Best workout music: the top 100 songs to power your sweat session

Does your favourite tune make it onto our definitive list of the best workout music?

Best workout music: the top 100 songs
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sometimes we all need a little boost when we exercise - and this is where the best workout music comes in. 

What we listen to on the best workout earbuds when we exercise can play a real part in helping us stay motivated, hit personal bests and generally just enjoy the workout. Plus, there’s actual proof that workout music can help.

A recent study published in the journal Psychology of Sport & Exercise asked men and women to sprint for 20 seconds at maximum effort as well as cycle at a low intensity. 

The group did this workout three times; once while listening to motivational music (aka more than 120 beats per minute), once while listening to a podcast, and once with no music or sound at all. You can probably guess the results!

The researchers found that when the group listened to the upbeat music, their heart rates and peak power output were both higher than when they listened to no sound or even a podcast.

How to choose the best workout music

So what does it take to make the list of best workout music? Hilary Rowland is co-founder of spin studio Boom Cycle. She explains that while taste in workout music is subjective, there are a few factors that come into play.

‘A good workout tune is a track that elicits emotion, stirs a new attitude or evokes energy. A good workout track can put you in a flow state. It can take you into a dream state or a totally new frame of mind, making you forget your limits. It can reset your attitude.’

She adds: ‘It’s important the music is loud so it can envelope the senses and generally it has a big beat. Ideally a good workout tune sticks in your mind and gives you that skip in your step and a burst of confidence well after your workout.’

If you’re a runner, you could match your stride rate with your music’s beats per minute (BPM). So if you were to run 130 steps per minute, you’d want to be listening to music that had a BPM of around 130, such as Pink’s Get The Party Started (a real pop classic).

If you don’t know the BPM of your music, it’s easy to find. Try, which has a huge collection of music and their BPM.You can even search on Youtube for BPM-appropriate songs such as this 130 BPM cardio dance workout session.

It's also worth looking for ready-made playlists - Spotify has a great running playlist, for example.

If you’re lacking in inspiration for your workout music, here’s our pick of the top 100 songs - split into our favourite musical genres - to keep your motivation pumping...

Best workout music: hip-hop songs

  • Beyonce - Black Parade
  • Jay Z & Linkin Park - Numb/Encore
  • Kanye West - All of The Lights
  • Tyga - Bored In The House
  • Burna Boy - Way Too Big
  • Kano - Garage Skank Freestyle
  • Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers 
  • Drake - Headlines 
  • Missy Elliott - Lose Control 
  • Stormzy - Shut Up 
  • Pitbull - Give Me Everything 
  • Chunkz - Vibranium
  • Eminem - Lose Yourself
  • Mura Masa ft A$ap Rocky - Love$ick
  • Snoop Dogg ft David Guetta  - Sweat
  • Kanye West- Power
  • Chris Brown - Ayo
  • Egypt - In the Morning
  • Sean Paul - Give It Up To Me
  • Wiley - Heatwave
  • Akon - I’m So Paid
  • Nicki Minaj - Truffle Butter
  • Missy Elliott - Work It
  • DJ Khaled - All I Do Is Win

Best workout music: rock songs

  • AC/DC- Thunderstruck 
  • Survivor - Eye of the Tiger 
  • Guns N' Roses – Paradise City  
  • Foo Fighters - Run 
  • Papa Roach - Last Resort 
  • Linkin Park - In The End 
  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Give It Away
  • Iron Maiden - The Trooper 
  • Guns N' Roses – Sweet Child O' Mine 
  • Metallica - Rebellion 
  • 3 Doors Down - It’s Not my Time 
  • Queen - Don't Stop Me Now
  • The Killers - Somebody Told Me
  • Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit 
  • House Of Pain - Jump Around 
  • Guns N' Roses – Welcome to the Jungle
  • The Darkness - I Believe in a Thing Called Love 
  • Sum 41- Fat Lip 
  • The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army 
  • Fall Out Boy - Sugar We’re Goin’ Down 

Best workout music: pop songs

  • Craig David - No Drama 
  • Charli XCX- Next Level Charli
  • Christina Aguilera - Dirrty
  • Dua Lipa - Hallucinate 
  • LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It 
  • Jason Derulo - Don’t Wanna Go Home 
  • Destiny’s Child - Lose My Breath 
  • Fuse ODG- Antenna 
  • Bruno Mars - Finesse 
  • Spice Girls - Wannabe 
  • Britney Spears - Toxic 
  • Gym Class Heroes - Cookie Jar 
  • Jennifer Lopez - Jenny From The Block 
  • Justin Bieber - One Time 
  • Daft Punk - One More Time 
  • Outkast - Hey Ya!
  • Justin Timberlake - My Love 
  • Far East Movement - Like A G6 
  • Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl 
  • Lady Gaga - Rain On Me

Best workout music: dance songs

  • Avicii- Levels 
  • Joel Corry - Head and Heart 
  • Avicii - Wake Me Up 
  • Tiesto - God Is A Dancer 
  • Matrix and Futurebound - Control 
  • Faithless - Insomnia 
  • Eric Prydz - Call On Me 
  • Philip George - Alone No More 
  • Armand Van Helden - I Want Your Soul 
  • David Guetta - Sunshine 
  • Blonde - I Loved You 
  • Chase & Status - Hurt You 
  • Loud Luxury - Body 
  • Alice DJ - Better Off Alone 
  • Marshmello - Stars 
  • Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition 
  • Architects - Body Groove 
  • Wankelmut - My Head is a Jungle 
  • Paul Woolford - You Already Know 
  • Sigala - Lasting Lover

Best workout music: 80s songs

  • Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance with Somebody 
  • Journey - Don’t Stop Believin’ 
  • Madonna – Material Girl 
  • Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf 
  • Michael Jackson - Billie Jean 
  • Dead Or Alive - You Spin Me Round 
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax
  • Depeche Mode – Just Can't Get Enough 
  • Prince – Kiss 
  • The B-52's – Love Shack  
  • Madonna – Papa Don't Preach 
  • Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam 
  • Bon Jovi - Livin’ On A Prayer
  • Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight
  • Dexys Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen
  • Madonna – Into the Groove
  • Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want to Have Fun 
  • A-Ha - Take On Me
  • Pat Benatar - Love Is A Battlefield
  • Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
Lucy Gornall

Lucy is a freelance journalist specializing in health, fitness and lifestyle. She was previously the Health and Fitness Editor across various women's magazines, including Woman&Home, Woman and Woman’s Own as well as Editor of Feel Good You. She has also previously written for titles including Now, Look, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Red and The Sun. 

She lives and breathes all things fitness; working out every morning with a mix of running, weights, boxing and long walks. Lucy is a Level 3 personal trainer and teaches classes at various London studios. Plus, she's pre- and post-natal trained and helps new mums get back into fitness after the birth of their baby. Lucy claims that good sleep, plenty of food and a healthy gut (seriously, it's an obsession) are the key to maintaining energy and exercising efficiently. Saying this, she's partial to many classes of champagne and tequila on the rocks whilst out with her friends.