For me, a good workout playlist can sometimes mean the difference between actually getting some exercise and staying home to take a nap instead. Even if I don’t necessarily want to go for a run that day, I’ll still drag myself out so I have an excuse to listen to my favourite music uninterrupted.
However, I can easily get tired of listening to the same 20 songs over and over again. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting music to add to my exercise routine.
If you’re like me and find yourself bored with the usual Top 40 hits, check out some of these tunes for your next workout playlist. It’s an eclectic mix of artists, genres and styles, and hopefully includes a song or two that you’ve never heard before.
1. “Pump It Up” by Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Although British New Wave musician Elvis Costello isn’t the first name you might think of when it comes to workout music, “Pump It Up” is, in fact, a great way to pump yourself to start your workout. With a steady beat and punk rock vibes, I guarantee you’ll feel cooler just for listening.
2. “What’s It Gonna Be?” by Shura: Is lesbian-80s-synth-pop a genre of music? It really should be, and Shura’s “What’s it Gonna Be?” is the first song that should make your playlist. From her 2016 album Nothing’s Real, “What’s It Gonna Be?” is a throwback jam with all the joy and exuberance that you feel for your first love — even if you don’t feel that way about running laps.
3. “Here It Goes Again” by OK Go: Best known for their elaborate and quirky music videos, OK Go serves up a song that’s just as good in real life as it is on screen. Catchy as ever, hopefully “Here It Goes Again” will convince you to go again — to the gym, that is.
4. “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers: “Alaska” was hands down one of the smoothest jams of 2016. The only track so far from newcomer Maggie Rogers, the song became somewhat of a hit after Rogers played it for producer Pharrell Williams. “Alaska” is an upbeat take on walking away from your past, and you’ll want to keep walking anyway when you hear it.
5. “Let’s Run” by Le Tigre: Bring out your inner riot grrrl and rock out to “Let’s Run,” from Kathleen Hanna’s post-Bikini-Kill band Le Tigre. Crushing the patriarchy while also crushing your workout — it’s a win-win situation.
6. “My Shot featuring Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz, and Nate Ruess, Rise Up Remix” by The Roots, from The Hamilton Mixtape: If you haven’t heard of Hamilton: An American Musical by now, you’ve either been living under a rock or just really aren’t a fan of Broadway musicals. Either way, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton is a verifiable pop culture hit, with a modern score full of rap and hip-hop influences. This remix of “My Shot” makes it even more palpable to regular listeners and totally worthy of a place on your workout playlist next to Drake and Rihanna.
7. “Revolution Radio” by Green Day: If you didn’t spend most of high school driving around listening to pop-punk music and thinking about how much you hated your town, were you really even a teenager in the 2010s? Youth angst staple Green Day are back with Revolution Radio, an album whose title track is just as great the pop-punk hits of yesteryear.
8. “Stop Desire” by Tegan and Sara: Canadian indie darlings Tegan and Sara returned in 2016 with Love You to Death, a continuation of the pop success they found with Heartthrob. “Stop Desire” is possibly the catchiest song on an impossibly catchy album and will leave you with no desire to stop your workout anytime soon.
Emily Klatt / Sports & Health Editor
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor