Motivational songs have the power to move us- onwards and upwards. How many times have you felt flat and uninspired when all of a sudden, your favourite pop song comes on the radio and your mood changes instantly.
It might be the lyrics of the song that seems to be written just for you or it’s instrumental beat or rhythm that gets your pulse racing.
Motivational songs can help us running, studying, working, you name it.
So why the high when I hear one of my favourite motivational songs?
Whether you’re into rock, reggae, hindi or hip hop when your brain reacts and you start dancing to the beat or singing along with the lyrics.
These actions create peak happiness, and up go your dopamine levels.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres.
It’s a bit like a drug but better – it’s free, safe and totally legal!
So that's why everybody needs their very own motivational music playlist to turn to in times of celebration, frustration, for inspiration or good old dance perspiration.
There’s a huge list of options for motivational song playlists on YouTube and Spotify, or you can create your own daily dopamine fix.
We present you with an epic playlist of 20 motivational songs which you can follow on Spotify, or stream them from YouTube below.
Listen on Spotify
Listen on YouTube
Song Name: Love Myself
Artist Name: Hailee Steinfeld
Genre: Electro Pop, Dance Pop
Motivation style: For workout and self- care
Feeling a bit down on yourself after scrolling through too many perfectly curated Insta accounts? This one will remind you to prioritise yourself. Also check out Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’
Song Name: Money on my Mind
Artist Name: Sam Smith
Album: In the Lonely Hour
Genre: Pop, R&B
Motivation style: For work
Fed up with your boss? Low on cash? This one will get you focused in the mornings and maybe scanning the job ads
Song Name: We are Young
Artist Name: Fun.
Album: Some Nights
Motivation style: For fun with friends
Throw your arms around your close mates and sing this one together like an anthem. That stuff about only being young once? Sadly, it’s true.
Song Name: Let’s Go
Artist Name: Calvin Harris feat Ne-Yo
Album: 18 Months
Motivation style: Before a workout or for studying
Finding it hard to muster the energy to get to the gym or finish your study for that last exam? Pump this up loud to get the job done.
Song Name: Don’t Stop the Music
Artist Name: Rihanna
Album: Good Girl Gone Bad
Motivation style: For exercise
We defy you to stand still when this song comes on. Think of it as a pre-club workout
Song Name: Chandelier
Artist Name: Sia
Album: 1000 Forms of Fear
Genre: Electro Pop/R&B
Motivation style: For self-motivation
This song has one of the best music videos ever made. It will literally have you swinging from the chandelier. Just don’t shatter the glass trying to hit the high notes
Song Name: You’re the Voice
Artist Name: John Farnham
Album: Whispering Jack
Genre: Rock/Pop Rock
Motivation style: For aspiring singers or those passionate about a cause
Thinking of going into politics or joining a not for profit? This is the anthem for you
Song Name: Stronger (what doesn’t kill you)
Artist Name: Kelly Clarkson
Motivation style: Recovering from a broken heart or crisis
An ode for the broken hearted, the cast of Glee have even covered this one
Song Name: Eye of the Tiger
Artist Name: Survivor
Album: Eye of the Tiger
Motivation style: Challenging situations, sport
That rousing guitar riff at the start is a call to arms. If you don’t feel pumped after listening to this song get your heart checked.
Song Name: Long Way to the Top
Artist Name: AC/DC
Album: T.N.T./High Voltage
Genre: Hard rock
Motivation style: For work/aspiring Rock stars
This song is for every would-be head banger who has played air guitar in their bedroom. Shame that bit about it being tougher than it looks is true
Song Name: Survivor
Artist Name: Destiny’s Child
Motivation style: To build resilience
The ladies of Destiny’s Child are a force to be reckoned with. That boyfriend who dumped you will be a distant memory by the time you’ve finished listening to this
Song Name: I Gotta Feeling
Artists name: Black Eyed Peas
Album: The E.N.D.
Motivation style: Before a party or night out
Best played at full volume whilst jumping up and down before you go out.
Song Name: Theme from Rocky/Gonna Fly Now
Artist Name: Bill Conti
Album: Rocky Soundtrack
Motivational Style: Before a work out or sports event
An oldie but a goodie, if you don’t know who Rocky Balboa is, it’s time to find out.
Song name: Heroes
Artist name: David Bowie
Who really knows what the lyrics to Bowie’s songs mean but the chorus to this one is unsurpassed. Don’t we all want to be Kings and Queens?
Song name: Born to run
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album: Born to run
Motivational Style: Freedom
Bruce’s ode to running away is a siren call to live the best life you can. Turn it up loud, grab your tennis racquet and air guitar your heart out.
Song name: Firework
Artist: Katy Perry
Album: Teenage Dream
Motivational style: Self- care
A favourite of cheerleading pre- teens the world over this song is great inspiration for those feeling worthless and lacking confidence and will leave you feeling upbeat and positive
Song name: New York New York
Artist: Frank Sinatra
Album: New York soundtrack
Motivational Style: Travel
For those aspiring to great things and keen to explore the world, this is your theme song.
Song Name: Lose Yourself
Artist Name: Eminem
Album: 8 Mile
Genre: Rap/ Rock
Motivation style: For self-motivation, aspiring musicians
If AC/DC’s ‘Long way to the top’ is an ode to sheer graft and hard work Eminem takes it a step further and tells us we need to lose ourselves in the music, the moment. Another one for aspiring musicians (wanting to challenge themselves linguistically).
Song Name: Don’t Stop Believing
Artist Name: Journey
Motivation style: For kids’ motivation, for students
It’s big ballady and old schooly and let’s face it a bit cheesy but geez its good. A karaoke favourite, the kids will love it too.
Song Name: We are the Champions
Artist Name: Queen
Album: News of the World
Genre: Arena Rock
Motivation style: For sports
Queen songs could be a subcategory of motivational songs in their own right. See also I want to Break Free, We will Rock You and Don’t Stop me now