Music triggers emotions in everyone. It is truly an amazing thing. The right beat and an inspiring lyric can also motivate you incredibly fast. A motivational song can remind us how beautiful the world we live in is.
Music helps us get through dark hours and manages to give us a new drive.
Do you ever have one of those days where you just can’t seem to get anything done? You surely feel completely unmotivated then. Sometimes it’s strange, the day before you were motivated and the next day you’re in a bad mood and lack of motivation. Such phases are hard, but change is always possible.
You just need the right tool.
The right music can make all the difference when you’re trying to be productive. Maybe you want to concentrate better at work? Listen to some of our motivational songs beforehand and you’re guaranteed to get work done more easily.
The right songs can easily change our mood. Listening to music is a great way to pick yourself up and get back on track. In total, we have collected 111 songs that will help you motivate yourself.
Our playlist consists of the best motivational and inspirational songs that will help you bring back your smile.
10 tips to increase your motivation:
- Be ready to leave your comfort zone. Admittedly, leaving your comfort zone is a big obstacle, but the possibilities that open up for you are unlimited.
- Believe in yourself! Approach your task with a positive attitude. Say to yourself that you can do it.
- Imagine your success! Success is a great motivator. Even if things didn’t go so well for you in the past, you can always change the future. You just need to put the perspective in the right focus.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. This is the only way to get better!
- Take an hour each day for self-development. Read a book, go for a walk, listen to our playlist on your way to work.
- Live in the now. If you think too much about the past or the future, you won’t be able to see the important things in life.
- Don’t let a setback stop you in your tracks. Success could be waiting for you just around the corner.
- Dare to dream big. This motivates you and you have a big goal in mind.
- Break down your big goal into meaningful small stage victories. So it is much easier for you to stay motivated.
- The real tragedy in life is not how much you suffer, but rather how much you miss, so don’t miss anything.
We’ve chosen these motivational songs for their ability to promote hope and a good mood to spread. The lyrics and the melodies are designed to motivate you. Have fun with the following 111 motivational songs.
(At the end of the article, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for you with all the songs listed here.)
The best motivational songs:
01. Bill Conti – Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)
We have the most famous fictional athlete of all time to thank for several entries on this list for good reason. His own theme from the Oscar-winning “Rocky” from 1977 must not be missing at all: The quintessential motivational song peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard charts and helped the workout montage from the accompanying film earn a permanent place in pop-cultural memory.
When the boxer, uniquely embodied by Sylvester Stallone, keeps faith in himself against all odds, leaves the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art behind him and Bill Conti’s grandiose music reaches its climax, suddenly everything is possible again!
02. Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
The title leaves precious little room for Performeration and unmistakably sets the marching direction! Accompanied by a grandiose music video, the French electro duo unleashed this musical motivational injection on us in the fall of 2001. Six years later, Kanye West has sampled the song for “Stronger”, salted it with a pinch of Nietzsche, and, in addition to a number one position in the USA, also picked up a Grammy Award for it.
By the way, not the last success on this stage, because Daft Punk also came to the due honor – a live version of their original was also awarded the coveted prize in 2009.
03. Tom Petty – I Won’t Back Down
Tom Petty, who is unfortunately no longer with us, was initially unsure whether he should release this number, which he wrote together with Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra), due to the unusually clear nature of “I won’t back down”. Fortunately, he finally did in 1989! Petty was also supported in the studio by ex-Beatle George Harrison, whose contribution on guitar resulted in a wonderful hymn to his own perseverance.
In the domestic singles charts, the US rocker climbed with the song at the time to twelfth place.
04. Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over
Sometimes you have to reassure yourself with a little emphasis that a certain period of your life has now come to an end. If you’re looking for the soundtrack for a hopefully self-fulfilling prophecy of this kind, you’ll find it in the British band Florence and the Machine: “Dog Days Are Over” was the second single from their debut album “Lungs” and was first released in the fall of 2008.
Since then, the infectiously upbeat number has been featured in many of the Commercials and film trailers or in the context of sporting events that have been used! The song was most successful in the United States, where it went quadruple platinum.
