8 Songs You Probably Wouldn’t Put On a Workout Playlist (But Should)

I’m slowly, almost imperceptibly, renewing my efforts to get healthy and lose weight. This week I’ll be joining up at the gym and cutting out the junk food I love so dearly. I’ve had enough, and it’s obvious my body has, too. I lost my gallbladder one year ago to a horrible nutella overdose (I wish I was kidding), and there is simply something about sitting in a chair all day that makes me want to remind my legs what it feels like to move out from under me. It’ll be an incredibly painstaking progress, but it will be progress nonetheless.

However, if you’re anything like me, you’re gonna need a lot more motivation than the possibility of losing another organ (I AM kidding now). We’ve all attempted to do it on our own. We’ve bought new sneakers, a new water bottle, new workout clothes, new headphones, and we get to the gym only to spend the entire time lifting weights in front of the mirror, staring at our body and hoping the weight will melt off sweat drop by sweat drop. I’ve counted calories in my head and on my phone. I’ve danced with ladies 20 years my senior to music that is 10 years my junior in a Zumba class. I’ve been a tree, a warrior, and a child in yoga, and I have counted my breaths more times than I can count.

In the past, I may not have been consistent with my workout routines, but music has always been a motivational tool for me. The problem for me is that the only songs that truly help me keep going have repetitive beats and monotonous, empty lyrics. Isn’t there a perfect blend of captivating lyrics with an up-tempo bass line? I had to ask. But whether you’re walking or running, don’t sweat it. I’ve got you covered.

8. Float On – Modest Mouse

A combination of positive lyrics and a beat you can get into, you’ll be power-walking through the entire song before you even realize the burn in your legs.

7. Babel – Mumford and Sons

Any Mumford and Son song can help to pump you up, but the guys’ sophomore album really hits the spot. Especially their title track, Babel, which has plenty of raging banjo to keep you going.

6. Come With Me Now – Kongos

It’s a little bit slow to run to, but it’s constant beat and infectious accordion will keep you surprisingly rejuvenated.

5. Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine

Another song with beautiful lyrics and an uplifting melody, Flo’s hit “Dog Days Are Over” will keep you moving and grooving. Besides, it tells you right in the lyrics to “run fast…” Don’t you love encouragement from a disembodied voice?

4. Intro – The XX

This tune is so steady and winding that you’re not really sure when it will finish, and you’re not really sure you want it to. This will keep your mind off the clock and off the pain in your legs.

3. Lazy Eye – Silversun Pickups

When the beat drops on this one, your feet will be flying. It is just continuous enough to match your footsteps but not enough to bore you. Give it a listen, and you’ll see what I mean.

2. Mountain Sound – Of Monsters and Men

Of Monsters and Men are one of those bands that are entirely underrated, especially in providing the soundtrack to your workout. Pick any song of theirs and you won’t be disappointed, but this is a favorite of mine.

1. Rag Doll – Aerosmith

Go figure, right? But the alternating drums on this track will keep your knees and heart rate high.

There you have it. Now, get up and jam out!


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