It’s been too long since my last playlist!!! As with my previous playlists, I try to include a mix of genres while limiting the list to 8 – 10 songs. Music is poetry – lyrics with accompanied musical notes. We are all poets and don’t know it as we listen and repeat the chorus to our favorite tunes. I tell my students they are interpreting a form of writing every time they turn on their playlists.
Some I’ve been interpreting this summer are below:
1. Safe and Sound by Capital Cities – My school is using this in many awesome presentations this year, advocating all the great opportunities to students. One canNOT be in a bad mood when this plays. . .
2. Burn for You by Toby Mac – This will inspire you to move . . .
3. Is You Is or Is You Ain’t my Baby by Dinah Washington (Verve Remix) – a classic twist to cardio . . .
4. Pop Danthology 2013 – If you’re like me, you aren’t motivated by the same songs played over and over on the radio. This mix solves that – it teases with just a touch from the best currents.
5. From Beneath the Earth’s Crust by Harry Choo Choo Romero – An instrumental so good for cardio! A remix with a big band groove . . .
6. World, Hold On by Bob Sinclair – One of those songs you’d never think of for a playlist! The whistling works wonders as you work!
7. Lonely Boy by The Black Keys – Time to start rocking! The video is reason enough to include this . . .
8. California Man by Cheap Trick – I love this for so many reasons. It’s the song my old high school poms team won #1 with at the school I now teach at!!! But never mind me, you’ll love this song because it rocks . . . .
9. We Meet Again by Nancy Wilson – beautiful song to cool down to. What color will you paint your day with?
I’m in the mood to spread the happiness and share the next playlist. Some brand new, a couple old . . . each will definitely motivate to move – whether that’s outside, on the track, on the treadmill, in the gym or your living room. Happy Exercise to you!
Run by Amy MacDonald . . . Let this song motivate you to run.
Strict Machine (We are Glitter Goldfrapp Mix) – If this doesn’t get you going . . . .
Some Nights by Fun . . . this video was originally shared by a former student. I
Tongue Tied by GROUPLOVE . . . the right-now song with the college crowd!!!!Don’t be afraid to express your happiness – not enough people express this emotion when they’re feeling it!
Nothing Really Matters by David Guetta with will.i.am – What can be wrong with that collaboration?!
Start Me Up by Rolling Stones . . . I heard this classic on the radio the other day and got VERY excited! Who doesn’t get excited with that opening?!
Feel So Close by Calvin Harris . . . . ’cause I do!!
Queen of California by John Mayer . . . I adore ending workouts with beautiful cool downs. This is brand new!!
I initially started compiling my cardio playlists on Grading Girl simply to keep track of my latest musical motivations for what I consider to be the most boring part of a workout – cardio. While I’ve been creating playlists since cassettes were all the rage (even still have some of those old cassettes), I had no clue these playlists would turn so popular, with consistent standing between #1 – 3 on Google!! Well, it’s whipped cream on the cheesecake for me ’cause it’s this music that truly keeps me going. Ask my fellow gym buds, they’ll tell you – I don’t chit chat or dilly dally on the machines; however, if I didn’t have this music, I’d skip the ‘mill altogether. Hopefully, there are some songs here to motivate you as well:
Wide Awake by Katy Perry . . . . because one needs a bit slower tune to begin: ➞
Back in Time by Pitbull . . . okay, I Shazamed this one the very first time I heard it while still in the parking lot of my gym; I used it minutes later during my workout – fast, happy, a GG kind of song:
Take You Higher by Goodwill & Hook . . . just every-so-slightly slower than the last song – good for intervals!!
Rock the Beat by Bob Sinclair (feat PitBull) . . .Time for a little more PitBull to bring your heartbeat back up!
Tonight is the Night by Outasight . . . will make your workout whiz by:
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Shaggy . . . Recommended by my bro who shares my passion for remixes! Who wants to workout to the Top 40s we can hear on the radio any day, right?!
The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes . . . how can this NOT be a great song for cardio? This song goes out to all the special athletes I know and love:
Run (feat. Sugarland) Matt Nathanson . . . It’s songs such as this that makes me actually like country (shhh, don’t tell a soul) I love, love, love this . . . . . . Run to your workout finish line with this one.
The tulips are peeking out of the ground, the leaves are turning green, the grass is growing. Time to bloom our spirits and physiques – ready for what new, unexpected adventures await us this season!
What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction . . . my right now song!! So sweet!!! So feel good!!! If this beat doesn’t get your workout going, I don’t know what will.
