Walking Guide

The 100 Best Workout Songs of 2012


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  65 comments   :  636,728 Views

It's the most wonderful time of the year! And no, I'm not referring to Santa, cookies or presents. I'm talking about music. It's time for us to crown the mother of all workout songs in our "best of the year" music playlist, which is one of my favorite things to do.
All year long, I've been compiling a running list of the best workout songs that were released (or popular) within the last 12 months. Here, you'll find the top best songs that had people running, Spinning, dancing, lifting and exercising throughout 2012. 

But that's not all: This list is the BEST of the best! I asked members of SparkPeople.com, America's #1 weight loss and fitness website, to vote on their favorites. Find out which song took the top spot,  whether your favorites made the list, and how you can download a brand new 60-minute cardio workout mix of the top 12 songs (as voted on by exercisers like you)!

SparkPeople - Top Workout Songs of 2012 (60 Min. Non-Stop Workout Mix @ 132 BPM) - Yes Fitness Music
Download from amazon.com.

No. 1 Workout Song of the Year:
Kelly Clarkson

No. 2:
Rumour Has It

No. 3:
Blow Me (One Last Kiss)

No. 4:
Gangnam Style

No. 5:
We Are Young

No. 6:
Taylor Swift
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

No. 7:
Drive By

No. 8:
Maroon 5
One More Night

No. 9:
Some Nights

No. 10:
50 Ways to Say Goodbye

No. 11:
Flo Rida
Good Feeling

No. 12:
Neon Trees
Everybody Talks

Download SparkPeople's 132-BPM 60-minute continuous cardio remix of the 12 most popular workout songs of the year on iTunes for $9.99, or at amazon.com for just $8.99! Check out a preview of the songs below:

SparkPeople - Top Workout Songs of 2012 (60 Min. Non-Stop Workout Mix @ 132 BPM) - Yes Fitness Music
Download from amazon.com.

Here's the rest of the top 100, ranked in order by votes received by thousands of exercisers like you:
  1. David Guetta Featuring Sia – Titanium
  2. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
  3. 14. Maroon 5 – Payphone
  4. Nicki Minaj – Starships
  5. Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know
  6. Rihanna – We Found Love
  7. Flo Rida – Wild Ones
  8. Usher – Scream
  9. Katy Perry – Part of Me
  10. Carrie Underwood – Blown Away
  11. Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull – Dance Again
  12. One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
  13. Flo Rida – Whistle
  14. Katy Perry – Wide Awake
  15. Matchbox Twenty – She’s So Mean
  16. Linkin Park – Burn It Down
  17. Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
  18. Nicki Minaj – Pound The Alarm
  19. Rihanna – Where Have You Been
  20. Kesha – Die Young
  21. Adele – Skyfall
  22. Carly Rae Jepsen & Owl City – Good Time
  23. David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj – Turn Me On
  24. Lady Gaga – Marry The Night
  25. Ellie Goulding – Lights
  26. Pitbull – Back In Time
  27. Pitbull ft. Chris Brown – International Love
  28. Christina Aguilera – Your Body
  29. No Doubt – Settle Down
  30. Timbaland – Hands In The Air (feat Ne-Yo)
  31. Alex Clare – Too Close
  32. Chris Brown – Turn Up The Music
  33. Demi Lovato – Give Your Heart A Break
  34. Hot Chelle Rae – I Like It Like That
  35. Jessie J – Domino
  36. Rihanna – Diamonds
  37. Chris Brown – Don’t Wake Me Up
  38. Havana Brown ft. Pitbull – We Run The Night
  39. Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
  40. Justin Bieber – Boyfriend
  41. Kelly Clarkson – Dark Side
  42. Ne-Yo – Let Me Love You
  43. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Paris
  44. Justin Bieber ft. Big Sean – As Long As You Love Me
  45. Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa – Young, Wild & Free
  46. Taylor Swift – Red
  47. Taylor Swift – Eyes Open
  48. Bruno Mars – Locked Out Of Heaven
  49. Cher Lloyd – Want U Back
  50. Phillip Phillips – Home
  51. Madonna – Turn Up The Radio
  52. Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo – Let's Go
  53. Kelly Clarkson – Catch My Breath
  54. Gym Class Heroes – The Fighter
  55. Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
  56. The Wanted – Chasing The Sun
  57. Beyonce – I Was Here
  58. One Republic – Feel Again
  59. Bruno Mars – It Will Rain
  60. One Direction – Live While We’re Young
  61. Taio Cruz ft. Pitbull – There She Goes
  62. Madonna – Girl Gone Wild
  63. Adam Lambert – Never Close Our Eyes
  64. Karmin – Brokenhearted
  65. Gavin DeGraw – Not Over You
  66. Florida Georgia Line – Cruise
  67. Jennifer Lopez ft. Flo Rida – Goin’ In
  68. Enrique Iglesias ft. Sammy Adams – Finally Found You
  69. Madonna Ft. Nicki Minaj & M.I.A. – Give Me All Your Luvin'
  70. David Guetta ft. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne – I Can Only Imagine
  71. Gym Class Heroes – Ass Back Home
  72. Mariah Carey – Triumphant
  73. Flo Rida – I Cry
  74. Drake ft. Rihanna – Take Care
  75. Mika – Celebrate
  76. Breathe Carolina – Blackout
  77. Karmin – Hello
  78. Outasight – Tonight Is The Night
  79. Scissor Sisters – Only The Horses
  80. B.O.B. ft. Taylor Swift – Both Of Us
  81. Deadmau5 – The Veldt
  82. Sean Paul – She Doesn't Mind
  83. Benny Benassi – Cinema
  84. Nelly Furtado – Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)
  85. Lenny Kravitz – Superlove
  86. Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin – Don’t You Worry Child
  87. Kylie Minogue – Time Bomb
  88. Avicii – Silouettes
Did any of your favorites make the list? What are your favorite workout songs from 2012?

