The Sound of Music: Stress Relief Circuit Workout

We all know those days (often Mondays) where stress and frustration pile up and if you don’t find a release valve soon, you’re going to snap. We usually prescribe a jammin’ workout; it gets your endorphins pumping, releases tension, and allows you to “punish” something (the dumbbells, treadmill, cables, etc.) without burning any bridges.

To take this stress-relieving, 45-minute workout to the next level, you’re going to want to bust out your music player and create the perfect playlist. After all, you’re always one good song away from turning a bad day around, so why not string a lot of really good songs together as you up the ante of your exercise therapy?

If you’re looking for some new tunes to light your fire, each workout segment has the songs they were designed for with the description of the energy it’s meant to invoke. Let’s get started!

The Stress Relief Workout

Warm-Up: 10 minutes of anything to get your heart rate jumpin’ and blood pumpin’ (elliptical, treadmill, cycle, jump rope, etc.)

The Recommended  Songs:

  • Rudimental feat. Alex Clare & John Newman – ‘Not Giving In’
  • Imagine Dragons – ‘Tiptoe’
  • Sway – ‘Still Speedin’

Description: These are your “focus initiators,” meant to get you mentally and physically ready to give your stressful day the business. Choose songs that always get you feeling juiced up and leave you with a laser focus on the task ahead.

Round 1: Upper Body

Complete the following in the order presented 4 times through while taking little-to-no breaks before the next round. Set yourself up at your gym’s cable row bench to get started!

  1. 25 Push-Ups (standard or kneeling)
  2. 15 Cable Rows (whatever weight you choose where you can complete the repetitions and it starts getting difficult at rep 8-10)
  3. 15 Body Dips (feet elevated on something for more difficulty)
  4. 10 Prone Shoulder Presses (showcased below)


The Songs:

  • Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – ‘The Lion, the Beast, the Beat’
  • P!nk – ‘Timebomb’
  • Fallout Boy – ‘The Phoenix’

Round 2: Core Galore

Complete the following in the order presented 3 times through while taking little-to-no breaks before the next round. You’ll need a BOSU every step of the way for this so get it ready! If you don’t have one, simply do the same exercises on flat ground.

  1. 20 Plank Twists
  2. 50 Mountain Climbers (count each knee drive)
  3. 20 Kneeling “T” Twists (hold 2lb – 5lb dumbbells for an added challenge!)
  4. 10 BOSU Burpees (do a regular burpee only holding on to the BOSU)

Plank Twists


Kneeling “T” Twists

The Songs:

  • John Legend – ‘Who Did That to You?’
  • Eminem feat. Rihanna – ‘The Monster’
  • Biffy Clyro – ‘Picture a Knife Fight’

Round 3: No Frills, Just Legs

Complete the following in the order presented 3 times through while taking little-to-no breaks before the next round. All you need is body weight and a jump rope for this one!

  1. 50 Rope Jumps (not good at jumping rope? That’s ok, do it anyway! Even if it’s one at a time…)
  2. 20 Left Leg Forward Stationary Lunges
  3. 12 Alternating Leg Lifts in Plank Position (see below)
  4. 20 Right Leg Forward Stationary Lunges
Plank with Leg Lift

Plank with Leg Lift

The Songs:

  • Pitbull feat. Ke$ha – ‘Timber’
  • Gavin DeGraw – ‘Best I Ever Had’
  • OneRepublic – ‘I Lived’

Cool down

5-10 Minutes Light Cardio of Your Choice

The Songs:

  • Eminem feat. Sia – ‘Beautiful Pain’
  • Bastille – ‘Pompeii’

Description: These are your “wind downers” meant to finalize getting your mind right while providing a more down tempo backdrop so you can maintain your exercise endorphin rush while embracing the fact that you don’t feel the way you did before the workout anymore. Choose songs that motivate you, but don’t necessarily make you want to run through a brick wall.

Get the songs on Spotify!

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Josh is a massive weight loser. A journey that started when he was very young and battling depression, eating disorders, and bullies. His life’s mission is to always have an arm outstretched to those who are looking for a helping hand. He leads with the most important tools he has: heart and soul.