By: Cindy Hatcher, Cooking Light Associate Editor

Confession: Since I started regularly attending spinning classes several years ago, I’ve wanted to be an instructor. Not because I’m in particularly fabulous shape or am good at yelling snippets of motivation—I can hardly tell you that you should be focused and determined when my mind is mentally wandering through the grocery aisles planning dinner—but because I want to control the play list.

Ebb and flow is never as important when I’m in the middle of sweating it out on the bike, trying to get to that proverbial zone. The ill-timed country crooner (sorry if you’re reading this, Jewel) can slow me down and make me wish I’d brought my earplugs. But just the right beat and rhythm will keep me going when I want to give up and hit the couch.            

My taste in workout music is much different (read: cheesier) than I might normally admit to cool coworkers or hipster hangout buddies. I felt alone in my shame until I quizzed my Facebook friends: Turns out most of them gave great suggestions, yet all with the caveat that they were embarrassed about their choices. Maybe there’s something about our workout play lists that allow us to justify whatever it takes musically to get on the bike, pick up a free weight, or lace up our running shoes. And maybe even sing along just a bit.

What songs motivate you?

Here's my current mix—some of it on the embarrassing side. Maybe some of these beats will work for you?

“Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna

“Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode

“Clocks” by Coldplay

“1901” by Phoenix

“The High Road” by Broken Bells

“Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

“It’s All your Fault” by Pink

“Cosmic Love” by Florence + the Machine

“Undo” by Bjork