These Inspiring Songs Will Get You Going Every Time

ILLUSTRATED BY VERO ROMERO
Our moods are shaped by the music we listen to. If you're feeling down in the dumps and then listen to Joni Mitchell, odds are, you won't be coming out from under the covers that day. But what if you listen to empowering, upbeat songs instead? Everyone should have a inspiring playlist they deploy specifically when they're feeling glum — or when they're already in great moods.
That's where this round-up comes in. The songs on the list are begging to be blasted at full volume. They're dying to be belted. In fact, one could argue that it's necessary to listen to these songs so loud the neighbors call to complain, and sing them with all your heart. That way, all of their uplifting chords and inspirational lyrics make their way into your spirit.
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You'll be humming the choruses all day. Just try not to feel inspired, we dare you.
1 of 19
"God Is A Woman" by Ariana Grande

"When you try to come for me/I keep on flourishing"

Grande is delivering piping hot inspiration these days, as she digs deeper into her pop persona. "God Is A Woman" is her declaration of supreme womanhood. The video features a quote from Pulp Fiction delivered by none other than Madonna herself. The song is best for days when you feel you must become Madonna — or, for that matter, Ariana Grande.
2 of 19
"There Goes the Fear" by Dove

You turn around and life's passed you by.

Sometimes, all you need is a little bit of fear to inspire you. And what's scarier than the idea of your life, passing you by?
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3 of 19
"Stone Mountain" by St. Beauty

I remember I was so afraid / Doubting myself in every way/Riding round and past my old house / I really see how far I came

The story of a triumphant inner growth, packaged with St. Beauty's haunting harmonies and incredible hooks.
4 of 19
"Proud Mary" by Tina Turner

"Proud Mary keep on burnin'"

Truth be told, "Proud Mary" is a song about a large steamboat. We know that you are not large steamboat, reader. But its message about relentlessly and powerfully moving forward can apply to us humans pretty well, too.
5 of 19
"Good As Hell" by Lizzo

"Boss up and change your life / You can have it all, no sacrifice"

Each of Lizzo's songs is a catchy AF pep-talk, sung to you by your motivational older sister who has life just a big more figured out than you do. Listen to Lizzo. Do as she says, and you will feel good as hell.
6 of 19
"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson

"Your love, lifting me higher / Than I've ever been lifted before"

In this exuberant song, Wilson describes what the best of all possible loves can do: Lift a person up to new heights, to some level of spiritual enlightenment, to happiness.
7 of 19
"Get What You Give" by the New Radicals

"You've got the music in you / Don't let go"

You got the music in you!
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8 of 19
"I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

"Oh no, not I, I will survive / As long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive / I've got all my life to live / I've got all my love to give / I will survive"

This is a break-up anthem, but its healing powers work in any situation in which you might need to be particularly resilient.
9 of 19
"***Flawless" by Beyoncé

"I woke up like this"

Yeah, you did. This Beyoncé song will teach you how to accept any compliment, because you'll already have given many compliments to yourself by the time it's over.
10 of 19
"Heroes" by David Bowie

"We can be heroes, just for one day"

Bowie's song about doomed and impossible love is actually pretty inspirational. He distills the "us against the world" attitude so prevalent in every tragic teen love story, and allows adults to re-experience that romantic desperation.
11 of 19
"This Is Me" by Keala Settle

"When the sharpest words wanna cut me down / Gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out / I am brave, I am proof / I am who I'm meant to be, this is me"

This anthem is one of the tracks from The Greatest Showman, a musical based on P.T. Barnum's life, out Christmas Day. Keala Settle sings "This Is Me" from the perspective of her character, the Bearded Lady, but you needn't be a bearded lady to be inspired by her sentiment.
12 of 19
"I'm Still Standing" by Elton John

"You know I'm still standing better than I ever did / Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid"

In which Elton John boasts about how great his life is to someone who once hurt him.
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13 of 19
"Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift

"It's like I got this music in my mind / Saying it's gonna be alright"

Whether Swift is actually good at "shaking it off" is its own debate entirely. But the song's message might help you write off the haters, and go about life feelin' light and free.
14 of 19
"St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" by John Parr

"I can see a new horizon underneath the blazing sky / I'll be where the eagle's flying higher and higher"

If the '80s did anything right, it was producing slightly cheesy anthems that lift you higher and higher as they go on.
15 of 19
"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield

"Today is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten"

You have two options. You can write Bedingfield's song off as a relic of the mid-2000s. Or, you can embrace its insanely catchy message of renewal, and agree that it should be considered a modern classic. We know what we have chosen.
16 of 19
"We Are the Champions" by Queen

"We'll keep on fighting 'till the end."

If this song didn't exist, what would be used to rouse up crowds of people? Or used as end credits to the biopic about yourself you've planned in your head?
17 of 19
"Alexander Hamilton" by Lin-Manuel Miranda

"There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait"

The opening number of the epic musical Hamilton condenses Alexander Hamilton's difficult childhood into a tight four-minute song. Hamilton was born into poverty in the West Indies, and was orphaned at a young age. With determination, grit, and above-average intelligence, Hamilton crawled his way out of the situation, and made it to New York, where the rest of his story begins. The entirety of Hamilton is meant to inspire and get you to ask yourself: What are you doing with today?
18 of 19
"Feelin' So Good" by Jennifer Lopez

"I'm feeling so good / I knew that I would / Been taking care of myself like I should / 'Cause not one thing / Can bring me down / Nothing in this world's gonna turn me around"

J-Lo reminds us of the importance of self-care. Put on those face masks. Get those eight hours. Do whatever you have to do to make yourself feel good.
19 of 19
"Born this Way" by 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"

This anthem for self-acceptance never gets old.
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