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  • 65
    I really like these list! Thank you for taking the time to compile them! - 9/29/2017   6:11:34 AM
    Good list...even some of my faves on it. Although the one that pumps me up the most is "haven't had enough" by Mariana's Trench. It always makes me pick up the pace when I run :) can't wait to add some of these to my playlist. :) - 3/12/2014   8:37:26 PM
  • 63
    I loved this list last year! Are you going to do one for 2013? - 12/8/2013   8:42:03 AM
  • LMORTO02
    Wow! It's funny how irate people get over things. Does anyone really expect that a play list could actually contain every genre of music, and appeal to everyone's taste?? I enjoy a mix of all types of music, and when I see a playlist such as this, it only helps to give me ideas of songs I might not have thought about. It doesn't serve to fuel some crazy fire I have against something! People just need to relax and understand that everything can't be personalized! Information is given to simply help people make choices and maybe give some insight. I think the goal here was to help us all do whatever it takes to stay motivated! And all these people talking about they must be "old"~I'm in my middle 40's & I try to stay current on any subject, be in music, movies, technology, etc. If you don't make an effort to know what's the newest & most current, you will most certainly be "old" at any age! - 3/2/2013   11:04:07 AM
  • ELLMT40
    I like to listen to Oprah and classical music when I workout. It is relaxing and restful.
    Favorite--Andrea Borchilli
    - 2/16/2013   9:49:32 AM
    I can't believe how whiny so many comments are. No one is forcing you to downloand anything. You know what you like so listen to that and don't judge others who may like this kind of music. Yeesh. - 2/6/2013   3:35:06 PM
    As a Christian there's no way I'd listen to this garbage. How about a list of Christian songs?

    Toby Mac
    Jamie Grace
    Nicole C Mullens
    Mercy Me
    Sidewalk Prophets
    and so many more.... - 2/4/2013   11:10:42 PM
  • 58
    Okay, I know I'm showing my age here. Besides the fact that even though I may have heard of many of the artists, I have no idea what the song sounds like. But my question is, on the list, what does "ft" mean? I suppose I'll feel really dumb if I get an answer, but I'm really curious. Thanks! - 1/31/2013   11:40:44 PM
  • 57
    Could the comments be any more negative towards this persons hard work. Really! On spark??? I guess I expected more out of the spark family but music is like politics and religion.

