One of the quickest ways to perk you up when you’re exhausted or just feeling down is to play a song that gets your blood pumping and whose lyrics remind you to keep chugging on. So take a break, put on your earphones, and get dancing to these top tunes!
1. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
Recorded for her 2014 album 1989, this song is a reminder to “shake it off” when people try to get you down. An article on Time.com quotes Swift: “I’ve learned a pretty tough lesson that people can say whatever they want about us at any time, and we cannot control that. The only thing we can control is our reaction to that.”
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate / Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake / I shake it off, I shake it off!”
2. “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys
This is the lead single from the album of the same title, and singer-songwriter Alicia Keys is said to have been inspired by her marriage and the birth of her son during the writing of this song.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “Oh, we got our feet on the ground / And we’re burning it down / Oh, got our head in the clouds / And we’re not coming down / This girl is on fire…”
3. “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls
Any child of the ’90s will recognize this track immediately. This song catapulted the British girl group Spice Girls to instant fame. Not only is the tune catchy and upbeat, but its message about the importance of friendship makes it a must-have on any list of girl power anthems.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “If you wanna be my lover / You gotta get with my friends (gotta get with my friends) / Make it last forever / Friendship never ends / If you wanna be my lover / You have got to give / Taking is too easy, but that’s the way it is…”
4. “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé
This song is from Beyoncé Knowle’s 2011 album, 4, and its heavy beat and aggressive lyrics are great for getting your blood pumping and your adrenaline rushing when you’re prepping for a bare-your-teeth-and-win-this moment.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: My persuasion can build a nation / Endless power / With our love we can devour / You’ll do anything for me / Who run the world? Girls!”
5. “Roar” by Katy Perry
If you need a reminder that it’s important to share your feelings instead of bottling them inside, check out Katy Perry’s song from her 2013 album, Prism. Mirror.co.uk quotes an interview with Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, in which the singer-songwriter said, “This new song is called Roar. It’s a bit of a self-empowering type of song…. I wrote it because I was sick of keeping all these feelings inside and not speaking up for myself, which caused a lot of resentment…. Obviously I’ve been through a lot of therapy since my last record and that’s what this is about.”
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire / ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar louder / Louder than a lion / ‘Cause I am a champion / And you’re gonna hear me roar…”
6. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin
Although this song was originally released by Otis Redding, it was R&B goddess Aretha Franklin who made it a hit—she won two Grammy awards on the back of it, and the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987 as well as being listed as one of the songs of the century by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T / Find out what it means to me / R-E-S-P-E-C-T / Take care, TCB…”
7. “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield
The first of Bedingfield’s songs to make it to the top 10 in the Billboard Hot 100, this single is from the British singer-songwriter’s debut album of the same title. You might recognize this Grammy-nominated song as one used in a popular Pantene commercial, but it’s a great reminder of the fact that you are the author of your own life story—so start writing it.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “Feel the rain on your skin / No one else can feel it for you / Only you can let it in / No one else, no one else / Can speak the words on your lips / Drench yourself in words unspoken / Live your life with arms wide open / Today is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten…”
8. “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan
This song was recorded by Chaka Khan for her debut solo album in 1978, although a version of it was later recorded by Whitney Houston for the soundtrack of the movie The Bodyguard. The song’s celebratory tune and lyrics make for a great confidence boosting track for the days when you might be feeling low.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “I’m every woman, it’s all in me / Anything you want done, baby / I’ll do it naturally / I’m every woman, it’s all in me / I can read your thoughts right now / Every one from A to Z!”
9. “Independent Women, Part 1” by Destiny’s Child
Written for the 2000 film Charlie’s Angels, this song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for a 2001 Grammy. And why not? It’s a song performed by three fierce women written for a movie about three other fierce women.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics:“The shoes on my feet, I’ve bought it / The clothes I’m wearing, I’ve bought it / The rock I’m rockin’, I’ve bought it / ‘Cause I depend on me…”
10. “Can’t Hold Us Down” by Christina Aguilera featuring Lil’ Kim
Recorded for Christina Aguilera’s 2002 album, Stripped, this song was nominated for a Grammy and made it to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. The song’s lyrics condemn gender double standards and remind women that they should have just as much right to embrace their sexuality as men do.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “This is for my girls all around the world / Who’ve come across a man who don’t respect your worth / Thinking all women should be seen, not heard / So what do we do girls? Shout out loud!”
11. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson
Originally titled “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” this song topped over a dozen Billboard charts and remains one of pop-rock icon Kelly Clarkson’s best-known songs globally. And although it’s a breakup song, its lyrics bear a fierce reminder that hard times only serve to toughen you up.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger / Stand a little taller / Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone / What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter / Footsteps even lighter / Doesn’t mean I’m over cause you’re gone…”
12. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
Last but certainly not least on this list is a girl anthem for the ages. This was recorded for Cyndi Lauper’s debut album, She’s So Unusual, and became her breakthrough hit, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains one of the signature songs of the ’80s as well as one of the absolute must-haves on any girl-power song list. Versions of the song have been recorded by artists like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Jessie J, and more.
Sing-It-Out-Loud Lyrics: “Some boys take a beautiful girl / And hide her away from the rest of the world / I want to be the one to walk in the sun / Oh girls they want to have fun / Oh girls just want to have / That’s all they really want / Some fun…”
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Liana Smith Bautista is an article writer, web content manager, manuscript copy editor, and blogger—and she thinks it's awesome that she earns her living marketing on her love for the written word.