Top 10 Free Music Apps To Boost Your Workout


Music and working out go hand in hand. It’s rare these days to see anyone in the gym without earphones in and that’s for a very good reason. Music has the ability to enhance your work out in a number of ways, perhaps chief among them is that it provides a distraction from your level of exertion whilst also upping your level of effort to match the beat of the music, as proven through a 2010 study (

Two of the more obvious benefits to listening to music while working out are it’s ability to raise your mood and it’s ability to make you want to move. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who works out that wanting to move and being happier in general are bound to improve your workout.

So with that in mind, we have put together a list of the top 10 free music apps to help you improve your workout.

  1. Pandora

One of the earliest sites of this kind, Pandora allows you to enter your favourite artist and it will then build you a playlist featuring that artist along with similar ones. It gives you the ability to rate and save songs making future Pandora created playlists smarter and more intuitive.

Formed: 2000
Location: Oakland California, US
Owned: Public
CEO: Tim Westergren
Cost: Free – Premium avail. For $3.99/Month or $36/Year
Users: 76.4 Million
User Rating: iTunes – 4 Stars (1 132 852 Ratings)
                   Google Play – 4 ¼ Stars (2,783,197 Ratings)

  1. Spotify

Spotify stands alongside Pandora as one of the earliest and biggest music streaming sites. Spotify allows you to follow different artists and create your own radio station that will play music based on artists you are interested in. You can also choose from lists and new releases and add your favourite songs to a library to listen again later.

Formed: 2008
Country: Sweden
Owned: Private
CEO: Daniel EK
Cost: Free – Premium avail. For $9.99/Month
Users: 140 Million
User Rating: iTunes – 4 ½ Stars (893 780 Ratings)
                   Google Play – 4 ¼ Stars (8 838 494 Ratings)

  1. Google Play

Google Play began when internet behemoth, Google, bought one of the more popular music streaming sites, Songza. Like Songza, Google Play offers you playlists based on genre, mood, or activity, and remembers your choices so that it can offer you similar options. It also allows you to upload your own music through your google account so that you can stream it anywhere.

Formed: 2011
Location: Googleplex, Mountain View, California, U.S
Owned: Public or Private
CEO: Sundar Pichai
Cost: Free – Premium avail. For $9.99/Month
Downloads: Unavailable
User Rating: iTunes – Not Available
                   Google Play – 4 Stars (2 972 247 Ratings)

  1. iHeart Radio

IHeart Radio is one of the biggest radio streaming apps available, and these apps represent the future of radio, as they allow you to access not just your local stations, but stations from all over. You can create your own “Station” based on your favourite songs or search through existing radio stations by category. It also makes it super easy to save your favourite stations so that you can find and access them easily upon opening the app.

Formed: 2015
Location: New York City, US
Owned: Public or Private
CEO: Bob Pitman
Cost: Free
Downloads: Not Available
User Rating: iTunes – 4 ½ Stars (296 063 Ratings)
                   Google Play – 4 ¼ Stars (5 752 Ratings)

  1. Slacker Radio

Pre-programmed streaming radio stations represent every genre you can think of on Slacker Radio, and similar to iHeart Radio, you can create your own stations and playlists, whilst simultaneously tracking your favourite and recently played songs.

Formed: 2007
Location: US
Owned: Public or Private
CEO: Duncan Orrell-Jones
Cost: Free – Premium avail. For $10
Downloads: Not Available
User Rating: iTunes – 4 ½ Stars (893 780 Ratings)
                   Google Play – 4 Stars (330 610 Ratings)

  1. Amazon Music

Amazon Music boasts a similar feature to Google Play in that you can load up to 250 songs from your own collection to your amazon account in order to stream it through the app wherever you are.  Like any music app, you can arrange it in playlists and for added ease of adding music, it can be done from virtually any device.

Formed: 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington, US
Owned: Public
CEO: Jeff Bezos
Cost: Free
Downloads: Not Available
User Rating: iTunes – 4 ½ Stars (112 357 Ratings)
                   Google Play – Not Available

  1. Soundcloud

If you’re feeling experimental or have an quenchable thirst for new music, than Soundcloud is for you. It allows artists to share their music with a wider audience for free. These artists range from those who are well known to those who are using Soundcloud with hopes of becoming well known. Soundcloud ranges across every genre from very mainstream, to incredibly niche and experimental. The app/site boasts that 10+ hours of audio is posted every single minute. It’s a common theme that you can create your own playlists and share them with other users.

Formed: 2008
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Owned: Private
CEO: Alexander Ljung
Cost: Free – Premium For $5/Month
Downloads: 175 million Registered Users
User Rating: iTunes – 4 Stars (137 412 Ratings)
                   Google Play – 4 ¼ Stars (3 027 481 Ratings)

  1. 8tracks

Here we have another of the radio streaming apps, however this one is set up to play through mixes of 8 songs at a time. You can browse through these mini playlists that have been put together by staff, containing featured artists and songs and/or trending music or mixes created and shared by other users. Similar to some other apps, you can also search by artist, activity, genre and even mood.

Formed: 2008
Country: US
Owned: Private
CEO: David Porter, Remi Gabillet
Cost:  Free
Downloads: Not Available
User Rating: Not Available
                   Google Play – 4 Stars (73 645 Ratings)

  1. Tunein Radio

Another Radio app on this list, Tunein strives to set itself apart by having more that 100 000 stations available. It allows you to download specific programs to listen to later, which is a great help if you don’t want to burn through your data or happen to work out in a place that isn’t blessed with incredible cell service!

Formed: 2002
Location: Dallas Texas, US
Owned: Private
CEO: Jon Donham
Cost: Free – Pro avail. For $12.99
Downloads: Not Available
User Rating: iTunes – 4 ½ Stars (21 069 Ratings)
                   Google Play – 4 Stars (1,440,763 Ratings)

  1. YouTube

It might be the most popular website on this list and also a slight surprise because, as we all know, Youtube is a video streaming site. What makes Youtube so great is that it’s free and hosts almost every music video that’s ever been released. Alright, I’m sure that it isn’t every single music video, but a whole lot of them. There is even accompanying apps, like YouTube Music that will assemble stations and playlists based on a song choice you make.

Formed: 2005
Location: San Bruno, California, US
Owned: Subsidiary
CEO: Susan Wojicicki
Cost: Free
Downloads: Not available
User Rating: iTunes – 2 ½ Stars (34 956 Ratings)
                   Google Play – 4 Stars (19 984 827 Ratings)

So there you have the top 10 free music apps to boost your workout. Which is your favourite among them, and what other options do you use for music? Let us know in the comments!


Posted by Lorne Marr.
Lorne Marr is a Toronto-based fitness enthusiast and lifelong advocate of healthy living. He is on a journey to discover the best methods of training and nutrition for athletes and weekend warriors over 45. Connect with Lorne on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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