There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.
Have you been feeling down and unmotivated lately?
Do you feel like you need some music in your life to inspire and guide you?
You’ve come to the right place. We have compiled 45 of the most empowering songs that can motivate you and uplift your spirits. You will find these songs on most online streaming platforms, as they are quite famous.
We hope this playlist can be your support if ever you need a push in life. Most of them are fight songs that really reflect what a person undergoing a significant change in life is experiencing.
Let’s start get started!
1. Roar, Katy Perry
“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter. Dancing through the fire. ‘Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar.”
Katy Perry told BBC Radio 1 in an interview that this is her self-empowering song. She wrote it after her marriage with Russell Brand ended, and said that it is about learning how to stand and speak up for yourself. She said losing yourself in the midst of a breakup can sometimes cause resentment, so it is important to keep on loving and motivating yourself.
2. Brave, Sara Bareilles
“Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.”
Did you know that Sara Bareilles and Jack Antonoff wrote this song for a close friend who wanted to come out? The song is about being brave, coming out, and letting the world know you for who you actually are. It’s not about being accepted by people—it’s about accepting yourself with much pride and honor.
3. Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys
“Looks like a girl, but she's a flame. So bright, she can burn your eyes. Better look the other way.”
Girl on Fire is both the lead single and the title track for Alicia Keys’ fifth studio album. During her 2012 Manchester Cathedral concert, Alicia Keys said that this is actually a song about letting go of what has been holding you back and moving forward to chase your light, your passion, and your dreams.
4. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You), Kelly Clarkson
“What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Stand a little taller. Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone.”
This song was co-written by Jörgen Elofsson, Ali Tamposi, and David Gamson, who didn’t expect it to be a hit when they wrote it in just one day. It was inspired by Tamposi’s personal heartbreak and her mom’s advice, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” which became the title and major concept of the song.
5. Confident, Demi Lovato
“I used to hold my freak back. Now, I'm letting go. I make my own choice. B****, I run this show.”
Demi Lovato started speaking out about her insecurities and low self-esteem after her rehabilitation. She had her own share of ups and downs, trying to fit in a world where perfection is a big deal, but she became “confident” and wrote this song to help herself cope. She also hoped to be an inspiration for others who have been struggling with body image.
6. Fight Song, Rachel Platten
“My power’s turned on. Starting right now, I’ll be strong. I’ll play my fight song, and I don’t really care.”
Rachel Platten wrote this song to express her determination to pursue her music career, despite all her self-doubts and challenges. She needed to remind herself that, no matter what the circumstances are, she has to believe that she will make it through. This empowering song is a declaration that she is never backing down.
7. Fighter, Christina Aguilera
“’Cause if it wasn’t for all that you tried to do, I wouldn’t know just how capable I am to pull through. So, I wanna say thank you, ‘cause it makes me that much stronger.”
This song is about Christina Aguilera’s personal struggles and growth, taken from her journey from an abusive childhood to pop culture stardom. It is not a secret that music has always been her safe space, and that she has used it as a way to overcome the challenges she faces.
8. Survivor, Destiny's Child
“You thought that I would self-destruct, but I’m still here. Even in my years to come, I’m still gon’ be here.”
Beyoncé mentioned in an interview with MTV’s Behind the Video that Survivor is about getting through different challenges. She said that everyone has already probably overcome something in their life, and this song can serve as an inspirational song for them to always feel powerful and motivated.
9. Titanium, David Guetta ft. SIA
“I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose, fire away, fire away… you shoot me down, but I won’t fall. I am titanium.”
Titanium is one of the most empowering songs of this generation. Sia and David Guetta’s collaboration made such a great impact that whoever sings the song feels like they are alive and invincible. You shoot me down, but I won’t fall, I am titanium. Doesn’t that sound inspirational?
10. All About That Bass, Meghan Trainor
“If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ‘em up. ‘Cause every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”
From the lyrics, you can probably guess what the song is all about—body positivity and self-acceptance. Meghan Trainor uses the word “bass” to represent the thickness of plus-sized women, which is totally fine, because real beauty is not measured in size or appearance. Rather, it is measured in the confidence a person possesses.
11. Beautiful, Christina Aguilera
“You are beautiful no matter what they say. Words can’t bring you down, oh no. You are beautiful in every single way.”
Beautiful is another song that is focused on body shaming and online harassment. Christina Aguilera released the song to deliver a message of self-love and resilience. She hopes everyone will ignore all the negative voices inside their heads and live strong, free lives.
12. Born This Way, Lady Gaga
“Don’t hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself, and you’re set. I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way.”
