Life often presents various trials and tribulations, and sometimes you will need something to pick you up – that's where music comes in handy. Music can be inspirational and a great motivator, and it can give you the extra push you need to get on with your endeavors.
Below is an insightful compilation of the best inspirational songs to help you handle the challenging moments in life.
“Titanium” by David Guetta & Sia
Song Year: 2011
David Guetta broke into the limelight as one of the most reputable EDM pioneers globally. The French DJ linked with Sia, a fan-favorite crooner, to release “Titanium” in 2011. This timeless song quickly became a hit, topping various global charts for its timeless production, outstanding vocals, and motivating lyrics.
The inspiring song urges the listeners to release their inner strength and believe in themselves despite life's atrocities. You can sing along to the inventively written lyrics to get through a hectic day.
“Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson
Song Year: 2011
If you want to skip the downtempo-inspiring music, “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson is a perfect fit. It's the most upbeat composition about self-belief, departing from the typical Kelly signature croons.
Atop the lively beat with electric guitar and synth accompaniments, “Stronger” boasts some of the most inspiring lyrics in pop music to help you dust yourself off and get up, despite the situation. Draw teachings from your past challenges, and come out wiser and stronger!
“Ain't No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Song Year: 1967
Tough times call for a soothing classic song to calm and motivate you, and Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell understood this assignment in their “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” hit.
The song lives up to the title – full of optimism and resilience, demonstrating that nothing can stand in the path of love. The zealousness of the anthem and its catchy rhythm will cheer you up and make you eager for what the day holds.
“Lose Yourself” by Eminem
Song Year: 2022
If you're a rap fan, the chances are you've listened to Eminem's “Lose Yourself.” The song is among the best rap tracks ever recorded, exhibiting Eminem's killer delivery and storytelling prowess on a Dr. Dre mastermind rap-rock production.
The smash single is about seizing your chance, gaining the respect you desire, and ensuring that you succeed when an opportunity presents itself. Besides the motivating lyrics, this song boasts an edgy and upbeat production that will pump you up and brighten your day!
“Save the World” by Swedish House Mafia
Song Year: 2011
As the title implies, the Swedish House Mafia was on a mission to “save the world” with a classic EDM piece. The song was released in 2011 and quickly earned recognition globally, bagging several global nominations in its genre and topping reputable music charts.
The indie-rock-infused song connects every listener to something emotional and uplifting. It calls on listeners not to give up on their dreams should they want to make a difference. You are the only one able to bring it about, so brush off the dust and continue journeying.
“Dream On” by Aerosmith
Song Year: 1973
If you're a rock music lover, you will enjoy listening to “Dream On,” Aerosmith's first major hit. The band's lead singer, Steven Tyler, wrote the song, which became a global success, and featured in most classic rock greatest hits of all time playlists.
This song inspires you to keep pursuing your goals even when you're fighting to overcome life's obstacles. It encourages you to work hard to realize your future goals by looking back at the past to gauge your current progress.
“Don't Stop Believin” by Journey
Song Year: 1981
“Don't Stop Believin',” a worldwide smash in 1981, became the band's trademark anthem and has remained at the pinnacle for decades. Besides having one of rock music's finest opening keyboard riffs, this song also allows Steve Perry to showcase his wide vocal range.
This treasure of a song serves as a reminder of why you set out on your journey. The motivating tune can push you to endure and never give up on your ambitions, even when you feel like your efforts are not paying off.
“Head Above Water” by Avril Lavigne
Song Year: 2019
Avril Lavigne, a globally celebrated Canadian singer and songwriter, released the highly emotional tune “Head Above Water” in 2019. This inspirational tune's lyrics see Avril calling God for assistance and pleading with Him to save her from drowning.
The narrator's experience battling Lyme disease, which temporarily halted her stellar music career, is the inspiration behind “Head Above Water.” It's a perfect song if you want something that speaks of faith, determination, and resilience.
“Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
Song Year: 2002
Christina Aguilera's “Beautiful” is a great tune boasting the crooner's powerful vocals and uplifting lyrics. This tune urges you to embrace who you are, regardless of criticism and negativity from others. It influences many people, especially those with insecurities or low self-esteem.
