The future of music

65 Best Running Songs (Motivational Running Playlist)

December 7, 2023
best running songs

I’ve compiled the best running songs, a motivational playlist designed to energize and inspire your every stride.

This article is your companion for an uplifting running experience, featuring tracks that boost your pace and lift your spirits.

Table of Contents

Best running songs

  • “Physical” by Dua Lipa
  • “You Make My Dreams (Come True)” by Hall & Oates
  • “Ricky” by Denzel Curry
  • “Call Me” by Blondie
  • “Laugh Now, Cry Later (ft. Lil Durk)” by Drake
  • “Reptilia” by The Strokes
  • “Runnin” by 21 Savage & Metro Boomin
  • “We No Speak Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup
  • “Hot Girl Summer (ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign) by Megan Thee Stallion
  • “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd

1. “Physical” by Dua Lipa

The best song to start off a list like this is one where the song is literally telling you to “get physical.”

Dua Lipa and her producers are fantastic at creating 80s aesthetics for motivational pop songs and this is one of her best examples of that.

2. “You Make My Dreams (Come True)” by Hall & Oates

Upbeat and catchy beyond belief, Hall & Oates are always extremely talented when it comes to making hits that are equally motivational and casual at the same time.

This song is no exception.

3. “Ricky” by Denzel Curry

If you’ve ever heard any of Denzel’s music, especially his cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade,” then you know that he has quite the expressive voice.

Match that with a crazy as all hell instrumental and you’ve got the formula that every runner is gonna be looking for.

4. “Call Me” by Blondie

You cannot tell me that what you’re hearing isn’t one of the most heart pumping songs ever made.

Whether you’re out for a run or just tapping your foot, this song has the ability to make anyone move their body like there’s no tomorrow.

5. “Laugh Now, Cry Later (ft. Lil Durk)” by Drake

Motivation has never felt so good.

Those uplifting horns are nothing short of a runner’s paradise and it’s thanks to Drake and Durk that we get to have something so fun to keep us busy.

6. “Reptilia” by The Strokes

The Strokes are no strangers to creating killer rock tracks and it’s no surprise that they’ve made something so upbeat that runners everywhere need to hear it to believe it.

Just listen to that bassline and tell me you aren’t aching to get out there and start moving.

7. “Runnin” by 21 Savage & Metro Boomin

I mean, look at the title.

How could we not pick this?

21 Savage and Metro Boomin team up once again to give us a whole new batch of tracks, with “Runnin” being the standout not just from its sinister verses but also from its chants of “runnin, runnin, runnin.”

8. “We No Speak Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup

Responsible for the rise of electro swing, a genre that would boom during the 2010s, this song’s dancey feel makes this the perfect song for runners everywhere.

The saxophone line is also pretty fun and who doesn’t wanna have some fun on their run?

9. “Hot Girl Summer (ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign) by Megan Thee Stallion

Megan always knows how to bring life to the party and that life is what’s gonna motivate you in your next run.

Megan and Nicki work together to make one of the summer’s biggest and best hits!

That’s certainly got to be enough to get you outside.

10. “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd

This has to be one of the biggest songs in music history for a good reason.

Who could listen to those drum kicks and not be excited to put those running shoes on?

11. “Ascension (ft. Vince Staples)” by Gorillaz

Drum and bass is so crazy in the way that its fast paced nature causes a rush inside of you.

That alongside the verses rapped wonderfully by Vince Staples will have you sweating up a storm in no time.

12. My High (ft. Amine & slowthai)” by Disclosure

Bring out your wild side with a song so chaotic, you’ll have no way of relieving yourself until you run a mile!

Disclosure has always been great at creating such energetic grooves but never has it felt more endurance-testing than this.

13. “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna

Rihanna has something for everybody and right now she’s got something for anyone looking to run at their heart’s desire.

No running song can even try to compete with this song right now.

14. “Midnight Sky” by Miley Cyrus

One of Miley’s greatest works to date and not only that it’s a killer for runners everywhere.

