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The Top 20 Good Running Songs

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 4

Runners who need motivation need Good Running Songs

Songs that Motivate and get people Running

     Not everyone likes to run. It isn't always that they're lazy and even if they are it simply comes down to a lack of motivation. Running for some can be a boring mundane task, especially if they take the same routes over and over again. When nothing ever changes it becomes too monotonous. Even the slightest change can make things more interesting. A slight detour or running with a dog when one hasn't before.

A Statue of runner, Shirley Strickland as seen outside of Melbourne Cricket Grounds

     There is a different and easier way however to get people motivated to run and that's by listening to music that inspires them to run. Not just any ol' music, but tunes that will motivate runners to run. They can also be used for other work out activities like walking or cycling. Not everyone has the same taste in song, but sometimes its only the beat of the music they require whether or not the music is accompanied by lyrics being sung.

     Still, there should be at least one song almost, if not everyone would have in common off of a list of good running songs that motivate runners. Sometimes its not the beat of the music alone, nor the whole song that motivates, sometimes its just one line in the song that gets the heart pumping.

The Top 20 Good Running Songs


  •     What Doesn't Kill You as sung by Kelly Clarkson has a nice musical score to run to, with a good beat that interests people, or at least the rhythm ones body feels. It's the kind of beat that can get a person moving. It is not however the beat alone that makes this a one of the great exercise tracks. The line of this particular song which motivates runners is 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' or the line where the word fighter is substituted for stronger. Exercise wont kill a person and instead will make them stronger, be it their muscles or their heart. Continuing to exercise, to run, walk or otherwise makes one a fighter. A fighter against obesity and a fighter for their health.
  •     Holding Out for a Hero as sung by Bonnie Tyler happens to be another musical title that those who run will enjoy. It might not have any particular motivating lines in it, but it does have an awesome beat. A beat that's sure to get a person moving, because the music just seems to flow through one and dares them not to move. Unfortunately, or perhaps rather fortunately, most wont be able to win the dare, but at least it'll help them to burn off calories and work their way toward a healthier heart.
  •      Everytime We Touch as sung by Cascada is another wonderful example of what to add to ones musical library for exercising. It would be a great addition to anyone's collection of motivating exercise music. The fast version of the song is much better for running while the slower version is perhaps better for walking. Either way this track has a rhythm to it that just makes one want to move about to the beat. It could be for dancing, but when it comes to runners looking for good running songs, its among the top choices to put on their mp3 player.
  •     I Like It as sung by Enrique Iglesias is also a motivating song for anyone looking to create a playlist of good running songs to run to. The lines of it, itself may not be as motivating as other lines in other pieces. However the beat of this song can really get to a person and get their feet moving. Sometimes its only the beat, the rhythm and not the lyrics which motivate people to get up and move.
  •     We're Not Gonna Take It which is sung by the band Twisted Sisters is another to make its way onto the list of good running songs. It's another one with a beat that just wont stop, and because it wont stop, neither will a persons feet or legs. It's a song one just has to move to the beat of.

  This track also happens to have some motivating feel to it. Perhaps not in a single line, but the whole song over all. Even the title of the song itself makes it a good motivator, because who really wants to take life as unhealthy and unfit? No one; but there's just too many factors in life that can make it difficult to get where a person wants to be. Plus those facing obesity themselves don't want to take the chaff from others who will call them names. Like 'hog' or 'whale', sometimes it has nothing to do with food, but with genetics or the choice of food, or even what a person drinks. Soft drinks are a lot of empty calories and can add up fast. Finding a good running song like
We're not Gonna Take It can really motivate a person, maybe not just with running alone.

