Playlist help

OK, people, I need some help. I’m putting together a running playlist, and I’m hoping for some recommendations for energetic songs. I tend to listen mostly to Christian music, but I’m open to other stuff too as long as the lyrics won’t leave me embarrassed if my kids turn on my zune in the living room. So– energetic music with non-skanky lyrics…. whatcha got?


  1. I’ve been listening to Camelot. It really can keep me distracted while I am exercising because my imagination can picture a lot of it.

    • Jill from AAI says:

      My very favorite song, gets me thoughtful and relaxed, and when followed by a really upbeat song, really energizes my batteries in a quick three minute sprint? “What a Wonderful World”. It’s not energetic as you requested, but it’s such a reLAXing song! A quick three minute slowdown. Follow that with an upbeat song, and you’re fresh to go!

  2. Try Caedmon’s Call “Back Home” and then put it in your playlist for a time when you are on your way back to your house. 🙂

  3. Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap; Viva La Vida by Coldplay; Beautiful Day by U2; Don’t Stop Believing by Journey; Got to be Real by Cheryl Lynn; Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz; Freedom by George Michael (now Wham LOL); I Want It All by Queen…

  4. Christine D. says:

    The two big girls and I are sitting here compiling our favorites, so here comes. Are you ready? Move and This Life from the Generous Mr. Lovewell CD by Mercy Me. Go, Wherever We Go, I Am Free, Escape, Miracles, When the Boys Light Up by the Newsboys. Mark Schultz has Running Just to Catch Myself, When the Mountains Fall and Kyrie Eleison; and Steven Curtis Chapman’s Saddle Up Your Horses(REALLY, REALLY LOUD!) is a favorite for our crew during chore time. David Crowder’s I Am Yours Forever, Fee’s We Shine and Broadcast, and Phillips, Craig and Dean’s Counting On God, Spirit of God and Let God be God are all up by the Bose in the kitchen. Hawk Nelson’s Friend Like That and Live Life Loud are two that Daddy and the kids listen to in his van. Lincoln Brewster’s All to You and Today is the Day are a couple of Mommy’s favorites. Andrew just joined us and wants us to include Toby Mac’s Boomin’ and Made to Love. We like music in our home, just a wee bit. Can you tell?

  5. These are our favorites when it is time to get the family up and moving:

    “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” from Disneymania 3
    “Life is a Highway” and other songs from Disney Cars soundtrack
    “Ooh La! Ooh La!”‘ from TMBG Here come the 123s (and several other songs)
    “Clap Your Hands” from TMBG Here come the ABCs
    “Meltdown” from Justin Roberts

    There are dozens more, I’m sure…

  6. Susan B-A says:

    We clean house to the Rocky theme music or Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing!

  7. Superchick (especially Anthem), any TobyMac, Grits (especially Beautiful Morning). Also check out this thread on the Runner’s World forum, It discusses music and has a link to a beats per minute analyzer to help determine what music has the right pace for you.

    Thanks for the running inspiration. I’m hoping to do C25K now that it’s starting to cool down here in FL.

  8. Giggle.

    Lauryn Hill’s “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” It’s a remake, but so fun.

  9. I Was Made to Love You by Toby Mac always gets me going

  10. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, Gone by Switchfoot, Queen’s We will Rock you/ We are the champions, I don’t know if you like country music but International Harvester is funny by Craig Morgan. I may make a list too by your inspiration.

  11. I’ve had “Musta Done Something Good” from Relient K on my exercise playlist since your oldest daughter got married and you mentioned it on the blog. So I’m ahppy to give a few other suggestions! I have a list of about 25 songs that I play on shuffle when I’m jogging/walking (I’m doing C25K too) and I get a different mix every time out b/c I don’t listen to the whole list on my route. Anyway, highlights off my list –

    Mandisa – the “True Beauty” and “Freedom” albums. Both are fantastic from start to finish! GREAT albums to play around little and young teen girls – great messages for girls to hear! “Shackles”, “Definition of Me”, “Freedom Song”, “Only the World”, “True Beauty”, “Dance,Dance,Dance” and “Unrestrained” are great upbeat songs. Half my exercise playlist is off these two albums!