The self-acceptance anthem encourages you that what other people think of you is inconsequential since you're beautiful in your unique manner. The chorus may serve as your needed push as you learn to appreciate what you see in the mirror.
“Don't Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
Song Year: 1988
If you find yourself in a space where things don't go as expected, and you feel depressed and lonely, this iconic masterpiece by Bobby McFerrin is your go-to song.
This song's general concept is simple yet compelling. ” Don't Worry, Be Happy” is the title, but other lyrics throughout the tune emphasize linking topics such as how adversity is unavoidable in life, but worrying makes things worse.
Listening to this great classic tune boosts your mood and temporarily takes your mind off your problems. You're more likely to follow Bobby's recommendation and just be happy.
“Not Afraid” by Eminem
Song Year: 2010
The track “Not Afraid,” deemed one of Eminem's biggest successes, is a self-healing piece showcasing the Detroit megastar rapper's journey to recouping himself. This track spills forth Eminem's commitment to remain standing despite the storms of life, abandoning his typical wild, entertaining, and comical lyrics.
Why assume you're alone when you've got the backing of your loved ones? And why not be the person who occasionally lends a helping hand to those in need? This song demonstrates the significance of journeying together.
“Rise Up” by Andra Day
Song Year: 2015
“Rise Up,” a phenomenal track by Andra Day, is about endurance, fortitude, and confidence. Resilience is facing a challenge but finding the strength inside you to “rise up,” as Day expresses in her tune. Regardless of what is going on in your life, you must remain resolute and keep going.
Andra Day's vocals will send chills down your spine – a magnificent blend of soul, RnB, blues, and pop – demonstrating her flexibility as a singer. Listening to the beautiful vocals accompanying the powerful lyrics will boost you emotionally and spiritually.
“Roar” by Katy Perry
Song Year: 2013
When you're down, or things aren't going as intended, you can choose between wallowing in despair or singing along to Katy Perry's “Roar” chorus. It's the lead song off her fourth studio album, “Prism.” It departs from the electro-pop style that dominated her previous works in favor of a softer mid-tempo pop-rock sound.
“Roar” is a heartfelt testament to overcoming bullying to discover yourself fully. It features catchy, room-filling melodies and therapeutic and perky lyrics – the perfect combo for an inspirational song.
“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Song Year: 1967
If you're yet to listen to Louis Armstrong's beautiful lyrical composition, you haven't experienced the impact of inspiration. The song's wonderfully-curated lyrics will revitalize your soul and infuse it with optimism and joy.
“What a Wonderful World” will rekindle your love for life. This masterpiece is an antidote for the times it's challenging to appreciate the positives in the world. It redirects your attention to life experiences you can be grateful for, regardless of how bad your day is going.
“Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato
Song Year: 2011
Given Demi Lovato's public breakdown and a stint in rehabilitation, the iconic smash “Skyscraper” is her autobiographical piece. The vocalist resurfaced with a mental tenacity that shines through on this anthem, a melancholy yet beautiful ballad. Her beautiful voice charms as she croons over a lonely piano in the backdrop.
The song reminds listeners that life is what you make of it, and if you're strong enough, no barrier can deter you from accomplishing your goals. It tells you to keep the flame within blazing and aim for success, no matter what!
“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
Song Year: 1978
Dino Fekaris penned the song after being sacked from Motown Records, where he had worked as a staff writer. Gloria Gaynor gave the track a breath of new life as a female empowerment hit about moving on from unhealthy relationships.
Lyrically, the song recounts the narrator's journey to finding self-strength after a heartbreaking breakup. “I Will Survive” shows that there's life after separation, making the powerful disco anthem a timeless motivating song that should be on every inspirational music playlist.
“Livin' on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi
Song Year: 1987
Prayer can be the only option to get you through when struggling to make ends meet. This game-changing song conveys a hope-filled message to people who are in need. It tells the story of a couple toiling while remaining above the fray to make ends meet.