“I was born to run” is exactly the mentality you and everyone else needs in their life.

15. “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)” by OutKast

Conscious hip hop is generally something you’ll find yourself chilling out to but running to?

Not as common.

But that hasn’t stopped OutKast from trying (and succeeding) at making something so fast paced and energetic.

It’s beyond belief!

16. “Lust For Life” by Iggy Pop

The drums on this are so raw and the energy that comes out is way too much for you to just be sitting there.

What are you doing?

Go out there and run, run until you can’t run anymore!

17. “Dior” by Pop Smoke

A true pioneer lost from the world way too soon, Pop Smoke’s most iconic song is so infectious that you have no choice but to start moving.

Drill music in general has such a fast paced energy to it so you can’t go wrong with any songs in the genre.

18. “Maniac” by Michael Sembello

Crazy from start to finish.

Michael is an absolute beast on this song and he’s here to bring that energy to you.

Don’t wait any longer – get yourself outside this instant and see how far you can go!

19. “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick helps everyone get the runner’s high they’ve been waiting for with this massive song off of his album “DAMN.

The keys on this song are so raw that you can’t resist getting that urge to run a marathon.

20. “All My Life” by Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl is not someone to mess with.

From his work on this band and Nirvana, he knows what the people want the people want to hear and the runners?

This is what they want to hear.

21. “Womanizer” by Britney Spears

We don’t know what to tell you.

Britney has proven herself to be a master at creating music for any situation so it makes sense that songs like this also have some pep to their step.

Trust us, you’re gonna want this in your next running outing.

22. “Lucky You (ft. Joyner Lucas)” by Eminem

Even two decades into his career, Eminem still knows how to get everyone’s blood pumping.

With him and Joyner Lucas teaming up, they’re combined energy brings out the best in each other.

23. “Danny Nedelko” by IDLES

With the rise of the UK post-punk scene, there’s been a lot of really animalistic music coming out that brings out this primal urge to just run with no thoughts.

Danny Nedelko” felt like one of the best examples of this, from its chaotic drums to its bassline that just won’t quit.

24. “Rain on Me (ft. Ariana Grande)” by Lady Gaga

A true meeting of the minds, Gaga and Ariana pull out everything that’s brought them to stardom into this high energy track that’ll live on as a huge staple in both of their musical careers.

25. “Down Bad (ft. J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG & Young Nudy)” by Dreamville

The Dreamville label recruits some of its biggest names to form a hip hop cut for the age.

From the moment the song starts, the heat is raised through the roof and into the sky!

26. “Countdown” by Beyonce

What is it about euphoric horn lines that always get us in the mood to get on our feet and start running?

Beyonce really knows how to set the mood for any occasion.

27. “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service

What a peaceful song.

It shouldn’t make you want to run but there’s something so motivating about it that you can’t help but feel the need to go run with a huge smile on your face.

28. “Power” by Kanye West

The name really does speak for itself.

One of the top songs for runners with its monstrous drums and its insistence to mix hip hop and rock music.

One of the best in the industry to do it.

29. “Misery Business” by Paramore

Responsible for aiding in the rise of the pop punk genre during the 2000s, “Misery Business” is also responsible for creating some of the most kickass guitar riffs that fit nice and snuggly on anyone’s running playlist.

30. “Pump It” by The Black Eyed Peas

Their most energetic song and one that puts their whole persona on display.

When it comes to songs made for running, you can’t go wrong with a song literally called “Pump It.”

31. “As It Was” by Harry Styles

Harry, for as long as he’s been famous, has been nothing more than a pop icon.

Here, he finds creating one of his best songs for runners with its pumping kicks and catchy melody.

He really could do it all.

32. “Empire State of Mind (ft. Alicia Keys)” by Jay-Z

A true staple in Jay-Z’s discography, those piano lines are way too infectious for you not to feel the drive to run.

Music for runners should be fun and motivational and songs like this really make you feel like you can do anything.

