FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
Battle Scars Are Proof of a Full Life
Your unique life story is written out upon 22 square feet (2 square meters) of the body's largest organ, your skin. Over your lifetime, blemishes, scars, and imperfections reveal themselves as evidence of struggles waged, risks taken, and adversities overcome.
Scars often define who you are, regardless of whether they are acquired via accident or surgery, violent encounter or illness. These wounds can also challenge the self-image. Rather than feeling embarrassed about them, consider such battle scars to be confirmation that you have lived fully and risen up to the obstacles in your way.
Celebrate the power of healing and regrowth with pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about wounds and scars. We have a long list to start you off!
1. "Scars to Your Beautiful" by Alessia Cara
This 2016 synth-pop ballad made a global splash with its important message about self-worth. The chart-topping self-love anthem implores the audience not to be ashamed of any scars or imperfections on their bodies, as one's personal value and beauty as a human being resides deeper than the surface.
Although such blemishes can be the source of significant pain, don't be blind to the light that shines within. The song was inspired by a deeply personal episode the singer encountered as a teen when large portions of her hair fell out.
2. "All I Know So Far" by Pink
Pink imparts hard-earned life wisdom in this empowering 2021 pop-rock number. The singer encourages her daughter to be master of her own destiny. Specifically, she advises the child to live life at full throttle, confront the sources of her pain, and refuse to hide her personal truth. Although dark times and mistakes will undoubtedly appear, the singer counsels her daughter to
Stay unfiltered and loud
You be proud of that skin full of scars.
3. "If These Scars Could Speak" by Citizen Soldier
For the man in this 2019 metal song, lurking just underneath the surface is deep, psychic pain that is ready to resurface at any time to retraumatize. A battle rages on deep below his skin's surface. His scars remain signs of the war within—between the forces of good and evil.
The narrator's scars seem to come from his habit of non-injurious self-harm such as cutting. He is begging for someone to listen, empathize, and hear his hell. Sometimes the wounds that dwell inside a person are even more graphic than those that can be seen.
4. "Scars" by Papa Roach
In this 2004 alt-rock song, the narrator recognizes that he experiences difficulty with psychogical boundaries. His scars remind him of the pain he has endured, and he knows that his tendency is to care too much about others, getting wrapped up in their issues.
As a result, the drunk and depressed man has decided that he cannot fix a loved one he has helped in the past. He must move on with his own life. Some people call taking care of yourself first adopting "airplane rules."
5. "Scars in Heaven" by Casting Crowns
Imagine the shock and grief experienced by those who lose both parents within a year of one another. When the wife of the Casting Crowns frontman encountered such a devastating personal loss, her sorrow inspired this 2022 contemporary Christian rock song.
In this tune, the narrator longs for his lost loved one and suffers a wounded heart. There is a hole in his life without his lost loved one. He second guesses himself on all of the things he wishes he had said or done before his loved one died.
The narrator recognizes that his loved one's life hadn't been easy and that they had suffered their own share of scars before dying. He recognizes that they are in a better place now where the only one with scars is Jesus. The Savior bears the burden of all pain, erasing all tears and wounds in heaven, thereby bringing peace.
6. "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
Stemming from a ugly breakup, this vengeful Grammy Award-winning R&B song became a worldwide hit and topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The searing tune describes how Adele is suddenly able to see a lover for the lowdown dirty dog that he really is.
Adele told Spin magazine that she penned the song after an ex told her that her life "was going to be lonely and boring and rubbish, and that I was a weak person if I didn’t stay in the relationship." While her partner's betrayal feels like a gut punch —"The scars of your love they leave me breathless"—Adele foreshadows in the song that he will reap what he has sewn.
Better yet, the singer promises her ex that he's going to wish that he had never met her. I wonder what he thinks of her now? This song has become one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Indeed, success is the greatest revenge.
7. "Hard Days" by Brantley Gilbert
Suffering teaches and fortifes a person, provides purpose, and builds character. Scars remind us where we have been in life. We need dreaded hard days, scars, and low points so that we can fully appreciate the highlights, according to this 2019 country ditty. Don't conceal your imperfections from the world. They are instructive and make you human.