Wild Ones by Flo Rida featuring Sia . . . 🙂 . . . . go wild at the gym and look wild everywhere else! Turn this up and it’ll remind of that special wild one in your life!!
Glad You Came by The Wanted . . . . An undeniable beat that’ll put a spell on your workout moves!
Drive By by Train . . . toe tapping rock at its best . . . even if you’re not movin to West L.A.!! 😉
Watching You Watch Him by Eric Hutchinson . . . I just heard this on the radio and used my iPhone app, Shazam, to instantly download it!! Check it out – a lovable little song that all too many can relate to:
We Run the Night by Havana Brown . . . one of those “I can do anything” songs – turn this up as you perform your fast interval!!
Feel So Close by Calvin Harris . . . I liked this the first time I heard it. It’s a bit slower – perfect timing as you prepare for cooldown.
Heartbreak Warfare by John Mayer . . . something about this song that hits me significantly. It’s one of those songs I’ll never get sick of. Perfect punch to end. This one often makes me “float” off the treadmill.
I’m overdue for a BRAND NEW cardio playlist for 2012. I pride myself in finding the latest, the most unique, the most motivating songs to keep you from getting bored on those cardio machines. This list is no exception . . .
“Called Out in the Dark” by Snow Patrol . . . Brand new from this fabulous group! An absolutely perfect tempo to warm up. This is your life; this is your time ➟
“Eyes” by Kaskade (feat. Mindy Gledhill) . . . I LOVE, LOVE this one ‘ cause eyes are the windows to the soul and love is plain to see .♡ At 2:23 is when you should step up your game a bit faster on the mill!!
“Domino” by Jessie J . . . speaking of love 🙂 , this one will make you happy and spin yourself out of control!!
“Paradise” by Coldplay (Fedde Le Grande remix) . . . I absolutely adore the original but this is the version for cardio!!
“These Days” by Foo Fighters . . . This group has a way of hiding profound lyrics behind smash rockin’ music. One of these days your heart will play its final beat – but not today as you work it with this!
“Every Car You Chase” by Snow Patrol Vs. The Police . . . . One of my very favorite songs of all time paired with another fave ~ an ingenious mash-up!! I dare you to stop during this!
“Joanna” by Little Comets . . . I’m not sure what I like about this song. I just do:
“Video Games” by Lana Del Rey . . . A silky, sultry way to close your cardio. HEART this and the Cali footage too!!
Want to indulge without the bulge this holiday season?! If you exercise now and push yourself a little harder with your cardio (4 days of cardio instead of 3? or 30 minutes instead of 20 minute sessions? or Run/Walk instead of Walk?), you will be able to partake in the festivities wholeheartedly!!
“The One You Say Goodnight To” by Kina Grannis . . . My right now song. Positively perfect beginning. 🙂
“Dakent“ by Banger (VooDoo Bear Remix) . . . the xylophone will appeal to your inner child!! A unique, creative instrumental that has an inspiring beat for your beginning. At about 40 seconds in, the beat increases to get your heart rate off and running.
“Phazing Disposition” (JRowe Mashup) . . . . a remix of “Sweet Disposition” from 500 Days of Summer. Time to start kicking things up. This version moves your groove to a stronger beat. I’ve meshed mine so that this song begins before “Dakent” ends – perfect transition!! (Flash mob choreography is improving my remix abilities!!)
“Big in Japan” by Martin Solveig . . . remember Solveig’s song “Hello?” This may be even more heart-throbbing!! Great to get you in your faster zone ⟾~
“So Much Love” by Fedde Le Grand . . . . LOVE this song!! This song will find you in your happy zone!!! Love, music, dance: the necessities of life. I adore the heart-shaped hands:
“Good Feeling” by Flo Rida . . . Leave it to this artist to provide a workout wonder song . . . Workout video too!
“I Like How It Feels” by Enrique Iglesias . . . Just when you start to get tired, you need this feel-good number! “Cause this is our time!!
“We Found Love” by Rihanna – This is one of those songs that just sounds happy!!! And, yes, love is usually found in a hopeless place. Celebrate it!
“Without You” by Eddie Vedder . . . another from his Ukelele songs. This song is simply beautiful – lyrics and tune. I saw this show over the summer; this is a fabulous live version of this song. Download it from Vedder’s Ukelele album. A smooth cool-down.
BONUS SONG FOR THE LADIES:
“Rumor Has It/Someone Like You” Mashup by GLEE – Okay, gentlemen may not like this one as much. Girls, this one is good for your cardio mix as you pound the pavement and feel lucky that you dodged that bullet from the one who made the mistake!!!!!!!
Don’t just fall into autumn . . . jump into the new season with a refreshed, more toned you. It’s been a while since my last playlist and IT’S TIME!!!! Are you like me? Do you get bored playing the same music at the gym? These might give you some ideas . . .
Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People . . . . This is a PERFECT one to get you in the mood and get your own kicks pumped up!! I can’t get the chorus out of my head!!!!! Turn this one up ~
Bruises by Chairlift . . . I’m sure we all can relate to this one. Each one of us has that person whom we tried to do handstands for but kept falling over. 😉
Beautiful People by Chris Brown and Benny Benassi . . . Brown brings it again with another catchy, can’t-help-but-move tune. I adore positive, life is good beats and this is definitely one of them! People everywhere ARE beautiful!!!
Walk by Foo Fighters . . . Such a heart pumping song that is perrrrfect for cardio!! Funny video too with great Los Angeles footage!!
One Club at a Time by Midnight Red . . . This one reminds me of dancing this summer with my daughter. She’s a vibrant soul and you will be to0 if you let the music take you away during cardio! (I couldn’t find the original video but this is a good live shot)
Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO . . . I can’t not include this one (how’s that for a double negative?)! Now if only we had a “shufflin” epidemic spread like the one in the video! LOL!!
Beggin‘ by Madcon . . . . This is a great one to strut your stuff to. Not crazy about the video but the song rocks me.
Can’t Keep by Eddie Vedder . . . I’m loving the softer side of Eddie we’ve heard lately. This is a unique tune to rock your world – yes, rock with a ukelele!! Love this whole album!! Watch for the whale in this amazing video →
Raise your hand . . . how many of you are working out just a little harder to get toned, tanned, fit and ready for summer? Me too – and here’s the songs helping me get there. Enjoy!!
“Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac . . . Classic rock worthy of modern playlists. Go your own way with your cardio and leave ’em in the dust.
“Rolling in the Deep” by GLEE cast . . . A handful of the GLEE covers are better than the originals – this is one of them. Much more passionate as a duet, use this one to fuel your fire. This acapella duet provides a unique backdrop to your gym-shoed feet. Trust me, try it as a power warm up before picking up the pace!
“Heartbeat” by Enrique Iglesias ft. Nicole Scherzinger . . . I love to dance to this one – and you will too!!! A wonderful feel-good song. ♡ ♥ ♡
“Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon – DAVID GUETTA remix . . . I heard this remix this weekend & got super-excited. #1 DJ plus #1 band = perfect cardio mix!! The 7 minute length will keep you going . (Don’t like this remix? No sweat – the fabulous original never gets out of tune!!)
“Baba O’riley” by The Who . . . A rock break from the remixes; I dare you to keep up with the pace. A surprisingly good song to use for intervals.
“Penguin” by Avicii . . . A move-motivating club mix. I ♡ the dancey piano! Want something different from the Top 40s?! . . . . this is your song.
“Don’t Stop the Party” by The Black Eyed Peas . . . enough said.
“15 Steps”by Radiohead . . . . Time to calm the pace a bit. This one’s perfect when counting your steps on the stairs or treadmill!
“Addicted to Love” by Florence & The Machine . . . a sexier, sultrier version to this 80’s piece. This should be the section of your workout where the sweat starts to seep through. Are you addicted?!
“White Balloons” by Sick Puppies . . . One needs closure in cardio. Leave this lovely song for last and the lyrics will linger.
Music is a universal language that truly does transcend boundaries. Whatever native tongue one speaks, emotions evoked through music is unequivocally understood. It’s no wonder music does so much to motivate our movement through exercise. EXERCISE FOR YOUR HEART AND SING FOR YOUR SOUL! Here are the latest songs motivating me right now. ☞
“Someday” by Rob Thomas . . . Sometimes we don’t notice just how good it can get! This uber-optimistic song will positively kick off your cardio! Do you have someone you wish you could get through to? Listen to this as you sweat it out and let the magic happen. I ♥ the video too!!
“Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin . . . While I love running with this one on a trail near grassy fields, it works equally well on the treadmill. You just have to put your mind there! And as an English teacher, I appreciate the rock & lit connection to The Hobbit!
