Music for Getting Motivated
Sometimes you need to get the blood pumping and get out there and GET STUFF DONE. This is a playlist for getting motivated, whether you need to get hype or to feel like a badass who does all the things. We've got all the songs nice and Spotify-ed for you at the end of this post.
“Blitzkrieg Bop”—The Ramones
From the opening chant of “Hey! Ho! Let's go!” to the pounding simplicity of the three-chord riff, The Ramones' U.S. debut is a masterpiece of kinetic energy.
“Keep Yourself Alive”—Queen
Queen roared out of the gate with this song about overcoming struggle, a small preview of the epic balladry they would soon unfold. Here, they're hungry, and covering that hunger with the bravado of someone who's already made it—the same thing that makes so many rap songs successful.
“Back in Black”—AC/DC
It's big, it's loud, it's driving. Is it a little silly? Maybe. But when you've got your headphones on at the gym, nobody's gonna know, anyway.
“Daylight”—Matt and Kim
This may be a little out of place. This is more, “hey, get up, get going, you can do this!” cheery motivation than “Giant guitars, let's crush everything!” motivation. But sometimes that's what you need.
“Run Run Run”—Phoenix
Likewise, this is a little more about having a driving beat and lyric about motion than getting your blood pumping. But it's a damn good song. Use accordingly.
“Go It Alone”—Beck
This one's a little slow, but it's great for feeling like you're cool enough to take on anything the world can throw at you. The cocksure swing of Beck's vocals and big bad guitars float over an incredible bass line from Jack White, to make you feel like you're about to ride into town and cowboy the hell out of anything that gets in your way.
“Blockbuster Night, Part 1″—Run the Jewels
Atlanta-based Killer Mike and Brooklyn rapper/producer El-P set the Internet on fire two summers in a row with their blistering Run the Jewels albums. This song's propulsive beat and energetic lyrics will absolutely get your blood flowing, but beware that even the censored version of this song is intense.
“Take Me Out”—Franz Ferdinand
This post-punk revival act has matured and meandered artistically quite a bit since their first album, but it's hard to match their debut for catchiness or energy. There's a reason half the songs on it were singles. Listen to this and just TRY not to fall into the rhythm of that pounding bass/drum combo.
“Seven Nation Army”—The White Stripes
There's a reason every movie trailer and sports network uses this song. It's simple; it's direct, but it's aggressive and big and loud and awesome. Even for The White Stripes.
“Mama Said Knock You Out”—LL Cool J
LL Cool J came out of a slow period and delivered maybe the greatest song of career. Just try listening to this and not being inspired to similar heights.
“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”—Daft Punk
There's nothing like good electronic music for getting pumped, and Daft Punk is definitely good. Beyond being one of their more energetic pieces, the lyrics are the next best thing to having a narrator for your training montage.
“Dr. Wily Stage 1″—Capcom Sound Team (Mega Man 2 soundtrack)
The Dr. Wily music is an icon in the world of game music. Its propulsive rhythm and dramatic melody spurred gamers to action as they neared the climax of Mega Man 2. There are a ton of hard rock and heavy metal renditions of this song out there. We've selected the original as a nice place to start.
“Through the Fire and Flames”—Dragonforce
Are we joking? We can't tell. Is Dragonforce joking? We can't tell. But if you can dig through the layers of post-post-post-irony and just let the guitars carry you off, this song is pretty majestic.
Blur's been a lot of things over the years, but the Britpop invaders never had a bigger moment in the US than with this radical departure in style. It's far and away their loudest song. Maybe that was it? Whatever the reason, it's great for getting amped.
“A Million Ways”—OK Go
Before they set the MTV on fire with the treadmill video for “Here It Goes Again,” they set the Internet on fire with a one-take backyard dance video for “A Million Ways.” Maybe it's the pounding beat or the snarling guitar. Maybe it's just that we associate them with fitness now. But this is a good one for getting up and going.
“Battle Without Honor or Humanity”—Tomoyasu Hotei
However you may feel about Quentin Tarantino as a filmmaker, you can't fault his taste in music. Above all else, he knows how to score an action scene. This song is perfect for a struggle of any kind.
“Furious Angels” (Instrumental)—Rob Dougan
This is actually the instrumental version of a vocal track, but at this point, this is the one people remember. After its use in The Matrix Reloaded, this song promptly featured in every movie trailer ever for the next five years. But it works. It's tense, it's driving, and it escalates perfectly.
“Eye of the Tiger”—Survivor
Here's the thing about this song – it'll either motivate you in earnest, or you'll be so distracted by how over-the-top it is that you won't notice how hard you're working until the job's done.
“The Final Countdown”—Europe
This song belongs to Arrested Development now. There's no getting around that. This falls firmly into the same camp as “Eye of the Tiger.” It's straight-up cheesy training montage music, but giving that to yourself can be fun, honestly. Pretending you're in a training montage is a good way to get things done.