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  1. Blog
  2. Playlist
  3. July 13, 2021

50 Uplifting Songs to Keep You Happy & Motivated

Girl, put your records on

Women dancing in front of a sunset.
Image courtesy of Levi Guzman

Sometimes, life has us feeling just a little bit...bleh. Maybe work is challenging, laundry seems to be never ending, or you’re dealing with some toxic people in your life. You’re not alone. Fifty-three percent of women report feeling burned out. No matter what your mountain is, you can climb it with the help of these inspiring songs! 

So put on your cutest outfit, go for a Hot Girl Walk or call up some friends, because when you’re done with this playlist, you’re going to feel like a million bucks. 

Read more: How to Find Your Work Motivation…and Keep It

50 uplifting songs to keep you happy and motivated

1. “Dancing Queen” - ABBA

This song gives impromptu middle school sleepover dance party vibes, and we should all try to channel that energy. Grab a hairbrush as a microphone, and pull out your finest moves, you dancing queen! Don’t forget to do a rockstar jump off your bed for a big finish! 

2. “Uptown Girl” - Billy Joel

You can’t help but do a little dance in your seat when you hear the first notes of this feel-good hit. “Uptown Girl” is a classic, but it has become especially popular again because of its mention in Olivia Rodrigo’s single “deja vu.” If Olivia loves it, we have to, too! 

3. “I Gotta Feeling” - The Black Eyed Peas

As an iconic comment on the YouTube music video states,“I Gotta Feeling” will take you back to a time when “Tiktok was a Kesha song, Corona was a beer, and Fortnite was a unit of time.” Enjoy the rush of nostalgia and the optimism of the early 2000s. 

4. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” - Cyndi Lauper

Bring on the neon leg warmers, because when the working day is done, girls STILL just want to have fun...even if they’re all grown up now and have an office job! 

5. “Girl on Fire” - Alicia Keys

This is the ultimate hype song. No matter if you feel on fire or so unmotivated you could get fired, this Alicia Keys track will make you feel like you can take on the world. 

6. “Rainbowland" - Miley Cyrus featuring Dolly Parton

This sweet collaboration features Miley Cyrus’ godmother, the queen herself, Dolly Parton. It’s all about what would happen if we lived in a land of kindness and equality...ahh, a girl can dream, right?

7. “Welcome to New York” - Taylor Swift

If you’re dealing with big changes in your life and they feel exciting (and maybe just a bit scary), you can relate to this T-Swift hit. It’s all about moving to New York City to live your best, most authentic life. 

8. “Over the Rainbow” - Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole

This cover adds a Hawain twist to “The Wizard of Oz” classic...and the result is probably the most peaceful thing you’ll ever hear. Imagine drifting off to sleep on a tropical beach as you listen. 

9. “Saturday Sun” - Vance Joy

This sun is Saturday morning personified. It’s waking up late, walking in the sunshine, or running out for a beach day with friends. Take a listen and you’ll see exactly what I mean. 

10. “Electric Love” - BØRNS

POV: you’re the main character in a teen movie, about to come face-to-face with your hot love interest in a house party basement. The lights are low, the camera pans slowly around you two as your eyes lock, and this song is playing. You’re welcome. 

11. “Best Song Ever” - One Direction

Would I really be a member of Gen Z if I didn’t suggest a One Direction song? No matter your generation, though, this song is sure to give you a boost of confidence and energy. It is, after all, the best song ever. 

12. “New Rules” - Dua Lipa

This is the ultimate girl power song. “New Rules” is all about taking control of your life and setting boundaries. Whether in our personal lives or at the office, we could all stand to take that advice. 

13. “Upside Down” - Jack Johnson

Was this song originally released as a part of the Curious George movie soundtrack? Yes. Is it still amazing? Absolutely. Listen to this song, and you’ll feel like you’re grooving on the beach with Jack Johnson himself. 

14. “Beautiful Girls (Radio Disney Version)” - Sean Kingston

Yes, hype us up, Sean Kingston! If you need a boost of confidence, listen to this one. I promise, you’ll be feeling like the most beautiful girl in the world by the end. 

15. “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” -  Beyoncé

We all know this song is iconic. Whether you’re a single lady or happily committed, stand on up and strut your stuff. And maybe learn the legendary dance while you’re at it!