“Happiness” by Alexis Jordan (Wideboys Club Mix) . . . This one goes out to my baby niece – there’s never been a happier soul born!!!! She loves bouncing to this song and this remix will get you bouncing too. Everyone needs a little happiness inserted in their cardio. I can’t say enough about the feel-good mood this song evokes!!
“Born This Way” by Lady GaGa . . . Baby, you were born this way so make the most of it. Give it your all, be truly present during cardio and you’ll get more out of your exercise. Whether you’re a fan of GaGa or not, let yourself listen to the words and your feet will carry you to burn more calories.
“Yeah 3X” by Chris Brown . . . Remember the infamous wedding video with Chris Brown’s other big hit “Forever?” This one gets people dancing in the aisles like that!!
“Your Love is My Drug” (Dave Aude Remix) by Kesha . . . There is no better drug in the world!!! The version of this song makes me happy inside and out!!! Find someone that loves life as much as you and you’ll never have a sad day again! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
“Space Age Love Song” by Flock of Seagulls . . . This is one of those special songs that would go on my “life playlist” – a long, happy story which I’ll devote to another post. In any event, this dream tune will keep your feet flying with an 80’s flare.
“Paranoid” by Garbage . . . You won’t be paranoid by the time you’re done. This is one of those songs you don’t always think of for cardio but it works! In cardio, variety is where it’s at!!
“If I Every Lose My Faith in You” by Sting . . . This song rocks my world. Keep the faith, turn it on as you reach the home stretch, and your satisfaction will last long after your cardio is complete.
“Uncharted” by Sara Bareilles . . . You’re going down for the last section of your cardio. Can you recognize the artists appearing in this video?? Shout out to my favorite pianist Ben Folds!!
Let the luck be with you! St. Patrick’s Day marks a day to begin transforming your winter dreams into spring action!! Check out the music below to help you feel lucky as you work out your goals for spring and summer!! While not all the songs directly connect to luck, all will evoke a go-lucky, invigorating feeling to kick off the new season.
“Animal” by Neon Trees . . . Here we go again! A lucky month to kick off cardio goals. This perfect tempo, fun pop song will keep your spirits up.
“Paddy’s Revenge” by Steve Mac . . . The ULTIMATE St. Patrick’s Day cardio song. Check it out!!!!!
“BulletProof” (Dave Aude Remix) by LaRoux . . . the sound effects add oomph to this song. Crank this one up and let your superhero power out!!
“Smack My B*** Up” by Prodigy . . . for the longest time, I thought this song was “Snap my Picture.” I’ve LOVED this one for cardio for a long time now. Remember the Charlie’s Angel scene when the girls kick serious butt as this song plays?! That’s the kind of power this song evokes!!
“Higher” by Taio Cruz featuring Kylie Minogue . . . just the right point in your workout when you’re trying to run into a higher zone.
“Drum Trip” by Rusted Root . . . I saw these gentlemen live – invigorating, kick off your shoes performance.! Picture yourself running through a grassy field with the gentle breeze blowing. That’s the kind of visual you’ll get from thisdifferent vibe.
“Ray of Light” by Madonna . . . Crank this one up!! I heard this for the first time during my first morning in California 13 years ago!! I fell in love with both instantly!! (this one still sounds fabulous cranked up in the car too)
“Beautiful Day” by U2 . . . what better band for an Irish holiday?! A beautiful song that always makes me smile.
“Coming Home” by Diddy with Skylar Grey . . . a good one as you come home to the finish of your hard workout.
“The Only Exception” by Paramore . . . the one song in the world I can actually sing decently, and it works wonders as a cool down. Never underestimate the power of the slow song on the treadmill!!
The search term “Valentine’s Cardio Playlist” is showing up fairly frequently in my StatPress, so it looks like it’s time to offer my latest playlist for the Love Day!!
1. “Love Today” by Mika . . . this song makes me want to hug everyone!!!
2. Heartbeat by Enriquie Iglesias . . . catchy tune . . . .
3. “Stereo Love” by Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina . . . . a authentic beat to get you in the mood to run after what you want! (have to double click to watch on YouTube)
4. “Viva La Vida” (Telemitry Remix) by Coldplay . . . I have seven versions of this song on my IPod. Not a love song, but listening to this song reminds us how much we love life!!
5. “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine . . . Let yourself flail around to this one!! A medium beat to begin the last quarter of your workout.
6. “She’s Got You High” by Mumm-ra . . . not your traditional love song, but the sing-song chorus will keep your feet in pattern on the pavement or platform.
