Joey Panek

Image: SRQ Headshots

Fitness centers are shuttered, and gym rats everywhere are pulling on their running shoes and heading outside. But what to listen to during these troubled times?

We asked Joey Panek, senior producer and host at ABC7 Suncoast View, who is known for his energetic and cheerful on-air personality, to help out with some upbeat tunes to make us feel good whether we’re hitting the pavement or cleaning the house. Panek, by the way, has been one of Sarasota’s most popular Dance Trance instructors for years (how does he find the time?), and was forced to stop his classes at Around the Clock Fitness when it closed last Friday. He’s started running, too. “I hate running, but it’s my only choice,” he says. “I’m listening to top 40s songs and ’70s and ’80 remixes."

Take a look at his top 15 songs and why he loves them. And then click through to Panek’s Spotify playlist and send us your favorite pick-me-up tunes as well.

"Light Me Up" - Bronze Radio Return

This song has the power to get you off the couch, out of your desk chair, up and on your feet. It is so upbeat. 

"Only Love" - Shaggy, Pitbull, Gene Noble

This one starts slow, but don't let it fool you. The beat, the melody, the lyrics. You won't want to admit it, but you will dance in your living room to this song. 

"Joy" - Apollo 100

If it's happy enough for "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" it's happy enough for me. 

"Just Like a Pill" - P!nk

 The premise sounds depressing: getting out of a bad relationship, drug abuse. But it's P!nk. She just does something to me. (See later.)

"Crazy in Love" - Beyonce (feat. Jay-Z)

 Picture it: 2003. Beyonce single-handedly brought booty-dancing back to pop music.  

"Xanadu" - Olivia Newton-John & ELO

 Don't pretend you don't have a guilty pleasure! Mine is from a 1980 film about a fallen muse and a roller rink. #sorrynotsorry

"Dirty Water" - Trombone Shorty

This may be the sexiest beat I've ever heard. And sexy is upbeat. Or at least it should be. 

"Midnight" - Yaz

Synthesizers make me happy, especially when they're from 1983. Yes, the lyrics sound sad, but there's a beat. And synthesizers. 

"Higher Love" - Steve Winwood 

Steve Winwood's voice is scientifically proven to elevate the moods of most humans.* 

*There is no actual evidence that the above statement is true.

 "Give Me Everything" - Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer

 This song has everything you'd want from a club pop song in 2011: Ne-Yo singing a melody telling us to live in the present, and Pitbull justifying carnal behavior. Both play out against the musical backdrop of Dutch DJ Afrojack and Pitbull's singing sidekick Nayer.

"All Summer Long" - Kid Rock

When I listen to this, I immediately connect to my inner summertime, white trash, canned beer and barbecue-loving alter ego. I know I'm not the only one who has one of those.

"Glowing" - Nikki Williams

 Two ingredients: a girl with a high pop belt and a strong techno beat. Sold!

"Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)" - P!nk

Did I mention I love P!nk? This is my favorite of all her musical attitudes. "Go away. Give me a chance to miss you." This appeals to my moody mania.

"I Gotta Feeling" - Black- Eyed Peas

Basic? Yes. Mainstream? Yes. Makes me uncontrollably fist pump when I hear it? Also yes.

"Lady Marmalade" (From Moulin Rouge Soundtrack) - Christina Aguilera, P!nk, Lil Kim, Mya

 Don't understand why this song is upbeat?  Just press play.

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