Read more: 24 Beyonce Quotes That’ll Make You Feel ***Flawless

16. “Walking On Sunshine” - Katrina & The Waves

“Walking On Sunshine” is straight serotonin. You feel it coursing through your veins the moment the beat drops. 

17. “Dynamite” - BTS

BTS has taken K-pop by storm, becoming one of the most successful boy bands of the 2020s. Listen to “Dynamite” and you’ll realize why...it’s just pure positive energy. 

18. “Low” - Flo Rida featuring T-Pain

Bust out your “apple bottom jeans” and “boots with the fur” because it’s about to go down. This song will bring you straight back to the mid-2000s dance floor. If you stick around, you’ll definitely hear “Cupid Shuffle” and “Wobble,” too. 

19. “Bathroom Floor” - Maddie & Tae

Pick yourself up, girl! This song is all about helping friends get over broken hearts, but it’ll boost your spirits no matter what’s going on in your life. It’s all about brushing yourself off and hitting the town with your besties. 

20. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” - The Beatles

This throwback might be about wanting to hold your lover’s hand, but I think the upbeat message can include all kinds of friendships. We all need loved ones around us to lift our spirits, and that’s just what this song does. 

21. “California Love” - 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre

Whether you’re a Cali native or an East Coast gal, you can’t help but sing along to this one. And fun fact, Kendrick Lamar was inspired to pursue a music career as a child after watching 2Pac and Dr. Dre film this music video in Compton. Talk about inspiring! 

22. “Don’t Stop” - Fleetwood Mac

“If you wake up and don’t want to smile, if it takes just a little while”...listen to this song! You’ll be feeling better in no time. The message is all about having hope for tomorrow and letting go of negative thoughts about the past. 

23. “Wannabe” - Spice Girls

The confidence of this song! The Spice Girls knew their worth, and you should, too! Not to mention they’re all about women supporting each other and women friendships, which is the icing on the cake.

24. “Gasolina” - Daddy Yankee

Welcome to the world of reggaeton. If you aren’t already familiar, you’re about to be obsessed. Even if you can’t understand the lyrics, you’ll feel the upbeat message behind this song.

25. “Put Your Records On” - Corinne Bailey Rae

“Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams. Just go ahead, let your hair down.” This reassuring song is all about finding yourself and chasing your dreams. Listen to it once and it’ll become your new comfort song. 

26. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” - James Brown

You couldn’t make a list of uplifting songs without including this one! James Brown is clearly feeling good, and the joy is contagious! 

27. "I Love Me" - Demi Lovato

Nothing but self-love, and I love it! This song is even more powerful coming from Demi Lovato, who has been open about struggling with mental health and addiction.

28. “Brand New” - Ben Rector

If you’re into folky, melodic pop music, you’ll love “Brand New.” It’s about feeling thrilled with life, and the music video is especially touching. Instead of using the budget on a studio production, Ben Rector flew fans to six flags and filmed their day riding roller coasters. Now that’s uplifting...literally! 

Read more: That Friday Feeling! 7 Guaranteed Mood Boosters to End the Week

29. “Champagne Night” - Lady A

This song screams backyard bonfire with your best friends. No need for fancy things, you’re “raisin’ plastic cups to a life of luxury” and “drinking beer on a champagne night.” 

30. “Pierre” - Ryn Weaver

This song has taken TikTok by storm, and for good reason. “Pierre” is all about a woman traveling the world, having adventures with her lovers (including Pierre), and figuring herself out. 

31. “Three Little Birds” - Bob Marley and The Wailers

Everyone deserves a great therapist, but if you don’t have one, Bob Marley is probably the next best thing. When you’re down, there’s nothing like his soothing voice telling you “every little thing is gonna be all right.” 

32. “Tuesdays” - Jake Scott

Some of us are true romantics (guilty as charged), and there’s nothing like a love story to lift our spirits. “Tuesdays” is about realizing that love isn’t just defined by monumental events. It’s little moments (the “Tuesdays” of relationships) that really matter. 

33. “Obsessed” - Mariah Carey

Years after its release, I’m still obsessed with “Obsessed!” Strike a power pose and channel your inner boss with this one. Mariah Carey knows she’s hot stuff, and that confidence is contagious. 

