33 Inspirational Playlists with 3,300+ Songs to Last You a Lifetime!

The season of charity rides and events is upon us. You can certainly do a charity ride any time, but many of the annual events are held in the first part of the year when more people are inclined to come inside and ride. Putting unique playlists together for these events can be incredibly time-consuming, especially if you want to avoid using the same songs year after year. The great news is that the music industry has done an excellent job of putting out powerful music over the last few years that works perfectly for special events and inspirational profiles in our indoor cycling classes.

I’ve been curating inspirational songs for over 20 years. I first started this quest on iTunes and then moved to Spotify in 2015. Originally, I put them into a handful of bucket* playlists, but then these playlists started growing so big, that I realized I needed to break them down into smaller, more specific categories. That way, when you are looking for an inspirational song for a specific motivational profile for an event like a charity ride for breast cancer or to help a local in need, you can be much more specific in what you are looking for. No need to scroll through or listen to hundreds of songs that wouldn’t work for that specific profile or event. I guarantee this will save you hours and hours of searching.

*A bucket playlist is the term I give to a playlist that is a large collection of songs around a certain theme or idea. 

In my ICA Spotify account, I have almost 100 folders with almost 2,000 total playlists with many tens of thousands of songs. (Note, these are not public playlists, I have to specifically send you or post the link to the playlist.) I have shared hundreds of these playlists with ICA members, including profiles as well as bucket playlists such as theme songs or our SOYMB (Step Outside Your Musical Box) series designed to expand your musical repertoire and the genres you use in your classes so you can reach a wider audience. I also have bucket playlists for songs categorized for certain use in a cycling class, such as broken down by bpm (to use for specific rpm), warm-ups, cool-downs, recoveries (over 3,000 short recovery songs!), sprints, songs good for FTP tests, Tour de France stages, and many more.

I’ve got playlists that are in the building phase that I’m planning to share in future Theme Ride Thursdays or SOYMB on ICA. I continue to add to these playlists little by little, day after day, week after week. Whenever Spotify gives me new music in my Discover Weekly or when I’ve Shazamed a new song when I’m out and about, I’ll categorize them in my Spotify bucket playlists. Some songs will be added to multiple playlists and themes. 

In my Inspirational/Motivational folder that I mentioned above, I’ve got 33 different playlists. Some have just a few songs, others have a few hundred—and they will all continue to grow. To give you an idea of how I categorize them, below is a screenshot of the playlists in this folder:

In addition to charity rides or special events, some of these categories are great for their own theme ride, such as “Heroes/Superheroes,” “Women Empowerment,” or my favorite, “Life is Good” theme rides. On other occasions, you might want to pull out a song or two to send a positive message in your regular non-theme, non-speacialty classes.

Other categories contain songs that help riders dig in to make it through a high-intensity interval or a grueling race simulation, such as “Push It to the Limit,” “I Can/I Will,” “Let’s Do This/Fire It Up,” “Try/Confidence,” or “Victory/Winning.” The latter playlist also provides inspiration for your favorite sports championship profiles such as Super Bowl, the World Series, or perhaps even your local high school championship. 

Some songs reside in more than one playlist so there will be some crossover, but there are over 3,300 songs in these 33 playlists (which I’m guessing equates to about 2,500+ unique songs). That would probably take you at least a hundred hours to curate yourself, so…you’re very welcome! 😀 

If unique, empowering songs are your thing, I’ve made your life a whole lot easier. You can see by the titles of the playlists that you can be very specific in searching for the perfect song to fit your profile when you want to make a point based on the theme of your ride, send a particular message, or just bring a smile to your riders’ faces with meaningful inspirational lyrics. 

Why not decide to become known as that instructor who has a positive message in every single class?

These playlists can help you do just that.

I am happy to share this years-long labor of love with ICA members. Click here to be taken to the 33 Spotify playlists listed above. These are not public playlists so they are only available to members. As usual, if you have some additions to these playlists, please let me know in the comments or post them in the ICA FB group.
















  1. Thank you for these playlists! They are great 🙂

  2. When words fail us, use a song. What a gold mine!

  3. Thank you for this wonderful gift.

  4. These are great, Jen – I am always looking for inspirational tracks! Two suggested additions: My Shot by The Roots (from the Hamilton Mixtape) would make a great addition to your Rise up list. It takes a while before they get to the “Rise Up” lyrics, but when they do, it’s powerful. Second suggestion – maybe I missed it, but I did not see Cloud Cult’s, There’s So Much Energy In Us – and that one is incredible.

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