50+ Popular Inspirational Songs to Keep You Pushing Forward


Anyone who thinks magic doesn’t exist outside of books and movies just hasn’t listened to the right song yet. Inspirational songs come in all shapes and sizes, and they power us through life’s most difficult challenges. Music is a form of time travel, transporting us through the years to bring us back to our favorite memories, places, and people. 

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If you need an extra push right now, there’s a soundtrack for you. These songs about time, change, and emotions remind us that we’re never alone in your feelings. Keep these songs close for when you need them most. These are the 50+ popular inspirational songs that will inspire you no matter the situation. 

Best Inspirational Pop Songs

Pop songs are naturally upbeat and happy, so it’s no wonder that they’re also powerful motivators. Add these pop classics and modern hits to your playlist!

1. "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles

This pop-rock classic by the Beatles is one of the most recognizable songs of all time, and it’s sure to get you singing along. 

2. "Rocket Man" by Elton John

Though somber at first, Rocket Man slowly builds into a triumphant melody about the lure of the stars and the universe. 

3. "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars

One of the funkiest beats of the past few years, Uptown Funk is guaranteed to get you dancing. 

4. "Hey Jude" by The Beatles

Another classic by the Beatles serves as a call to action, encouraging listeners to pursue your dreams and find love. 

5. "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon

Walk the Moon’s hit pop song has one simple message—get up and dance with me!

6. "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift

There’s nothing more motivating than Taylor Swift telling you it’s time to just “shake” all those bad feelings away. 

7. "Elastic Heart" by Sia

Sia’s “Elastic Heart” paints the picture of someone fighting against the odds for love. 

8. "I’m Still Standing" by Elton John

This 1980s classic was Elton John’s announcement to the world that he was back and better than ever after a battle with addiction.

9. "We Can’t Stop" by Miley Cyrus

A party classic, Miley Cyrus’ “We Can't Stop” reminds you that it’s your party, you can do what you want to. 

10. "Don’t You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia

This dance hall hit is not only a bop, but it’s also got an inspiring message about your life’s plan. 

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Best Inspirational Rock Songs

If rock ‘n roll gets your heart pounding, these songs are for you. With a long history of overcoming obstacles and sticking it to the status quo, rock is the perfect way to feel connected to your past and power forward towards the future. 

11. "The Underdog" by Spoon

For all the underdogs out there, Spoon’s created your battle cry. 

12. "It’s Alright" by Mother Mother

This indie-rock favorite is all about self-forgiveness and feeling comfortable with yourself. 

13. "Simple Song" by The Shins

The Shins only promised a Simple Song, but they instead deliver an uplifting ballad to life and love. 

14. "You Only Live Once" by The Strokes

As the title implies, you only live once. It doesn’t matter what you choose, just that you live life on your own terms. 

15. "From Now On" by The Features

It’s unclear whether the singer in “From Now On” is only with his lover in his dreams, but that alone is enough for him. 

16. "Waterloo Sunset" by The Kinks

Written by lead singer Ray Davies, “Waterloo Sunset’ Is a lyrical song about the generation lost to World War II. What would happen if the war never happened? As long as they have each other, they’re in paradise. 

17. "Don’t Stop Me Now" by Queen

If you want to have the best night out, you have Freddie Mercury's full approval.

18. “Lithium" by Nirvana

Doctors use lithium to regulate the mood of patients with depression or other mood disorders. Kurt Cobain spins this meaning in “Lithium,” taking on a teasing tone. 

19. "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure

This dream-like song compares life to a dream, reminiscing on a lover and lost memories. 

20. "Sympathy For the Devil" by The Rolling Stones

This Rolling Stones classic serves as a history lesson. More importantly, it offers a unique take on the devil’s nature, implying that people aren’t often what they seem. 

Best Inspirational Rap and Hip-Hop Songs

Rap and hip-hop have long been used as a form of storytelling. These rappers below all have something important to say, and now it’s your turn to listen. 

21. "Life Is Good" by Future, Drake

This song by two of today’s top rappers is about standing up in the face of doubters. 

22. "Lucid Dreams" by Juice WRLD

As one of Juice WRLD’s many hits from before he died, this song is a form of therapy for the rapper who considered his relationship similar to a lucid dream.  

23. "Wow" by Post Malone

Post Malone uses this song as a celebration of his success, and he invites listeners to join him. 

