16 Self-Love Pop Anthems You Definitely Need On Your Gym Playlist

You know what’s more fun than going to the gym? Just about everything. Most of us would much rather be eating donuts and spending as much time away from those ellipticals as possible. Plus, trips to the gym are often inspired by less-than-fun things. Maybe your mom made a snide remark about your arms over brunch or you struggled to shimmy into that sun dress from last year. In any case, that doesn’t feel good! Going into any venture feeling down about yourself is a recipe for disaster (or at the very least, a recipe for scowling at yourself in all those gym mirrors that should be illegal). But take it from someone who loathes working out: A good gym playlist can make all the difference.

You know why? Because you’re a badass. You’re gorgeous, you’re powerful, and you’re killing it at life. You just need someone to remind you of that sometimes! Fortunately, pop music exists and it’s full of anthems that you can whip out whenever you need someone to tell you how great you are. Consider these 16 songs your gym playlist starter kit.

16. “***Flawless” by Beyoncé

It is scientifically impossible to listen to “***Flawless” by Beyoncé without feeling amazing. Not only are you physically a real-life goddess, but mentally, you are ready to come for anyone who tries to steal your crown. Sure, you might be fighting with Gary from marketing right now because that last email he sent was totally uncalled for, but while you’re sweating it out to “Flawless,” it’s like Gary doesn’t even exist. Drag him.

Listen to it here!

15. “Applause” by Lady Gaga

Applause? You live for it. And you know what? You earned it. That’s why “Applause” by Lady Gaga should be your new jam. Like Queen Gaga herself, love from your adoring fans (or at least your cats) keeps you going, so just imagine them sitting on the sidelines cheering you on while you make that treadmill wish it never met you. The tempo of this absolute banger will make you forget that you’re doing the worst thing on Earth, which is running, obviously.

Listen to it here!

14. “F*ck With Myself” by Banks

First of all, if you don’t already live for Banks, stop what you’re doing and get on Spotify right now. We’ll wait. Okay, now that you two are acquainted, it’s time for you to crank “F*ck With Myself” through those headphones. While not as raucous as something like “Applause,” this track is basically that little voice in your head that tells you that you are, in fact, the GOAT.

That voice can come in handy when you’re lifting (and internally screaming). And it’s great because the song has two meanings, one of which is what we were just talking about. The other one is that you mess with yourself more than anybody else, which is true because look around at all of those stationary bikes in this fresh hell.

Listen to it here!

13. “Confident” by Demi Lovato

This one is admittedly a little on-the-nose, but hey, sometimes we just need Demi Lovato to remind us that there’s no shame in our confidence game. “Confident” was basically made for the gym. Just think about how great your butt’s going to look in that bikini this year while you crush those squats. Demi will coach you through the pain (but maybe still have ice packs ready just in case).

Listen to it here!

12. “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson

According to Kelly Clarkson and also your mom, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and we’re looking at you, elliptical. Go ahead. Try us. Instead of focusing all of your own energy on not dying, pass some of that burden onto Kelly Clarkson while she sings “Stronger” directly to you and no one else. You’ll be feeling like a gym-slaying badass in no time.

Listen to it here!

11. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga

Gaga’s iconic “Born This Way” is the benchmark for self-love anthems and any gym playlist that doesn’t have this track on it is incomplete and frankly trash. Stare your beautiful self in the face in those horrible gym mirrors that shouldn’t exist and remember that we’re all beautiful in our own way and that in the gorgeousness department, you’re already there. This workout session is all about keeping that heart healthy so you can slay for many years to come.

Listen to it here!

10. “Feeling Myself” by Nicki Minaj ft. Beyoncé

Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé will never lead you astray. They’re feelin’ themselves, so why shouldn’t you? Blast this bop while you’re doing your warmup stretches and you’ll be unstoppable. All that talk of Maybachs and endlessly feeling oneself will have you ready to run a marathon. By the end you’ll probably still drive home from the gym in a 2007 Honda but you’ll feel like an expensive queen no one can afford and that’s what matters.

Listen to it here!