Born This Way is an anthem for the LGBTQ+ community. It has been one of their most celebrated songs ever since its release. It seems Lady Gaga achieved her goal of creating a song about identity and freedom—one that empowers people, regardless of age, gender, and culture.
13. Don't Stop Me Now, Queen
“I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky like a tiger, defying the laws of gravity. I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva. I'm gonna go, go, go, there's no stopping me.”
This song talks about Freddie Mercury’s feelings of invincibility and freedom, but also the risky lifestyle that led to his death from AIDS.
It was written in Switzerland, at the time when he was most vulnerable to the party lifestyle. It is indeed an empowering song, yet its back story is a little bit dark.
14. Express Yourself, Madonna
“Don't go for second best, baby. Put your love to the test. You know, you know you've got to make him express how he feels.”
Express Yourself is a song about demanding respect and saying what you truly want in a relationship. Madonna believes that you will never get what you want if you don’t openly express it. She argues in this song that women should never settle for anything less than what they deserve.
15. Firework, Katy Perry
“Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed, so you could open one that leads you to the perfect road. Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow. And, when it's time, you'll know.”
Firework is a bright and perky song that was meant to uplift people. Katy Perry says that her dream is to become a firework—one that brings energy and passion into other people’s lives. She wants to inspire others to live brilliant lives.
16. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
“Oh no, not I, I will survive. Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive. I've got all my life to live and I've got all my love to give and I'll survive, I will survive.”
Lyricist Dino Fekaris wrote this song based on his own experience after being fired by Motown Records and finding a new career as a songwriter. However, it was widely considered to be a song about the strength and resilience of a person after a breakup when Gloria Gaynor released it. Over the years, it has become a universal anthem for anyone overcoming adversity in their life.
17. Just Like Fire, P!nk
“So look, I can get it running. Just 'cause nobody's done it, y'all don't think I can run it. But look, I've been here, I've done it.”
P!nk has always had an image of independence and uniqueness, and she has always been proud of it. This is evident in her songs. She has always been the motivational rebel everyone looks up to.
18. Lose Yourself, Eminem
“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go. You only got one chance, do not miss your chance to blow.”
Eminem has always known how to pique the interest of his fanbase, and this song was no exception. It is about overcoming obstacles in your life and pursuing your dreams and passion. You may feel like you are “losing yourself” in the process, but it’s important to remember why you started in the first place.
19. Love Myself, Hailee Steinfeld
“I take it nice and slow, feeling good on my own without you, yeah. Got me speaking in tongues, the beautiful it comes without you, yeah.”
From the title itself, you might guess that this song is all about self-love and self-empowerment. Hailee Steinfeld challenges the false expectations that society puts on people. According to her, the song celebrates the power of being true to yourself in the sincerest of ways.
20. Respect, Aretha Franklin
“(Re, re, re, re) start when you come home, (Re, re, re, respect) or you might walk in, (Just a little bit) and find out I'm gone, (Just a little bit) I gotta have.”
It is important for Aretha Franklin to be treated with respect and dignity by her partner. This is what she wishes for all other women to feel—to be free and independent from the shackles of a toxic relationship.
21. Run The World (Girls), Beyonce
“My persuasion can build a nation. Endless power' with our love we can devour. You'll do anything for me. Who run the world? Girls! Girls!”
Run the World is a song for women to celebrate their achievements and empowerment. It has been a long battle to achieve gender equality, and although some parts of the world still look up at men as superior, the movement is definitely close to victory.
22. Shake It Off, Taylor Swift
“'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off!”
At first listen, it’s easy to miss the fact that this perky song is about self-love and self-empowerment. Taylor Swift explained in a BBC Radio interview that the song is about her own experiences dealing with criticism and negativity. It is a message to everyone—fans and bashers—that pride and confidence are things one should never give up.
23. So What?, P!nk
“So, so what? I'm still a rock star. I got my rock moves and I don't need you. And guess what? I'm having more fun. And now that we're done, I'm gonna show you tonight.”
Here’s another P!nk entry—as we mentioned before, her songs are almost all about self-love and self-empowerment. This song may be in the romance and love genre, but it is still empowering. What do you do after a breakup? You become independent and live your life to the fullest!
24. The Climb, Miley Cyrus
“There's always gonna be another mountain. I'm always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be an uphill battle. Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose.”
Courage and perseverance—this is what Miley Cyrus wants her listeners to learn from this song. The Climb encourages people to be brave, empowered, and authentic. It emphasizes the fact that, in every journey, the experience is always more important than the destination.
