If you love an inspiring song as much as I do, check out the ones I’ve collected below. I’ll keep adding to this playlist as I find new music that celebrates who we are at our best. If you know of a song that belongs here, let me know!
“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
Update Sept. 30 2014… had to add “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift — I LOVE IT. I wish I’d had that kind of attitude when I was young, don’t you? (Unless you are young, and then I hope you already have it!) I think this video deserves the more-than-132-million views it’s had on YouTube already. Let’s keep watching it and sharing it until every girl alive has this kind of sass.
“Brave” by Sara Barielles
This has been my theme song for the past few weeks. The first recording is the official version and the second — which is so heartwarming it made me cry — is of the staff and patients at a children’s hospital doing their own rendition. A sample of the lyrics: “Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out, honestly I want to see you be brave.”
“Brave” at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital — real people being really brave!
“Video” by India Arie
“I’m not the average girl from your video, and I ain’t built like a supermodel, but I learned to love myself unconditionally because I am a queen.”
“Ugly” by Sugababes
Great video of all kinds of people being themselves. “People are all the same, and we only get judged by what we do. Personality reflects name, and if I’m ugly then so are you, so are you.”
“Give the Love Around” by The Script
I love this song and its message about the ripples we send out into the world. Love really is what it’s all about.
“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction
“If only you saw what I can see you’d understand why I need you so desperately. Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe you don’t kno-o-ow, you don’t know you’re beautiful.”
“Can’t Take That Away From Me” by Mariah Carey
Inspired by the Columbine school shootings and her own personal challenges, Carey wrote this song about being strong and at peace with yourself.
“Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
I think Lady Gaga is really creative and brave. “Born This Way” encourages other people to be brave, too; she said the whole album (of the same name) is “about what keeps us up at night and makes us afraid.” The song deals with self-acceptance regardless of race or sexual orientation.
“Do Your Own Thing” by Raven-Symone
Remember the Cheetah Girls? Like many Disney programs aimed at teen girls, this one had some good messages about being yourself (despite the fact that the actresses are fabulously talented and pretty). Sample lyrics: “You gotta do your own thing, and dance your own way…”