We face challenges every day. For some, getting up out of bed and going to work is a challenge. For others, the challenges are bigger like trying to get over a breakup or the passing of a loved one. Everyone around us always tries to find some motivation to get through their challenge without giving up. We’re all looking for that glimmer of hope amid the chaos that will help us push through and soldier on.
So for those of you facing an obstacle in life, whether great or small, we present to you some awesome songs that will remind you to never give up.
Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World
Let’s start things off with this beautiful classic song that describes all the wonderful things there are in the world. When you stop and consider that there are so many wondrous things out there, it can help shift your perspective into a more positive one. This soothing, uplifting song is a reminder that there’s so much beauty in this world, and it might just be enough to motivate you to keep pursuing your dreams.
Uplifting lyrics: I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
If this song doesn’t make you feel pumped up and ready to go I don’t know what will! Eye of the Tiger is one of those songs that protagonists play as they train to fight the big boss. And even though you’re not in a movie and the big boss might be more than just some guy with a douchey hairstyle, it’s certainly a song that will remind you that you shouldn’t give up!
Uplifting lyrics: Rising up, straight to the top
Had the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive
U2 – Walk On
Here’s a song I suggest listening to on those gloomy days when you just want to lay in bed and wallow in misery. Walk On is literally Bono telling you to get up off your feet and keep moving forward. Even though the end of your sorrow and sadness feels a long way off, take those steps and keep walking. After all, as long as you have hope and you keep moving, each step you take is a step closer to happiness.
Uplifting lyrics: I know it aches, how your heart breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on
Modest Mouse – Float On
If U2 tells you to walk on, Modest Mouse will tell you to float. Float On is a little more lighthearted as it’s about some of the setbacks you’d normally experience in life. Backing up into a cop car, getting scammed, getting fired – these are things that people all over the world go through. But they shouldn’t define you. You can always keep your head up and float on above them as you wait for good news to come along.
Uplifting lyrics: Bad news comes, don’t you worry even when it lands
Good news will work its way to all them plans
Queen and David Bowie – Under Pressure
Imagine these two awesome rock stars singing to you from the heavens. Under Pressure is the perfect song to listen to when you feel like life is pushing you down and trying to keep you there. And while it’s true that there are days when life seems to be working against you and all the people around you, you know you can find it in you to try and stand up. Love, whether for a person or your job or your passion, will always give you the strength to rise up and fight back against the pressure.
Uplifting lyrics: Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love, give love, give love, give love?
Jack’s Mannequin – Swim
You know how you sometimes feel like you’re drowning in sorrow, in sadness, in your problems, in all the pressure life puts on you? Swim is the perfect song to listen to when you’re feeling this way. It’s about trying to keep your head above all the things that always seem to drag you down. And even though you’re overwhelmed by it all, remind yourself to not give up and to keep on swimming.
Uplifting lyrics: You gotta swim, swim for your life
Swim for the music that saves when you’re not so sure you’ll survive
All-American Rejects – Move Along
Walk on, float on, move along – see a pattern here? All these bands know what they’re talking about because they know what it’s like to fail. The All-American Rejects are no stranger to this as they’ve experienced band members leaving and getting kicked off a tour. After these early experiences they decided to release their album called Move Along, which includes this title track. They know that it’s disheartening to fail, but that’s no reason to give up!
Uplifting lyrics: When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Katy Perry – Firework
We all go through self-esteem issues sometimes. We sometimes feel like we’re not good enough; we’re not smart enough; we’re not attractive enough. But the thing is, there’s way more to life than comparing ourselves to others. We all have a spark within us that can set us off and make us shine. And this is what Katy Perry wants you to see in her song Firework.
Uplifting lyrics: Maybe a reason why all the doors are closer
So you can open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time, you’ll know
Florence and the Machine – The Dog Days are Over
Here’s another song that you’ll want to play to start off your day; that drum beat is practically guarantee to get you pumped up for the day. It’s less about not giving up, and more like learning to leave the past behind. After all, sometimes it’s our past that keeps us from moving forward. Dog Days are Over is about finally letting go of all the things that are dragging you down – whether it’s negativity, toxic friends, unhealthy relationships, and bad habits.
Uplifting lyrics: Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive
Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
We all know how divided people can be when it comes to talking about Taylor Swift. She has rabid fans who will defend her every move. But she also has haters who try their hardest to find anything to hate about her. This catchy pop tune is possibly the best comeback she has for all those people who hate her. Shake It Off is simply about shaking off the negativity from people around you. When people criticize you and tell you that you can’t do something, it can be pretty disheartening. It might just be enough to make you want to give up. But whenever you feel that way about people talking bad about you, listen to this song and learn to shake it off!
Uplifting lyrics: But I keep cruising, cant’s stop won’t stop grooving
It’s like I got this music in my mind
Saying it’s gonna be all right
Mulan – I’ll Make a Man Out of You
You’ve all seen Mulan, right? If you haven’t, go check it out! This might just be one of Disney’s most uplifting songs about not giving up. I’ll Make a Man Out of You is a song from their training montage. Mulan’s troop might just be the worst bunch of soldiers in training around. But even though it’s so tempting to give up, they do their best to become the warriors they’re training to become.
Uplifting lyrics: We must be swift as a coursing river
With all the force of a great typhoon
With all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon
Chumbawumba – Tumbthumping
Here’s one of those nostalgic songs for the 90s that you may have had to dance to when you were in grade school. Amid the political meanings behind the song (as the band is known to change the lyrics to fit the event), you’ll notice that it’s basically about not giving up no matter how often you get knocked down. You can drink the night away, celebrate, and then get back up the next day and keep moving towards your goal.
Uplifting lyrics: I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
Matisyahu – One Day
You might notice that most of the songs on this list are about not giving up as a person. But here’s one from Matisyahu about all of us as a society not giving up on building a better world for future generations. We can’t give up on the human race. Even if there are wars being waged in the name of greed and people are getting killed left and right, there is hope in there. So no matter how awful things seem to be, there are still many of us who are working towards stopping all these wars and making the world a more peaceful place.
Uplifting lyrics: One day this all will change, treat people the same
Stop with the violence, down with the hate
One day we’ll all be free and proud to be
Under the same sun singing songs of freedom
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now
Because Queen is so awesome, they get two spots on this list. Don’t Stop Me Now starts off like a slow ballad then it builds up to a high-energy, get-up-and-dance type of song that’s sure to uplift your spirits no matter your mood. It’s a song that will motivate you to gain some momentum, keep moving, and let nothing stop you.
Uplifting lyrics: Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time
I’m having a ball, don’t stop me now
Israel Kalako’ole – Somewhere Over the Rainbow
To cap off this list is this sweet classic song. This cover by Israel Kalako’ole mixes the uplifting lyrics of the Judy Garland classic with the relaxing sound of the ukulele. This is one of those songs that can bring you to tears while making you feel overjoyed at the same time. So as the song says, dare to dream because these dreams can come true.
Uplifting lyrics: Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true
Whatever it is you’re going through that’s making you feel like giving up, know that there is a way out. And on those days when you’re feeling utterly hopeless and miserable, allow these songs to remind you to keep moving!