25. This Is Me, Keala Settle
“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down, I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out. I am brave, I am bruised I am who I'm meant to be, this is me.”
This song is a lot more empowering if you have watched the movie where it was used—The Greatest Showman. It is a fight song that speaks of courage and self-acceptance in a society that often rejects people who are unique, different, and extraordinary.
26. Who Says, Selena Gomez
“I'm sure you got some things you'd like to change about yourself. But when it comes to me, I wouldn't want to be anybody else.”
Selena Gomez directs this song toward young girls who wish to be more confident and prouder of themselves. She was once a teenage girl as well—one who had self-doubts, questioned herself, and tried to fit in.
In an interview with E! Magazine, she said she wants to be an inspiration for other girls to be what they want to be, even if that means being unique and different.
27. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher, Jackie Wilson
“Now, once I was downhearted, disappointment was my closest friend. But then you came and it soon departed, and you know, he never showed his face again.”
This is a love song. But, unlike most love songs, it is about how a relationship with the one you love can “lift you higher and higher,” which can make you feel happy and alive. It became a huge hit when released by Jackie Wilson, and is still considered one of the most uplifting songs of all time.
28. Flawless, Beyonce
“I woke up like this, I woke up like this. We flawless, ladies tell 'em, say, ‘I look so good tonight.’”
Have you ever felt good about yourself? If not, this song can definitely make you feel that way! In Flawless, Beyonce delivers a message to her fans that, despite not being perfect, anyone can still be “flawless” by embracing who they truly are and being proud of it.
29. 1-800-273-8255, Logic ft Alessia Cara & Khalid
“And I see my tears melt in the snow, but I don't wanna cry, I don't wanna cry anymore. I wanna feel alive, I don't even wanna die anymore.”
This is such a powerful song. In fact, its title comes from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is all about preventing suicide and showing empathy to those who are struggling with it. Logic raps from the perspective of both the suicidal caller and the counselor, and he has been commended by his fans as a true lifesaver because of this song.
30. Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
“If you need me, call me no matter where you are. No matter how far; just call my name; I'll be there in a hurry; You don't have to worry.”
There is no obstacle that can’t be overcome by the power of love—this is the point of this song. It has such an uplifting and inspiring message and will give any listener a dose of hope and determination.
31. Bad Girls, M.I.A.
“Get back, get down. Pull me closer if you think you can hang. Hands up, hands high. Don't go screaming if I blow you with a bang.”
The Internet has ascribed a lot of meaning to this song. Some say that it is about how strong and free girls can be, while others associate it with the drive movement in Saudi Arabia. The reason for the latter was that the music video was filmed in Morocco, showing women who are driving and performing stunts.
32. I'm Still Standing, Elton John
“You know I'm still standing better than I ever did. Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid. I'm still standing after all this time. Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind.”
Many people think of this song as Elton John’s anthem of survival and confidence. In reality, it was written by his lyricist, Bernie Taupin, for his ex-girlfriend, whom he wished to move on from. The song is about being determined to free yourself from a toxic relationship.
33. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, Daft Punk
“Work it harder, make it better; do it faster, makes us stronger. More than ever, hour after hour, work is never over.”
If you are a techno-electro-pop fan, you probably have Daft Punk on your workout playlist. What’s better than a song that literally motivates you to work hard and improve yourself? Empowering oneself literally means working harder, better, faster, and stronger!
34. Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
“Oh, will you walk with me out on the wire? ‘Cause baby I'm just a scared and lonely rider. But I gotta know how it feels, I want to know if love is wild.”
Born to Run is a song about a person’s desire to escape and live his life to the fullest. It is said to capture the spirit of “restless youth,” yearning to be free from the shackles of innocence. Bruce Springsteen wrote it in 1974, inspired by a phrase that came to him while playing the guitar.
35. Juicy, Notorious BIG
“You know very well who you are, don't let 'em hold you down. Reach for the stars, you had a goal but not that many. ‘Cause you're the only one, I'll give you good and plenty.”
Notorious B.I.G. came from a humble background in Brooklyn. Juicy is one of the songs that tell the story of how he went from being a nobody to a big celebrity. In this song, he also pays tribute to some of the artists who inspired him, like Mr. Magic and Marley Marl.
36. Heroes, David Bowie
“Though nothing will keep us together, we could steal time, just for one day. We can be heroes, forever and ever. What d'you say?”
We are really big fans of David Bowie, although we must say that we aren’t a big fan of what inspired him to write this. It’s the story of his then-producer Tony Visconti and a German girl whom he had an affair with while he was married. From the song’s lyrics, however, it is clear that Bowie is indeed a genius.