05. Elton John – I’m Still Standing
Sir Elton Hercules John has reportedly gone on the record himself saying that this hit (one of his biggest that isn’t also a ballad) was a direct response to his continued success: while other established artists were in danger of being overtaken by new trends in the early 1980s, the flashy Brit continued to stay relevant and was obviously happy about it on this 1983 single. She owed her international chart positions in part to the music video shot in Cannes – even if its creation seemed temporarily jeopardized by a drinking bout with Duran Duran.
06. Drake – Started from the Bottom
…now we’re here! Drake proves with this track, which has become a versatile internet meme, that motivation can be conveyed not only through driving music: The comparatively minimalist instrumentation relies mainly on piano and drums, while the Canadian rappers on the lyrical side, dealing with his career beginnings and the hurdle-laden path to the top. In the single charts, this could not be achieved – that “Started from the Bottom” was awarded at the BET Hip-Hop Awards as Track of the Year 2013, however, may have been a consolation for Drake.
07. John Cafferty – Heart’s on Fire
There are a lot of songs that motivate. But how many people cause you to climb a snow-covered mountain in the former Soviet Union in a hurry and without any equipment, just to shout the name of your bitter arch-enemy from the summit into the patient sky? Eben.
John Cafferty’s contribution to the soundtrack of the fourth “Rocky” flick represents another musical highlight of this series, which was still able to inspire even at the height of its posterity. Anyone feeling this typical 80s power number is definitely ready for their own “fight of the century”!
08. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
This hit from 1978 is undoubtedly one of the best known and most successful representatives of the legendary disco era: both in the domestic USA and in the UK, Gloria Gaynor was able to hold her own at the top of the charts with her musically processed story of heartbreak. Instead of continuing to mope and lament her ex’s inglorious behavior, her lyrical self gradually realizes that life goes on even without a partner.
This recording, very “natural” for its time, has therefore become an absolute classic in the songbook of the defiant Breakup songs have become!
09. Mike V and the Rats – Never Give Up
Sometimes (and best in rather short spurts) anger and motivation are quite close to each other. For moments like this, Mike V and the Rats provide the ideal accompaniment: The punk band led by the scene’s well-known skateboarder Mike Vallely punk band released this song on their self-titled EP from 2002 and doesn’t need two minutes to get right to the point with the middle finger set to music.
You just believe Vallely when he yells the title line mantra-like – and not just knowing that years later he would make it behind the microphone of genre legend Black Flag.
10. The Game featuring 50 Cent – Hate It Or Love It
Prior to their media-fueled feud, these two U.S. rappers delivered a highlight of their respective careers together in 2005: On a soulful, soul-inspired production by Cool & Dre (with the collaboration of Dr. Dre and a sample of “Rubber Band”), the lyrical opponent is reminded that the underdog made it to the top… whether he likes it or not!
The single climbed as high as second on the Billboard charts and was ranked 43rd by VH1, when after the best rap songs was in demand.
11. Stan Bush – The Touch
This almost four-minute pep talk in music form has come to justifiable fame, especially through its use in the “Transformers” animated film of 1986. Occasionally, life doesn’t require profound advice, just a few words of encouragement – and few surpass Stan Bush’s hauntingly emotional “You Can Do This”!” message.
Due to its extremely motivating effect, “The Touch” was used many times in subsequent years for other video games, TV series, or films, with Mark Wahlberg’s performance of the song in “Boogie Nights” certainly being one of the most memorable references.
12. The Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want
In the scandal-ridden hit novel “American Psycho” by Bret Easton Ellis, main character Patrick Bateman names this Stones classic from 1969 as his “own” song saddest song, which he knows (…and wrongly assigns it to the Beatles). In doing so, he makes the popular mistake of judging it solely on its title line. Finally, the real wisdom follows directly: With his “But if you try sometimes you find / You get what you need” Mick Jagger reminds us that “want” and “need” are two different things and at the end of the day it might be the latter that counts.
