No. 1: When You Need Motivation to...Hit the Gym
The Movie: Rocky (1976)
The Song: "Gonna Fly Now" by Bill Conti (aka "The Rocky Theme Song")
The Scene: Every single Rocky movie (there are seven) includes an intense training montage, in which Rocky runs long, sweaty distances and lifts large, heavy objects in order to get back in shape to defeat his competitors. It was hard to choose which one takes the cake, so we went for the one with the most iconic ending: two fists in the air in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Movie: G.I. Jane (1997)
The Song: "Mama Told Me" by Three Dog Night
The Scene: Demi Moore plays Lieutenant Jordan O'Neil, a topographical analyst who is told to join a brutal training program in order to show that women aren't strong enough to join the U.S. Navy. As you can imagine, that means she has a lot to prove. O'Neil's grueling training montage has all the impressive pull-ups and one-armed push-ups you'll need to get yourself to that early morning bootcamp class.
The Movie: Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
The Song: "She's a Lady" by Tom Jones
The Scene: For a slightly less intense motivational scene, try Bend It Like Beckham's impressive yet lighthearted training sequence. When Jess's strict family forbids her from doing what she loves most in the world, playing soccer, she secretly begins practicing with a team in the hopes of one day being able to—yep—bend it like Beckham.
No. 2: When You Need Motivation to: Update Your Look
The Movie: Marie Antoinette (2006)
The Song: "I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow
The Scene: The thought of hitting up multiple stores in the search for the perfect fall wardrobe can be overwhelming, so muster together some of Marie Antoinette's enthusiasm and you'll be just fine. The ill-fated Queen of France's infamous love for extravagance and frivolity is portrayed perfectly by Kirsten Dunst as she tries on every shoe, lace, and wig possible—all while eating (you know it!) cake.
The Movie:Pretty Woman (1990)
The Song: "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison
The Scene: Julia Roberts goes to town shopping for a whole new wardrobe to suit the more, ahem, elevated lifestyle she's living with Richard Gere. If you haven't seen the classic film, add it to your list. While depriving yourself of the excellent soundtrack of this clip is criminal enough, missing the satisfying revenge scene directly following it between Roberts and a rude shopkeeper? Big mistake. Big. Huge.
The Movie: Clueless (1995)
The Song: "Supermodel" by Jill Sobule
The Scene: Tai's transformation at the hands of Cher and Dionne is one of the decade's most popular makeover scenes for a reason: the remote-controlled closet, the crop tops, the quintessential '90s song—what's not to love?
No. 3: When You Need Motivation to: Dance It Out
The Movie: Dirty Dancing (1987)
The Song: "Hungry Eyes" by Eric Carmen
The Scene: Seventeen-year-old Baby wants to perform in the resort's end-of-summer show, and there's only one way to learn how: an '80s dance montage! First comes serious determination, followed by a few goofy shots of Baby and dreamboat Johnny fooling around as the sexual tension builds, and then—boom—professional dancer alert! Oh, and don't forget the killer soundtrack to it all.
The Movie: Flashdance (1983)
The Song: "Maniac" by Michael Sembello
The Scene: Remember Kanye West's "Fade" music video that premiered at the VMAs last summer that had the whole world wanting a pair of knee pads? Meet its inspiration. Alex, a steel-mill worker in Pittsburgh, wants nothing more than to dance, so she spends her free time stretching and jumping and tossing her hair around—all while wearing the most badass leg warmers around.
The Movie: Footloose (1984)
The Song: "Let's Hear It for the Boy" by Deniece Williams
The Scene: If you're only familiar with the 2012 remake, make a date night with the original movie that turned Kevin Bacon into a pop culture icon. Bacon plays a too-cool-for-school kid who moves from the bustling streets of Chicago to a small town where dancing and rock music have been banned. This scene is all about Bacon's rebellious character helping his friend Willard find a beat—which, after multiple lessons atop tractors and bleachers, he eventually does.
No. 4: When You Need Motivation to: Be Your Weird Self
The Movie: The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Song: "We Are Not Alone" by Karla DeVito
The Scene: Go ahead and let your freak flag fly with pride—The Breakfast Club is here for you. John Hughes's classic coming-of-age film brings five different high school stereotypes together in one Saturday afternoon detention. The angsty teens eventually find a common ground, leading to this delightful dance scene in the library.
The Movie: 500 Days of Summer (2009)
The Song: "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates
The Scene: You could watch this scene with your eyes closed, and just the first few chords of "You Make My Dreams" will put you in a good mood. After finally getting on Zooey Deschanel's character's good side, Joseph Gordon-Levitt pretty much plays out how we wish we could react anytime something good happens in life—dancing around to Hall & Oates, high-fiving strangers, and breaking into spontaneous synchronized dancing.
The Movie: A Knight's Tale (2001)
The Song: "Low Rider" by War
The Scene: All William Thatcher ever wanted was to change his stars, so when the peasant-born squire sees an opportunity to compete in a jousting tournament, he seizes it. With the help of his dedicated friends—which, comically, includes medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer—Thatcher takes on a rigorous training sequence to do the impossible: transform his destiny and find his inner knight.