    I do recognize most of the artists and while some are not in the genre I prefer they are still good workout songs. For instance....the only time I really listen to P!nk in when I am cleaning or working out. any other time I listen to mostly country. There are a few songs on the list that would be too slow for me to use in my workouts but that doesn't mean that someone else wouldn't find a new great song to workout to.

    My "moto" song though is "Mess of me" by switchfoot. If you don't know them take a listen to the lyrics and they fit me perfect. - 1/31/2013   9:51:19 PM
  • 56
    Music is not one size fit all but, hey I happen to like your options. I don't mind the re-,makes with catchy fitness beats.I know I played Stronger to death this year and I can still listen to it! Funny note- #89- Hello will always be memorable for me because it was playing as I happily leaped over a little garden snake I mistook for a snail while jogging at nite-- I am afraid of all creepy critters. I went back to snap a picture of this huge"snail" and realized that it was snake. Sprinted home as Hello-o-o-o played in my ear. - 1/31/2013   9:37:59 PM
  • 55
    Lol, I listen to these songs AND songs from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, & 90s, I guess I'm not old enough to be bitter about music yet.

    Give me twenty years and I'll complain about what happened to the "greats" of my day. - 1/31/2013   8:29:04 PM
  • 54
    I love all kinds of music, but this list.......ergh. My list sample starts with my warm up song:

    Body Beautiful by Salt N Pepa -- gets you PUMPED and in the right mind set.

    Little Miss Lover by the Chili Peppers

    This Kiss by Faith Hill

    All for You by Janet Jackston

    Highway Chile by Jimi Hendrix

    Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake

    Show Me How to Live by Audioslave

    Suavemente by Elvis Crespo (merengue)

    RuPaul's Looking Good and Feeling Gorgeous

    Big Bang Baby by Stone Temple Pilots

    Tarantula by Smashing Pumpkins

    Loving is Really My Game by Brainstorm (old disco)

    Groove Is In The Heart by Deeelite

    .... to name a few! Thankfully, we can all work out to what moves and motivates us, I agree with ChubbyBumper -- good thing there is something for everybody in this world. - 1/31/2013   12:00:48 PM
  • 53
    What is this music? Give me the classic rock and roll and I can move it to the music. It is a good thing there is something for everybody in this world. - 1/31/2013   10:45:29 AM
  • 52
    There are never enough classic oldies or Motown songs on these lists to suit me. However, Gangam Style is one of the best songs to motivate a person to move that's come along in a long while. I first heard it this summer while lining up for a 5K. When it came on, everyone started dancing and smiling and got so fired up to MOVE. I added it to my playlists the very next day. - 1/31/2013   10:40:55 AM
  • 51
    I wouldn't pay a dime for the download! Chris Brown and Pit Bull?! Sorry, Being a woman, I have too much self respect to listen to those two! About 90% of these artists/groups I've never even heard of. And the ones I have heard of (and actually like) I've already got the music. This list looks like nothing more than the Billboard top 100 .. which is a bluff list used to boost sales this way or that based on the INDUSTRY and how they persuade people into liking music rather than on good music based on talent. - 1/31/2013   8:47:29 AM
  • 50
    I find I get more ideas from the comments section than the actual blog. Many of these songs I can't relate to - I like my workout songs to be positive and uplifting (Stronger) as opposed to negative and really poorly written (We are never ever ever ever ever getting back together - gotta LOL at that one!) - 1/31/2013   4:52:33 AM
  • 49
    Just Fine - Mary J. Blige - 1/18/2013   12:41:55 PM
  • 48
    Can we come up with a workout playlist with Christian artists? - 1/18/2013   9:11:09 AM
  • 47
    My 5 year Diva has Bieber Fever.....we have certainly danced to Boyfriend PLENTY of times! Her passion for the song worked in my favor.....dancing is rewarding as part of my exercise routine. - 1/14/2013   7:07:01 PM
    Some really great songs! - 1/9/2013   10:50:52 PM
    I'm 100% certain that very few of those songs would help with my work out. I don't even know who most of those "artists" are; guess us "old" people aren't supposed to listen to music while we exercise. - 1/9/2013   3:40:09 PM
    The list was ok....I really like the group Fun (we are young)...one of my fav.....It gets me motivated to work out - 1/9/2013   1:56:34 PM
  • 43
    I must be getting old. I don't recognize most of the songs or artists. - 1/9/2013   12:58:53 PM
  • 42
    Good list! I love that "Your Body" is listed :-) - 1/9/2013   12:56:53 PM
  • 41
    WHERE is the ROCK!?!?!??!?!?! WHERE, this is a wimply Top 40 list. :( - 1/9/2013   12:33:47 PM
  • 40
    I don't think I found one thing on the list I liked. Ok, found *one*--I like the Scissor Sisters. That's it. Linkin Park is a joke, and all the rest of that pop drivel would absolutely not motivate me to workout. But taste is relative, so I'm glad some people enjoy it.

