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Why You Should Use Royalty Free Workout Music On YouTube and Twitch

Drew Gula

Jan 29, 2019

As a fitness instructor, you’ve got a fun challenge ahead of you.

You are on a mission to inspire and motivate others, then help them reach their own health and wellness goals. And to do that, you’ll need to create a YouTube or Twitch channel so you can connect with an audience.

First of all, kudos to you! This is a very noble goal, especially considering that over 40% of adult men and women in the U.S. struggle with obesity. 

But seeing that goal come to fruition is going to take some work. Both YouTube and Twitch are competitive platforms with hundreds of millions of users.

As a fitness guru, you probably already have an exercise methodology and some workout videos. But you’ll need to build a unique brand, and that includes royalty free workout music. 

After all, music and exercise are like six packs and crunches — it’s hard to have one without the other.


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How To Build Successful Channel

Do you want to build the next big fitness channel, like Yoga with Adriene or Blogilates? Maybe you want to add a livestream element to bring a sense of community to people stuck at home?

Exercise is a key component to living a balanced, functional, and healthy lifestyle. The videos you want to make will help your viewers feel healthier. (And hopefully happier!) I mean, a great workout can also help with anxiety or depression, and we all could use a little fitness therapy these days.

But there’s an added benefit for you as the content creator: YouTube and Twitch fitness gurus attract millions of subscribers. And whether it’s a livestream yoga session or an at-home crossfit video, “millions of views” translates to sweet advertising paychecks, merchandising opportunities, and even sponsorships.

Partners on these platforms get to make money from their channels, and both Twitch's Affiliate payout and YouTube's monetization system are pretty generous. So if you can reach that level of success, it means the content you create will help people and help you pay your bills too.

Of course, to actually build an audience like that, you’ll need to put in some time and work. That starts with making a lot of content, sticking to a publishing schedule, and developing a distinct brand for your channel. (After all, you want them to keep coming back even after you’ve left them in a puddle of sweat on the ground!)

And let’s not forget the star of the show: high-quality videos with clear instructions and some great fitness music.

Why Music Makes Exercise Better

There are biochemical reasons why we tap our feet to certain songs, or bob our heads, or get up and start dancing. That’s the same reason why no one wants to take a Zumba class without a playlist of upbeat songs.

The human brain loves music — we’re hardwired to pick up and respond to things like tempo and beat, and that feeds into how our body responds to exercise.

Research has shown that music helps us “run farther, bike longer, and swim faster than usual — often without realizing it,” according to Scientific American. The article also quoted Costas Karageorghis, a leading expert in the psychology of exercise and music, who called music “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.”

Music enhances an exercise experience in multiple ways, but the one of the most obvious is that it can make a workout more bearable. Sure, our quads are burning and our whole body is shaking on the last set of dumbbell lunges, but a great song can keep our brain distracted from that discomfort. In fact, workout music can even make us push ourselves even farther than expected.

The same goes for jogging on a treadmill. It can be easy to fixate on physical discomfort or that sudden stitch in our sides, but if we’re listening to a solid playlist of feel good tracks, it’s easier for our minds to get lost in the music while our body keeps going through the workout.

And that’s why music should be a big part of your fitness videos, whether they’re YouTube uploads or Twitch livestreams.

Where To Find Music For Your Workout Videos

Your local gym might decide to blare a Spotify playlist with Billboard 100 hits. In fact, you might have seen other content creators do the same thing on YouTube or Twitch. But the truth is that if you look into those site’s music rules (we explained YouTube’s here and Twitch’s here), you’ll know it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Even if you purchase a song on iTunes or pay for a Spotify Premium subscription, you can’t legally use a song in a YouTube video or Twitch livestream. You are only paying a fee that allows for personal use; using a song in a public setting requires a different type of license altogether. (To learn more about these legal do's and don'ts, check out this article.)

Most gyms and content channels have the money to purchase a public performance license, but that’s not something that most of us can actually afford.

In fact, there’s a good chance that a lot of your competition out there are guilty of copyright infringement. Any business or person that profits from the work of a musician without paying royalties could receive a copyright claim, a video takedown, and potentially legal fees.

Now those on-the-sly bootcamp instructors and content creators might get away with copyright infringement. But if your goal is to build a channel that you can monetize and build into something that can reach a lot of people, you won’t be quite so lucky. Big channels get more scrutiny from review algorithms and copyright owners.

For example, Google has invested a lot of time and effort into its Content ID system, which patrols YouTube for copyrighted music and films. And with a database of over 75 million reference files, it doesn’t miss much!