24. "Lose Yourself" by Eminem

This rap classic is Eminem’s call to action, saying it’s your moment, so own it. 

25. "Just a Dream" by Nelly

“Just a Dream” proves just how powerful songs are when it comes to reliving past feelings and relationships. 

26. "God’s Plan" by Drake

Drake thanks God for his successful journey through the music industry. 

27. "It Was a Good Day" by Ice Cube

Written amidst the LA Riots of 1992, this song is about remembering the good days. 

28. "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z, Alicia Keys

“Empire State of Mind'' is an anthem for the Big Apple. If you can make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere. 

29. "Stronger" by Kanye West

This techno-rap mix has one clear message—what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. 

30. "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa

One of the most iconic dance hits of all time, “Push It” encourages listeners to get up and dance. 

Best Inspirational Country Songs

Country music evokes memories of simpler times without compromising on the feelings and themes of today. You don’t have to be from the country to fall for these classics. 

31. "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver

After receiving a postcard from West Virginia, John Denver was inspired to write a song about a mountainous, welcoming place. 

32. "Jolene" by Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton’s strong voice begs Jolene not to take her man. Though she’s not optimistic, Parton isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants. 

33. "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by The Charlie Daniels Band

This song recounts the devil’s visit to Georgia where he challenges a boy to a fiddle duel. The boy plays for his soul (literally) and wins. 

34. "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" by Shania Twain

Womanhood isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but it does have its perks. Shania Twain celebrates women everywhere with this country classic.

35. "9 to 5" by Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton might have a joking tone with her “9 to 5” lyrics, but she makes a big statement about the inequality of women in the workplace. 

36. "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood

Who knew revenge could be so sweet? Carrie Underwood does, apparently. 

37. "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line

“Cruise” is a song about enjoying the simple things in life. 

38. "God’s Country" by Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton speaks directly to blue-collar workers in “God’s Country,” reminding them of how great it is to be alive. 

39. “Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw

After getting the news of his father’s life-threatening illness, the singer learns to live each day like it’s his last. 

40. "Red" by Taylor Swift

Some emotions are more powerful than others, and Taylor Swift sees her love burning red. 

Best Inspirational Songs for Students or Graduation

Graduation marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Let these songs ease the transition while reminding you that while the experiences were temporary, the memories are forever. 

41. "Ooh La La" by Faces

Is youth wasted on the young? This upbeat song is all about wishing to return to yesterday with the wisdom of today. 

42. "Stuck In The Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel

Written as a parody of a music industry cocktail party, this song pokes fun at spending time with different types of people. 

43. "You’re My Best Friend" by Queen

This Queen favorite is all about enjoying your time with your friends, no matter how limited. 

44. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana

There’s no song that’s more dedicated to teenage angst than “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” 

45. "Graduation" by Vitamin C

As the name implies, this is the ultimate graduation song. The lyrics are guaranteed to bring tears to everyone’s eyes. 

46. "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth

Goodbye isn’t really forever in “See You Again.” 

47. "Count on Me" by Bruno Mars

This song is a reminder that friends are forever.

48. "I Lived" by OneRepublic

OneRepublic argues there’s no room for regrets if you’re living life to the fullest. 

49. "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang

This 1980s classic is a reminder of the best times in life. 

50. "I’ll Be There for You" by The Rembrandts

No one ever told you that life would be this way, but the Friends theme song has an important message. Your friends will always be there for you!

Best Inspirational Workout or Running Songs

We could all use some help powering through our workouts. These songs work hard, so you can too.

51. "Titanium" by David Guetta

Titanium is one of the strongest metals, and this song is an anthem for strengths. 

52. "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man

Being a rebel has its perks, and Portugal. The Man surprises listeners from start to finish. 

53. "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers

An unofficial party anthem, this song is all about the mixed feelings of heartbreak. 

54. "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor

As the theme song to Rocky III, it’s no wonder this is an athletic call to arms. 

55. "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX

This pop mix is hard not to dance to, and its upbeat tempo is just what you need to feel the burn. 

Press Play on Your Inspiration

Music is a powerful tool for inspiration. Like our favorite life-changing books, these songs stick with you after they end. They loop in your head and keep you company in dark times. Whether you listen to pop, country, or everything in between, it’s time to get your motivation flowing. 

Let these inspiring songs empower you to take the next step towards a confident future. Start end-of-life planning to prepare for everything life has in store. 

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