49 Songs That Say It'll Be OK
A Better Tomorrow Is Coming
Even before the pandemic, 18% of Americans were living with an anxiety disorder. Then some guy ate a bat in a Chinese wet market, and it changed the world.
Add to everyday worry the sudden, massive uncertainty around finances, daily routines, and acquiring essentials such as toilet paper. Pile on the fear of contagion and death, plus perhaps the actual death of people you know. What we have left is a huge trigger for a mental health epidemic. Keep reminding yourself, however, that a better tomorrow is coming.
Whatever is stressing you out, periodically take a moment to back up, breathe deeply, and take a broader perspective on your problem situation. Lean on a confidante, rely on your spiritual/religious beliefs, and express gratitude for the bounty of goodness you have in your life. Pay attention to your physical health, get good quality sleep, and be patient with yourself and others. You can overcome your challenges.
Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs that say everything will be okay. Remind yourself that better days are around the corner. We have a long list of songs to start you off.
1. "Better Days" by OneRepublic
In the midst of paranoia and dark days, the guy in this 2020 pop song hits his knees and prays, believing steadfastly in the promise of tomorrow. He expresses both hope and confidence that the bleak times won't last forever:
Oh, I know that there'll be better days
Oh, that sunshine 'bout to come my way
May we never ever shed another tear for today
'Cause oh, I know that there'll be better days.
2. "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" by David Lee Murphy and Kenny Chesney
The narrator in this 2017 kickin' country song received some free, first-rate advice from a bartender. When he requested that she "tell me something good that I don't know" the bartender pointed to the sign behind her that read, "Everything's gonna be alright." The advice is simple yet superb. We shouldn't be too eager to press the panic button because chances are "it ain't near as bad as you think."
3. "Be OK" by Ingrid Michaelson
If you repeat something often enough, perhaps you can convince yourself that it's true. The lady in this 2008 indie pop tune has experienced heartache and is now a "gallery of broken hearts." Aspiring to feel better, the narrator repeats variations of "I just want to be okay" like a mantra until she convinces herself that maybe she will be okay. You'll get through whatever you're facing, too.
4. "O-o-h Child" by The Five Stairsteps
This mellow 1970 soul song answers your stress with a soothing message of reassurance. A calm voice of experience promises that things will get easier and brighter some day. Relax because your problems will resolve and your load will lighten. You'll walk in the sun again.
Rolling Stone magazine named the hit to their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." It was The Five Stairsteps' only Top 40 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making them a one-hit wonder. (They did enjoy success on the R&B chart, however.)
What type of person are you?
5. "Don't Worry Be Happy," Bobby McFerrin
This 1988 reggae-infused number urges you to cast aside your sense of worry because it only multiplies your troubles. Even if your rent is late, you're penniless, or homeless, the narrator recommends, "don't worry, be happy." Having won a Grammy Award for Song of the year, the hit became the first a capella song to top the mainstream pop chart. It was also McFerrin's only Top 40 Billboard hit, making him a one-hit-wonder.
6. "Be Alright" by Dean Lewis
The sad fella in this mournful 2018 pop love ballad recounts a romantic relationship with a sweetheart who betrayed him. Although he desperately wants to forgive her and pretend the infidelity never happened, there are some things one cannot unknow. A supportive friend helps him through the difficult emotional struggle using advice to put his phone away, stop looking at social media, and move on. That's so hard to do when you're reeling from heartbreak! The friend acknowledges that the cheating and breakup will hurt for a while, but in time he will be alright.
Singer-songwriter Dean Lewis explained what the song means to him. "For people worried about me because the song is so sad—trust me I'm OK. The song is actually about hope and knowing that in the end things will work out, surrounding yourself with good people." Lewis reportedly wrote the song about not only his own experience but several other people's as well.
7. "Odds Are" by Barenaked Ladies
Are you a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full kind of person? This energetic 2013 pop song flies in the face of panic-driven "breaking news" bulletins.
It's certainly possible that you'll be struck by lightning, stung by a bee, or hit by a train. Those things have to happen to someone, right? You might crash in a plane, be killed by a shark or be flattened a meteorite. However, odds are you'll be alright. You'll live another night.
So get up, get up
Tell the bookie put a bet on "not a damn thing will go wrong"
The odds are that we will probably be alright.
8. "This Too Shall Pass" by OK Go
According to this pop song from 2010, bad things are bound to come your way eventually. However, the choice is yours in deciding how to respond. The narrators urge you not to let life's troubles drag you down. Instead, hit the ground running and refuse to blame others. They recommend, "Let it go. This too shall pass."
9. "Float On" by Modest Mouse
There's not much that could get this guy's tighty whiteys in a knot. The narrator of this 2004 indie rock song has backed his car into a cop car and has run his mouth too long. He and his partner have been fired from their jobs on the same day (tough luck) and he's been bamboozled out of his last dime. No worries! He trusts that good news is on the way, then they'll all float on alright.
10. "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash
Prayers have been answered in this reggae-inspired #1 hit from 1972. Gone are the rain and dark clouds that once obscured the narrator's path. Now his future is clearer and he can see the obstacles that were once in his way. The day ahead looks bright and full of both sunshine and blue skies. He'll be more than okay.