If your video gets flagged by Content ID, the copyright owner has two options: block your video or take your ad revenue. The only thing worse than having a video get taken down is to spend hours filming and editing workout videos only to watch your money go to someone else.

And if your videos get flagged too many times, YouTube might ban you from uploading videos and creating content altogether. Twitch has a similar “three-strike system” where each copyright strike leads to a temporary ban from the platform; get too many strikes and your ban can become permanent.

Music licensing is how artists make sure they get money for their work. There’s an entire industry around copyright law, so YouTube and Twitch have to take it seriously. If you want to succeed on these platforms, that means you need to take it seriously too. That's where royalty free music can really make a big difference.

How To Use Royalty Free Workout Music

You worked hard to develop a healthy lifestyle and an exercise program. There aren’t any shortcuts for a fitness instructor.

Well, becoming a successful content creator follows the same rules: You’ll never be successful if you are stealing music that belongs to other people. 


Royalty free workout music on Soundstripe


Don’t worry that you can’t add this week’s new hit to your workout music playlist. And as we mentioned earlier, your viewers don’t need a familiar song to workout to — all our bodies need is a good beat to receive those biochemical benefits.

Thankfully, there are options besides breaking copyright law and paying thousands of dollars for individual music licenses. Royalty free music can be a perfect match for content creators on a budget or people experimenting with their first videos and livestreams.

And if you go with a company like Soundstripe, you’ll get a library of royalty free music with a single subscription.

Our most popular royalty free workout music playlists

Discovering workout music that makes your audience feel good while also energizing them can be a challenge. Sure, you've probably got a few ideas of a specific mood or subgenre that works best for your videos.

But finding that perfect feel good song can be intimidating with so many great options. So rather than just release you need browse our entire library, we thought we'd make it a little easier and give you some royalty free music recommendations that might be perfect for your next video.

Here are 6 of our top royalty free workout music playlists:

Gym Time

Gym Time playlist

As the name suggests, Gym Time is kind of the quintessential pick for a great workout music playlist. You've got a mix of harder rock and rap, but also some slower hip hop vibes. (Obviously a strong beat is the key here.)

Sure, some of the other playlist picks are a little more nuanced for different kinds of workouts. But it's hard to go wrong with this one.

Listen and license here.

I Love The 80's

I Love The 80s playlist

Maybe big hair and heavy synths line up with your personal brand. Or maybe you love the Rocky films and think that there's no such thing as a good workout (or training montage) unless it's got some 80's rock.

Or maybe you're just looking for something fun and energetic. Either way, this playlist is the sort of royalty free workout music that will pump anyone up.

Listen and license here.


Upbeat playlist

Our Upbeat playlist is exactly what you'd hope for. The songs are more energetic and fun than the calmer playlist picks below, but not as loud or complicated as something like I Love The 80's.

It's that perfect blend of toe-tapping beats and chill vibes that everyone loves in their workout music.

Listen and license here.

Workout: Cardio

Workout Cardio playlist

We mentioned a study by Scientific American earlier, and one of their key findings to energetic workout music is the beats per minute (BPM).

Workout: Cardio is a playlist that we literally tailor-made for that. It's got nothing but songs at 120 BPM, which is perfect for keeping your viewers in the cardio zone.

Workout: Strength

Workout Strength playlist

Some mornings, it's hard to get in the mood and push yourself without a little motivation. We've all been there.

And for a lot people, hard rock and rap provide the perfect kick — that sort of in-your-face energy that gets the body moving. This playlist is built specifically for those kinds of days.

Listen and license here.


Meditation playlist

Here's the complete opposite end of the spectrum: Music that calms the spirit, soothes the soul, and centers the mind.

Whether you want music for a yoga video or a tutorial about stretching, this particular playlist will help you create the right environment for your audience.

Listen and license here.

Find more fitness music in Soundstripe's library

If these playlists interest you but you want to see what else is available, then you can easily sort through our library of royalty free music to find genres that will fit your workout videos. From relaxing tunes for yoga to intense music for kickboxing, you'll have more than enough options to find the perfect feel good music.

And filtering those songs by mood, pace, and beats per minute will let you build pick music to line up with different sections of your video, from warmup stretches to fat-burning cardio. 

Better yet, this sort of control over music will help you establish your own personal brand, which is a major key to growing your YouTube and Twitch channels. And that is the key to helping more people discover healthier, happier lifestyles through fitness.

If you're a Twitch streamer looking for copyright-safe royalty free music, check out our Twitch Pro plan for unlimited access to over 20 curated playlists (200+ hours of music).