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Top 10 Songs to Run to

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma. Pick up the pace! Speed it up! For this list, we’re choosing songs that get you pumped up and ready to go, whether it’s going jogging, speed-walking or just getting active. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Songs to Run To. Special thanks to our users Phillip Joseph Greer, Ryan Villarica and Georgina Bransfield for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

Top 10 Songs to Run to

Pick up the pace! Speed it up! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Songs to Run To.

For this list, we’re choosing songs that get you pumped up and ready to go, whether it’s going jogging, speed-walking or just getting active.

#10: “Run Like Hell” (1979)
Pink Floyd

This song has a great narrative and groove that just make you want to move your body. Featured on Pink Floyd’s classic album The Wall, “Run Like Hell” is told from the viewpoint of an angry rocker named Pink, who imagines himself as a fascist dictator. As the “run, run, run” is repeated throughout the refrain, it motivates listeners to keep up the pace. Meanwhile, the prog rock number’s futuristic qualities matched with the primal screams of the mob intersect to give the single a timeless quality.

#9: “Levels” (2011)

This song has such a feel-good beat that it’s impossible to not get up and bounce along to it. The way Avicii mixes the synth with the bassline and the beat makes “Levels” sound like the high-energy soundtrack for your life. It’s also pretty reminiscent of quirky music from an old videogame. The tune may build off of the Etta James song “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” but Avicii’s progressive house version sounds worlds apart from the gospel-influenced original and helped him top the UK and U.S. Dance charts.

#8: “The Distance” (1996)

If there’s ever a song to get you in the mood for racing, it’s this one. “The Distance” begins just like one would at the starting block, and the pace picks up as the alt rock number with hip hop flavors continues. It’s the perfect jam for a slow-going run, especially one where you’d need more motivation to keep up. Written by the band’s guitarist, Greg Brown, the lyrics capture the spirit of competition and trying to win at all costs. The lead singer’s signature monotone vocals create urgency as the song builds to a series of “oooo’s.”

#7: “Smack My Bitch Up” (1997)
The Prodigy

With its big beat, rave and electronica elements, the tempo and beat of this Prodigy track race to new highs and lows that make it the perfect song to jog to. Just as soon as you want to slow down, “Smack My Bitch Up” will force you to pick up the pace. The song may be problematic due to its questionable lyrics, but its energy is undeniable. The song is loud, intense and unforgiving, making it a staple in many runners’ playlists.

#6: “Dancing in the Dark” (1984)
Bruce Springsteen

The Boss is pretty great at making anthemic songs, most notably “Born to Run,” which really does make people actually want to run. But this track has a quality that motivates runners to get out there as soon as Bruce croons that “you can’t start a fire without a spark.” Making the most of the synthesizer to create a slightly off kilter beat, “Dancing in the Dark” also perfectly melds rock and power pop to become one of the biggest hits of Bruce Springsteen’s career. It’s also stood the test of time – just go for a run with it – and see for yourself.

#5: “‘Till I Collapse” (2002)
Eminem feat. Nate Dogg

“Lose Yourself” always seems to be the go-to Eminem song for inspiration, but this earlier track is just as good when you’re looking for motivation. “‘Till I Collapse” places Eminem as an underdog in the rap game and shows him fighting to prove that he deserves a spot among the best. The hardcore hip hop tune also samples the beat from Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, which gives it a gritty undertone. And as Nate Dogg sings the chorus, he motivates listeners to give it their all, no matter what obstacles are in their way.

#4: “Kickstart My Heart” (1989)
Mötley Crüe

This song has had quite the life as a sports anthem and it’s easy to hear why. The speed metal number’s energy is high and gets listeners pumped as the lyric “kickstart my heart” repeats throughout. Though the Dr. Feelgood single has dark roots, having been written by Nikki Sixx after he overdosed on drugs and was considered dead before he was resuscitated, the Grammy-nominated track seems to be a celebration of life and getting things done. And its memorable guitar riff will undoubtedly accelerate runners when they go over strenuous terrain.

#3: “Eye of the Tiger” (1982)

Perhaps the most cliché workout anthem of all time, it’s not a mystery why “Eye of the Tiger” has remained a go-to motivational song. After Sylvester Stallone couldn’t get the rights to “Another One Bites the Dust,” this song was created as the theme for “Rocky III”. The world is forever grateful, since the Survivor single is the epitome of focusing in on a goal and going after what you want. It motivates everyone, from casual joggers to marathoners, to keep their eyes on the finish line and persevere.

#2: “The Pretender” (2007)
Foo Fighters

Though the exact meaning of “The Pretender” may be unclear, Dave Grohl brings a rage and urgency to the lyrics that really gets in the listener’s head. This rawness is especially evident as he screams, “what if I say I will never surrender?” The hard rocker is perfect for those moments when you’re trapped inside your own head and don’t think you’ll make it past a certain point. The top 40 hit also allows runners to break free and use their own angry and bottled up energy to propel them across the course.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” (2008)
The Offspring
- “Feel Good Inc.” (2005)
Gorillaz feat. De La Soul
- “Stronger” (2007)
Kanye West
- “I Ran (So Far Away)” (1982)
A Flock of Seagulls
- “B.O.B” (2000)
- “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” (2003)
The Darkness

#1: “Run to the Hills” (1982)
Iron Maiden

As one of the best heavy metal songs out there, it’s no surprise that “Run to the Hills” made the top of our list. The Number of the Beast single has such a unique lyrical approach as it tackles the colonization of America and the clash between Europeans and Native Americans. Meanwhile, its frantic guitar playing and increase of urgency in Bruce Dickinson’s vocals gives it a raw edge that captures the feeling of what it’s like to run and give it your all. If this song doesn’t make you run to the hills, we don’t know what will.

Do you agree with our list? Which song is your running anthem? For more motivating Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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