Music is a powerful weapon in combating negative emotions. It’s an outlet for release. They say that one positive thought in the morning could change your mood for the entire day—so why not apply this old saying to music?
We’ve compiled a list of uplifting songs about staying strong and being confident, that are uplifting and empowering. Whether the hardship you’re overcoming is physical or emotional, these songs should lift your spirits higher.
Here are our top ten empowering songs that inspire positivity:
10. Stronger by Britney Sprears
Starting off our list is some old-school Britney Spears with her 2000 tune, Stronger. This song is about Spears overcoming heartbreak in the realm of romance and becoming “stronger than yesterday.” In her 1998 hit …Baby One More Time, she sings, “My loneliness is killing me,” but two years later in Stronger she punches back at this sadness by singing, “My loneliness ain’t killing me no more.” So despite her struggles to overcome heartache, Britney Spears continues to grow stronger, and recognizes that she doesn’t need a man to be happy – she just needs herself. You go girl!
9. The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
Unfortunately we live in a world were bullying happens, often to people who are different than the social norm in some way. The Middle by Jimmy Eat World celebrates individuality and uniqueness, rather than shaming it. At first listen, the song may just sound like an upbeat rock party anthem, but this message can be heard if you listen closely enough to the lyrics, for instance: “Hey, don’t write yourself off yet. It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on. Just do your best (just do your best), do everything you can (do everything you can). And don’t you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.”
8. Beautiful Day by U2
U2‘s Beautiful Day sounds like such a happy, fun song. When writing the song, the band was inspired by Jubilee 2000, a benefit with the goal of making politicians drop the debts of poverty stricken countries. Vocalist of the band, Bono, describes Beautiful Day as being about “a man who has lost everything, but finds joy in what he still has.” This song sends a cup-half-full message about focusing on the positives in life instead of the negatives.
7. Confident by Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato‘s song Confident is an anthem about body positivity and being confident in the skin you’re in. “The pre-chorus says it best, where it says, ‘You’ve had me underrated.’ I’ve wanted to shout that from the top of my lungs for years now,” Lovato said, “I have never been confident enough in my own skin to feel sexy. Now that I’m feeling great and I feel confident, I’m proud of the skin that I’m in.” She’s dealt with hardships in her life, including an eating disorder, but now Lovato is a survivor and a winner in her uphill battle. Demi Lovato is proud of her body and inspires others to feel the same way with this song too.
6. Who Says by Selena Gomez & The Scene
Selena Gomez released this song when she had a band, back in 2011. Who Says carries a similar message to Demi Lovato’s Confident: you have every reason to feel beautiful in the skin you’re in, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. These are just among a few of the positive lyrics in her song: “You’ve got every right to a beautiful life,” Gomez sings, “Who says, who says you’re not perfect? Who says you’re not worth it? Who says you’re the only one that’s hurtin’?” We also hear that Selena Gomez lets people know that when suffering, they aren’t alone. The upbeat instrumentals also add to the positive feel of the song.
5. Perfect by Pink
Pink lets listeners know that they have worth in Perfect. She sings: “Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel like you’re less than, less than perfect. Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel, like you’re nothing, you are perfect to me.” Regardless if you do or don’t fit in with society’s beauty standards, Pink tells you that you’re special no matter what. Your individuality is a gift, and this song is a friendly reminder of that. The intense and powerful music video for this song creates awareness to mental health issues and negative body image, an important conversation to have in today’s society.
4. Skyscraper by Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato makes it on the list again. The advocate of positive mental health released this song in 2011, after coming out of rehab for facing addiction, an eating disorder, and bipolar disorder. She says that this song carries a symbolic message for her because it’s her symbol of strength. She actually recorded two versions of Skyscraper: one before she entered treatment in 2010, and one after. Long story short, Lovato ended up using the first recording because it felt more symbolic, shes says. Demi Lovato wants this message to also be a symbol of strength for her fans too: “[Skyscraper] represented what I’m trying to spread the word about: getting help and rising above any issues that [I and] my fans are dealing with.”
3. Survivor by Destiny’s Child
Destiny’s Child wrote Survivor about anyone who’s ever doubted the girl group. This song is uplifting because although you may not be in your very own musical girl-group, it’s about overcoming adversity in real life situations. The ladies of Destiny’s Child overcame haters and people who doubted them, yet they still emerged on the other side in one piece and successful, to boot.
2. I Believe I Can Fly by R. Kelly
R.Kelly may actually be terrified to literally fly on an airplane, but he still figuratively believes he can fly. This song was originally written for the children’s movie Space Jam, but it became viewed as an inspirational anthem. “I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky,” is a line in the chorus that people find catchy, but it also is a healthy mantra to have about believing in yourself, and knowing that you are strong enough to conquer anything tough that comes your way.
1. Beautiful by Christina Aguilera
This may have been the song that Damien sings in that iconic scene from Mean Girls during the school talent show, but it’s so much more than that. Christina Aguilera released this song in 2004, and like many of the songs on this list, it’s about embracing who you are. The vocal recording of this song wasn’t even edited, “The song was about being beautiful and honest in every way. That bleed is honest. It was one of the most honest vocal performances I had ever heard. It was actually the scratch vocal,” said Dave Pensado, who mixed the song during the recording process. The hounest truth is that you don’t have to conform to be happy—you just have to embrace your authentic self.
Bell Lets Talk Day is an annual initiative to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness. According to the Canadian Institute of Health Research, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life.
You can take part in Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 27th. Send a text message or make a mobile or long distance call using Bell Media products, Tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk or share a Facebook image. Each time you do this, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives.