There are several things I absolutely must have for a good run – but the top item on that list is music! Without a good workout playlist – finishing a long run is tough. With every good workout – you hit that point where you want to quit. Everyone hits that point. For me, the biggest difference between a good run and a bad run is impacted heavily by the quality of the song I hear in that moment! I have 6 favorite songs that I always get excited to hear in that moment, because I know they will help me through.
Every now and again, when I tell someone that I like running, they give me that sideways glance. They look at me as though trying to decide if they trust me now. In all seriousness though – I think they legitimately aren’t sure if they believe me.
There are two kinds of people – people who love to run and people who don’t. For me, I love it. I am one of those people who feels the runner’s high at the end. Some people only remember the anguish in the middle. If you’re the latter type of person you probably don’t even know what a runner’s high is. If you know it – then you’re a runner!
I love the feeling when I first take off for a run. It gives me that feeling of freedom. I have officially abandoned whatever cares I had at the start of the run – laundry, dishes, finances, work, and maybe even some emotional baggage. And the moment that run begins – it’s all about the run and ONLY the run. For me, it’s an escape.
I think for most people – their workout gives them that same freedom. But let’s be real – just because I love to run does NOT mean that I love every stinking minute of every stinking run. There are days my legs feel dead. There are days I feel like my lungs will explode. And then of course, there are days it’s too darn cold, snowy, rainy or hot for me to really want to run. What gets me through each and every crummy day is the runner’s high at the end. But what keeps me going in the middle (when I hurt) is my music & the perfect song on my workout playlist to help me power through.
Workout Playlists & What It Should Have:
No matter how hard my run might feel , there are those key songs that begin to play on my headphones where I think:
- That’s it – here we go.
- Power through.
- You got this.
- Don’t be a wuss.
- And a laundry list of other personal thoughts I use to push myself. I focus on the body image I want (and not by starving myself because I like food).
I focus on the mental stability I need to have to be a good mom. And I focus on the emotional balance I need to maintain a good marriage. But dang – those good songs on my playlist sure help!
6 Best Songs for Your Workout Playlist:
No matter what seasonal or current trends exist with music – this list will always be my favorite go-to list of pick-me-up and kick myself in the butt music. So these songs are on every single workout playlist I make for myself:
(1) Unstoppable, by The Score.
The lyrics for this song speak for themselves! The lyrics are all centered on powering through. One of my favorites lines from this song when I’m running a race is “[e]verybody who gave up is just the fuel for wanting it more than anybody against us.” Doesn’t get better than that for motivation!!!
(2) Living, by Dierks Bentley.
This song helps me realize how much beauty there is in every day and every moment of life. We all get caught up in our own stress, anxiety & worries. Exercise is such a great way to just step aside and realize that there’s more to life than our own negative inner voice. This song helps me visualize on my run – the person I want to be.
(3) Time of Our Lives, by Pitbull.
This is just a fun, upbeat song. The lyrics include basic struggles we’ve all experienced – living paycheck to paycheck when we’re younger and the joy of living life. The upbeat tempo for a dance club gets my heart pumping to power through on a long run.
(4) Riser, by Dierks Bentley.
This is my feel-good tune. It reminds me of all that I’ve accomplished and overcome. Losses, trauma, and betrayal – all of which made me stronger and more determined. It reminds me of how capable I am of overcoming so much – that the little bit I’m tired or sore is nothing compared to what I’ve accomplished.
(5) Let’s Go, by Calvin Harris.
This is probably my #1 favorite on a run. The buildup that occurs leading up to each chorus keeps pushing me forward in my run. I don’t think you can listen to this song and not feel pushed to keep going. My kids think this song is lame because it’s old – you know, like me as a mom. (Insert eye roll). But even my oldest son who runs with me agrees it’s great for a workout – it just drives you. Try it!!!
(6) Whatever It Takes, by Imagine Dragons.
I will admit – this song makes me reflect on my accomplishments – both professionally and with finishing my first half marathon. But it also makes me remember the runner’s high I’ll get when I’m done. It helps me focus on the reward at the end. It pushes me to go for what I want in every area of my life.
You’ll notice that I like a wide variety of music. That’s because I love any music on a run that has a good beat & good lyrics. Sometimes, I love a good dance tune – so hip hop/rap/R&B still get me pumped up. But at heart I’m probably more of a country girl.
My full list of “current” favorites changes with time. But I’ve always got some trending songs that lift me up because I simply like them. But the lyrics and beats of the songs above help me tremendously with my runs.
If you’re someone who struggles with the stamina of powering through your workouts & you love music – I encourage you to find your favorites. Try these out if they appeal to you. And if they don’t – go find some alternatives! Check out your genre of choice and I’m sure you can find similar options. The Score has a ton of amazing motivational songs for workouts so if that’s your style – I highly recommend checking out others by them!
If you have a favorite – share it in the comments. I am always looking for more good tunes. The better the workout playlist, the better run I usually have.