It assures listeners that they will get through whatever predicament they are facing. You should remain hopeful in the face of all the hardships that life will hurl at you. The uplifting song quickly became a global hit, topping various charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
“Live Forever” by Oasis
Song Year: 1994
This 1994 smash was written in response to Nirvana's “I Hate Myself and Want to Die.” The songwriter, Noel Gallagher, was against the track's attitude and claimed that kids didn't need to listen to such negativity. As a result, he penned this boldly hopeful indie tune with haughty Mancunian flair.
“Live Forever” has an optimistic viewpoint, contrasting with the theme of the renowned grunge bands at the time. This song is about having a dream and recognizing that you can't achieve it without putting in the effort required.
“Imagine” by John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band
Song Year: 1971
Are you weary of being surrounded by negativity every day? Then this tune might be just what you're looking for.
‘Imagine,' by John Lennon, is among the most iconic and inspirational songs. The song, which was first released in 1971 amid the Vietnam War, encourages listeners to envisage a world where peace is paramount.
This song has a strong imagery of optimism. The legendary collaboration urges listeners to imagine a world without divisions, disputes, or greed.
“Brave” by Sara Bareilles
Song Year: 2013
When critics encircle you, it might be overwhelming to stand up for what you believe in. At times, all you need to hear is someone affirming your decisions and choices. That's what Sarah's “Brave” does!
Sarah addresses the many individuals who don't speak up in the song. It aims at people who never stand out for themselves. She encourages and motivates you to always speak out and come out of the closet, especially when faced with difficult situations or decisions.
“Can't Hold Us” by Christina Aguilera & Lil Kim
Song Year: 2002
Ladies, if you're frustrated by gendered double standards, you've friends in Christina and Lil' Kim. The two music icons collaborated on “Can't Hold Us Down,” an R&B and hip-hop track with dancehall influences, advocating feminism while criticizing gender-related double standards.
This scorching single is a powerful statement about female sexuality, accompanied by a stunning video that shows creepy guys receiving their comeuppance. Aguilera wrote this song to encourage women to be themselves while taking a dig at those who judge women for voicing their opinions.
“I'm Still Standing” by Elton John
Song Year: 1983
This song should be at the top of your playlist if you're going through a breakup. This track features some of the shadiest breakup lyrics, halting only to mention how much stronger the narrator comes out.
The highly up-tempo classic, composed initially as a breakup dismissal, has been adopted by listeners as an emblem of steely resiliency for any circumstance. It's a musical manifestation of perseverance from a guy who has defied the odds.
“We Are the Champions” by Queen
Song Year: 1977
“We Are the Champions” is one of Queen's most successful tunes, and it has stood the test of time with its soothing melodies that send goosebumps down your spine. It's a ballad-rock song about triumph and the arduous route that leads to it.
The sporting events anthem is about conquering difficulties and sailing through trials. It emphasizes that success and accomplishment result from prolonged, constant effort. Queen's tribulations on their way to stardom inspired this powerful, motivating track.
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
Song Year: 1982
The song “Eye of the Tiger” was written particularly for the 1982 film “Rocky III.” The artist portrays himself as a down-to-earth person who survives only on his strength. However, he establishes a general-inspiring tone by stating that each person must strive to keep his ambitions alive.
The title of the song exhibits Survivor's desire to adopt some of the attributes of a tiger – the ability to remain superior in the jungle. Life will deal you some hard blows, but the message of this encouraging song is that you can handle them.
“Beautiful Day” by U2
Song Year: 2000
This inspirational song by U2 contributed to the rock band's multi-platinum global success. According to lead vocalist Bono, “Beautiful Day” is about a man who lost everything but still finds pleasure in what he has.
It's one of the goofiest songs by the band, building up quietly before exploding into that massive sing-along hook. The riff behind that hook is fantastic, and Bono's ridiculously genuine optimism will lighten your mood.
This song reminds you that you can celebrate your victories or grieve your downfalls. Remember, every day is fantastic if you allow yourself to see it.
