FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
Be Strong and Flourish Forevermore
From the comfort of a couch, many of us have watched as everyday heroes have found the confidence, strength, and courage to confront the enemy of their circumstance. Although they haven't won every battle (nobody does that), these fearless champions have dared to meet the high-octane challenges placed before them in the moment. Examples include:
- Ukraines struggling mightily against hostile foreign invaders
- healthcare workers who became frontline warriors in a global COVID-19 pandemic
- firefighters and other first responders who faced down out-of-control wildfires and other natural disasters.
Although you may not regularly experience such life-and-death challenges, you may face burdens like the loss of a loved one, a breakup, economic hardship, or personal illness. Making it through life's darkest hours requires the most that the human spirit has to offer. Additionally, pursuing a lifelong dream and risk taking both require self-assurance, strength, and courage against all of the forces that would hold you back.
Celebrate the bravery, strength, and confidence in each of us who stand up and believe in ourselves and in seeing a good fight to the very end. If you're looking for a playlist to encourage you, make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs. May you flourish forevermore.
1. "Stronger" by The Score
It's often said that not all superheroes wear capes. The strong-willed guy in this uplifting 2018 alt-rock track feels the competitive hunger and intends to come out on top. Nothing can prevent him from rising up and triumphing, not even death itself. Against all obstacles, he proves to be "stronger, stronger, everlasting / Harder, faster, never-crashing."
2. "Dream On" by Aerosmith
Each of us harbors a dream, a desire to be somebody. This 1973 classic rock ballad urges you to gather the courage to pursue your ambitions with gusto so that you die happy. Don't give up on yourself. Push forward.
Having taken six years off and on to write, this song became Aerosmith's first single and saved the band from being dropped by their label. "Dream On" was recognized by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll." In addition, Rolling Stone magazine named the legendary song to its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
3. "Confident" by Demi Lovato
Do you ave the self-confidence to be who you're meant to be? Singer and former Disney channel actor Demi Lovato became an exemplar of self-assurance when they came out as non-binary in 2021.
In this 2015 pop tune, the brazen and bold song narrator pushes back on the notion that they should behave in a stereotypical female manner: mild-mannered, soft-spoken, and understated. Not happenin'. They aren't someone who is shy and seeks to blend into the scenery. Instead, the narrator makes their own choices, taking firm control of life. They are proudly confident, underrated, and complicated. "What's wrong with being confident?" they demand.
4. "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" by Whitney Houston
Knowing how Whitney Houston's fabled life story ended, I grow wistful and wish that the real life of could have better paralleled the lyrics of this inspirational 2009 R&B/gospel tune. Unfortunately, however, the phenomenal best-selling artist accidentally drowned in a bathtub in 2012, with cocaine and heart disease as contributing factors. Then, her young adult daughter eerily suffered a similar fate three years later.
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This magical song, however, describes a narrator who recalls reaching a low point in her life after losing touch with her priorities and letting go of her dreams. Facing a hopeless, painful place emotionally, the woman keeps her spirit alive and makes it through the darkest, most discouraging times of her life with the help of her faith. She slowly begins to rebuild herself, climbing out of the dark and making positive strides so that now she flourishes in the light as a shining example of strength and courage:
I picked myself back up
I hold my head up high
I was not built to break
I didn't know my own strength!
5. "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys
The mission-motivated girl in this global 2012 R&B hit is a force to be reckoned with, as she triumphs over life's catastrophes. Determined to succeed, she is on fire with an internal strength and fearlessness propelling her forward in the service of achieving her dreams. Nothing will stop her from attaining what she's after. Look at her go!
6. "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson
Risk-taking requires courage without certainty of a win. Take that chance. This enthusiastic 2004 pop song describes how a woman has felt stifled growing up in a small town and now seeks to broaden her horizons. Wanting to spread her wings and fly away, she is ready to take a gamble by seeing what else the world has to offer:
Out of the darkness and into the sun
I won't forget all the ones that I love
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
7. "A Little Bit Stronger" by Sara Evans
How you handle adversity, including recovering from heartache, is a critical factor in success. The woman in this 2010 country crossover song displays real bounce back as she learns to stand on her own emotionally following following heartbreak.
Because pain doesn't go away all at once, she takes the recovery process slow. The narrator has the courage to face the hurt and make a positive change in her life, growing ever stronger.
8. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar
Players beware: you've met your match. Full of swagger, this hard-edged gal has the confidence of an army, poured into black leather pants. The classic 1980 rock tune features a woman who fixates on her next conquest and challenges the love 'em and leave 'em guy to his best effort at breaking her heart. She's hell on heels, playing it straight with the experienced player when she informs him that she's in this thing for thrill of it.
9. "Fire Under My Feet" by Leona Lewis
If you are determined to make your mark on the world, then you can't let anything hold you back. The woman in this 2015 gospel-tinged pop song is no stranger to failure, but she has learned from those mistakes and pushed forward regardless. This peppy lady has a fire under her feet and a passion to succeed. Thanks to her courage, hard work, and perseverance, the narrator has overcome obstacles in her way.
10. "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John
Totally winning is what the narrator is doing in this 1983 global hit rock tune. Elton John demonstrates that in spite of being jilted by a malicious ex-lover, he has the confidence, strength, and courage to move on. Rather than wallowing in regret and self-pity, this fella's doing better than ever because he is proving to be a true survivor.
Although the song is technically about coping with a broken relationship, consider it a lighthearted, appropriate song for many situations involving surviving difficult circumstances. This is especially true because of the almost teasing, repeated refrain, "I'm still standing (Yeah, yeah, yeah)."
11. "Unstoppable" by Sia
The young woman in this 2016 electropop single has something to prove, perhaps most of all to herself. If you envision it, you can achieve it, right?
Seeking to project an air of invulnerability and accomplishment, she endeavors to protect herself from revealing any weakness to the world. Hence she dons a suit of invisible armor and tells people what they want to hear. Her inner mantra reminds her that she is unstoppable, invincible, powerful, and confident. What a fine strategy!
12. "Hero" by Mariah Carey
Stop waiting for a hero to swoop in and save you. You are fully capable of doing the honors yourself.
In this inspirational 1993 pop ballad that is considered to be her signature song, Songbird Supreme Mariah Carey entreaties us to look deep within ourselves and be courageous when hope is in short supply. If we do so, we'll discover all the strength and resourcefulness required to endure and rise above any challenges. A hero lies in each of us.
13. "Standing Outside The Fire" by Garth Brooks
Do you stand on the side of the action or instead get in there and mix it up? This 1993 country ditty dispenses advice about the essential nature of taking risks in both love and life.
You can either take the safe route or go for broke, knowing that you risk sorrow and shame. Show courage and self-confidence by being tough. Take some calculated risks and make your journey worth the ride:
Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire.
14. "Keep Your Head Up" by Andy Grammer
Whatever happy pills the guy in this 2010 pop tune is popping, they seem to be working for him. Or maybe he comes by this level of optimism naturally.
A model for marinating in low-key positivity, the protagonist offers encouragement in refusing to sell oneself short. No need to let haters put a dent in your confidence, purpose, and values. He recommends not worrying too much about matters that are insignificant in the overall scheme (like bills). It'll all turn out okay. You'll see.
15. "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship
Love often requires strength and courage, highlighting the best as well as the worst that humans have to offer one another. This jaunty 1987 soft rock song is a power ballad about looking forward to building a future together with a significant other.
The protagonist in this chart-topping global hit expresses unrelenting commitment to the couple's strong love relationship, enthusiastically invoking an us-against-the-world vibe. The song was inspired by the songwriter's marriage to his live-in girlfriend of seven years following a bitter and protracted divorce from his first wife.
16. "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Kelly Clarkson
This rousing self-empowerment anthem was inspired by an often paraphrased truism on the power of resilience that was originally expressed by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: "Out of life’s school of war—what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.” Versions of the quote are frequently referenced in songs and works of fiction and used by politicians and public figures. Kelly Clarkson's 2011 chart-topping pop rock tune is one of the most prominent uses of the famous quote.
The woman in the song is bouncing back full force after a failed love relationship. Rather than feeling dispirited or running back to her ex at the first opportunity, she is determined to get the last laugh. With the spirit of a fighter, the protagonist declares that she is stronger for stand on her own.
17. "Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)" by Bill Conti
There are only 30 words to the 1976 theme song from the iconic Rocky movie, but if you're familiar with the tune, then you recognize the powerful ditty after only a few notes or so. With its attention-getting trumpets, this culturally significant song is enough to invigorate even the most dedicated couch potato. "Gonna Fly Now" is often used at sporting events or in profiling the striving and hard work that someone puts into becoming a stronger competitor.
