The 100 Best Workout Songs from the '80s

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Today, I am happy to deliver the mother of all '80s music lists: 100 awesome '80s hits that are perfect for exercising.

There's a lot of variety here, from dance and pop hits to a little rap and rock. These are truly the best '80s workout songs of all time.

After I created this top 100 list, I asked members of, America's #1 weight loss and fitness website, to vote on their favorites, too. Find out which song took the top spot and whether your favorites made the list, and how you can download a brand new 60-minute cardio workout mix of the top 15 songs (as voted on by exercisers like you)!

Go ahead and make a new mixtape--er, I mean update your iPod or mp3 player--with a blast from the past using these "made in the '80s" tunes next time you exercise.

No. 1 Workout Song from the '80s:

Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1983)

No. 2: Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot (1980)
No. 3:  Survivor – Eye of the Tiger (1982)
No. 4: The B-52's – Love Shack (1989)
No. 5: Michael Jackson – Beat It (1982)
No. 6: Bon Jovi – Livin' on a Prayer (1986)
No. 7: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – I Love Rock N' Roll (1982)
No. 8: Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)
No. 9: Van Halen – Jump (1984)
No. 10: Journey – Don't Stop Believin' (1982)
No. 11: Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine (1983)
No. 12: Prince – Kiss (1986)
No. 13: Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal (1987)
No. 14: Kool and the Gang – Celebration (1980)
No. 15: Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (1983)

Download SparkPeople's 132-BPM 60-minute continuous cardio remix of the 15 most popular 1980s workout songs on iTunes for $9.99, or at for just $8.99!

Here's the rest of the list (in alphabetic order). Click on each link to listen to a preview (or purchase the mp3) at

A Flock of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away) (1982)
a-ha – Take On Me (1985)
The Bangles – Manic Monday (1986)
Billy Idol – Mony Mony (1981)
Billy Idol – White Wedding (1981) (1982)
Blondie – The Tide is High (1980)
Bobby Brown – My Prerogative (1988)
The Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star (1981)
Cameo – Word Up! (1986)
The Cars – Shake It Up (1981)
Culture Club – I'll Tumble 4 Ya (1982)
Culture Club – Karma Chameleon (1983)
The Cure – Just Like Heaven (1987)
David Bowie – Let's Dance (1983)
David Bowie – Modern Love (1983)
Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) (1985)
Depeche Mode – Just Can't Get Enough (1981)
Depeche Mode – People Are People (1987)
Deniece Williams – Let's Hear It for the Boy (1984)
Duran Duran – Girls on Film (1981)
Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf (1982)
Duran Duran – Rio (1982)
Eddie Money – Take Me Home Tonight (1986)
Eddy Grant – Electric Avenue (1983)
Erasure – A Little Respect (1988)
Falco – Rock Me Amadeus (1986)
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax (1983)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes (1984)
The Gap Band – You Dropped a Bomb on Me (1982)
George Michael – Faith (1987)
The Go-Go's – Our Lips Are Sealed (1981)
The Go-Go's – Vacation (1982)
The Go-Go's – We Got The Beat (1981)
Grandmaster Flash – The Message (1982
Guns N' Roses – Paradise City (1987)
Guns N' Roses – Sweet Child O' Mine (1987)
Guns N' Roses – Welcome to the Jungle (1987)
Janet Jackson – Control (1986)
Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation
Kenny Loggins – Footloose (1984)
Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen (1982)
Madness – Our House (1982)
Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride (1983)
Madonna – Borderline (1983)
Madonna – Holiday (1983)
Madonna – Into the Groove (1985)
Madonna – Like a Prayer (1989)
Madonna – Lucky Star (1983)
Madonna – Material Girl (1984)
Madonna – Papa Don't Preach (1986)
Men At Work – Down Under (1981)
Michael Jackson – Bad (1987)
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (1982)
Michael Jackson – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) (1982)
Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (1982)
Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)
Naked Eyes – Always Something There to Remind Me (1983)
New Kids on the Block – Hangin' Tough (1988)
New Kids on the Block – You Got It (The Right Stuff) (1988)
New Order – Blue Monday (1982)
Pat Benatar – Love is a Battlefield (1983)
Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl (1988)
Paula Abdul – Opposites Attract (1988)
Philipp Bailey ft. Phil Collins – Easy Lover (1985)
Prince – 1999 (1982)
R.E.M. – It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) (1987)
R.E.M. – Orange Crush (1988)
R.E.M. – Stand (1988)
Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up (1987)
Rob Base – It Takes Two (1988)
Sammy Hagar – I Can't Drive 55 (1985)
Scorpions – Rock You Like a Hurricane (1984)
Shannon – Let the Music Play (1983)
Sheila E. – The Glamorous Life (1984)
Soft Cell – Tainted Love (1981)
Talking Heads – Burning Down the House (1984)
Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam (1989)
Tone-Loc – Wild Thing (1989)
Toni Basil – Mickey (1982)
U2 – New Year's Day (1983)
U2 – Pride (In the Name of Love) (1988)
U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (1983)
Van Halen – Hot for Teacher (1984)
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun (1983)
Wham – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (1984)
Yaz – Situation (1983)

