What’s the music that moves you?

Last week, I turned off the talk radio shows I usually listen to on my commute. I turned my personal music library on shuffle. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I’ve just let it play. That morning, instead of focusing on the crawl of traffic or the bizarre celebrity story coming over the radio, I had the chance to just think. It put me in my element.

Music is a unifying phenomenon: Our tastes may vary, but most of us have a genre or artist we can put on that makes us feel more like ourselves. The right recipe of beats per minute, vocals, sick guitar riffs and beat drops can be a difference maker in the middle of a tough WOD or PR attempt. Some people need it loud and angry; others, bright and poppy.

I put out an informal Facebook poll this week asking friends, “You can choose two songs to exercise to for the next month, whatever your workout of choice is. What are they?”

Here’s what I got:

“Diamond Eyes” – Shinedown

“Monster” – Skillet

“Lose Yourself” – Eminem

“Cowboy” – Kid Rock

“Pure Rock Fury” – Clutch

“Sound of Madness” – Shinedown

“Headstrong” – Trapt

“Power” – Kanye West

“Training Montage” (Rocky IV) – Vince Decola

“Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga

“Formation” – Beyoncé

“Yoncé/Partition” – Beyoncé

“Me Too” – Meghan Trainor

“Superstition” – Stevie Wonder

“MmmBop” – Hansen

“Enter Sandman” – Metallica

“Bleed It Out” – Linkin Park

“Carry on Wayward Son” – Kansas

I love the variety here! My own “go for a run” playlist differs drastically from my “get the weight from the floor to overhead” preferences. So below are some of my favorites, organized by ‘need.’

Fan starts blowing, music comes up, countdown is coming, I want to hear:

“Uma Thurman” – Fall Out Boy

“It’s Tricky” – Run–D.M.C.

“Gold Digger” – Kanye West

“Not Afraid” – Eminem

“Anything Goes” – Florida Georgia Line (Yes, you’re going to see country from me.)

“S&M” – Rihanna

“Seven Nation Army” – The White Stripes


It’s round three of five in a WOD with heavy weights, and I need a good push to grind through. Give me:

“Ready, Aim, Fire” – Imagine Dragons

“Heart of a Champion” – Nelly (Still relevant. If you say you don’t like it, you’re lying)

“Down with the Sickness” – Disturbed

“Last Resort” – Papa Roach

“Ex’s and O’s” – Elle King

“Walk” – Pantera

“Gunpowder & Lead” – Miranda Lambert


Doing cardio (running/rowing) and need a kick:

“Callin’ Baton Rouge” – Garth Brooks (an all-time favorite song outside of exercise too)

“Even Flow” – Pearl Jam

“Authority Song” John Cougar Mellencamp

“Candyman” – Christina Aguilera

“Centerfold” – J. Geils Band

“Rain is a Good Thing” – Luke Bryan

“America’s Sweetheart” – Elle King

“September” – Earth, Wind & Fire

“Lonely Boy” – The Black Keys

“Drink in my Hand” – Eric Church


Guilty pleasures to mix up any workout:

“Bad Girlfriend” – Theory of a Deadman

“U + Ur Hand” – Pink

“Bang Bang” – Jessie J., Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj

“Crazy Bitch” – Buckcherry

“Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon


Your turn: what’s in your playlist? I may need some new additions to my catalog.

Featured image credit: Joe Diaz, Flickr.