34. “Bennie and The Jets” - Elton John

This classic hit is all about the glam of the music industry and a fictitious rock star who Elton John has described as a “sci-fi rock goddess.” Between the catchy lyrics and jazzy piano, you feel like you’ve been transported straight into a swanky ’70s nightclub. 

35. “Layla”- Derek & The Dominos

Another oldie! An ode to a beautiful woman, “Layla” is pure rock-and-roll with a bit of a soft side. If you haven’t listened to it before, stick around for the surprise ending. 

36. “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” - Shania Twain

Another song that just oozes confidence! The lyrics are all about getting ready to go out on the town, having no inhibitions, and feeling like a million bucks. 

37. “One Margarita” - Luke Bryan

The perfect summer barbecue song. One listen and you’ll have the urge to impulsively spend your life savings on a boat and let loose on the water. 

38.  “Gimme More” - Britney Spears

The title pretty much sums up the message of this song...if some is good, more is better, right? This is another one that gives sleepover dance party vibes, so better grab your hairbrush/microphone. 

39. “Malibu” - Miley Cyrus

This poetic song is about finding joy and trying new things with your favorite person. The dreamy lyrics reference going to Malibu beach and reflecting on the surprising twists of life. 

40. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” - Whitney Houston  

This peppy ’80s hit will make you want to have a giant dance party! Grab somebody you love and hit the dance floor...even if the dance floor is in your living room!

41. “I Like Me Better” - Lauv

We all deserve someone who brings out the best in us, whether it’s a friend, a partner, or a pet! This song is all about hanging out with that person and realizing they make you better when they’re around. 

42. “Only Wanna Be With You” - Hootie & The Blowfish

This adorable hit is, once again, all about wanting to be with your favorite person. Recently, it’s been popularized again by Post Malone’s cover, but you really can’t beat the classic version. 

43. “Ball For Me” - Post Malone Featuring Nicki Minaj 

Speaking of Post Malone, here he is again. “Ball For Me” is all about encouraging his girlfriend to have fun and go on a crazy shopping spree (which is apparently what “ball for me” means. The more you know!) Make sure to stick around for Nicki Minaj’s powerful verse!

44. “Follow Your Arrow” - Kacey Musgraves 

Not everyone in life is going to like you...how do you deal with that? Well, according to Kacey Musgraves, by doing literally whatever you want! This song is all about being true to yourself and following your heart, no matter what judgy people say. 

45. “Margaritaville” - Jimmy Buffet

Leave it to Jimmy Buffet to lift everyone’s spirits! This campy classic has been blasted at beach bars for generations. So when you’re stressed, take a listen, and you’ll get transported back to your last vacation!

46. “Here Comes The Sun” - The Beatles

All about the sun coming up after a long winter, this song is as cheery as they come. If you’re a ’90s kid, you might also recognize it from the adorable re-make of The Parent Trap.

47. “Lady Like” - Ingrid Andress

We love destroying damaging stereotypes, and that’s exactly what this song is about. Ingrid Andress sings about being loud, opinionated, and bold...and owning it, despite others saying she’s not “lady like” (whatever that means!). 

48. “GIRL” - Maren Morris

If you’re ever feeling down, Maren Morris will pick you right back up. Not only is this song so fun you’ll want to scream it in the car with your besties, but the lyrics are super touching. 

49. “What the Hell” - Avril Lavigne 

If you’re a rule follower ready to finally break loose, this is your new anthem. This Avril Lavigne hit is all about bending all the rules, not caring about others’ opinions, and being free. 

50. “Wagon Wheel” - Darius Rucker

Grab your cowgirl boots! Although Bob Dylan wrote and Old Crow Medicine originally performed “Wagon Wheel,” Darius Rucker made it into the country singalong it is today. 

Read more: 8 Tiny Desk Concerts By Women

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Photo of Anna Louise Pickens

Anna Louise Pickens

Contributor

Anna Louise Pickens is InHerSight’s editorial intern. She loves writing about anything related to women—from women’s fashion to lifestyle to workplace equality. Her bylines include Chapel Hill Magazine, Heart of NC Weddings, Durham Magazine, and Chatham Magazine. She’s currently a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC Chapel Hill where she is double majoring in Business and Journalism.

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