8. "Love Hurts" by Nazerth
The very nature of love is that it wounds, according to this searing 1974 hard rock song:
Love hurts, love scars
Love wounds and marks.
The narrator directly condemns his former flame for breaking his heart. In so doing, she lied, thought only of herself, and made him feel depressed. The pain she has brought him is completely her fault, and he bears zero responsibility for the relationship fail (at least that's his side of the story).
9. "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri
Based on the singer's own experience, this 2011 pop ballad features a woman who has grown weary of a significant other who floats in and out of her life, repeatedly breaking her heart. When her former love interest starts asking around about her in an effort to revive their on-again off-again romance, she is indignant.
The narrator has grown strong enough to express her outrage at the damage he's inflicted:
Who do you think you are?
Runnin' 'round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
Tearing love apart.
10. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison
Poison's sole number one hit is this 1988 metal power ballad about the lasting memory of a romance that the narrator was unable to save. Remnants of the doomed love affair still ache sometimes like a phantom pain from a long healed wound.
The tune's narrator recalls lying close to his former flame but feeling very emotionally distant from her, leaving important words left unspoken. He feels that the busted relationship is his fault.
The song was inspired by the betrayal suffered by Poison frontman Bret Michaels at the hands of his exotic dancer girlfriend. She cheated on him while the singer was on the road. When Michaels called home one night at 3 a.m., he heard the whisper of a man in the background. The musician's budding career was the song's "rose" while the failing romance was his "thorn," as Michaels felt he couldn't successfully hold onto them both at the same time. Michaels has re-recorded this song many times, including with duet partners that have included Miley Cyrus, his daughters, and octogenarian Loretta Lynn.
11. "Under Your Scars" by Godsmack"
We all carry physical and emotional imperfections representing life's battle wounds. They can leave us feeling exposed, shamed, and wanting to hide our scar tissue. This 2018 rock ballad is a reminder that sharing the story of one's trauma and the ongoing journey of recovery can instill hope into the lives of those with wounds that are still healing. In addition, self-disclosure can inspire others to do the same.
12. "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift
Trouble always seems to follow Taylor Swift if you know what I mean. However, what I like about her is that it takes such a deliciously dark heart to crank out a revenge anthem like this.
Word on the street is that Tayter Tot wrote this pop hit when she discovered that an undisclosed female musician friend had audaciously talent poached (i.e., hired away) a number of her valued employees in an apparent attempt to sabotage the artist's concert tour. Who would do that to a fellow star? According to rumor it was Katy Perry.
Feeling backstabbed, she lobs this 2014 song grenade at her former friend, announcing their feud is official:
Did you think we'd be fine?
Still got scars on my back from your knife
So don't think it's in the past
These kind of wounds they last and they last
Now did you think it all through?
All these things will catch up to you
And time can heal, but this won't
So if you come in my way, just don't.
Fortunately, time heals all wounds. After five years, the two divas called a truce but didn't exactly go back to being close friends.
13. "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" by Mark Ronson (Featuring Miley Cyrus)
Love relationships aren't the only things that can break one's heart. Witnessing or confronting poverty, violence, war, disease, or famine are other experiences that can deeply hurt a person and leave lasting emotional scars (and often physical wounds as well).
This 2019 country-tinged pop song reminds us that the world has its way with us all. Nothing is as fragile as the human heart with all its expectations and dreams.
14. "'Til You Get There" by Ty Herndon
Country musician Ty Herndon enjoyed a parade of hits in the 1990s, including "What Mattered Most" (1995), "Living in the Moment" (1996), and "It Must Be Love" (1998). This success, however, was followed by a very public struggle with an addiction to crystal meth, two divorces, and a suicide attempt. Additionally, Herndon was the first major country musician to come out as gay in 2014.
Based on his difficult personal experiences, Herndon provides this advice about the power of positive thinking and hope in this 2022 country song. Accordingly, it advocates that scars are evidence of pain with an ultimate purpose of personal growth:
Every scar, every broken heart
Is exactly what you needed, I swear
But you won't know it 'til you get there.
