10 Inspirational Songs by Powerful Women to Boost Your Self-Love
Isn’t it crazy how music can change your mood in an instant? The next time you’re bummed out, do yourself a favor and hit “Play” on your favorite music device. Whether you need a pick-me-up after a tough day, a reminder to relax, or just a reason to dance, think of these inspirational songs as the ultimate self-love soundtrack.
1. “Never Give Up” by Sia
I won’t let you get me down
I’ll keep gettin’ up when I hit the ground
As soon as I saw the video for Sia’s empowering song “Never Give Up” from the soundtrack to the 2016 movie Lion, I recognized where it was shot. It looks like an old train station, but it’s actually Travel Town, a railway museum in Los Angeles. Trains are a powerful metaphor for following your heart, because you have to stay on track if you want to reach your destination. Get the lyrics stuck in your head, and you’ll feel so good about yourself, you’ll be ready to take on the world.
2. “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper
Many of Demi Lovato’s inspirational songs take listeners on a soul-baring and emotional journey, but “Skyscraper” feels especially uplifting. At the beginning of the video, Lovato looks so fragile, it’s easy to believe she sometimes feels like she’s made of paper or glass—but by the end of the chorus, she shows how strong she is behind all that sensitivity. This is the perfect inspiring song for overcoming a moment of weakness or conquering self-doubt. If you have the habit of tearing yourself down, it’s time to cut that out, because you deserve better. Show some self-love and start building yourself up instead.
3. “Control” by Janet Jackson
I’m in control
Never gonna stop
To get what I want
Janet Jackson’s “Control” is about doing what you want instead of what other people tell you to do. The 1986 dance hit was the title track on Jackson’s third album. In the music video, she plays a girl who is ready to move out of her parents’ house, despite their objections. Self-love is about trusting yourself to make your own decisions, and knowing that you’ll make the choices that are right for you.
You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
Instead of including a Katy Perry song on this list, I went even further back in time: Helen Reddy’s 1972 hit “I Am Woman” kicks off with the ultimate girl power lyric— “I am woman, hear me roar.” (Do you think that line inspired Katy Perry’s “Roar” so many years later? It’s a definite possibility.) I love this tune, because Reddy seems so dang happy and proud to be a woman. The lyrics are all about loving who you are, and knowing that you can overcome any challenge. As far as inspirational songs go, this one makes me want to put on a halter top and some vintage jeans and dance around my apartment.
5. “Learn to Let Go” by Kesha
I think it’s time to practice what I preach
Exorcise the demons inside me
Whoa, gotta learn to let it go
Do you beat yourself up over mistakes you made years ago, even though you know you can’t change anything? “Learn to Let Go” from Kesha’s album Rainbow is the self-love song you need to hear right now. Instead of living with regrets, remind yourself that the past can’t haunt you if you don’t let it. You don’t have to block things out and completely forget they ever happened, but try to accept them so you can move forward. Forgive yourself, and focus on the future.
6. “A Little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans
I’m telling myself I’ll be okay
Even on my weakest days
I get a little bit stronger
Sara Evans’ hit “A Little Bit Stronger” reached #1 on the country music charts in 2010, probably because the lyrics are so relatable. Anyone who has ever struggled to recover from a breakup knows how hard that can be. “A Little Bit Stronger” is an inspirational song about how everybody heals at their own pace. All we can do is be kind to ourselves and keep trying. That’s true not just of breakups, but of recovering from any kind of disappointment or hurt. Take it one day at a time, and focus on loving yourself through the pain.
7. “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me, yeah
A big part of self-love is self-care, and the song “Feeling Good” from Nina Simone’s 1965 album I Put a Spell on You, makes me want to do yoga or spend time outdoors. The 2015 Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? tells the story of Nina Simone’s life. If you haven’t seen it, trust me that she went through a lot, and she still found time to think about the breeze drifting by on a beautiful day. Play this song as a reminder to make time for doing nothing. Sometimes those slow, peaceful, relaxing moments are exactly what you need.
8. Feeling Myself by Nicki Minaj, feat. Beyoncé
I’m feelin’ myself, I’m feelin’ myself
I’m feelin’ my, feelin’ myself
There’s something magical about powerful women working together, especially when those women are Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé. Self-love isn’t just about loving yourself as an individual. It’s equally important to surround yourself with the strong support system you deserve. The music video for “Feeling Myself” is exclusive to Tidal, so the embedded version above only has the audio, but the song is great on its own, too. “Feeling Myself” is a celebration of feeling great about yourself inside and out, and it belongs on any self-love playlist. It has a few lyrics that aren’t exactly PG-rated, but hey, life doesn’t come with a PG rating either.
9. “Invincible” by Kelly Clarkson
Now I am invincible
No, I ain’t a scared little girl no more
Yeah, I am invincible
What was I running for?
As far as I know, none of us are actually invincible—but if you have superpowers, I hope you’ll use them for good. I love inspirational songs about believing in yourself, and this one’s about believing in yourself so hard that you feel like a warrior or a shooting star. I wish everyone could feel that way every single day. Today is your day to stop running away from your fears. Crank up this self-love anthem, sing along, and know that you’re brave enough to handle anything.
10. “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves
Follow your arrow
Wherever it points
In the “Follow Your Arrow” video, Kacey Musgraves wears an amazing pair of fringed boots. In other scenes, she wears a fringed red dress. Not only does Musgraves look amazing but also her lyrics make this one of the most inspirational songs on this list. She sings about how no matter what you do in life, people will criticize you for it, so you might as well just do you. I know arrow tattoos were trendy a few years ago, but this song makes me want one, since a reminder to be yourself is always in style.
Want more inspirational songs?
Keep the self-love going and check out 17 Empowering Song Lyrics Every Woman Needs to Hear.