7. “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic“ by Sting . . . Speaking of ‘not your traditional,’ Sting’s collaboration with the Royal Symphonic Orchestra is magical in itself.
8. “Breathe Again” . . . I seem to be attracted to songs with the words ‘breath’ or ‘breathe’ in them. I’m breathing again!
A friend asked me if I publish these playlists before or after I try them out myself on the limb-loving treadmill. My answer is, yes, there’s a method to my madness. Each month, as soon as I stumble upon a new song or as I get a recommendation from someone, I add it to my queue. Once I have 8 – 12 songs, I create a playlist on my own IPod and pound the rubber at the gym! I experiment a little with order and then I finally share it!
Enjoy this month’s collection sure to burn some extra calories to compensate for the coming holiday cheats we all indulge in!
1. “Life in Technicolor” by Coldplay . . . This is a PERFECT opener from one of my favorite bands. Walk until about 1:28, then burst into a run just as the song bursts!
2. “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf . . . A true anthem! Perfect pace for the first part of your run, and perfect mood for running outside.
3. “Highly Explicit” by Mixhell . . . This song is crazy good for the elliptical or bike. Tell me those legs don’t start pumping faster when this comes on!
4. “Firework” by Katy Perry . . . Despite the corny chest-bursting fireworks in this video, Katy Perry deserves extra kudos for the beautiful message. Kids need to hear more lyrics like this; the uplifting words will inspire your run.
5. “We No Speak Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool and DCup . . . I canNOT stop dancing to this song. Sometimes I hit the repeat button for this one!!! This is perfect at this point in the workout, when your heart is pumping and ready to step up the pace once again. I recommend this exact version:
6. “Dynamite” (Stonebridge Remix) by Taio Cruz . . . My students all love this song and you will too. Keep up with the teens of the world and move to this! The great thing about remixes is they make Top 40 songs we always hear on the radio sound new again – just the motivation we need to keep the workout going.
7. “In My Arms” by Plumb . . . I thoroughly ♥ this song! This will definitely warm your heart as it warms your feet. It makes me think of those I love.
8. “Just Say Yes” by Snow Patrol . . . I like this quietly successful band. This pick-me-up song slows down the pace just enough to keep you in your optimal fat-burning zones. More people need to take a leap of faith and say ‘Yes’ more often!!!
9. “Proper Education” by Eric Prydz VS Pink Floyd . . . Another cool workout version of a classic, to keep your interest as you enter the 7th inning stretch.
10. “Yellow” (Acoustic Live @ KCRW in Los Angeles) by ColdPlay . . . I heard this when they first recorded it at KCRW about 6 years ago. This is the very best version of another of my top 3 fave songs of all time. Beginning at about 2:02 is the part that gives me chills every single time . . . this will provide the zen you need to cooldown, trust me . . .
In honor of this upcoming Red Letter day, GG’s Cardio Playlist has gone visual!!
Get inspired – Top 10 songs for 10/10/10!!
1. “Radioactive” by Kings of Leon . . . I love when recording artists’ songs that receive less air time have just as much to offer as their Top 40 counterparts. Perfect “medium tempo” to warm those feet.
2. “Boogie Body” by Asphalt Jungle . . . As one can see, I have VERY eclectic taste in music. This will gravitate your feet confidently to the ground . . . one purposeful pound at a time.
3. “Empire State of Mind” by Glee Cast . . . they can rap – can you?!
4. “Happiness” by Alexis Jordan . . . my favorite right-now song!! The hidden message within the subtext is subtly strong. No matter who you are – this will make your cardio more fun!!
5. “I Like That” by Static Revenge and Richard Vission . . . Yes!!!
6. “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap . . . originally heard this in the 500 Days of Summer movie. The movie has poignant points about relationships; these lyrics echo them. I’m in love with this song. The tempo slows your heartbeat a bit . . . to prepare for the next set!
7. “Right Here Right Now” by Fatboy Slim . . . a seriously good song for running – period. (
8. Jay-Z Super Bowl XLIV Kick Off . . . This will give you power as you pass the 3rd quarter. And – it will get you thinking about THIS year’s Bowl in a great stadium!!
9. “Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie . . . the perfect pairing to introduce your conclusion. Bask in your achievement!!!! Almost there!
10. “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam – This song quickly graduated to my top 3 fave songs of all time. 1:18 is a very cool part; although, the whole song is just beautiful. Perfect resolution and a fabulous one to linger in your head long after cardio ceases. Or do as I do – play this over and over and over. Just breathe . . . . . . . . . .