33. “Up” by Cardi B

After the gigantic success of “WAP” with Megan the Stallion, Cardi’s personality is on full display on her own as she brings up the energy.

Who else but her can make a song that’s so catchy and full of character?

34. “Doorman” by slowthai & Mura Masa

This is one of the craziest and most chaotic songs you’ll see on this entire list.

Slowthai’s demanding presence alongside Mura Masa’s ballistic production is something to behold.

It’s almost rage inducing.

35. “King’s Dead (ft. Kendrick Lamar, Future & James Blake)” by Jay Rock

With amazing verses from everyone featured, this song is sure to get you in the mood to get those feet moving.

Just listen to how infectious this song is, come on!

36. “The Middle” by Jimmy Eats World

Who can deny that this song is perfect for almost any situation?

From being sad to being happy to wanting to just get on your feet and run, this song has been and always will be there when you need it the most.

37. “The Light is Coming (ft. Nicki Minaj)” by Ariana Grande

Pharrell’s bouncy beat plus Ariana and Nicki’s playful nature gives this song the punch it needs to be one of the top running songs on anyone’s running playlist.

If you haven’t heard this song in the right setting then do what’s right and give it a go!

38. “Rollercoaster” by Bleachers

Such an uplifting song from Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers.

For anyone looks for a song that’s upbeat but isn’t so demanding or viscous, you can’t go wrong with this gem.

Sometimes we need something that isn’t yelling at us, but rather its positive nature fuels us instead.

39. “Higher Ground” by TNGHT

On the other hand, if you are looking to get yelled at and have that rush you’ve been waiting for, look no further than this psychotic banger by none other than Lunice and Hudson Mohawke.

The duo are the kings of wonky trap music, even helping with Kanye’s Yeezus album.

For anyone who needs a loud brass instrument in their ear to get pumped, your chariot awaits.

40. “Stir Fry” by Migos

You’ll generally find Migos giving a cool and chill performance but for “Stir Fry” they find themselves giving more character than ever.

They’ve really brought up the energy tremendously compared to their other songs.

41. “Dead!” by My Chemical Romance

From the moment the track starts, the dopamine hit begins.

MCR is no stranger to creating intense guitar lines but what they’ve created here is so motivating that there’s no reason to let those running shoes go to waste.

42. “Bubblin’” by Anderson .Paak

If people thought Anderson wasn’t a rapper before this, I’d love to hear what they have to say now.

Tensions are high from the moment the song starts with those strings that are so chaotic you can’t help but move those legs!

43. “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo

Lizzo is nothing short of a hitmaker and who else but her can make us songs that’ll get us on the track?

You gotta hand it to her, she really knows how to make a song perfect for running.

44. “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John

We’re all going to be doing a lot more than standing when this Elton John masterpiece comes on.

Runners everywhere are already tying their running shoes on when they hear this.

45. “Queer” by Brockhampton

If there was one word to describe this song, it would be eventful.

Every member of the group present pulls through with their catchiest and most animalistic verses, creating such an upbeat and motivational atmosphere.

46. “Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo

One of the pop’s youngest idols, Olivia pulls out the big guns by creating a pop punk anthem that will define the next generation of rebels.

Anyone looking for a strong running track that’ll get their blood pumping should definitely look into seeing what the younger generation is gravitating towards, like this one right here.

47. “Out of Sight (ft. 2 Chainz)” by Run the Jewels

If you are a fan of hip hop, there better be at least one Run the Jewels song on your playlist.

Out of Sight” is a great choice, with its relentless instrumental, but really any pick of theirs would work.

48. “Run Run Run” by Jill Scott

Don’t let this song be the one you forget to add to your playlist.

Just listen to those background vocals, it’s like an audience motivating you to keep going.

Don’t quit!

Keep going!

49. “Tell Them (ft. Moses Sumney & Metro Boomin)” by James Blake

From the blends of trap music with flamenco hand claps, the vibes are strong on this one.