“Hall of Fame” by The Script & will.i.am
Song Year: 2012
“Hall of Fame” is an uplifting song about pursuing dreams and impacting the world. The song encourages listeners to believe in the impossible and that with determined effort and commitment, they can be and do anything they want.
This song conveys a vital message relevant to your daily life. When you're too frightened or timid to follow your aspirations, this song serves as a reminder that you'll never win if you don't even attempt.
Song Year: 2015
We all face obstacles on our path to reaching our full potential, which necessitates a bit of hope. Coldplay's “Up&Up” has you covered, with lyrics about overcoming life's challenges and getting back on your feet.
Above all, this song encourages you to keep moving and constantly look up. Beyoncé and her daughter, Blue Ivy, provide additional backing vocals on the pop-rock piece, incorporating strong choir harmonies.
“Beautiful Pain” by Eminem & Sia
Song Year: 2013
This introspective song represents everyone's thoughts, a perpetual battleground of optimism and pessimism. It invites you to discover the light within you, differing from Eminem's typical type of songs.
The song gets its conflicting title because it's comparable to emancipation and the emotion of freeing yourself from all imperfections. It's about embracing your victories over everything. It also asserts that you can shatter limits and life's challenges.
“Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley
Song Year: 1973
Bob Marley's “Get Up, Stand Up” is arguably one of the best inspirational songs ever recorded. The inspiration behind this song is Marley's tour to Haiti. He was extremely moved by the nation's levels of poverty and despair, and he wrote the track to encourage the citizens to get up and push for what is rightly theirs.
This song isn't just a timely lesson but a timeless reminder to stand up for what you believe is right. Its impressive lyrics can help inspire anyone feeling depressed or has given up hope. It's not about waiting for things to improve; it's about spurring the changes for yourself.
“Firework” by Katy Perry
Song Year: 2010
If you're a pop diehard, you can get inspiration on top of entertainment from Katty Perry's self-empowerment single, “Firework.” The song invites listeners to emulate Fourth of July fireworks, dazzling light of triumph and boldness.
Perry emphasizes that there is no use in hiding or becoming invisible when everyone has something to offer. Her distinct character adds to the genuineness of this hefty dose of motivation for anyone who considers themselves ordinary.
“Whatever It Takes” by Imagine Dragons
Song Year: 2017
Are you starting a new venture? “Whatever It Takes” is the perfect fit to motivate you to complete tasks on your to-do list. The song is an ode to ambition, inspired by the band's lead vocalist Dan Reynold's hunger to realize his musical dream, despite the obstacles.
This song inspires listeners to believe in their ambitions and that they should do “whatever it takes” to achieve their dreams. It's a motivational and catchy song that urges you to pursue your aspirations. The road to your goals and desires may not always be smooth, but the end outcome will be well worth the effort.
“Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys
Song Year: 2012
Alicia Keys penned this uplifting tune about being able to face any obstacle, with her voice virtually flying over her outstanding piano work. The song contrasts the narrator's ability to rise beyond adversity with her world's catastrophic state.
The anthem is about letting go of whatever keeps you from following your goals. It inspires you to follow your heart and commit to your beliefs. Hold your head high, keep dreaming, and destroy all detractors!
“Started From the Bottom” by Drake
Song Year: 2013
Drake flaunts his hardcore rap vibe on “Started from the Bottom,” which generally features slick rhymes but is delivered with a distinctive growl in his voice. He chronicles his rise from humble beginnings as an actor to one of the world's most successful rap acts.
In the song, he describes how he worked tirelessly – alongside his inner circle – to make everything happen. After listening to this sing-along anthem, you'll feel like you and your team can rise against the odds and go that far.
“It's a Great Day To Be Alive” by Travis Tritt
Song Year: 2000
Our best inspirational songs list can't be complete without a touch of country music! Nothing beats starting your day on a positive note, and Travis Tritt's hit anthem will help you do that. “It's A Great Day To Be Alive” reminds listeners to focus on the positive side of life because the sun still shines even when you close your eyes.
It's a straightforward thought that will nourish your heart and soul while putting a smile on your face as you face the day.