    My playlist includes: Radiohead, Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails, The Black Keys, Tenacious D, Queens of the Stone Age, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Buddy Guy, Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, Jack White (and White Stripes, and The Raconteurs), Fiona Apple, Gogol Bordello, Foster the People, And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, GIRLS soundtrack, The Decemberists, The Postal Service, The Flaming Lips, Cake, Silversun Pickups, The Dandy Warhols, Built to Spill, They Might Be Giants....

    That's the list I can think of right now, and I know not all of those artists even had an album out in 2012, but I hope that helps those of you out there like me who prefer music with a little more substance. - 1/9/2013   12:29:12 PM
  • CWAGS4
    Love this list! Will be adding some of these to my workout. - 1/9/2013   11:08:35 AM
  • 38
    I do know most of these, but also wish there was more from other genres (religous and country). Thanks for posting it though. - 1/9/2013   8:58:13 AM
    I like Kelly but I dont like that song Stronger I never heard of half of these songs. I like Turn me on by Nicki and Gangnam style. I like Usher, Flo Rida and I love and adore JLo - 1/1/2013   8:27:16 PM
  • 36
    Seriously? thats the "TOP" 100? No Five Finger Death Punch? No Breaking Benjamin? No Skillet? No Thousand Foot Krutch? No Black Stone Cherry? No Third Day? No My Darkest Days? No Sixx AM? No Evans Blue? No Jason Aldean? What a terrible list! How could any top 100 list not include a variety of genres! - 1/1/2013   2:49:38 PM
    I just stick with Iheartradio app on my phone for when I work out. That way I can listen to what type of music will modivate me for the day. I can listen to Christmas songs during Christmas time and old school on days I am just going for a casual walk. - 1/1/2013   12:00:23 PM
    Of all these songs, I knew EIGHT of them. I agree with the others that said this is basically a Top 40 list. Where's the Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, stuff like that? NONE of these songs listed here are on my workout playlist. I wouldn't pay fifty cents for this playlist. - 1/1/2013   11:21:47 AM
    For those of us who listen to Christian music only, I agree, this list is not helpful! Maybe we could make our own list! There are some pretty good Christian songs out there! I like Mandisa, and the Newsboys are my all-time favorite! - 1/1/2013   10:52:25 AM
  • 32
    Fun list, fun music! - 1/1/2013   10:48:27 AM
    Mandisa has some great tunes for Christians to exercise with. Cece Winans, anybody wanna pray is good also. Yolanda Adams, Victory, Jason Castro, Only a Mountain. Inspirational and will keep u moving! - 1/1/2013   10:30:21 AM
  • ANDYI1950
    Where can I download these ...free? - 1/1/2013   7:44:45 AM
  • OCEAN1120
    I do not know most of these songs. There needs to be some country in the mix. Stronger by Kelly Clarkson is a good motivational song. - 12/30/2012   11:53:46 AM
  • 28
    Can't stand any of these songs! Luckily for me I've got plenty of 180bpm songs on my playlist that aren't awful. :) - 12/29/2012   8:48:41 PM
  • 27
    Love the list! I made a spotify playlist with most of the songs on there :) - 12/29/2012   11:45:17 AM
  • 26
    I would really like to see other genres make the list. Skillet and Red both have new music coming out in 2013, so MAYBE they will be on there. If you have never heard of either band, then check them out on youtube. They are amazing! - 12/29/2012   10:13:16 AM
  • LLMCT3
    I only listen to christian music so this list does not help me at all. - 12/29/2012   7:46:42 AM


