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Workout playlist: the best Disney songs to exercise to (if you’re a diehard fan)

Posted by for Life

From Mulan’s ‘Man Out Of You’ to Aladdin’s ‘One Jump Ahead’, we’ve created an alternative workout playlist for young-at-heart readers…

Updated on 10 April 2020: thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, many people in the UK have spent the past few weeks in lockdown mode. And, while we’re allowed out for one form of exercise a day (such as walking, jogging, running or cycling – alone or with household members), more and more of us are choosing to get our sweat on indoors.

Whether you prefer a high-intensity cardio routine, a strength-training workout, a resistance bands session, or a soul-soothing hour of yoga, though, we have a feeling you might be sick and tired of all the bog-standard exercise tunes being shared left, right and centre on Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music at this point.

With that in mind, and to celebrate the fact that Disney+ has reintroduced us to all our old favourites, how about checking out our alternative Disney workout playlist?

As reported in April 2019: you better believe that we’ve scoured Disney’s plethora of award-winning songs and soundtracks to bring you nothing but upbeat and high-energy music, all of which is 100% appropriate for your indoor gym

And, from Mulan’s ‘Man Out Of You’ to Aladdin’s ‘One Jump Ahead’, this alternative workout playlist is pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on your face (no small thing, when you’re trying to power through that all-important tenth rep).

With that in mind, it’s time to strap on those headphones and start pumping!

“I’ll Make a Man Out of You” – Mulan

We doubt there’s a single person in the world who can listen to the opening drumbeats of this iconic Disney tune and not feel compelled to shout the words, “Let’s get down to business” at the top of their lungs. Add it to your workout playlist, stream it during your next weight-lifting class, and prepare to feel all the strength of a raging fire…

“Zero to Hero” – Hercules

If you’re looking for a high-energy tune to blast out during a fast-paced workout (think circuit training or spinning), you need the gospel stylings of Hercules’ The Muses. Not only has ‘Zero to Hero’ got the tempo to keep up with the sweatiest of sweat-inducing activities, but the lyrics are guaranteed to inspire you and keep you feeling “sweet and undefeated” until the bitter end. An awesome 10 outta 10 for this Disney ditty.

“Touch the Sky” – Brave

For those of you who have yet to see Disney’s Brave (I’ll admit, it’s a slightly more niche one than some of the others on this list), you need to rectify that ASAP. Not only does it offer up a beautiful story about mother-daughter relationships, but it also gives us a flame-haired hero who fights for her own hand in marriage, utterly defies stereotypes, and teaches us that our fate lives within us – we just have to be brave enough to see it. 

Is it any wonder, then, that the tale of Merida comes complete with a seriously motivational song? One which would, in my humble opinion, be the perfect accompaniment to any jog, cycle or outdoor workout?

Don’t believe me? Check out the lyrics below:

I will… be as strong as the seas are stormy
And proud as an eagle’s scream.
I will ride, I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky, I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky.


“Strangers Like Me” – Tarzan 

Phil Collins is all over the soundtrack for Disney’s Tarzan, which can make it hard for fans to pick out a definitive favourite. However, there’s no denying that the rise-and-fall tempo of ‘Strangers Like Me’ makes it ideal for interval training.

“Let It Go” – Frozen

This soaring ballad, performed by vocal acrobat Idina Menzel, needs no introduction. Just be sure to add it to your workout playlist, whack up the volume, and use it to power you through your next treadmill session.

“Try Everything” – Zootropolis

If you’ve hit a stumbling block in your workout regime, don’t despair: Shakira’s feel-good tune from Zootropolis (that’s Zootopia, to our American friends) is here to help.

To prove the point, here’s just a sampling of Try Everything’s lyrics:

Birds don’t just fly
They fall down and get up
Nobody learns without getting it won

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
Till I reach the end
And then I’ll start again

Though I’m on the lead
I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
Till I reach the end
And then I’ll start again

No I won’t leave
I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail.

I dare you to tell me you don’t feel inspired now.

“Just Around the Riverbend” – Pocahontas

Whether you’re committed to the rowing machine or not, there’s no denying that this fast-paced power ballad from Pocahontas is an ideal addition to your alternative workout playlist. All together now? “I look once more, just around the river-bend…”

“Learn to Do It” – Anastasia 

Technically, technically, this isn’t an official Disney song. But Anastasia (which features the voices of Meg Ryan, John Cusack and Kelsey Grammer, among countless others) is full of cracking tunes, and this little ditty, which is all about nailing new skills, is sure to give you the push you need to get through that new workout regime.