9. “Finesse” by Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B

As far as songs about looking good and knowing it go, “Finesse” is probably the cutest and catchiest of all. When Bruno Mars made the decision to bring Cardi B onto the track, it’s like he knew what we needed before we did ourselves. You know that confidence Cardi B exudes in the first verse? That’s the kind of self-love you need on your playlist. While you crush your workout, all the boys and girls will definitely be shook.

Listen to it here!

8. “If U Seek Amy” by Britney Spears

If you’re a ’90s baby, you remember the exact moment someone on the playground or at the lockers between classes figured out what Britney Spears meant when she was singing “If U Seek Amy.” We love a scandalous queen. You’re fine AF yourself, so while you’re at the gym, let Brit remind you of what all of the boys and all of the girls most definitely want to do.

Listen to it here!

7. “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato

You’re out here looking like revenge, girl. Demi will make sure you don’t forget it. “Sorry Not Sorry” was inescapable in the summer of 2017 and if you know what’s good for you, it’ll stay on your gym playlist rotation until the end of time because it SLAPS. You’re doing amazing and looking even better, so you’d better not be sorry about it. Between the lyrics and the beat, this is everything a workout bop needs to be.

Listen to it here!

6. “Perfect” by Pink

Everyone needs a good cool-down song after a strenuous workout, but just because you’re knocking the tempo down a few pegs doesn’t mean you should let up on your relentless quest to be reminded of how fabulous you are. “Perfect” by Pink is, well, perfect for the job. This triumphant song about dealing with a few hard knocks and coming out strong and brave on the other side is basically what you need when you’ve just survived a set of lunges.

Listen to it here!

5. “Goddess” by Banks

Banks is at it again with another track that’s designed to make every woman who listens to it go, “You know what? I am a goddess.” And if you’ve ever been wronged by an ex and you have a penchant for taking that out on some dumbbells, “Goddess” is basically made to be the soundtrack for your quiet, measured rage. By the time the song is over, you might be mad at every ex you’ve ever had for fights you got into four years ago, but it’s only because Banks helped you realize that you’re too good for this Earth.

Listen to it here!

4. “Girl Almighty” by One Direction

Ah, One Direction. May the cutest boy band of all time rest in peace. As any pop culture junkie knows, the boys of 1D — and particularly Harry Styles — are totally down with feminism, so it makes sense that they’d record a bop that celebrates powerful ladies. “Girl Almighty” tells the story of a girl whose “light is as loud as as many ambulances as it takes to save a savior,” and I mean, hello! That’s you. Now crush those deadlifts.

Listen to it here!

3. “Yoga” by Janelle Monáe

The legendary Janelle Monáe blessed this planet with what is probably the most underrated song ever, which is (fittingly enough for this list) called “Yoga.” While not the most explicitly confidence-boosting song of the bunch, “Yoga” is a fun, girl-power song about women having a good time drinking, dancing, and generally being queenly and it will help you power through that workout. In fact, just put it on a loop. Before you know it, you’ll have run through a 30-minute elliptical session.

Listen to it here!

2. “Six Inch” by Beyoncé

Clearly, Queen Bey is here for the girls! Sexy-as-hell track “Six Inch” will have you feeling like the fine woman you are in ten seconds flat. So what if you’re on day four of dry shampoo and your hair’s somehow in a bun without a hair tie in sight? Who cares that the shirt you’re wearing is actually your brother’s from the eighth grade? You’re a sexy lady and you’d better strut through that gym, girl.

Listen to it here!

1. “Hair” by Lady Gaga

Another under-appreciated pop anthem is “Hair” by Lady Gaga. The second this track starts, you’ll start feeling nostalgic about your awkward 16-year-old self and you’ll wish you could tell her how great she is no matter what the other kids say. It’s one of those songs about finding self-love that you must by law sing into a hairbrush at least once in your life. Throw it on when you need a little extra motivation and you’ll be set. So there you have it: The ultimate self-love gym playlist. What are you waiting for? Those calves aren’t going work themselves, queen.

Listen to it here!

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