    Also, STAMP ON THE GROUND-JUMP JUMP- MOVE IT ALL AROUND !! I'm surprised that this song isn't as big. Look it up on YouTube!! - 12/25/2012   8:33:36 AM
  • TWEETYEP2000
    It would be nice to have country/rock. I am not interested in most of this music. - 12/20/2012   10:11:07 PM
  • 22
    The first couple or three songs I really like but most of them I haven't even heard. This is way to "pop" for my taste, but sure a lot of people will enjoy it. I think "Call Me Maybe" should be higher on the list; I actually think it's a fun song and like it as part of my workout --- even if I am an 80's girl at heart! - 12/19/2012   1:38:18 PM
  • 21
    I am 43 years old and know 75% of these songs -- and love them. Just downloaded the iTUnes mix. It's a list of the best of THIS YEAR -- so they are are very current.
    Just saying.....
    Thanks SP! - 12/19/2012   12:03:33 PM
    A long long time ago, I used to mix music for a roller rink, so I know how to mix music a little. I have 3 different playlists on my iPhone, a 30 minute, a 60 minute, & a 120 minute. These are mine:

    Lady Gaga - Americano
    Lost Boys Soundtrack - People are Strange
    Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
    Shpongle - Shpongle Spores
    M - Pop Muzik
    Alech Taadi - N'Ssi S'Ssi

    60 minute
    Amii Stewart - Knock on Wood
    Real McCoy - One More Time
    Basshunter - DotA
    The Knacks - My Sharona
    Fall out Boy - I Don't Care
    Erasure - Lay All Your Love On Me
    Pitbull - I Know You Want Me
    The Fifth Element - Diva Dance
    Muse - Uprising
    Lady Gaga - Poker Face
    Lady Gaga - Telephone
    Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
    M - Pop Muzik
    Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down
    Depeche Mode - Lie To Me

    120 Minute
    Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party
    Infected Mushroom - The Fly
    Amii Stewart - Knock on Wood
    Infected Mushroom - Wider (Astrix Mix)
    Koxbox - Space Traveler
    Depeche Mode - Pleasure, Little Treasure
    Innate - Changes
    Faithless - Insomnia
    Halo Varga - Future!
    Crystal Method - PHD
    Erasure - Love To Hate You
    Shpongle - Divine Moments of Truth
    Ventures - Tequila
    Trio - Da Da Da
    Naked Eyes - Promises Promises
    Was (Was Not) - Walk the Dinosaur
    Alech Taadi - N'Ssi N'Ssi
    Rose Royce - Car Wash
    Shpongle - Nothing Lasts
    Depeche Mode - Wrong
    Queen - We Will Rock You

    All of these songs are based on BPM, going from fastest (about 150) to slowest (round 60 I think for Queen). I don't put them on shuffle, just play it as it goes along. Works great for me when I'm on the elliptical! - 12/19/2012   10:55:50 AM
    This is just a list of the most popular songs of 2012. "It Will Rain" by Bruno Mars? That would never motivate me to work out. - 12/19/2012   6:32:34 AM
  • 18
    I have most of the top 12 on my own playlist except We are Young by Fun. I think you need to run in slow motion to the beat of that song! - 12/18/2012   8:19:51 PM
  • 17
    WHO are all of these people? - 12/18/2012   7:49:12 PM
  • 16
    I haven't heard ANY of these songs and I haven't heard of most of these artists, but the one's I have heard of are fanned by my 12 yr old sister. Curious how Taylor Swift makes it onto a workout song list...I will stick with my classic rock, nothing says motivation to me like the Scorpians or such... - 12/18/2012   6:10:50 PM

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