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The Ultimate Musical Theatre Workout Playlist

Sometimes, it’s hard to find the motivation to get to the gym, especially during winter quarter and with a busy schedule. My music taste is a mix of mostly pop, indie, and classic rock, but I never seem to find the right playlist for the gym. However, I recently discovered my personal gym game-changer: my Musical Theatre Workout Playlist. Dare I say, the ULTIMATE MT Workout Playlist. Okay, before you roll your eyes at the theatre major and click away, let me tell you that it’s filled with the most upbeat and energizing songs of contemporary musical theatre and it makes me run faster and longer than anything else. It’s also the extra push I need to get to the gym knowing that I’ll listen to Broadway music while there. Even if showtunes are not your favorite genre, I encourage you to try this next time you hit the gym. Many of these are based on movies so they may not actually be so foreign to you. Here’s my personal top ten from the playlist:

What I Was Born To Do – Bring It On

This song from Bring It On (yes, like the movie) is a five-minute-long burst of energy and I love it. This list isn’t ranked, but this is probably still my #1 favorite.  

So Much Better – Legally Blonde

This song, about achieving goals despite everyone doubting you, will inspire you to power through your workout until you can say “What? Like it’s hard?” 

Yorktown – Hamilton

A history lesson and catchy hip-hop beat in one? Sign me up. It’s practically like doing homework while you workout. 

All I Really Want – Jagged Little Pill

This pop-rock musical, based on the music of Alanis Morissette, was nominated for fifteen Tony Awards and won a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album, so you could say it’s pretty good. It has some nice tempo changes for your workout as well. 

The Bitch of Living – Spring Awakening

This rock musical is full of teen angst. Sometimes it’s just empowering to grab the mic and shout some curse words. Life is complicated. Need I say more?

I’m Alive – Next to Normal

Another rock musical. Are you sensing a theme here? Do a rep every time he says “I’m Alive” and that’s basically a full workout. 

Blackout – In the Heights

I’ve been obsessed with the In the Heights movie since it came out this summer. And yes, this is the song from the Vanessa/Usnavi Tik Tok trend. It’s in your drafts. Admit it.

Revolting Children – Matilda

All about rebelling against authoritarian adults, this song will bring out your inner child in the best way. Also, it’s basically a spelling lesson. 

Never Shut Up Again – Heathers

If you think you know the Heathers musical (based on the movie), you actually may not know this song as it was only added in the West End version. But, it’s one of my favorite badass female anthems. 

When I Climb to the Top of Mount Rock – School of Rock

Protagonist Dewey Finn shares his aspirations for his future in this rock song. It’s a head-banger with a great tempo for running. 

Find these songs and more on the full playlist on Apple Music and Spotify

Happy exercising!

Maya Slaughter

Northwestern '25

Maya Slaughter is a Northwestern University theatre major from New Jersey. When not performing or writing, you can find her cooking, riding Peloton, rewatching New Girl, taking pictures of her friends in 0.5x, and drinking iced coffee.
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