Ladies, listen up! If you’re looking for a playlist that celebrates everything about being a woman, this one’s for you!
Today, women are more empowered than ever. We are slowly working towards equal rights, and more and more women are taking on jobs and duties that we used to think only men can do. We have women owning companies, being top artists, being recognized in fields dominated by men, and so much more! So what better way to celebrate that than with some songs that will make you feel proud to be a woman.
The next time you’re feeling a little low, give these songs a listen and remind yourself how awesome it is to be a woman in this world!
1. Lesley Gore – You Don’t Own Me
While you may know this song from the version sung by Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton in First Wives Club, this song was originally sung by a 17-year-old Leslie Gore. At a time when women were often treated like property, this song challenged the notion by telling men that women should be able to live the way they want.
Empowering lyrics: And don’t tell me what to do. Don’t tell me what to say. And please, when I go out with you, don’t put me on display.
2. Aretha Franklin – Respect
Of course, we can’t forget about Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, and her hit song Respect. During her time, women’s rights were still quite limited, and releasing a song about women deserving some respect may have been a little controversial. But Aretha pushed through and sang this anthem about strong, independent women who deserve all the respect!
Empowering lyrics: All I’m asking is for a little respect when you come home, just a little bit. Hey baby, just a little bit, when you get home.
3. Dolly Parton – Just Because I’m a Woman
This country song was way ahead of its time because of the way it addressed the double standards women face. She talks about how men and women can make do the same things and make the same “mistakes,” but it’s women who are shamed. Now if that’s not an anti-slut shaming song, I don’t know what is!
Empowering lyrics: And I’m sorry that I’m not the woman you thought I’d be. But listen and understand: my mistakes are no worse than yours just because I’m a woman.
4. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
This is the ultimate breakup song for women who don’t need no man to feel strong and empowered. It was a huge hit back in the 70s, and it still is to this day. So the next time you’re feeling down and low because some guy dared to break up with you, play this powerful song and learn that there’s more to life than feeling sorry for yourself.
Empowering lyrics: I’m not that chained-up little person and still in love with you, and so you felt like dropping in and just expect me to be free. Well now I’m saving all my loving for someone who’s loving me… Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with goodbye. Do you think I’d crumble? Do you think I’d lay down and die?
5. Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
Want a catchy anthem to dance to while showing the world what you’ve got? Then this is perfect song for you. Whether you’re coming out with a better version of yourself or “coming out” as in embracing your sexuality, this is the song that will get you right in the mood!
Empowering lyrics: I’ve got to show the world all that I wanna be, and all my abilities. There’s so much more to me. Somehow, I have to make them just understand. I got it well in hand, and how I’ve planned. I’m spreading the love. There is no need to fear. And I just feel so good.
6. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Covered time and again by popular contemporary artist, this song about shedding the shackles of oppressive rules stands the test of time. It’s one of those feminist anthems that tells the world that girls are allowed to have as much fun as anyone else!
Empowering 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 just wanna have fun.
7. Meredith Brooks – Bitch
A controversial title, for sure, but one worthy of admiration. This hit song from the 90s talks about all the things that a woman can be. And while you may call her a bitch for not conforming to the cookie cutter roles set by society, she doesn’t care because she can be whoever she wants to be!
Empowering lyrics: I’m a bitch, I’m a tease. I’m a goddess on my knees. When you hurt, when you suffer, I’m your angel undercover. I’ve been numb, I’m revived, can’t say I’m not alive. You know I wouldn’t want it any other way.
8. Spice Girls – Wannabe
What playlist about girl power would be complete without this hit from the Spice Girls? The Spice Girls were known for their songs about the unbreakable bond between female friends. And at a time where a lot of women were pitted against each other for their looks and their talent, these ladies showed us that there’s nothing quite like being friends with a fellow female! In this track, they’re basically telling a guy that he can’t be with any of them unless the rest of their clique approves.
Empowering lyrics: If you wanna be my lover, you 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.
9. Destiny’s Child – Independent Woman
After the Spice Girls, the next big girl group to celebrate being a woman was Destiny’s Child. The girl band that launched Beyonce’s rise to a feminist icon often sang about being women who don’t need anyone but themselves to rise up in the world. Independent Woman celebrates all the ladies who don’t need no man to make millions.
Empowering lyrics: All the women who are independent, throw your hands up at me. All the honey who makin’ money, throw your hands up at me. All the mamas who profit dollars, throw your hands up at me. All the ladies who truly feel me, throw your hands up at me.
10. Destiny’s Child – Survivor
Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive may have been a hit for ladies surviving a tough breakup back in the day, but this Destiny’s Child track is the new updated version for lovers of RnB. Much in the same vein as I Will Survive, this catchy track talks not only about surviving a breakup, but rising above it stronger and better than ever before.
Empowering lyrics: You thought I’d be weak without you, but I’m stronger. You thought that I’d be broke without you, but I’m richer. You thought that I’d be sad without you, I laugh harder. You thought I wouldn’t grow without you, now I’m wiser. You thought I’d be helpless without you, but I’m smarter. You thought that I’d be stressed without you, but I’m chillin’. You thought I wouldn’t sell without you, sold 9 million.
