There’s nothing more motivating than a good running playlist. One that’s packed with upbeat, motivating tunes to keep you powering onwards every time you pull on your trainers.
So, if you’ve been feeling a little uninspired by the same old songs lately, don’t worry – the team at Polar is here to save your workouts with the best running songs for 2021!
We pulled together everyone’s favorite new tracks released this year, from both our Ambassadors and the team here at Polar, to create a list of twenty-one (see what we did there?) fresh tunes to soundtrack your runs.
We start you out with a good workout vibe and then take it alllllll the way up, spanning from a cruisy 124 BPM through to a heart-pounding 185 BPM!
So, if you’re ready to discover some fantastic tunes to carry you into the new year, plug into our Best Running Songs 2021 playlist and get your blood pumping.
Pssst. You can play, pause, and skip tracks directly from your Polar watch with Music Controls.
best running songs 2021: 120-130 BPM
“Sun Came Up” by Sofi Tukker (124 BPM)
Cause nothing beats a run when the sun comes up.Polar Ambassador and triathlete Sarah Richetti.
Let’s get started with a dreamy track that eases you into your pace, kind of like dawn breaking. This new song by this Florida-based duo Sofi Tukker has the type of vibe that evokes your best memories of summer adventures – precisely what you need for a morning run when the weather might not be quite so motivating. Polar Ambassador and triathlete Sarah Richetti recommended this as her best running song for 2021 as “cause nothing beats a run when the sun comes up.”
“La Perla” by Sofia Kourtesis (124 BPM)
From Sofi to Sofia, this song perfectly carries the beat of the previous track forward with this sweet tune sung in Spanish. The Berlin-based Peruvian producer, vocalist, and DJ, Sofia Kourtesis wrote La Perla about her father, who used to say that “staring at the sea is like meditation, it clears your head.” This track works in the same way, pushing any swirling thoughts and helping you focus on your form as you get started.
“My Heart Goes (La Di Da)” by Becky Hill (124 BPM)
When running after pregnancy, I found this song is very inspiring. Resuming workouts after so many months is not easy, but the right music really helps!Polar Ambassador and runner Ilaria Novelli.
Try not to get the catchy hooky from this song stuck in your mind. You’ll have Becky Hills “la di da” pushing you forward as you pick up the pace a little with this track from the former UK contestant on The Voice. For Polar Ambassador and runner Ilaria Novelli, this song was instrumental in returning to form in 2021. “When running after pregnancy, I found this song is very inspiring. Resuming workouts after so many months is not easy, but the right music really helps!”
“Rushing Water” by Sting (125 BPM)
This song is all about trying, failing, and trying again. It makes me start and live better throughout each day.Polar Ambassador, triathlete, and ultra trail runner, Massimiliano Bestia Bertini.
This cruisy new tune from the one and only Sting has been a real inspiration to Polar Ambassador, triathlete, and ultra trail runner, Massimiliano Bestia Bertini, during 2021. “This song is all about trying, failing, and trying again. It makes me start and live better throughout each day.” We also think it would make an excellent cooldown track when you’ve made it through the most grueling part of your run and are slowly bringing your heart rate down again.
“Diamonds” by Martin Garrix, Julian Jordan & Tinie Tempah (125 BPM)
Do you want to hustle in a workout? This song will get you there in a heartbeat! When that beat drops, it’s GO TIME!Polar Ambassador and indoor cycling instructor Kristin McIntosh.
If you were a fan of UK rapper Tinie Tempah back in the twenty-tens, you’ll be delighted to hear him doing the vocals on this seriously banging new song for 2021. Dutch DJs Martin Garrix and Julian Jordan have teamed up on this tune that has kept Polar Ambassador and indoor cycling instructor Kristin McIntosh powering through the year. “Do you want to hustle in a workout? This song will get you there in a heartbeat! When that beat drops, it’s GO TIME!”
“Keep Moving (The Blessed Madonna Remix)” by Jungle (126 BPM)
We pick up the pace with an epic remix from American DJ and producer The Blessed Madonna. This track from British electronic group Jungle’s new album, Loving In Stereo, seems designed for running as it keeps telling you (over and over) to keep on moving. Honestly, we challenge you to find a more inspiring song for running in 2021.
“Downtown” by Honey Dijon (feat. Annette Bowen & Nikki-O) (126 BPM)
Originally hailing from the clubbing mecca of Chicago, the NYC/Berlin-based DJ, Honey Dijon, keeps the party going with this disco-infused track that has a thumping bassline for keeping your stride going. It’s a joyful ode to the underground house scene, and that makes you feel like you’re running straight to a party.
“Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran (126 BPM)
This song accompanies me during my night runs.Polar Ambassador and ultra-distance runner Cosimo Bertotto.
“This song accompanies me during my night runs,” says Polar Ambassador and ultra-distance runner Cosimo Bertotto, and we can see why. This haunting track from Ed Sheeran’s new album = feels like you are perhaps running away from something rather than towards it. Fellow Ambassador and runner Kristel Soysal also loves this new tune for 2021. “On my track workouts, it’s the top between speed and recovery.”