James and Moses have such passionate vocals while Metro Boomin brings in the heat with his amazing-as-always production.

50. “Test Drive” by Joji

It’s crazy to say that there’s a Joji song that’ll make you run and not whimper in your room with tears in your eyes but it’s true!

Joji really doesn’t hold back in mixing his usual style of dreamy and sad music with some fast paced drums, creating one of his more ambitious songs.

51. “99 Problems” by Jay-Z

Jay-Z always knows how to pick a beat and this hard as hell beat makes this the perfect song for runners everywhere.

If you’re looking for high speed and motivation, then you got it right here.

52. “Tightrope (ft. Big Boi)” by Janelle Monae

When it comes to running songs, nothing feels more upbeat and driving than “Tightrope.”

Janelle and Big Boi come together to give their all into this massive song that’s just the right amount of euphoria to get someone running.

53. “Thnks fr the Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy

One of the best rock songs to come out in recent memory is also, coincidentally, an amazing display of showmanship and talent that runners everywhere can enjoy.

The strings also add this extra layer that will make anyone turn into an animal.

54. “Jumpman” by Future & Drake

A collaboration for the decade, Future and Drake know how to make a blood pumping track.

On all accounts this song fits every criteria needed to get runners to get their feet moving.

55. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

It feels unfair to include this song on this list since it might become the only thing you listen to and not the rest of these songs!

Queen as a band has always been massively talented but it’s really apparent that they wanted to create something so full of energy that they ended up creating the best running song for the century!

56. “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure

A song for any occasion, whether that’s just looking for something to relax to or a song to fill in the soundtrack of your next running outing.

The Cure really can do it all.

57. “Stronger” by Kanye West

From its opening lines to the crazy sampling of Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” Kanye gives runners the dopamine hit they’ve been waiting for with this masterpiece.

If you haven’t added this to your playlist already then do yourself a favor and don’t forget to.

58. “I Don’t Do Drugs (ft. Ariana Grande)” by Doja Cat

Two of pop’s current powerhouses come together to give us one of the best running songs of the new decade.

They’re relentless on this song, especially on those gorgeous vocal lines they sing throughout the song’s runtime.

59. “American Idiot” by Green Day

One of Green Day’s finest, this song is exactly what you need to get your adrenaline started and your shoes on the ground.

Why not give the whole album a spin while you’re at it?

It might help more than you think.

60. “Beat It” by Michael Jackson

You can’t possibly have us believe that you’re running without a Michael Jackson song on your playlist.

If you’re looking for peak performance, you can’t miss out on this massive hit.

Don’t let us catch you doing that again!

61. “Toxic” by Britney Spears

This song is alluring by default, but it’s up to you to determine what she’s alluring you to do.

If running is the answer, it’s certainly not a bad one!

If you choose to run to those fast paced strings you won’t regret it.

62. “I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift

One of pop music’s biggest artists comes through and hits us with a song as punchy as they come.

From its glitchy keys to its iconic and anthemic chorus, this song brings the heat you need.

63. “Voila (ft. Gucci Mane & Wale)” by N.E.R.D.

Whether you’re looking to run or just looking for something to give you a big smile on your face (or both!), you can’t go wrong with N.E.R.D.

Pharrell’s ability to create such fun and driving music needs to be studied.

64. “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada

Trance music has such a vibe to it that no one can deny and that vibe is exactly what you need to get your blood pumping.

By the time the song’s over, you’re gonna be hitting that replay button over and over again.

65. “My Own Soul’s Warning” by The Killers

The Killers have once again knocked it out of the park with one of their newest.

This song may not be as huge as their biggest material, but that doesn’t stop it from having the exact energy needed for your next running playlist.

Best Running Songs – Final Thoughts

When you’re going out for a run, don’t fall short by not giving yourself the motivation you need.

Running with music isn’t just helpful, it’s essential and we stand by that, especially as a beginner runner who needs that extra push!

Similar Playlists:

Best Workout Songs

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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