Everyone has a song that gets them really pumped and ready to exercise. No matter how you workout, music is an essential part of the process for many of us.
In addition to keeping us from getting bored, music can increase your stamina and improve your mood, helping you get the most out of your workout despite the attitude you approach it with.
Workout playlists are one of the most commonly put together, with everyone having their own personal favourites. But how personal are these favourites? Are there universal favourites to work out to?
By examining 500 playlists and sorting over 39,000 songs, we've identified the most popular workout songs, as well as common themes like BPM, genre and artist that we love to put into our workouts.
We've also used these songs to create playlists suitable for different workout styles.
Most Common Workout Song
Eminem - Till I Collapse
With a name like that, it's clear why this song has ranked so highly. Included in 71 playlists in our range, is Till I Collapse one of your workout must-listens?
Eminem featured 3 times in the top 50, with Lose Yourself and Not Afraid also appearing 41 and 22 times respectively.
Dua Lipa and Tones & I are the only women credited as the main artist in our top 50 most popular songs, with Lipa taking 13th and 42nd place and Tones & I in 31st. There are also 2 women featured in songs by male artists - one of which was ALSO Dua Lipa!
However, when we look at the 30 most popular artists overall, there are 5 women represented, including Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce. This still only represents 17% - is workout music really that much of a boys club?
Most Popular Male Artists
- Drake - 450 Appearances
- Eminem - 364 Appearances
- Kanye West - 251 Appearances
- Calvin Harris - 229 Appearances
- David Guetta - 209 Appearances
Most Popular Female Artists
- Rihanna - 205 Appearances
- Beyoncé - 175 Appearances
- Dua Lipa - 152 Appearances
- Ariana Grande - 117 Appearances
- Nicki Minaj - 114 Appearances
Most Common Tempo
Landing just short of the 130 BPM believed to be good for periods of higher intensity during workouts, there were 7 songs on our top 50 with a BPM of 124.
- MEDUZA - Lose Control
- MEDUZA - Piece of Your Heart
- Riton - Turn Me On (feat. Vula)
- Dua Lipa - Don't Start Now
- J. Cole - MIDDLE CHILD
- Calvin Harris - One Kiss (with Dua Lipa)
- Joel Corry - Lonely
A 2019 study determined that music with a higher BPM improves a person's perceived exertion, helping to increase heart rate and breathing rate. The tempo of music you listen to is also related to the kind of exercise you're doing, with intense exercises like running and cycling benefitting from a higher BPM compared with weight lifting and yoga.
The Right Attitude
We also carried out a sentiment analysis of the top 50 most popular songs to determine the ideal attitude of music for gymgoers. As it turns out, negative music was by far the most popular choice, with over half of the top songs getting a negative sentiment score. The overall average score was -0.318 and there were only 5 songs out of 50 that had a positive score.
The Ultimate Workout Playlist
Check out the top 50 songs in Spotify's workout playlists for the pulse-pounding, rapping and rocking beats that pump us up in the gym.