“Hero” by Afrojack & David Guetta (126 BPM)
Reminder: you are your own hero!! No one is going to do the work for you.Polar Ambassador and runner Patty ter Harmsel.
Ready for a bit of inspiration? “Hero” has to be one of the best running songs for 2021 to make you feel like a champion. Polar Ambassador and runner Patty ter Harmsel is very into this new track because it serves as a reminder that “you are your own hero!! No one is going to do the work for you.” So, on the days when you’re feeling a little lacking in motivation, slide this tune into your ears.
“In My Arms” by Disclosure (126 BPM)
Rolling Stone described this new track from British DJ duo as “pulsating,” which is exactly what your heart rate will feel like once this six-minute tune comes around. We love how the swooning vocals that repeat “I need you in my arms” make you feel like you’re running towards something you can’t stop yearning for.
“The Darkness That You Fear” by The Chemical Brothers (128 BPM)
Ignore the creepy title, this beautiful new track from these pioneers of electronic music is an explosion of radiant, positive vibes. The lyrics keep asking you to “let your heart see the colors all around you,” which is precisely what it makes you do as you take in your surroundings along your route.
best running songs 2021: 130-160 BPM
“All of The Time” by Jungle (130 BPM)
Let’s jump up to the 130 BPM zone with another song from Jungle. This track carries on the euphoric vibes from The Chemical Brothers with a soulful groove that is impossible to keep still to. According to the group, this song “sonically challenges you to accept and grow through positivity in body and soul,” and trust us – you can feel this when running to this mighty tune.
“Way Less Sad” by AJR (140 BPM)
This poptastic track from indie trio AJR (the initials of brothers Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met) will make you feel like your running through the opening credits of your very own movie (rocking your shiny Polar sports watch, obviously). Recognize that upbeat trumpet? It’s a sample from Simon and Garfunkel’s “My Little Town.”
“Shivers” by Ed Sheeran (141 BPM)
This song makes me want to dance while running.Polar Ambassador and runner Patty ter Harmsel.
There was no resisting another Ed Sheeran track after he brought out a whole bunch of bangers again in 2021. “This song makes me want to dance while running,” says our Ambassador Patty ter Harmsel. It’s also a fave from a member of the Polar team, David Jones, who confessed that this up-tempo love song “makes me think of my wife when I’m running, and it comes on.” Awwwww.
“Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X (150 BPM)
Good for running when you want to feel invincible.David from Polar.
There’s no denying: 2021 was a HUGE year for Lil Nas X. The American rapper and singer’s debut album Montero was one of the year’s most iconic releases. It’s packed with era-defining tracks like “Industry Baby,” which David from our Polar team found “good for running when you want to feel invincible.”
“Oh!” by The Linda Lindas (150 BPM)
Remember Riot Grrrl music from the 90s? Los Angeles four-piece The Linda Lindas (who are all in their teens) have firmly established themselves as the new generation of all-female punk with catchy tracks like this one. “Oh!” packs a whole lot of energy into those two and half minutes, making it perfect for giving your run a boost of power when you start to feel yourself beginning to tire.
“Traps” by Bloc Party (155 BPM)
Bloc Party are one of those bands that exude energy. Every song is exciting!David from Polar.
We follow up with another energetic indie tune from British art punkers, Bloc Party. “They’re one of those bands that exude energy. Every song is exciting!” says David from our Polar team. This hard-hitting number is from the band’s new album, Alpha Games, and it has this explosively dark energy that drives you onwards. Perfect for a nighttime run through your city streets.
best running songs 2021: 160-190 BPM
“Chaise Longue” by Wet Leg (160 BPM)
It may seem strange to run to a song that’s all about lying about all day, but there is something almost hypnotic about repetitive lyrics of British indie band Wet Leg’s debut single. If you like this odd-ball 80s post-punk vibe for your runs, you should check out the very catchy but unnameable track they followed this up with (it’s a little too steamy for this list).
“L’allegria” by Gianni Morandi (172 BPM)
It’s a hymn to remember to be positive and to try again.Polar Ambassador and marathon runner Diego Saltalamacchia.
Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, it’s impossible to keep still when you hear this cheeky tune recommended by Polar Ambassador and marathon runner Diego Saltalamacchia. “I love running to this song because it is an invitation to cheerfulness. It’s a hymn to remember to be positive and to try again.”
“A Hunger In Your Haunt” by Biffy Clyro (177 BPM)
I listen to this song during my CrossFit lessons.Giulia from Polar.
When you want to push yourself, try this new track from the Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro (yup, try saying that when you’re drunk). Frontman Simon Neil has described it as “a self-motivating mantra,” which is why Polar team member Giulia has recommended it for this year’s list. “I listen to this song during my CrossFit lessons, but it can be a good choice also for running.”
“Hertz” by Amyl and the Sniffers (185 BPM)
You can’t slow down when you listen to this song.Eduardo from Polar.
There’s something very ‘foot the floor’ about the relentless energy of this song by Australian punk band, Amyl and the Sniffers. “You can’t slow down when you listen to this song. Its high-energy rock and roll is infectious,” says Eduardo from the Polar team. It’s a pure tornado of a track, propelling you forwards.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.