Best R&B Songs for Working Out

The Cream of the Crop

R&B might be best known as lovers' music, but that's not to say that some singers don't know how to put a high energy song or three out there. As artists like Usher, Beyonce and Ne-Yo have demonstrated over the years, the R&B genre doesn't always have to live up to the 'Blues' portion of its Rhythm & Blues name. In fact, some songs are practically custom made for listening to while burning calories. And with said, here's our picks for some of the best R&B songs to listening to while working out at the gym, going out for a run, hiking, or engaging in any other activity that requires high energy and motivation.

'Survivor,' Destiny's Child

Destiny's Child Meet Their Fans in New York
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This is a near-perfect workout song. From the defiant lyrics, to the soaring music to the strong lyrics, Destiny's Child managed to create one of the all-time best power anthems. Much motivation to keep going during a rough patch is apparent within the lyrics: "I'm a survivor, I'm not gonna give up, I'm not gonna stop, I'm gon work harder, I'm a survivor, I'm gonna make it."

'New Day,' Alicia Keys

"New Day," a buzz track from Alicia's 2012 album, , features hard-thumping hip-hop production by her husband, Swizz Beatz. The upbeat, fast-paced backing music overpowers the vocals throughout much of the song, but the positive, optimistic vibe in Alicia's voice is pretty clear.

'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough,' Michael Jackson

This Michael Jackson was released in 1979, when disco music was still the craze. But MJ adds a little funk to this track, which is part of the reason it's managed to become so legendary. And the message in the title can be applied to many situations, be it on the dance floor, in the gym or elsewhere.

'Walking,' Mary Mary

This song, which has spiritual overtones, features the duo Mary Mary singing about overcoming adversity: "Look at me, I'm trying, Everyday, I fall down, I make mistakes, Get back up, Try again," they sing. "Next time that you see me I'm walking, I'm walking, I'm walking."

'2 Reasons (Clean Version),' Trey Songz feat. T.I.

On "2 Reasons," Trey Songz is in full party mode with the rapper T.I., singing about how there's two reasons why he's in the club. You'll have to listen to the song to hear what those two reasons are, if you don't already know.

'Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It),' Beyonce

This is an upbeat dance anthem that really took off after the music video's prancing and dancing landed on TV screens and computer monitors. "On "Single Ladies," Beyonce reminds all the women out there that if their man hasn't made a serious commitment to the relationship, then he can't get mad if she wants to do her own thing: "If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it," she sings.

'100 Yard Dash,' Raphael Saadiq

"100 Yard Dash," is a short-but-sweet treat from singer-musician Raphael Saadiq's's 2008 album, The Way I See It. The two-minute, 18-second ditty about a man who's completely twisted over a honey-sweet woman was new when it was released, but has a fun, energetic classic R&B vibe to it.

'How You Love It,' Ester Dean feat. Missy Elliott

This booty-clapping power jam by rising star Ester Dean almost sounds like it was custom-made to be played in a strip club. And the topic -- sex -- perfectly fits that theme, too.

'Tightrope,' Janelle Monae

"Tightrope," the first single from Janelle Monae's 2010 album, , is a funky Soul-meets-hip-hop number that practically forces you to burn calories.

'OMG,' Usher feat.

This single was one of the biggest of Usher's career and it's easy to see why. The backing music and chorus are teeming with so much energy, listening to it almost makes you feel like going out and climbing a mountain.

'Celebrate,' Whitney Houston & Jordin Sparks

The soundtrack for the 2012 remake of the film "Sparkle" has it's high moment at the end, with the duet "Celebrate," featuring Whitney and Jordin, who star in the movie as mother and daughter. The song, which was written and produced by R. Kelly, is a fun, upbeat, family-friendly song.

'Jumpin' Jumpin,' Destiny's Child

Club hopping is the theme of this song from back in the days when Destiny's Child was a four-woman group. It's an infectious tune, particularly due to the chorus: "Ladies leave your man at home, the club is full of ballers and their pockets full grown, And all you fellas leave yo girl with her friends, 'Cause its 11:30 and the club is jumpin', jumpin'.

'Do My Thing,' Estelle feat. Janelle Monae

Estelle and Janelle Monae take the time to appreciate and celebrate diversity on "Do My Thing," a song from Estelle's second U.S. album, All of Me. On the duet, the ladies make it clear that they're happy being unique and that anyone who doesn't understand or appreciate that can get lost.

'Sweat,' Ciara feat. 2 Chainz

This dance song is practically custom-made for calorie burning, with lyrics like "You let me in your head, watch you learn some, Tryin' to see you sweat, watch you burn some, Let me in your head, watch you learn some, Tryin' to see you sweat, watch you burn some."

'Scream,' Usher

The sexually-charged and highly energetic dance track "Scream" is sort of similar thematically to Usher's 2008 hit "Love in This Club." "Scream," which was co-written by Savan Kotecha and produced by Max Martin and Shellback, has Mr. Raymond singing lines like "I see you over there so hypnotic, thinkin' 'bout what I'd do to that body" and "Got no drink in my hand but I'm wasted, gettin' drunk off the thought of you naked."

'Just Fine,' Mary J. Blige

"Just Fine," which was produced by Jazze Pha and Tricky Stewart is a sunny, optimistic and upbeat ditty about how great life is: "I ain't gonna let nothin' get in my way, no matter what nobody has to say," Mary sings. The song is from her album, which was released in November 2007.

'Danger,' Nikki & Rich

The criminally underappreciated duo of Nikki & Rich released this R&B/hip-hop track back in 2011. "Danger," which features the rapper Hayes, formerly of Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label, is about a woman who's dealing with a womanizing man has an addictive beat, and clever lyrics that compare the man to a weapon and his various women to bullets: "Like a loaded gun, I'm not your only one, you got more in the chamber," Nikki sings. "And I smell danger."