11. Britney Spears – Stronger
Shedding her teen idol persona was one of Britney’s boldest and best moves. And one of the songs that skyrocketed her transition is Stronger. While a breakup song, it talks about how she was able to get over a relationship that wasn’t working out for her, and now she’s stronger than ever.
Empowering lyrics: I used to go with the flow, didn’t really care ‘bout me. You might think that I can’t take it, but you’re wrong. Stronger than yesterday. Now it’s nothing but my way. My loneliness ain’t killing me no more. I’m stronger.
12. Christina Aguilera – Fighter
Now for a song from The Voice of a Generation. Christina’s powerful voice is perfect for this song about learning from a rough relationship and coming out stronger than ever. Fighter is one of Christina’s attempts at a rock song, and she was widely praised for rising above her pop princess persona.
Empowering lyrics: It makes me that much stronger, makes me work a little bit harder. It makes me that much wiser, so thanks for making me a fighter. Made me learn a little bit faster, made my skin a little bit thicker. Makes me that much smarter, so thanks for making me a fighter.
13. Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
Let’s tone things down a bit with a soulful ballad about loving oneself. As one of Christina’s strongest songs, it resonated with not only women, but also the LGBT community for its message about self-empowerment and inner beauty. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, and Christina reminds us of this fact in her hit song.
Empowering lyrics: I am beautiful no matter what they say. Words can’t bring me down. I am beautiful in every single way, yes words can’t bring me down. So don’t you bring me down today.
14. Colbie Callait – Try
Every day, women are bombarded with people telling them they’re not good enough – from beauty magazines to photoshopped billboards to fellow females whose insecurities lead them to insult other women. Brave beautifully and eloquently tells all you women out there that there’s only one person whose approval should matter above anyone else’s – yours.
Empowering lyrics: You don’t have to try so hard. You don’t have to give it all away. You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up. You don’t have to change a single thing.
15. Katy Perry – Roar
A very fitting song for cat lover Katy Perry, Roar tells the struggles of a girl who used to be so afraid of expressing herself. But she eventually overcame her fears and learned to break free from the silence, so she can speak her mind. It’s great song with a catchy tune and an even better message about learning to fight for your voice.
Empowering lyrics: You held me down, but I got up. Already brushing off the dust. You hear my voice, you hear that sound like thunder gonna shake the ground. You held me down, but I got up. Get ready ‘cause I’ve had enough. I see it all, I see it now.
16. Sara Bareilles – Brave
Brave is a song with a simple message – despite the fear and the doubt, you know you have it in you to be brave through it all. Here’s a little girl power trivia about this song: Did you know that Katy Perry’s Roar was criticized for being too similar to this Sara Bareilles song? And to respond to this, Sara simply expressed how upset she was that there’s even a negative spin to two artists choosing to share positive messages. You go, girl!
Empowering lyrics: Kept on the inside and no sunlight. Sometimes a shadow wins, but I wonder what would happen if you say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.
17. Beyonce feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
You know how in fairy tales the princess’ idea of a happy ending is getting married to a prince? Well this song scraps that ideal to tell women that there’s more to life than being attractive to a man who might eventually marry you. This strongly feminist song talks about the importance of being able to choose your future, of having ambition, and being successful in their own way.
Empowering lyrics: (Aside from the inspiring speech given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) I took some time to live my life, but don’t think I’m just his little wife. Don’t get it twisted, don’t get it twisted. This my sh*t, now down bitches.
18. Mary Lambert – Secrets
Here’s a lesser known song that deserves a spot in any girl power playlist. We all have our secrets, and sometimes we work so hard to keep them hidden from everyone. But there are some things about you that you may not be proud of, but it’s better to leave it out in the open. Hiding who you are will only stop you from progress, so embrace your flaws and roll with it!
Empowering lyrics: They tell us from the time we’re young to hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves, inside ourselves. I know I’m not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else. Well, I’m over it. I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are.
19. Fifth Harmony – That’s My Girl
If you ever need a song that’s going to cheer you on as you get back up on your feet, That’s My Girl is the song to play! Not only is it a dance-worthy song with lyrics about overcoming challenges, but it also has a shout out to one of the Destiny’s Child songs we have on the list.
Empowering lyrics: You’ve been down before. You’ve been hurt before. You got up before. You’ll be good to go, good to go. Destiny said it, you got to get up and get it. Get mad independent and don’t you ever forget it. Got some dirt on your shoulder, then let me brush it off for ya. If you’re feeling me, put your five high. That’s my girl!
20. Beyonce – Run the World
Undoubtedly the number one anthem for the modern girl is this hit song by Queen Bey herself. It’s simple, catchy, and so much fun to dance to when you just want to celebrate being a woman. Run the World is a fun, fearless song about powerful women who can do it all. No girl power playlist would be complete without it!
Empowering lyrics: We’re smart enough to make these millions. Strong enough to bear the children. Then get back to business. See, you better not play me.
These 20 songs are guaranteed to make you proud to be a woman. So whenever you feel like the world is pulling you don’t just because you’re a girl, rise up, fight back, and hit them hard with the perfect soundtrack for your comeback! You are a strong, independent woman, and these songs are your battle cry!