    Kirk Franklin’s “Fight of My Life” album – a few years old, but some great high energy songs on there. “Declaration (This Is It)”, “I am God”, “He Reigns/Awesome God” and “Jesus” are fantastic on the running path.

    Steve Fee’s “Burn For You”, “Glorious One” and “We Shine” from the “We Shine” album.

    “Happy Day”, “Highest and Greatest” and “Holding Nothing Back” from Tim Hughes’ “Holding Nothing Back” album.

    Christy Nockels’ “No Not One” off of her “Life Light Up” album is a fantastic pacesetting song for when I start my walks. That whole album is wonderful, just not as upbeat as that first song.

    The new album from the Newsboys is great – their “Born Again” is a big Christian radio single right now and very peppy, as is “When the Boys Light Up”. Aiyesha Woods’ “Happy” and Monk and Neagle’s “Beautiful You” are two I like to slow down with at the end of my run.

    Enjoying the rest of the comments to see what else I can add to mix it up some more!

  12. oooh yeah. Kirk Franklin. Stomp.

  13. I just loaded the Newsboys new album on to my ipod for my walk this afternoon. This is a great post/comments idea. Thanks!

  14. You know which one I really like that is inspiring to me (not super fast, but with momentum) is Welcome Home by Radical Face. Not sure if it’s your thing, but I had a running moment with it once! 🙂


  15. As long as long as you don’t mean a running pace, exactly, just energetic…

    “Jai Ho” from the movie Slumdog Millionaire (artist A.R. Rahman), for sure. I once saw the lyrics translated and, from what I remember, Jai Ho means “you will be victorious”, with nothing else skanky or otherwise undesirable 🙂

    “Sing, Sing, SIng” (BBC Big Band) — and it’s a long piece, too!

    “Freedom” (Nicole C. Mullen)– let the drums drive you (Same with Glamorous Life by Sheila E., but I don’t think it passes the skank test!)

    Around here we love to put on the Lord of the Dance soundtrack. Track 11 , “Siamsa” by Ronan Hardiman, is a favorite pick me up– it’s just light and joyful.

    A little oldies action? Runaround Sue

    A little 80’s kitsch? Tarzan Boy, or Jump by Van Halen

  16. Will you share your playlist when you put it together? Maybe we could all benefit from a power-packed energizing set!

  17. I really love Jimmy Needham. Great Christian musician! I’m not a runner, so I’m not sure if any of his music is fast-paced enough, but the songs of his I like are definitely upbeat!

  18. I agree about TobyMac. His songs are great for energizing and motivating you during a run.


  19. Paul Simon’s “Surprise” album. Beautiful, mostly upbeat, music with a great message!

  20. I love Big Daddy Weave. The album with “I was made to love You” and “Every time I breathe” on it.

  21. Whoops, just remembered that ‘I was made to love you’ is Toby Mac’s song. But the other is Big Daddy Weave. I like them both. 🙂

  22. MARY, MARY is a great Christian group with awesome upbeat songs – they are my favorite to listen to in the car when I need to stay awake on long drives.

  23. I’m completely addicted to spanish guitar music for running! Fast, energetic beat and no lyrics at all to worry about. It really gets me moving and keeps me motivated.

  24. I love, love, LOVE Michael Franti and Spearhead. Upbeat, very danceable and urban sound, positive lyrics. Always makes me and my DD’s want to crank it up and dance.
    And I second Mary Mary. saw them at Women of Faith and they rocked!

  25. Hillsong’s Take It All is the BEST running song!

  26. Well, tonight I set my Ipod to Kutless, which brought up 50 songs. I hit shuffle, and would you believe the FIRST song that came on was Run? LOL!! Providence I tell you!!
    So yeah, I love running to Kutless, Toby Mac, Phil Wickham, Jeremy Camp, and actually I really like running to LeCrae. I am not into rap at all, even Christian rap, but not knowing the lyrics helps me focus on my running instead of trying to sing along. : )
    As far as secular music, especially 80’s music, I would say definitely some Journey, Working for the Weekend by Loverboy, some Foreigner, some Van Halen. Just have to pick and choose these very carefully due to some of the lyrics. Oh yeah, I almost always warm up to the theme from Top Gun!