11. "Be Alright" by Ariana Grande
With breathiness and a hopping beat, this 2016 pop ditty offers up encouragement that all will be okay. The narrator endorses the power of positive thinking to make up your mind that you'll get through this. She notes that tears will always come and go, but the hard times lead to better days. You've got this! You're a survivor!
12. "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities
Times may be uncertain, but the narrator in this popping 2011 alternative rock song promises to have the back of the one he loves. He's supporting his lover, keeping them safe and sound. He wants them to mutually lift each other up so they can keep each other safe and sound, even if the sky is falling down or they are six feet underground. What a great way to encourage someone that all will be okay.
13. "Time" by NF
This 2019 love song by rapper NF is about marital problems and a married man who is fighting valiantly to save his unraveling relationship. The husband has messed up, made mistakes, and is now depressed, but he is trying to right his wrongs with the help of therapy. Expressing his dedication to his wife, the man needs time so he can show the love of his life that this relationship will be worth it:
Even if we both break down tonight
And you say you hate me
And we go to bed angry
I know everything will be alright
I'll be here waiting
I promise I'm changing
I just need
A little time to show you I'm worth it ... .
14. "It Happens" by Sugarland
The gal in this playful 2008 country ditty has a happy-go-lucky attitude that everything will be okay, regardless of what happens. She oversleeps and is an hour late for work, borrows a neighbor's car to go to Wally World when her car has a flat, then accidentally sideswipes a vehicle at a red light carrying her ex and his new girlfriend. (Are we sure that's an accident?) Rather than getting upset, however, she has the perspective that "pssh it happens." (Meant to sound like "sh*t happens.") All will be okay in this gal's world.
15. "Rise Up" by Andra Day
No matter how broken down and tired you may feel, this rousing 2015 R&B song will inspire you to make things right in your own world, whatever that requires. If it doesn't empower you to action, then there's no hope for you! Rise up, lean on one another and look to the promise that tomorrow offers.
16. "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley & The Wailers
This 1980 reggae tune is one of Bob Marley's most popular songs. However, people often mistakenly assume it's titled, "Don't Worry About a Thing" or "Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright" because these two phrases are repeated frequently throughout this chill number.
Inspired by three little birds that land near his doorstep, the narrator encourages the listener to let go of unnecessary worry. He provides needed reassurance that everything will be okay. And it will.
17. "Don't Worry" by Madcon (featuring Ray Dalton)
Put aside your worries, and let go of the troubles that plague you because in your future you won't need 'em. Norweigan pop duo Madcon made this electronic dance ditty an international hit in 2015 in many countries outside the US. Take their advice and don't worry about a thing.
18. "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" by Deana Carter
When faced with a fearful, weary heart, country singer Deana Carter finds solace in God, according to this 1998 song. In her ear, she hears a sweet voice whispering reassurance that everything's gonna be alright. His love offers to show her the way if she will believe. He comforts her by saying no one walks alone:
See the light shine, oh how it shines
Everything's gonna be alright
19. "Better Days" by Breaking Benjamin
We all encounter the valleys of life that are full of struggle, strife, and suffering. However, whether you set up camp there in the low areas or instead keep hiking in search of higher ground depends on what you see on your horizon. Is it hope and renewal or more misery?
In this positive, uptempo number from 2011, a narrator who has made past mistakes takes the long view, thus opting to see his life as a journey. He's on his way to better days with the support of friends and loved ones. The narrator realizes that he'll probably make additional missteps in the future. Likewise, his faith will wax and wane. Overall, however, he'll be okay:
I'm on my way to better days
I'll find my faith, I'll fall away
I'm on my way to better days
I'll find my faith.
20. "OK" by Robin Schulz featuring James Blunt
One-hit wonder James Blunt lends vocal support on this 2017 electronic/dance song. It's about a narrator who reaches out to a lover who has a magic way of making everything feel okay again. When every star falls from the sky and the crestfallen narrator feels like he is fading fast, he asks his significant other to love him just a little bit more because "the way you love me makes me king again." His lover reassures him that it's gonna be okay. I hope that you have a person like this in your life who can bring peace and hope to your darkest days.
Even More Songs That Say It'll Be OK
21. Everything's Not Lost
22. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwoʻole
23. Better Days
24. Don't Stop
25. Let It Go
27. The Middle
Jimmy Eat World
28. Here Comes the Sun
29. Better Days
Goo Goo Dolls
30. Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing
31. Tomorrow (Song from Annie)
32. Don't Worry Baby
The Beach Boys
33. Mama Said
34. A Change Is Gonna Come
35. Everything's Gonna Be Alright
36. No One
37. No Woman No Cry
38. Everything Will Be Alright
39. Get Happy
40. Let It Be
41. Tomorrow Will Be Kinder
The Secret Sisters
42. Put On a Happy Face
Dick Van Dyke
43. The Sun Is Rising
44. Everything Will Be OK
45. Shake It Off
Vitamin C (featuring Lady Saw)
Nat King Cole
49. The Morning After
Questions & Answers
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