“Wavin' Flag (Celebration Mix)” by K'naan
Song Year: 2009
When two distinct sounds merge, magic happens! K'naan inventively infused a pop vibe into reggae to create “Wavin' Flag,” which took the world by storm. He originally penned the anthem as a tribute to the dreams of the Somali people.
However, this tune gained global recognition as a uniting force in 2010 during the Haiti earthquake. Also, the song became more prominent as Coca-Cola's advert track for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“Wavin' Flag” features inspiring lyrics and a catchy beat that psyches you up to take action. It's one of those iconic tunes that discourages procrastination and makes you want to take action – whether it’s winning a soccer match or simply getting to that chore list you’ve been putting off.
“You Learn” by Alanis Morissette
Song Year: 1995
If you're feeling heavy-laden with all the responsibilities of life, “You Learn” by Alanis Morissette is a perfect fit for reminding yourself why it's worth the struggle. It's the fifth single from her “Jagged Little Pill” studio, drawing inspiration from a common phrase, “live and learn.”
The song is about enjoying your life to the fullest and recognizing that everything happens for a reason. “You Learn” demonstrates that every event is an opportunity to learn something new. How you learn from your experiences shapes you into who you're today!
“Don't Be So Hard on Yourself” by Jess Glynne
Song Year: 2015
Do you struggle to let go of resentment? There are various reasons why you should give up this negative habit, as exhibited in Jess Glynne's dance-pop gem. She emphasizes self-worth and encourages listeners to allow things to flow in this anthemic pop tune.
“Don't Be So Hard on Yourself” was inspired by Glynne's failed relationship and her journey to recovery. It's motivating, charming, and captivating, boasting an energizing light beat and a beautiful piano rhythm.
The narrator encourages you not to let despair get the better of you. The song will inspire you to take risks and rise back when you fall.
“The Greatest” by Sia
Song Year: 2016
SIA's “The Greatest” is a pop wonder, glistening with supercharged energy and topped with musical authenticity. The single is a product of clear perspective, featuring Sia's trademark intimate and charismatic shimmer.
Positive reinforcing messages and corresponding deep emotions propel this tune into the realm of the greatest logical pop music. It's another song that encourages you to never give up on your aspirations.
This song reminds you that your perceptions about your abilities are essential in conquering your battles.
“Stronger” by Kanye West
Song Year: 2007
“Stronger” is an inspirational song that incorporates the famous aphorism of Friedrich Nietzsche: “What does not kill me makes me stronger.” The piece stands out for its futuristic upbeat production created around the award-winning “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” hit by Daft Punk, introducing the EDM duo to rap fans.
This hit is about getting over all of life's distractions. Kanye was inspired by the frustrations of his past mistakes, highlighting the strength of facing hardships. So, instead of venting about life's adversities, hold on, draw lessons and come out stronger!
“Hero” by Mariah Carey
Song Year: 1993
You can hardly pinpoint Mariah Carey's best song of all time, and this dilemma continues in this powerful, inspiring track. “Hero” departs from Mariah's signature high notes, rendering the emotional, motivational lyrics in a subtle vocal range.
Mariah Carey encourages listeners to dig within themselves and uncover their inner strength in this song. She reminds you that you don't have to wait for someone else to save you. “Hero' is also a testimonial of Mariah's ability to bounce back after overcoming a depression stint.
“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
Song Year: 2014
Taylor Swift let her upbeat pop side shine in her self-belief mega-hit, “Shake It Off,” which quickly broke into the global limelight. The singer-songwriter penned this song to address the constant pressure we undergo to gain validation from others.
However, you can't always please everybody. This track is an assurance that you should always do yourself and dance to your beat while overlooking other people's less-than-pleasant judgments. You have your special magic to impart to the world. Don't allow anyone to get in your way!
Top Inspirational Songs, Final Thoughts
There you go! Forty-one of the world's best inspirational songs of all time.
You will inevitably make errors, fail, or lose motivation, but never give up! These songs will help you remain optimistic even during difficult times.
The inspirational songs we've recommended for you in our write-up will offer the approval and drive that you require to fulfill your obligations, accomplish tasks, and cheer up your day.