Finding motivational songs that really, well, motivate me, can be a troubling task. The beat is either too slow, or there isn’t enough bass, or the lyrics just don’t scream, “MOTIVATION! YOU’RE AMAZING AND CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT!” and that’s something very important to someone whose music library is an emotional link to their brain, aka me. So if you feel the same way, and just can’t find an ass-kickin’ song to motivate you to get shit done, I’ve made a list of my top ten. (I use the number ten loosely – it took me forever to decide which songs are really the best.)
1. Power by Kanye West
Probably the most cliché song to start off this list with, but there’s something about Kanye West that I love, and I haven’t figured out exactly what it is yet. But I love everything about this song. From the haunting chants in the background, to the intricate drumbeats, you can’t help but feel like you really do have all of that power. You are one powerful human being, and you can do anything you put your mind to. And quite possibly, Kanye’s large, vat of confidence rubs off onto those of us who aren’t quite as brave to love ourselves like Kanye loves Kanye. This is definitely a motivator song. 10/10 would listen again.
2. I Don’t Care by Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy is one of those bands that never fails to create songs that make me feel empowered. This song is just one of theirs that I particularly love, and I think the motto that Patrick Stump sings out to us is an amazing one to follow: “I don’t care what you think, as long as it’s about me.” I find everyone my age often does care too much about what other people think, particularly our friends and classmates. In reality, it doesn’t matter. If you’re still in high school, you aren’t going to see majority of these people after you graduate, and the same goes for university or college. Do what you want to do. Don’t let other people dictate what you have to like or wear or enjoy. Life is too short to care. And besides, bad press is still good press – right?
3. Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC
I love AC/DC. Words cannot describe the love that I have for this band. Their songs have always been powerful, with guitar riffs and drum beats that make me wish I was truly rock n’ roll like them. Shoot to Thrill is just one of their real ‘motivational’ songs for me, but there’s something about Brian Johnson’s voice that I cannot get over in this song. “Shoot to thrill, play to kill,” is a pretty damn good phrase for conquering, well anything. AC/DC rocks. Enough said.
4. This Is War by Thirty Seconds to Mars
Probably one of the best music videos ever (in my humble opinion), and an even better song, This Is War always gets my blood pumping for whatever task I’m about to take on, whether it be a huge essay, talking to the boy I may or may not have a crush on, or a big game. Jared Leto has this chilling voice, a voice that makes you really feel what he is singing. I can’t lie – this song has brought me to tears, and not just for the controversial content the music video shows. The powerful ending really makes me feel like by the end, I have accomplished something amazing and I will continue to do so.
5. No Church in the Wild by Kanye West & Jay-Z (Feat. Frank Ocean)
There’s probably a reason Kanye is on this playlist twice, and I don’t have the reason as to why that is, apart from I love his work – and this song has a sick ass beat that makes me want to be Black Widow from The Avengers. The bass in this song is unbelievable, and yes, I’m sure some of you Kanye haters would disagree, and claim there are better songs, with a better bassline. But this song has the power to get me in an ass-kickin’ mood no matter the time, or place. Plus Frank Ocean. Never doubt Frank Ocean.
6. Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars
I know, this list just took an unexpected turn. But I LOVE this song. It gives me the reassurance that even though I’ve messed up, and can’t change the past, sometimes I need to fix it (or at least try to). Also, on the flip side, it gives me the motivation to step over those who have hurt me and move on, because they weren’t worth it anyways. The talent these two have is CRAZY – they deserve a lot of fame.
7. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Bohemian Rhapsody is that universal song. You know what I mean; the one that every single person knows the words to, and will always sing along to. But how could we not? It’s just too awesome. Despite the sad, acoustic beginning, Queen never fails to make me want to climb a mountain with this song. The woeful lyrics make me want to defy everything they say – that I wish I’d never been born at all, or that nothing really matters, etc. The harmonies, the drums, and the composition of the music throughout the whole song is just so wow (professional music critique, right here). Also, that hair really gets me. Gotta love the seventies.
8. Just Desserts by Marina and the Diamonds & Charli XCX
Marina Diamandis is one of those women who just radiates badass. Her album Electra Heart will forever be a favourite of mine. But this song is one of my favourites for getting over those people that stab you in the back, or use you for their own benefit. For me, by even just listening to this song, I’m able to have the satisfaction of getting revenge (without actually getting revenge), because as they say, karma is a bitch. This song is the anthem of reassurance that whoever wronged you will get a taste of their own medicine at some point.
9. Gold by Sir Sly
This song makes me want to wear red lipstick and break boys’ hearts and become the next Marilyn Monroe. The haunting voice of Landon Jacobs combined with a very atmospheric beat, really pushes this song high onto the addiction scale. I’ve listened to this song for hours on end and I can never get enough of it. Every time, I still feel motivated to prove to everyone who has ever put me down that they were wrong, and I can conquer my dream.
10. Come With Me Now by KONGOS
I love this song. I LOVE it. I stumbled upon it by chance, just after KONGOS had released their debut album, Lunatic. I went and purchased the album immediately because I cannot get over the sheer power the lyrics and beat have. This song is definitely in my top ten list of all-time favourites. This is a song that I would want to have for my badass montage scene if I were in a movie. Everything about this song works and sounds crazy amazing. They brought the bloody accordion back into style. Plus, the lyrics are pure genius. “I think I’ve thought myself to death,” – a striking yet simple phrase. “I tried to sell my soul last night, funny, he wouldn’t even take a bite,” really gets me too. What could he possibly have done to make his soul so dark, that even Lucifer himself didn’t want it? This song brings questions and leaves mystery behind as it departs and the final chords end. Honestly, I just don’t have the ability to express my love for this song in words, it is so deep.
I hope you’ve found at least one new song from this list that makes you feel like you can do anything – because you can. You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it and work hard. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t, because they’re wrong.