You might also like our 100 most motivating songs of all-time.

Are any of your '80s favorites missing from this list? Share them below!

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NEVYN69 2/2/2020
Anything from English beat/General Public... Bopping away to Tenderness makes my day
BONNIE1552 12/15/2019
Great decade for workout music.👍 Report
MYSTYBELLA 10/13/2019
This article makes so happy! Love the list. =) Report
ECRONKHI 9/13/2019
LOVE THE 80'S!!! I ALWAYS workout to the 80's channel on Pandora. Makes me so happy!! Report
Gotta love the 80's, so much great music!!! Report
Quite a list Report
A great list of songs! Thank you! Report
Thanks. That’s actually a pretty good list, Report
Great Report
great list! thanks Report
An interested list, thanks for sharing. Report
Great list! I'm surprised not more than 2 Prince songs! Report
Nice to see some of the old songs listed. Report
Great list as always! Report
I think the comments are more interesting to read than the list! Report
Where is Olivia Newton-John's "Physical"? This was THE workout tune of the 80s! Report
I'd switch sammy hagar's 55 to the song heavy metal, but yeah great list Report
Great list Report
So looking at the reviews - these songs are NOT by the original artists. No thanks. I'll buy the originals and support the artists themselves. Report
fantastic list Report
I look forward to these lists! This one is great! I really like 80s music! Report
Some rockin' songs here Report
very nice Report
Not crazy about the advertised SparkPeople mix available for download – mediocre remakes of the original 80s tunes, all pitched to the continuous 132 bpm with an annoying late-2000s-beat in the background. Doesn't give you the real 80s feel at all. I'll make my own playlist from the original tunes, but the list is very helpful as a reminder! Report
The 80s. Best. Music. Ever Report
Great list! I also like "Dancing in Heaven" by Q-feel! Report
Man... can't believe "Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles got left off! Report
Buyer Beware!!! The 8.99 and 9.99 deals are for only the first 15 titles and are not the original songs by the original artists!!!!!!!!!! Report
My mental jukebox played allllllllllllllll of these. =D Blast from my past! Excellent choices, all. Just wondering why Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself" was left off the list! Report
No Huey Lewis and the News??? What about Bryan Adams (Summer of 69)?? Report
The Heat Is On by Glenn Frey. Great aerobics song. Report
80s: Best. Music. Ever Report
No Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical"? Report
I'm laughing because I was born in the 90s, but I knew more of these than the one on the 90s list! Report
Having major flashbacks here! LOL The funny thing is we do several of these in my zumba class! Report
Love it! I am definitely a product of the 80's- great list :) Report
I purchased these from iTunes and was totally disappointed. The songs aren't by the original artists. :( Report
All great songs. Have them all on my mp3 with a few from today's music. cupid shuffle, pump it, i gotta a feeling, cha cha slide, black suits are coming, locked out of heaven, Move your body, or anything with a good beat Report
I take issue with the Motley Crue selection; I'd go with just about anything off "Too Fast for Love" or "Shout at the Devil" before I'd pick anything off "Girls, Girls, Girls". Bleah!
Also: come on, guys! No Iron Maiden? Whitesnake? Pre-Hysteria Def Leppard? KIX??
My gym playlist all those plus lots of Rammstein. And DIO!! Report
Not a bad list. I don't like all these songs but I like quite a lot of them, mostly ones in the top 15. Report
Good list.
No Poison? I used to love GNR back in the day! Report
Love the 80s! How about "Rock the Casbah" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash and "E=MC2" by Big Audio Dynamite? Also Report
Good list!!!!!!!!! Report
Great list!!! Report
the killers Report
Whilst I like most of these songs, only a handful are on my workout playlist; they others are too slow and they bring down my time :( Report
hate, hate, hate that this is not by the original artists, there are enough up tempo songs without using lame remixes Report