  •     Tik Tok,  which is sung be Ke$ha is a wonderful piece to get moving to. The reason its made its way into the top 20, is because of its beat not really any of its lyrics. The quick worded song with its motivating beat while played while running just makes everything that much more interesting.
  •     We Found Love isone Rihanna has sung and is a great song for runners. It's another good running song because of its beat. It sounds great when Rihanna sings it, but its mostly the beat. Plus it gives hope to the hopeless whether its about romantic love or some other kind of love. The line 'we found love in a hopeless place' is when the rhythm of the music is at its best. It's fun to run too, and really motivates because of its message that love can happen even in the most hopeless of places and situations. The beat and that line makes one want to get into shape for when that day may finally come, or bringing memories of how one got their love.
  •     Beat It as sung by the late pop legend and king, Michael Jackson really has a great rhythm to it. The most influential of the lines in this particular good running song happens to be 'Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, No one wants to be defeated.' While the song is about something else rather than running, these lines to a runner could represent beating the pavement with their running feet and not being defeated. They wont be defeated, because they're not giving up on exercise and in that way they'll be healthier and possibly and most likely live a longer life.
  •     Sugar, We're Goin' Down as sung by the band Fall Out Boy happens to be among the good running songs. The lyrics are... interesting to say the least, but its not really the lyrics that happen to be the big motivator. No, its just the music and maybe the rhythm of the song being sung. There's not really any motivating lines, but that doesn't make it any less worthy of being one of these wonderful songs for runners.
  •     Survivor as sung by Destiny's Child is yet another song to help motivate someone when they're running. Perhaps a motivator for anyone doing any sort of exercise or job around the house. Now this is one of the good songs for running where not only is the beat a motivation, but so are the lyrics. Particularly the lines 'I'm a survivor. I'm not gon' give up.' Every runner is a survivor, because they're surviving life and/or surviving obesity in a time where obesity seems to be at an all time high. As long as a runner keeps on running or a walker keeps on walking, they're determined not to give up. The song might not be talking about that specifically, but for runners they can see any of the lines the way they'd like to.
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  •     The Pretender as sung by the band, Foo Fighters is only a contender, because of its composition rather than its lyrics. The way its sung is catchy, but the lines themselves are not all that motivating for runners. The tune however keeps one wanting to move and that's the kind of motivation runners need, or anyone doing any kind of exercise needs. A tune that they can't help but move to in some way.
  •    Dynamite which is a song that Taio Cruz sings is another great pick, if one is looking for good running songs with a dynamite beat. Not only that but it has one very motivating line, 'I wanna celebrate and live my life'. That is one very profound line, the most profound throughout the entire song. One should celebrate their life by running, because running leads to better health. Better health in turn helps one to better live their life. Its no wonder its made its way onto the list of good songs for runners, because it has meaning when one looks closely enough at the lyrics, or at least pieces thereof.
  •    Stronger which is a song sung by Mandisa is another good running song. The line 'This is gonna make you stronger' at least for runners who aren't analyzing the entirety of what the song is about will be motivated by it. In order to be strong throughout life, one needs to be healthy and to be healthy its good to start with a strong heart. Running is a great way to gain a stronger heart (unless its not recommended by ones doctor should they have certain heart problems. Then one might wish to consult with a physician about running.)
  •      What I Like About You is a song which was sung by The Romantics and has found its way onto the list of good running songs. Its mostly the fast paced beat that really gets one moving. The lyrics themselves aren't that motivating when it comes to something to do with exercise, except perhaps for one line, 'When you go up, down, jump around'. It might not be a line that's specifically for runners or any other type of exerciser, but the line by itself can be.
  •     Don't Stop the Music as sung by Rihanna is another upbeat song that can motivate runners while they're runner, even beginners when it comes to running more than just a little. The most inspiring lines from the song are, 'I gotta get my body moving. Shake the stress away'. Running isn't just good for physical health, but it releases certain endorphins that help to reduce stress. Running alone isn't the answer to all stress, but it is an answer to how one can get healthier. Having a list of good songs for running on ones mp3 player to run to can really keep one focused and enjoying their run.
  •     Top of the World as sung by the band, The All-American Rejects is a great song for runners. Not because of the lyrics, but because of the rhythm that just makes one want to start moving. The bands singers make the song sound good, but the song itself without its composition wouldn't have made it onto the list of good running songs.
  •     Lose My Breath which is sung by Destiny's Child is yet another song where its basically only the composition and the way its sung that gives it merit for being a good song for runners. The only line which might be inspiring to runners is, 'Bring the noise, make me lose my breath' when they think of noise as the music and having it make them lose their breath by running. It really comes down to the composition alone, but the voices make it even better. The lyrics if they were sung a different way or to a different rhythm might not have made for a good running song, but the way it is already is perfect for runners and their mp3 players.
  •      I Like to Move It from Power Music Workout is another song that runners will find helps to motivate them and keep them from being bored while they're running. Hearing 'I like to move it, move it' over and over might even sink into ones thoughts eventually and have them believing they like to move it even if they didn't before. Other than that and the songs catchy, body moving beat the song wouldn't have made it onto the list of these wonderful running songs. But it did, because it has a composition, a rhythm that somehow manages to get people moving and that's what runners need to motivate them. (And it doesn't hurt that King Julien from Madagascar and The Penguins of Madagascar loves to boogie to I Like to Move It)
  •     Barefoot Blue Jean Night is a song which was sung by Jake Owen has a composition and voice to it that works for runners looking for songs that will help them with their running. It'll certainly make running less boring than if there were no music at all. The faster the pace and the faster a song is sung the better. Runners without even knowing it may wind up running to the pace and the beat of the song. Slower songs are more for walking or leisure, but this song while its lower on the list of the top 20 good running songs it is still a great song for runners.
  •     Don't Stop Me Now which is a song that Queen sang has made its way onto the list of good running sogns. It may come in last for the top 20 good running songs, but it is nevertheless a wonderful song for runners to listen to while they're running. The title of the song itself which is also found throughout its lyrics is the most motivating part. A runner doesn't want to be stopped, well they might want to stop, but at the same time they don't for health reasons. It has an upbeat composition that just keeps a person moving, like any good running song if its to motivate runners.

    All good running songs shouldn't be listened to by everyone, because some of them are explicit. Even if they're not some parents might not like some word choices in them or what messages the songs are sending. That doesn't mean they're not good running songs or good songs in general, but they should still be age appropriate. MP3 players are also great for runners so that they can keep all the good running songs on them and listen to them while running.



May 2, 2012 5:36pm
What a fun list, several of the songs on it are favorites of mine.
May 3, 2012 3:56am
I'm glad you enjoyed the list. I originally had youtube videos connected to each one, not sure what happened. I find that all of them really work to keep one motivated for any type of exercise or just to sit down and listen to.

Thanks for commenting!
May 4, 2012 4:44am
I love running and some of these songs would make it even more fun! I also love Christina Aguilera's Stronger as a great motivator!
May 4, 2012 6:01am
Songs do make running more fun. I'll have to listen to her, thanks for the comment and recommendation.
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