“Be Prepared” – Lion King

Scar’s call-to-arms isn’t just one of the best Disney villain songs of all time: it’s also a great way to ensure your teeth and ambitions are bared and ready for the gym.

“Gaston” – Beauty & The Beast

The rhythm of this classic Disney song makes for a great musical accompaniment to your next weight-lifting session. And we suspect you’ll be left feeling live you’ve got “biceps to spare” come the end of it, too.

“How Far I’ll Go” – Moana 

This is an absolutely beautiful song, it’s true – but it’s also a slow-builder which is a gift to anyone hoping to steadily increase their workout speed.

“The Bare Necessities” – The Jungle Book

Forget about your workout worries and strife with this carefree ditty (which sets a steady, easy pace) from The Jungle Book’s Baloo.

“Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride” – Lilo & Stitch

Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride is the kind of fun, high-energy song anyone would want on their running playlist.

“Stand Out” – A Goofy Movie

Once you’re watching every move that I make
You gotta believe that I got what it takes

To stand out
Above the crowd
Even if I gotta shout out loud
’Til mine is the only face you see

Gonna stand out
’Til you notice me

We’ve scoured countless Disney workout forums, and ‘Stand Out’ from A Goofy Movie crops up again and again as the ultimate Disney workout song. We can see why: the lyrics and tempo work together to create something seriously high-energy, which is sure to help transport you (in spirit, at least) from the gym to a glossy Disney park.

“Immortals” – Big Hero 6

Bet you didn’t expect to find a Fallout Boy track on this list now, did you? According to vocalist Patrick Stump, the song’s title was inspired by “the idea of this kid stepping up on behalf of his brother. Your victories aren’t exclusively yours, so the fact that all of these people are coming together to help him get to the finish line is really exciting.”

What’s more workout-friendly than that, eh?

“One Jump Ahead” – Aladdin

When you’ve gotta stay one jump ahead of the slowpokes, this Aladdin song’s quick tempo (with its fun speed-up element towards the end) will help you push yourself to the limit and outrun the (presumably metaphorical) palace guards on your tail.

“Un Poco Loco” – Coco

Fancy getting a little crazy with your workout playlist? This fun song, from Disney’s Coco, sets a great pace and is a bit of an earworm to boot.

“On My Way” – Brother Bear

That’s right: as well as Tarzan, Phil Collins came up with the soundtrack for Brother Bear. And this song, with its steady tempo and uplifting lyrics, is an obvious addition to any jogger’s running arsenal.

Tell everybody I’m on my way,
And I’m loving every step I take.
With the sun beating down, yes,
I’m on my way,
And I can’t keep this smile off my face.

With this tune pulsing in your ears, you’ll be on your way in no time.

“Sister Suffragette” – Mary Poppins

We’re willing to bet that 98% of the population will have hummed along to the catchy ‘Sister Suffragette’ from Disney’s Mary Poppins at some point in their lives, so why not add this up-tempo marching song to your workout playlist, too? After all, the more you listen to this feminist ballad, the more likely you are to score a perfect 10/10 on our “How well do you remember the lyrics to Mary Poppins’ Sister Suffragette?” quiz…

“Dig a Little Deeper” – The Princess and the Frog

The insatiable energy of Mama Odie’s song will have you bouncing along to the beat in no time, and digging a little deeper into your energy reserves for that final fitness push. Also recommended for your workout playlist? The film’s ‘Almost There’ song, too.

“Some Day My Prince Will Come” – Snow White (Ashley Tisdale’s Disney Mania remix)

Snow White may not be the most feminist of the Disney princesses, but she’s definitely got some of the best songs. And, while the original version of ‘Some Day My Prince Will Come’ is a slow, yearning ballad of love, the Disney Mania version (as sung by Ashley Tisdale) is a high-octane favourite on many an alternative workout playlist.

“Part of Your World” – The Little Mermaid (Skye Sweetnam’s Disney Mania remix)

Once again, Disney Mania has come up trumps with a high-energy twist on one of your favourite classics – this time from The Little Mermaid. Make it part of your world and add it to your workout playlist, pronto.

Of course, there are countless other Disney ditties you could add to your list of ‘exercise music must-haves’ (think Tangled’s ’When Will My Life Begin’, ‘Son of Man’ from Tarzan, Aladdin’s ‘Friend Like Me’, or The Lion King’s ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’), but our aim is to empower you to make your own choices. With that in mind, we wish you luck in veering away from the beaten track and creating your own alternative workout playlist. 

Happy exercising, folks!

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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