to repurpose this gem to keep you motivated through any kickboxing or martial-arts-inspired workout.
“Lemon,” by N.E.R.D and Rihanna
When life gives you lemons, for workout purposes, pray that they’re (a) featuring Rihanna or (b) Lululemon leggings.
“Power,” by Little Mix and Stormzy
If you’re looking for a girl-power anthem that will make you feel like an absolute machine at the gym, look no further. “Power” is the ideal song to listen to in the last leg of your workout, when you need a little extra oomph to get through it.
“MyBoi (TroyBoi Remix),” by Billie Eilish
Oh, you think you can’t listen to sulky songs at the gym? Think again. This remix of the new queen of emo’s song “My Boy” is a floor-work MOOD.
“Wildflower,” by 5 Seconds of Summer
Yes, fans might remember this Aussie band for hits like “She Looks So Perfect” or even “Youngblood,” but be prepared for this bop to get stuck in your head and be the soundtrack to your run on the treadmill (trust me… this will happen).
“Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” by Shania Twain
What better way to let out some deeply-rooted aggression in the gym by working up a sweat to this iconic female anthem?
“Dear Maria, Count Me In,” by All Time Low
With its rhythmic drum beats and catchy lyrics, who knew this could be the perfect song to perfect your fitness regimen with?
“Finesse (Remix),” by Bruno Mars and Cardi B
Shoutout to Michelle Obama for supplying this catchy rec. It shouldn’t surprise any of us that Bruno Mars and Cardi B had the perfect formula for creating the optimal dance song.
“Lady Marmalade,” by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink
I mean… it’s arguably one of the most iconic (and sexual) songs of the early 2000s. Need I say more?
“Stronger,” by Britney Spears
You can’t have a workout playlist without throwing a little Britney into the mix. And why not play a song about making yourself stronger as you literally do so? Score.
“Tearin’ Up My Heart,” by *NSYNC
If you could work out a sweat by just watching this perfect ’90s boyband’s music videos, imagine what you can do when you put this track on your next workout rotation…
“Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” by Panic! At the Disco
YOU made it, to the gym, that is.
“My Ex’s Best Friend,” by Machine Gun Kelly and blackbear
As MGK is literally one of the biggest artists of the moment, it’s only fitting to put one of his best tracks on a workout playlist.
“One Last Time,” by Ariana Grande
Yes, Ariana’s already on here. But it’s not enough to just have one song from the icon, right? This one’s for your next leg day.
Mekita Rivas a multicultural freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C.
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