Is this classic song on your workout playlist?
woman listening to music and working out
Credit: Getty Images / PeopleImages

After a long day of work or a sleepless night, it can be hard to find the motivation to work out. While it’s important to stay active for your body’s physical and mental health, one thing that makes exercise more exciting is music. And now, a new study has revealed just how important a fun playlist is to people when they workout.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of RockMyRun, the new study surveyed 2,000 Americans to ask what music they listen to when they pop in their headphones. Hip-hop and pop music took the top two spots when respondents were asked their favorite genres to listen to. Surprisingly, the third spot went to “a little bit of everything” (I know my personal workout playlist is a mélange of songs and genres). 

That “little bit of everything” mentality certainly displayed itself when people were asked about their top artists. Answers ranged from Britney Spears, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift to Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones and ABBA. But the artist taking the top spot? Queen.

Queen’s “We Will Rock You” ranked #1 out of 50 for the best workout songs of all time. Also in the top ten were songs like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” (#2), Guns N’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” (#3), Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” (#4) and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (#5). (You can check out all 50 songs here). 

In addition to these top songs, the survey also discovered that people enjoyed workout karaoke, aka songs that they couldn’t help but sing along to—even while out of breath. Music made respondents feel “active, energetic, motivated and focused” when exercising and helped them “get in the zone” and distract themselves from the physical exertion. And while listening to ads could be a mood killer, music often led to more motivation and an increase in performance.

While 7% of respondents said they like to select their own music to listen to, 39% preferred listening to a premade playlist. (If, like me, you prefer someone else to pick the tunes, check out Michelle Obama’s and Reese Witherspoon’s workout playlists.) So the next time you’re going for a workout, grab your headphones and jam out!