15. "Beautiful" by Anne-Marie
With its appealing pop melody, this 2021 song juxtaposes inner and outer beauty. We all have scars, insecurities, and imperfections that make us authentically unique. Looking in the mirror, we may not like what we see staring back at us. As a result, we may focus on enhancing our outer beauty. This song, however, emphasizes the need to affirm natural beauty and build confident appreciation of inner worth, even in the face of others' criticism.
16. "Scars" by Collin Raye (Featuring Miranda Lambert)
The man in this tender 2020 country ballad reminds us that scars should not be a source of shame. Rather, they are a reminder of who we are. Although our scars can change the way we look and feel, measured chances in life are worth taking so ride that bull and take up karate, mountain climbing, and skydiving. Scars along the way become part of your life story. Don't hide them from the world. You've earned them.
17. "Scars" by Tom McDonald
Tom McDonald is a Canadian hip-hop artist and Eminem wannabe. While his colorful personal history includes being a former pro-wrestler, he is now known as a right-wing political rapper. However, this 2022 musical offering features a low-key inspirational message for audiences of all political affiliations.
The tune features the rapper revealing that his many tattoos hide his scars, some of which he has had longer than his friends. His scars serve as reminders of the struggles he has faced in his life that have included car accidents, scuffles with the law, broken bones, substance abuse, mental health issues, money problems, etc.
The narrator embraces the personal blemishes that help define who he is:
Every single scar and every single scrape
Every bruise and tattoo along the way
It tells a little story that I can't explain
Because the words escape me but the marks remain
They won't ever fade and they can't be erased
They made me who I am and I am not ashamed.
18. "Impossible" by James Arthur
In the aftermath of a romance that has died, the narrator of this heartfelt 2012 R&B ballad reveals that his heart now lies in tatters. All of his scars are laid bare for the world to witness.
He had once been cautioned to take care in matters of the heart. Sadly, now understands what they meant. The relationship made him feel happy, but here he stands feeling humiliated and alone. Even so, he forgives his former lover for their betrayal of trust and doesn't regret loving them.
19. "Bad Things" by Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello
Holy moly! Get a room, you two! The vibe between this very bad boy and former good girl is so strong that it's drug-like, carnal, chemical.
The 2016 track is a strong combination of pop and rap that portrays a sexually-charged dynamic between lovers who want to do "bad things" to one another. Although the man advocates that nothing between two consenting is technically bad, he suggests the following:
I want you forever
Even when we're not together
Scars on my body, so I can take you wherever like.
I want you forever
Even when we're not together
Scars on my body, I can look at you whenever.
Does she go for it, or does she tap out?
20. "Beautiful Scars" by Madonna
Madge is totally unapologetic about who she is—scars and all—in this 2015 pop number. She proclaims to a lover that she accepts them for who they are and won't apologize for being flawed. Declaring that she cannot change the past, she asks not to be judged. Her scars are evidence of triumphing over adversity. They are indelible marks of beauty. They are uniquely her, and she wants to be loved for them rather than in spite of them.
Even More Songs About Scars
21. I Fall Apart
24. Tattoos & Scars
25. Scars for Life
Alesso (Featuring Ryan Tedder)
27. Welcome to the Black Parade
My Chemical Romance
28. A Boy Named Sue
31. Chop Suey!
System of a Down
32. Lucky Scars
Colt Ford (Featuring Eddie Montgomery)
35. Bleeding Love
Lil Wayne (Featuring Bruno Mars)
Goo Goo Dolls
38. Cold As You
39. Bleed It Out
42. If I Could Fly
43. Blank Space
44. West Coast
46. Bitter Taste
47. It's You
48. Still Falling for You
50. Guitaras, Cadillacs
53. Good Old Days
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
54. Flaws and Sins
55. You're No Good
56. Final Masquerade
57. Stand By You
58. My Hero
59. I'm Yours
60. Give Me a Sign
61. Bust Your Windows
62. Mr. Tinman
63. Paper Houses
64. Battle Scars
Guy Sebastian (Featuring Lupe Fiasco)
65. Beautiful Scars
68. Open Wounds
70. Exit Wounds
71. Remind Me to Forget
Kygo (Featuring Miguel)
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