A realization that should be recalled from time to time!
13. Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
There it is again: For “Rocky III” star and director Sylvester Stallone actually wanted to use Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” as background music, but the British refused the release. So he contacted Survivor, who as a result wrote the biggest hit of their career! “Eye of the Tiger” is a gripping hard rock number that, in keeping with the film’s plot, exhorts you not to let your inner fire go out because of initial successes and incipient comforts.
In the U.S., this message was spread from the top of the charts for six weeks in 1982, with a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance to boot.
14. Kanye West – Power
“Yeezy” is by no means lacking in a strong sense of self-confidence, which the U.S. rapper and producer, fortunately, expresses not only in the form of sometimes confused statements: In addition to his aforementioned treatment of “Stronger,” he has also written a driving ode to himself with “Power” – released on the critically acclaimed 2010 album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” – that almost inevitably rubs off on listeners. The elaborately produced song uses samples from “21st Century Schizoid Man” by the English prog-rockers King Crimson and earned West a Grammy nomination.
15. Paul Stanley – Live To Win
Of course, Paul Stanley is known as the singer and guitarist of Kiss, but perhaps his most motivating composition ever is on his second solo album. The album was released in 2006 – 28 years after the first album – and is opened by the title track “Live to Win”. Detached from the concept of his main band, Stanley empathically deals with setbacks and low points before drawing his conclusion in the chorus: Fighting instead of hiding, until the last breath!
A large listening audience came across this fabulously propulsive piece through its use in “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” one of the most popular “South Park” episodes.
16. Aaliyah – Try Again
What to do when a plan fails and the hoped-for success initially remains elusive? It’s simple: dust off your shoulder and moves on to the next attempt! Aaliyah reminded us of this equally old and valuable lesson with this Timbaland-produced number from 2000.
It comes from the soundtrack to “Romeo must die”, in which the US singer played the leading female role alongside martial artist Jet Li. With her sound, which was futuristic for the time, Aaliyah reached the top position in the domestic Billboard charts and recorded top-five placements in various other countries.
17. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
Also in the perception of the “Boss” himself, this piece of music seems to occupy a special place, after all the title track of his album released in 1975 was to serve him more than four decades later as the eponym of his own autobiography. Whether it’s because his third record earned him a firm place in mainstream perception at the time and the commercial success that came with it?
Perched on a wall of sound, Springsteen tells of needing to escape his old life to start over in a better place. It truly not the last time he would process quite universally known feelings in a uniquely inspiring way!
18. Paul Engemann – Push It To The Limit
It doesn’t have to be “Rocky” when it comes to unforgettably underscored montages with a motivational effect: In the 1983 gangster epic “Scarface,” main character Tony Montana climbs the next rung on the criminal career ladder after murdering his deceitful mentor, literally swinging his way from rags to riches. His new status and the wealth that comes with it are showcased in a montage that harmonizes perfectly with the song chosen here by Paul Engemann.
No wonder he’s been used many times since then in telling more underdog stories!
19. Oasis – Live Forever
The Gallagher brothers Liam and Noel have never been known to keep their opinions to themselves. Although Noel was an obvious fan of Nirvana, he was bothered by their song “I hate myself and want to die” in the early 1990s and the fact that a celebrated rock star with all his potential was sharing such pessimistic thoughts with a primarily young audience.
Thankfully, Noel expressed his “Well, I’m not fucking having that” sentiment not through catty interviews, but with the incredibly uplifting “Live Forever”! At the time, the song meant the first top ten placement in domestic England, while today it is undisputedly one of the best Oasis compositions ever.
20. Eminem – Lose Yourself
Similar to Aaliyah just a few years earlier, Eminem didn’t miss the opportunity to support his first feature film with his own music. Of course, in the case of “8 Mile”The 2002 flick tells the story of the young rapper B-Rabbit, based on Eminem’s life. While he deals with the insecure film character in the first verse, Em makes the other two autobiographical and recommends in the hook most urgently to use the only chance obligingly!
