Remember that awesome playlist you used to listen to on repeat for what seemed like a whole year? Sure it was fun, but it also probably helped you push yourself the extra mile — literally, if you're a runner. The link between your improved performance and your rockin' workout music playlist can actually be backed up by science — sort of, at least.
Studies have shown that listening to music while working out not only motivates you, but can also help you work out longer and harder — which translates into burning more calories. So, if you're looking for motivation for your next workout, check out these 18 rockin' songs that will get you pumped and ready to move! We've chosen some new songs and a few old favorites to keep you motivated and pushing your hardest.
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1. “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons
One of the keys to a good playlist is the right start, and "Radioactive" is just the right song to be first on the list. This hot rock song may start out mellow, but once it gets going, it really gets going. The lyrics say "I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones, " and that's exactly how you want to feel once you start your routine — energized and ready to go.
Buy it: Find "Radioactive" on iTunes.
2. “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk
From "Random Access Memories," the latest album of popular French band Daft Punk, "Get Lucky" is a summer 2013 hit that begs you to move. This collaboration with Pharrell Williams is a great addition to your workout playlist, but beware: the lyrics will get into your head for the rest of the day!
Buy it: Find "Get Lucky" on iTunes.
3. “So What” by P!nk
With the animosity and strength in her voice, P!nk is always perfect for a workout playlist. "So What" boasts lyrics of revenge and commitment to move on. She screams, "So what, I'm still a rock star," loudly enough to make you want to sing it along with her. Plus, it's got a great beat and fun lyrics which will push you to your limit.
Buy it: Find "So What" on iTunes.
4. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
Yes, it's official: we can now call Nirvana songs "classic rock." Written by Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is the opening track and lead single from Nirvana's 1991 second album, "Nevermind." This early '90s grunge classic is sure to have you taking out your anger and aggression on the pavement or at the gym. You are guaranteed to be sweating by the end of this song. At the very least, you'll be out of breath.
5. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, was released by The Rolling Stones in the summer of 1965. It was the Stones first number one hit in the U.S. The song initially played only on pirate radio stations because its lyrics were considered too sexually suggestive.
From the moment this song starts with that infamous guitar riff, you'll feel the urge to move. Even Steve Van Zandt (who's a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band) called it the "riff heard round the world," because it's so catchy. You'll get a workout just trying to keep up with the beat!
6. “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC
This is Australian rock band AC/DC's hit song from their July 1980 album, "Back in Black." "You Shook Me All Night Long" placed at number 10 on VH1's list of "The 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s." This song is a great pick-me-up song that puts you in a great mood and urges you to stay on your toes.
7. “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)” by Fall Out Boy
This 2013 single has a lot of unique sounds, some intense guitar riffs and of course, a catchy beat that will make you want to run, and run really fast. It even sounds like lead singer Patrick Stump is straight out of an '80s hair band on this track! Blast this hit on your workout playlist for inspiration for some serious exertion.
8. “Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse
We love this 2006 single, and guarantee that it's a playlist must no matter your workout of choice (ok, maybe not for yoga). In October 2011, NME placed "Supermassive Black Hole" at number 74 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years." It's got 120 beats per minute, enough to keep you on a steady training pace.
9. “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin
You can try the Karen O, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross cover from "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" movie, or you can stick to this 1970 Led Zeppelin classic. It's undeniably motivating from the second it starts. Try it in the middle of your workout to get you past the halfway mark and get pumped for the rest of your routine.
Buy it: Find "Immigrant Song" on iTunes.
10. “I Love It” by Icona Pop
This 2012 single by Swedish synthpop duo Icona Pop was made furiously popular in a dancing scene in a 2013 episode of HBO's show "Girls." It's nearly impossible not to put extra pep in your step and add explosiveness to your moves when the chorus hits.
Buy it: Find "I Love It" on iTunes.
11. “London Calling” by The Clash
"London Calling" was released in the U.S. in January 1980. The album's title track (and hit single of the same name) was partially influenced by the March 1979 accident at a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.
Joe Strummer's lyrics also discuss the problems of rising unemployment, racial conflict and drug use in Britain. This politically charged song features reggae bass lines and a whole lot of electric guitar. From the first note, you'll be ready to rock.
Buy it: Find "London Calling" on iTunes.
12. “Cousins” by Vampire Weekend
"Cousins" is the first single from Vampire Weekend's 2009 album "Contra." The song is used in the opening sequence of the 2010 film, "The Kids Are All Right." This fun tune will have you moving through your workout with a smile on your face.
Buy it: Find "Cousins" on iTunes.
13. “Show Me How to Live” by Audioslave
Front man Chris Cornell will help you sail into the remaining minutes of your workout with this popular 2003 track. This song has 90 beats per minute and can help you keep a quick step while you push yourself to the edge.
Buy it: Find "Show Me How to Live" on iTunes.
14. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
This 1982 hit single was written at the request of actor Sylvester Stallone to be the theme song for "Rocky III." In tribute to Rocky Balboa, we thought it was fitting to add this song to the list — even if it is a little cheesy. The hook is so strong and it's totally motivating, and hey, it worked for Rocky, didn't it?
Buy it: Find "Eye of the Tiger" on iTunes.
15. “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys
Crank up this 1994 single from The Beastie Boys' fourth album "Ill Communication" for a total body workout. The song is typically considered rapcore, featuring traditional rock instrumentation, turntable scratches and heavily distorted bass guitar riffs. Feeling like you could blow out some steam? The Beastie Boys are sure to help you work out some of that aggression!
Buy it: Find "Sabotage" on iTunes.
16. “Sunday Morning” by No Doubt
"Sunday Morning" is a song written by Tony Kanal, Gwen Stefani, and Eric Stefani for No Doubt's 1995 album "Tragic Kingdom." This funky beat and quick ska bass line will keep you motivated while you push to the end of your workout. With its 156 beats a minute, it will have you burning calories all the way to the end of your workout session.
Buy it: Find "Sunday Morning" on iTunes.
17. “Everlong” by The Foo Fighters
The Foo Fighters made it onto this playlist list because our LIVESTRONG.com readers and followers told us on Twitter that they love working out to Foo Fighters' songs. Their 1997 single "Everlong" may start out sweet and quiet until suddenly you're full speed ahead with a fast guitar and catchy chorus.
Buy it: Find "Everlong" on iTunes.
18. “Sail” by Awolnation
You made it to the end of your workout, and it's time to cool down. Let your heart rate start slowing down with this 2011 electronic rock song that has recently peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Written by singer/songwriter Aaron Bruno in Venice California, this song is an eclectic mix of sounds and lyrics that it's the perfect end to an intense workout.
Buy it: Find "Sail" on iTunes.
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