  27. I run for life- Melissa Etheridge Awesome beat/lyrics. I trained for my first 5k in honor of my Mom who had survived breast cancer.

    Year 3000- Jonas Brothers. Put it on my mp3 for my kids, but really keeps me going!!!

    Good luck-

  28. “I’m Free” by Kenny Loggins (Footloose soundtrack) — gets me running when no other song can.

  29. Oh, you have to get ‘Dive’ by Steven Curtis Chapman!! We have been listening to it obsessively around here lately and it is a great, energizing song that points us right to the Lord! 🙂

  30. When I need to pull out the dustmop and get moving, I put my old-fashion CD into the stereo boombox and play
    Dan Fogelberg _The Wild Places_
    although Amazon has a ‘newly-remastered’ edition
    the songs are about enjoying, but not abusing, our planet

  31. My husband and I started running and biking about 3 months ago and I don’t do anything without my playlist. Every song helps me take one more step. Here they are… Forgiven by Sanctus Real, If We’ve Ever Need You by Casting Crowns (ok a little slow but the words are awesome), Alive Again by Matt Maher, All of Creation by Mercy Me, Get Back up by Tobymac (definitely my favorite running song), and Before the Morning by Josh Wilson (again a little slow but the words are perfect to inspire!). One time through the playlist reminds me that I’m almost home (in more ways than one! :)) Enjoy and great job running!

  32. Hopefulmom says:

    Here’s what’s on my “workout music” playlist:

    Mr. Blue Sky Electric Light Orchestra
    The Stand Hillsong
    The River of Dreams Billy Joel
    I’m a Believer The Monkees
    Fireflies Owl City
    Crocodile Rock Elton John
    OK, It’s Alright With Me Eric Hutchinson
    Rain It Down Carlos Whittaker
    Ready Now Desperation Band
    Happy Day Fee
    Ignition TobyMac
    We Shine Fee
    I Will Not Be Moved Natalie Grant
    City on Our Knees TobyMac
    I’m Still Standing Elton John
    The Words I Would Say Sidewalk Prophets
    Washed by the Water Needtobreathe
    Revelation Song Kari Jobe

    Happy running!

  33. One of the first posters linked to a RW post, and I found the suggestion of the MixMeister app therin super helpful. I analyzed all my files, and was surprised at some of them. The link is: (BPM analyzer near the bottom). It’ll tell you the BPM of everything you already have, which I love! My collection is extensive, and I often forget what I have.

  34. Looking for You by Kirk Franklin is my number one song on a gloomy morning. Super joyous, high-energy.

  35. Melissa B. says:

    I like to run to tobyMac, Superchick (Its On!), Newsboys, FireFlight (Unbreakable) is my FAVE!!! Casting Crowns -Until the Whole World Hears!,

  36. Ingrid Michaelson!!

  37. I love working out to Travis Cottrell.
    Alive Forever is great and several from his Live album are nice and upbeat for a workout. Wonderful worship music that always blesses me as I try my best to be consistent in working out. 🙂

  38. Matt Maher, (isaiah 61 is a good one for hills, you have to hunker down through those hills and the song “goes with it”, but also especially “Welcome to Life” “all glory to God”) , U2, coldplay, Blues traveler, the Fray, En Vogue (this is your life), Cranberries, India Arie, Mamas and Papas, Millenium Three (Days of Elijah), Peter Gabriel, Yolanda Adams, Tears for Fear (Shout), Jesse Cook (Vertigo – instumental, classical spanish/fast guitar), gnarls barkley (crazy – monday morning run song), eurythmics (sweet dreams are made of t his), Eric Clapton (Further on up the road), Creed (arms wide open), Corinne Bailey Rae, cat stevens (peace train), santana (oye como va), Bob marley

  39. Fernando Ortega is a favorite of mine…he has music for every mood..Allison Krauss (bluegrass/gospel), Butch Baldassari, Nicole C. Mullen, Just a few of my favorites…
    Integrity music and Soundforth are great too, anything they put out edifies and uplifts up the soul, readjusts the perspective.