37. Move On Up, Curtis Mayfield
“Move on up and keep on wishing. Remember your dream is your only scheme so keep on pushing. Take nothing less than the supreme best; do not obey rumors people say 'cause you can pass the test.”
Curtis Mayfield’s voice has always been jovial and uplifting, especially when the song is filled with horns and guitars. Move On Up is undeniably powerful, both music-wise and lyric-wise. In this song, he encourages his listeners to keep striving for their goals.
38. I Won't Back Down, Tom Petty
“Well, I know what's right. I got just one life In a world that keeps on pushin' me around, but I'll stand my ground, and I won’t back down.”
Tom Petty wrote this song after surviving a fire that destroyed his house. Shaken by the incident but driven by courage and determination, he used the experience as an inspiration to create the songs for his Full Moon Fever album. I Won’t Back Down was his way of reclaiming his life and overcoming the trauma.
39. True Colors, Cyndi Lauper
“I see your true colors and that's why I love you. So, don't be afraid to let it show. Your true colors are beautiful like a rainbow.”
True Colors was originally a song written for Billy Steinberg’s (lyricist) mother. It was later adjusted to become more universal, and then offered to Cyndi Lauper—one of the most prominent figures in the music industry at the time. Lauper is also known as an active advocate for LGBT rights in the United States.
39. Touch the Sky, Kanye West
“’Fore the day I die, I'ma touch the sky. Gotta testify. Come up in the spot lookin' extra fly (yeah). ‘Fore the day I die, I'ma touch the sky (woo).”
Touch the Sky is based on Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up, a song that we mentioned earlier. It has the same basic message about being successful and confident, despite all the critics and challenges.
40. The Show Must Go On, Queen
“My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies Fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die. I can fly, my friends. The show must go on.”
Here’s another entry from one of the world’s favorite bands of all time—Queen. The Show Must Go On is a song about courage and determination. Freddie Mercury wanted to bring music to the world, despite his terminal illness—so the show must go on. This was the last song on their final album with him, released shortly after his death.
41. Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield
“Drench yourself in words unspoken, live your life with arms wide open, today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten, yeah.”
Natasha Bedingfield wrote this as a birthday gift for her brother. She didn’t have enough money to buy him a gift, but she knew she could create a beautiful, empowering song for him. The song is a reminder to everyone to live in the present moment and start embracing the unknown.
42. Encore, Jay Z
“Can I get an encore, do you want more? Cookin' raw with the Brooklyn boy. So for one last time, I need y'all to roar. What the hell are you waitin’ for?”
The original version of this song, also known as the Black Album version, features John Legend, Kanye West, and GLC. However, many people praise the Linkin Park remix. Encore is a song about confidence and self-motivation, as exemplified by Jay-Z’s skills and success.
43. Live Forever, Oasis
“Maybe I will never be all the things that I want to be. Now is not the time to cry, now's the time to find out why I think you're the same as me. We see things they'll never see. You and I are gonna live forever.”
Live Forever is actually a lowkey, joke-type response to Nirvana’s “I Hate Myself and Want to Die,” and Oasis has always been open about that. Surprisingly, both songs became hits. This song has become a symbol of confidence and charisma. Many people also praise it for having a vibe that expresses hope for the future.
44. I'm The Best, Nicki Minaj
“I remember when I couldn't buy my mother a couch. Now I'm sitting at the closing, bought my mother a house. You could never understand why I grind like I do.”
Nicki Minaj used this song as her opening track in her debut album. It addresses the struggles and obstacles that she faced along the way as she rose from being an underground rapper to a mainstream star. The song reveals her undying passion for music and shows her determination and pride in her achievements.
45. Unstoppable, Santigold
“Get your hipster ass on down to the beacon. I fly right past him, don't take my mask off. I got to be unstoppable.”
Unstoppable by Santigold is feel-good music that celebrates individuality and spontaneity. It was produced by Diplo and features a catchy chorus and danceable beat. The song became famous after a video of a lone dancer at a festival dancing to the song went viral.
Final Thoughts on Empowering Songs
As the last song on our list states, you are indeed unstoppable.
Keep on moving; keep on fighting. Empower yourself with these songs and become the best version of yourself you can be.
And if you're looking for more resources on songs, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 21 Best Gratitude & Thank You Songs [2023 Update]
- 25 Best Songs About Dealing with Strong Emotions
- 35 Best Songs about Moving On & Letting Go of the Past