The US-American artist doesn’t have to surround himself with self-doubt regarding “Lose yourself” – the song reached the top of the charts in more than 20 countries and was also awarded an Oscar.
Places 21-111 songs to motivate you:
Each song is linked to its music video by its title.
|21.||Seven Nation Army||The White Stripes|
|22.||The Final Countdown||Europe|
|24.||Work This Body||Walk the Moon|
|27.||Let’s Go||Calvin Harris|
|28.||Live While We’re Young||One Direction|
|30.||Work Bitch||Britney Spears|
|31.||The Edge of Glory||Lady Gaga|
|32.||Wonderful Night||Fatboy Slim|
|33.||We Are Young||Fun.|
|34.||Don’t Stop Me Now||Queen|
|35.||Heart of a Champion||Nelly|
|37.||Go Your Own Way||Fleetwood Mac|
|39.||Save the World||Swedish House Mafia|
|42.||Big Pimpin’||Jay Z|
|43.||Good Feeling||Flo Rida|
|44.||We Are The Champions||Queen|
|46.||Walking On Sunshine||Katrina & The Waves|
|48.||I Gotta Feeling||Black Eyed Peas|
|49.||Lust For Life||Iggy Pop|
|50.||Don’t Stop Believin’||Journey|
|51.||Cherry Bomb||The Runaways|
|52.||Na Na Na||My Chemical Romance|
|53.||It’s My Life||Bon Jovi|
|54.||Return To Innocence||Enigma|
|57.||The Show Must Go On||Queen|
|58.||Run the World||Beyoncé|
|59.||Mr. Brightside||The Killers|
|61.||On Top of the World||Imagine Dragons|
|62.||Don’t Worry Be Happy||Bobby McFerrin|
|64.||The Middle||Jimmy Eat World|
|65.||Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)||Kelly Clarkson|
|66.||Feeling Myself||Nicki Minaj ft. Beyoncé|
|67.||Hips Don’t Lie||Shakira|
|68.||Get Up, Stand Up||Bob Marley|
|69.||Just What I Needed||The Cars|
|72.||Beautiful Life||Ace of Base|
|73.||Hungry Like the Wolf||Duran Duran|
|74.||Don’t Give Up||Peter Gabriel|
|76.||Heal the World||Michael Jackson|
|77.||Ain’t No Mountain High Enough||Marvin Gaye|
|79.||Let It Be||The Beatles|
|80.||You Gotta Be||Des Ree|
|81.||Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World||Israel Kamakawiwo’ole|
|82.||No Sleep Till Brooklyn||Beastie Boys|
|83.||Just a Girl||No Doubt|
|84.||Right Now||Van Halen|
|85.||Since U Been Gone||Kelly Clarkson|
|86.||The Phoenix||Fall Out Boy|
|87.||It’s My Life||No Doubt|
|88.||I Feel Good (I Got You)||James Brown|
|92.||The Pretender||Foo Fighters|
|93.||Good Time||Owl City|
|94.||Mr. Blue Sky||Electric Light Orchestra|
|95.||Want to Want Me||Jason Derulo|
|96.||Pocketful of Sunshine||Natasha Bedingfield|
|97.||Sexy and I Know It||LMFAO|
|100.||Get Ur Freak On||Missy Elliott|
|101.||Life in Color||OneRepublic|
|102.||Girl On Fire||Alicia Keys|
|103.||Raise Your Glass||P!nk|
|104.||Immigrant Song||Led Zeppelin|
|107.||The World’s Greatest||R. Kelly|
|108.||What A Wonderful World||Louis Armstrong|
|109.||Hall of Fame||The Script|
|110.||Live Your Life||T.I.|
|111.||You Raise Me Up||Josh Groban|
Motivational songs Spotify playlist:
Sometimes it’s damn hard to leave a motivational hole again. Whether you’re facing an exciting new chapter in your life, want to pass an important exam, or simply need an extra energy boost for your next training session: The 20 diverse entries on this list should have the right pick-me-up ready for almost any situation!
If you were looking for songs for your fitness program, also visit these playlists: