One day cold afternoon last winter, I was running my routine 3.8 mile loop and just stopped. I was bored. I was tired. I was also kinda sad. I had a personal issue going on and really was not in the mood to power through a workout. I glanced down at my iPhone and began browsing iTunes. I wasn’t sure if I was looking for a song to cry with, a song to cheer me up or a song to get me angry and fired up. Running is my therapy but this day I needed a therapist to sing to me.

I opted to download the new Adele album. Quickly I thought to myself, “How crazy is it that with a touch of my finger I can download an entire new album on a bridge in the middle of my run?”

As soon I started hearing the bellowing voice of Adele, the oomph in my stride returned. I finished my cathartic run with a proud sense of achievement. Regardless of how I was feeling before I started, I accomplished what I set out to do and had regained control over my thoughts. Yes, the album is depressing but that is how I felt. Her angry words energized my legs and assured me, this feeling too shall pass.

Music is my savior when it comes to working out. I cannot run without it. Studies have shown that it helps people workout harder and longer. The beats per minute help keep your speed up your pace as well. To stay motivated, I am constantly updating my playlist. I use Pandora and I Heart Radio often, but when you are in a mood like I was last winter, you need control over what you hear.

If I lack motivation to go to the gym, I put on my headphones and start listening to my latest workout playlist. In no time, I’m ready to go move around. Here is my most recent Top 10 playlist:

  • Rihanna, We Found Love In a Hopeless Place
  • Florence And The Machine, Dog Days Are Over
  • Flo Rida, Good Feeling
  • No Doubt, Sunday Morning
  • David Guetta & Nicki Minaj, Turn Me On
  • Duck Sauce, Barbara Streisand
  • Ellie Goulding, Lights
  • The Pretty Rechless, Make Me Wanna Die
  • Morningwood, Jetsetter
  • Katy Perry, Use Your Love

I like to mix up old favorites with new songs, that way if the radio overplays these songs I won’t hate the entire thing but just half :) Jetsetter has been on my list for over 5 years and it doesn’t get old. It’s also my power song on Nike+. What are some of your favorite not currently popular songs?


New Workout Playlist: My Top 10 Songs

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  • Rachel
    Reply is a really cool running music website…you can put in your mile pace and it will recommend music that has beats per minute at that pace. When running outside it helps you stay at that pace without having to think too hard about it!

  • Nic

    I don’t know how you can work out to Adele! If she came on my playlist I would just curl up in the fetal position somewhere and start the waterworks.

    • Sarah

      I don’t usually, haha. I was in a bad mood and trying to show an example of how the right song can totally change your mentality especially when it comes to find motivation for a workout.

  • Meg

    I looveee Rihanna We Found Love right now too -- and Pitbull/Chris Brown International Love. I usually use Pandora and recently discovered Jango -- it has it’s bugs… for ex: if you thumbs down a song it still plays it, you can remove artists to not have them played (but they still play) but you can press forwarded an unlimited # of times, I love it! Since I started using it I haven’t even opened Pandora.

  • Julia

    I know what you mean about running and music … sometimes I get into a song so much that I start snapping and bobbing my head to the rhythm. It’s embarrassing. I have to try really hard not to start screeching every other word or so with my exhale. I know that freaks people out around me but honestly I can’t help it! It’s actually kind of problem and a very, very strange one because I am not weird and impulsive like that in real life.

    Favorite sad-mood running songs: THE FUNERAL by BAND OF HORSES & HURT ME by THE JEZABELS

    Favorite upbeat running songs: CALL YOU GIRLFRIEND by ROBYN & CALL ON ME by ERIC PRYDZ (the latter song never gets old for me)

  • Bella

    Mutemath! That band is incredible. Their music, on my running playlist, pulled me out of my depression last fall. Fav tracks: “Pryania,” “Tell Your Heart Heads Up,” and “Blood Pressure. Worth checking out, for sure. :)

  • Jen

    My all time favorite album to run to is Guns ‘n Roses, Appetite for Destruction….loud and fast! :) But I’m a product of the 80s, so it’s not for everyone!

  • mollie

    I just checked out a few of the songs you have in your top 10 right now…I had never heard Katy Perry’s Lose Your Love and I am now officially obsessed!!! Thanks =)

    Some of my current favorites to listen to while working out are Tetris (DeCav5), Wavin’ Flag (K’naan), and I like it Like That (Hot Chelle Rae) and All I do is Win (T Pain)

    Happy Monday!

  • Emily

    I love this post, music can make all the difference between a tough workout and an amazing one. Based on your list, Sarah, it seems like we have similar taste in music (We Found Love, Turn Me On + Adele obsessions!). My favorites lately are:
    --“Roman’s Revenge” by Eminem + Nicki Minaj (intense but this is my go-to song when I want to stop!)
    --“Get Myself Together” by Robyn
    --“Titanium” by David Guetta ft. Sia
    --“Night of your Life” by David Guetta ft. Jennifer Hudson
    --“Beggin” by Madcon (throwback!)
    --“Can You Feel It” by Timbaland ft. Esthero (throwback!)
    happy running!

  • Kara

    I love Caligulove by Them Crooked Vultures, Mudshovel by Staind and Firestarter by Prodigy. I never stop running when those songs are on!

  • Erika

    Hi, loved the post!
    I usually like to listen to music that’s not too emotional under my workout, but once in a while I can’t help it, they’re just to good.
    Right now I’m running to these tunes, just to name a few;

    *Foo Fighers -- Walk
    *Labyrinth -- Earthquake feat. Tinie Tempah (Explict Full Version)
    *Rebecca & Fiona -- Jane Doe
    *Hollywood Undead -- Levitate
    *Nabiha -- Trouble
    *Spector -- Chevy Thunder
    *Olly Murs -- Heart Skips A Beat feat. Rizzle Kicks
    *Volbeat -- Still Counting
    *Pitbull -- Rain Over Me feat. Marc Anthony
    *Dead By April -- Real & True
    *Usher -- More -- RedOne Jimmy Joker Remix
    *The Baseballs -- Let’s Get Loud
    *Rasmus Seebach -- Natteravn
    *Avicii -- Levels

    As you probably can tell I like to mix everything even though rock is my fav.
    But just so I don’t get bored to hear same old songs I put the “upbeat” songs in to make me run better and faster. :)

  • Courtney

    The Pretty Reckless!! :) Love them!! Awesome playlist!
    I’m loving “Blackout” by Breathe Caroline at the moment….and “Real Gone” by Sheryl Crowe teehee.
    Awesome post! :)

  • Natalie

    I listen to music everywhere, but it really does help during a workout. The weird thing about me is that I can listen to a sad song ir lobe somg or something, but still feel totally upbeat. Or if I’m sad, a happy song doesn’t cheer me up, because either way it’s just music to me.
    My Top Ten Workout Songs:
    • Intutition by Selena Gomez
    • Anna Sun by Walk the Moon
    • Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey
    • We Are Young by Fun.
    • How Far We’ve Come by Matchbox Twenty
    • Check Yes, Juliet by We the Kings
    • Feels Like the First Time by Foreigner
    • Somebody That I Used to Know ( Tiëstol Remix) by Gotye
    • Come Back Down by Greg Laswell and Sara Bareilles
    • Live to Rise by Soundgarden