The song is identified with a famous scene from Rocky in which the underdog fighter runs up the 72 steps that approach the entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Then the boxer raises his arms in a victory stance. Like tens of thousands of other people each year, my friend and I are road-tripping to Philly soon and will be stopping by the Rocky Statue. Count us out for the running up the steps part, however.
18. "Courage" by Celine Dion
This mournful ballad from 2019 finds Canadian songbird extraordinaire Celine Dion addressing courage as if the emotion is another person. The anguished singer implores courage not to abandon her in the aftermath of loss as she navigates a new world as a widow.
Shaken, she walks now through life without the partner she previously leaned upon. The grieving narrator experiences a trainwreck of emotion but insists that she "won't crash yet." She hears echoes of her significant other's voice, wishes she could talk with her lost loved one, and misses his touch. But somehow she finds the courage to endure.
In 2016, Dion lost her husband, René Angélil, to throat cancer. The two first met when she was only 12 years old when her family contacted the music producer to professionally represent her. Angélil became the young songbird's manager, and he even mortgaged his house to finance her debut album. The two began to date when the Grammy winning star was 19. In spite of their 26-year age difference, the couple married when Dion was 26. They had three children and were married 21 years. Celine confessed that she had never kissed anyone else.
19. "Never Surrender" by Corey Hart
Two sources inspired Canadian singer-songwriter Corey Hart to pen this 1985 pop song. First, his mother preached the importance of finishing what you start and believing in yourself. Second, Hart always admired the stirring World World II exhortations of Winston Churchill to never surrender.
The protagonist in this song prompts you to stand your ground and continue to pursue your goals. He underlines that this is your right, and you should persevere without blind adherence. Even if you're lost or in your darkest hour, lean on the courage you possess within to double down on your commitment and never surrender. Go after your dreams or die trying.
20. "Bring On The Rain" by Jo Dee Messina (Featuring Tim McGraw)
Hard times gather 'round. The rain is really starting to pound down in buckets. However, the tough gal in this 2000 country crossover ditty says, "Bring it on!" She won't allow a let a little hardship to make her falter. The narrator possesses the courage and tenacity to face down any obstacles in her path because she focuses on her goals.
Life would be tedious if it were only sunshine and daisies. Learn to appreciate the rain along the way. Besides, the suffering along the way is how you know you're alive.
Even More Songs About Confidence, Strength, and Courage
21. Brand New Me
23. I Am Invincible
25. Made for This
26. You Raise Me Up
27. Head Above Water
Fall Out Boy
29. Fight Song
David Guetta (Featuring Sia)
31. You Gotta Be
32. The Climb
34. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
35. Shake It Off
36. How Far I'll Go
38. U Can't Touch This
39. Get Up, Stand Up
Bob Marley & the Wailers
41. Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
42. Courage to Change
44. I Will Not Bow
46. If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)
Mary J. Blige
48. Walk Unafraid
49. A Woman's Worth
50. It's My Life
51. Break My Stride
52. Don't Stop Believin'
54. We Are the Champions
55. Roll With It
56. Dog Days Are Over
Florence + The Machine
57. Eye of the Tiger
58. I Won't Back Down
59. Never Give Up
60. When You Believe
Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey
61. I Will Survive
64. I Am the Fire
65. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now
McFadden & Whitehead
66. Battle Cry
68. I Believe I Can Fly
69. Hell and High Water
Major Lazer (Featuring Alessia Cara)
70. I'm Alright
71. You Ain't Ready
72. This Is Me
Keala Settle and The Greatest Showman Ensemble
73. Rise Up
Carrie Underwood (Featuring Ludacris)
76. Run the World (Girls)
77. Never Surrender
79. Love Myself
80. Just Fine
Mary J. Blige
82. Who Says
Selena Gomez and The Scene
83. All About That Bass
84. I Love Me
85. Keeper of the Flame
86. Hall of Fame
88. Hold On
90. The Show Must Go On
91. Me Too
92. Man! I Feel Like A Woman!
93. If You're Going Through Hell (Before The Devil Even Knows)
95. Jesus Take the Whee
Brooks & Dunn
97. Hold the Light
Dierks Bentley (Featuring S. Carey)
98. Best Day of My Life
99. Stand in the Light
101. I'm a Survivor
102. On Top of the World
103. I Know Where I'm Going
106. Hold Your Head Up
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