INTERESTING BITS: 10 Songs That Will Get You Motivated in 30 Seconds or Less
There are songs you like, there are songs you love and then there are songs that give you a swift kick in the pants. The best motivational songs inspire you to live a happier, healthier life with a more positive outlook on the world. Here are a 10 songs with unrelentingly upbeat, “go get ’em, tiger” lyrics. Just try to resist feeling invigorated. Share your own favorite motivational song lyrics in the comments.
1. “Hero,” Mariah Carey
“Look inside you and be strong/And you’ll finally see the truth/That a hero lies in you.” Written by the five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Walter Afanasieff, the single from 1993’s “Music Box” was originally intended to be included in the soundtrack for the Dustin Hoffman film “Hero” and be performed by Gloria Estefan. Carey’s fiancé at the time, Sony Music president and COO Tommy Mottola, liked the song so much, however, that he insisted she keep the song for her own album. Needless to say, it became a hero in her catalog.
2. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” Kelly Clarkson
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger/Stand a little taller.” The first-ever “American Idol” winner won a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for this song. The title track of her 2011 album resonated with pretty much everyone needing a reason to get up and over a life obstacle. “The reason why we came up with ‘Stronger’ [as an album title] was just because every song was about empowerment,” the singer told MTV News in 2011. “And I think after 10 years of doing it, you feel a little stronger personally and musically.”
3. “We are the Champions,” Queen
“No time for losers/’Cause we are the champions of the world.” Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2009, the song was released in 1977 and went on to become a go-to sports anthem, including being selected as the official song for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. It’s no surprise that the song itself was voted the champion of catchiest tunes by a group of academics in 2011, who observed thousands of volunteers to determine “the perfect sing-along song.” (The Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” came in second.)
4. “I Believe I Can Fly,” R. Kelly
“If I can see it, then I can do it/If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it/I believe I can fly.” The song originally appeared on the soundtrack for the sports comedy “Space Jam,” starring basketball player Michael Jordan and Looney Tunes cartoon characters. It garnered Kelly three Grammy’s in 1997: Best R&B Song, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television. Rolling Stone called the song “a modern standard so ruthlessly inspirational, it makes ‘The Greatest Love of All’ sound like ‘Welcome to the Jungle.’” The review continues: “There’s no point getting sick of the song now, since you’ll be hearing it in commercials, grade-school talent shows, figure-skating exhibitions and Very Special Episodes for the rest of your born days.” Indeed.
5. “Beautiful,” Christina Aguilera
“I am beautiful, no matter what they say/Words can’t bring me down.” Written and produced by Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes, the song appeared on Aguilera’s second album, “Stripped,” and won the singer 2003’s Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy. “Xtina’s inspiration ballad motivated an entire generation,” Wetpaint’s Rachel McRady said of the song. Perry told ASCAP that she had a hard time letting the song go because it was supposed to be her own comeback song, but Christina’s strong vocals on the rough demo cut won her over.
By Deborah Day
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