The Ultimate 5,000-Step Walking Playlist

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I know that Silent Walking is a thing—and it’s great for a time of peaceful meditation, if that’s what you need.  But if I’m hitting the trail (or the treadmill) by myself, I need to have something to listen to.  Often, I’ll get caught up in an audiobook—but sometimes I just need some upbeat music to get me up and moving.  And what better way to do that than with a playlist full of fun, walkable, danceable, sing-along-able songs about walking?

There are so many ways to listen to this playlist!  I’ve got YouTube videos posted below.  If you want to download the MP3, I’ve got links to find them on Amazon.  Or you can listen to the whole thing by playing the Spotify playlist

For each song in this playlist, I’ve listed the beats per minute, the pace (in minutes per mile) that you’ll be walking if you’re walking to the beat, and the number of steps that you’ll take during the song if you keep up that pace.  We’ll start with an easy pace and work our way up, finishing up with a slower cool-down song.  The songs here eventually build up to a pretty brisk pace, but take it at a pace that works for you—whether that means moving faster or slower.  You’re totally allowed to dance and sing your way through this playlist, too (in fact, you’re almost guaranteed to bust a move or two at some point along the way).  But if you follow the pace of each song, you’ll be over 5,000 steps by the time you reach the end of the playlist.

Lace up your favorite shoes, hit play, and let’s go!

1) “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles

We’re starting our walk with an ‘80s classic.  This song may not have the fastest pace, but it’s a great way to warm up—because it’s guaranteed to get you moving (and probably dancing, too—compete with arm movements).  And that’s a pretty great way to get started.

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 103
Pace: 19:25
Steps: 348

2) “Walking on Sunshine” Katrina and the Waves

As we pick up the pace a little bit, we’re moving on to another upbeat ‘80s hit.  You just can’t help but smile while you’re listening to this super-cheery song—and that makes it a can’t-miss song for our walking playlist.

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 110
Pace: 18:11
Steps: 438

3) “Break My Stride” Matthew Wilder

Though this ‘80s hit refers to running, I’d say it applies to walking, too.  There’s just something about the lyrics “Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride, Nobody gonna slow me down, Oh no, I got to keep on moving” that just keeps me going—even on one of those tired morning walks.

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 110
Pace: 18:11
Steps: 337

4) “Everyday Is a Winding Road” Sheryl Crow

Whenever I hear this ‘90s hit, I always picture one of my favorite parts of my regular trail.  I’ve taken pictures of it in all kinds of weather, in all seasons.  I just love the curviness of the path through the woods.  And if Sheryl Crow is to be believed—and I think she is—every day on that winding trail helps me feel pretty great.

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 113
Pace: 17:42
Steps: 482

5) “Walking on Broken Glass” Annie Lennox

Admittedly, Annie Lennox is not singing about the best of walking conditions here.  But somehow she makes this song about heartbreak (and the kind of path that would seriously mess up your favorite Hokas) sound catchy and upbeat.  And no matter how sad Annie may be, this song will make you pick up your pace (and maybe sing along, too).

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 115
Pace: 17:24
Steps: 485

6) “Walk the Dinosaur” Was (Not Was)

As we hit the midway point of our walk, we’re throwing in a totally silly, absolutely playful ‘80s tune.  I hadn’t heard this song in years—and probably even decades—until I was searching for playlist songs.  I was so excited to find this one back—because this catchy tune makes a great addition to any walking playlist.  Also…dinosaurs.

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 115
Pace: 17:24
Steps: 502

7) “Walkin’ on the Sun” Smash Mouth

For a while, back in the ‘90s, I worked at a gym, selling memberships and running the show after the full-timers went home for the day.  When I wasn’t working, I was often there, pedaling on a bike or walking on the treadmill or even lifting weights.  I absolutely loved hanging out in the fitness center, where upbeat hits played all day long—and this song, which was playing in pretty heavy rotation at the time, always brings me back to those easy-going, fun-filled days at the gym.

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 123
Pace: 16:16
Steps: 426

8) “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” The Proclaimers

Absolutely no playlist about walking would be complete without this lovable hit by Scottish duo The Proclaimers.  Whenever this song comes on, you just can’t help but pick up the pace and belt out the lyrics—and feel thankful that you don’t have to walk that far (though, this song makes you feel like you could, if you really had to).

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 132
Pace: 15:09
Steps: 436

9) “Walk” Foo Fighters

A lot of the songs on this playlist are fun, upbeat, catchy kinds of tunes—but this Foo Fighters hit is an impassioned song that will make you want to get up, get those steps in, and walk your way into an amazing new life. 

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 137
Pace: 14:36
Steps: 585

10) “New Shoes” Paolo Nutini

I don’t think there’s anything quite like a brand new pair of walking shoes to put a new spring in your step (sometimes quite literally).  But this fun and peppy song by Paolo Nutini does a pretty good job of recreating that new-shoes feeling.

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 150
Pace: 13:20
Steps: 510

11) “Walk This Way” Run-DMC feat. Aerosmith

We’re ending our playlist with an absolute classic—one that will make you rock out as you’re cooling down.  This groundbreaking hit is still a favorite of mine—so much so that it inspired some of my favorite walking gear—but be warned that this one might make you wail out Steven Tyler’s chorus while you’re on the trail.

Find it on Amazon

Beats per Minute: 105
Pace: 19:03
Steps: 543

Total Time for Today’s Workout: 42:18
Total Steps: 5,092

Now that we’ve come to the end of today’s playlist, the choice is yours: are you ready to shop your watch and call it a day, or are you feeling up for a little bit more?  Whatever the case, I hope that this playlist put a smile on your face while you fit in a good workout!

I’d love to hear what your favorite parts of today’s walk were!  Do you have any other songs that you’d add to the list?  Let’s hear ‘em!


Kristin has been hitting the trail (or the treadmill) for a walk almost every day for the past several years, and she recently completed her first half marathon. She loves sunny fall days, cushy walking shoes, and coconut caramel iced coffee from Dunkin.

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