21 Of The Best Songs About Independence

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

While “no man is an island,” it’s not always that we can rely on someone else. Thus, independence comes in handy for times such as this.

There is no better feeling than being able to enjoy your own company. You can stand on your own two feet and not be dependent on someone else to run your life.

Understandably, it’s scary to strike out alone. But accepting yourself and the world around you will help you on that journey to independence. Here are 21 of the best songs about independence you can listen to while getting there.

1. “Try It On My Own” By Whitney Houston

The late Whitney Houston recorded “Try It On My Own” for her 2002 album Just Whitney. The song was released on February 11, 2003. It is a classic ballad of empowerment after a breakup.

The song follows a woman who had been foolish in love. She had dedicated her love and life to this particular man. But we find that she did more share for the relationship, even setting herself aside “to do it in your way.”

But now, after the breakup, she’s ready to take control of her life and make her own decisions. There will be mistakes along the way, but she is okay with that. She is ready to take on the world as an independent and strong woman.

2. “Miss Independent” By Ne-Yo

Some men can appreciate an independent woman. Including Ne-Yo, who sings about such a woman in the Grammy-award-winning single “Miss Independent.”

In the song with “independent” in the lyrics, the singer is in awe of one particular woman. She’s the embodiment of feminine success. Not only in her outward appearance, but she also walks the talk.

Her being a success on her own is one of the things that make him fall for her. She is confident and can manage her life without depending on a man. It is a refreshing change from women who rely on men to fulfill their emotional and financial needs.

3. “Independence Day” By Martina McBride

How deeply liberating it is to be free from things that hurt us. In Martina McBride‘s “Independence Day,” a woman finally gets the freedom she rightfully deserves.

This song with “independence” in the title is from the point of view of that woman’s daughter. She witnesses how her alcoholic and abusive father hurts her mother.

On the Fourth of July, she goes to town and hears rumors about her father. But no one can do about it. On the same day, her mother celebrates her own independence by burning down their house.

4. “I Will Survive” By Gloria Gaynor

The top-selling disco anthem “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor is more than just about moving on. It’s about realizing your worth, getting stronger, and being an independent person.

Many listeners will resonate with the message of the song. After all, how many of us have been in the same situation? We give our all to someone who doesn’t deserve our love and ends up hurting us over and over.

But when we’re able to move on, that’s when we realize we’re strong all along. We can survive any pain and heartache. And from that, we can be independent individuals who don’t need to rely on someone for our happiness.

5. “Independent Women, Pt. 1” By Destiny’s Child

Independent women are admirable. Just listen to Destiny’s Child sing praises to all the working women out there in “Independent Women, Pt. 1” from their Survivor album.

Destiny’s Child sings about a woman who recognizes her power and will not depend on a man for what she needs. Women can work, earn money and succeed all on their own. They don’t need permission or approval from men.

This song is empowering in that it encourages women to recognize their worth. They can gain independence and become as powerful as men.

6. “It’s My Life” By Bon Jovi

In the process of living life independently, we have to ignore people telling us how to live our life. That’s what Bon Jovi is saying in “It’s My Life.”

In addition, we are responsible for our lives. We are the ones who enjoy the fruits of our labor or who suffer from the consequences. People don’t have the right to control us, to tell us what we should do.

The lyrics further encourage us to stand up for our beliefs and never back down. The time to live and enjoy life is now.

7. “Breakaway” By Kelly Clarkson

Are you familiar with the saying, “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree”? In a way, that’s what Kelly Clarkson tells us in “Breakaway.” The singer dreams of big things away from the town where she grew up.

With a little bit of prayer, the singer is resolved to take risks and stand on her own to be successful. She wants to seize every opportunity and make the best of every moment.

But to do those things, she must spread her wings and “learn how to fly.” She must take chances and never give up. The song tells us that the power of independence can make us succeed in anything we do.

8. “Wide Open Spaces” By The Chicks

At some point, we step out of our comfort zone to start our own life. The Chicks know all about this in their song “Wide Open Spaces.”

The song describes a young woman leaving home and everything that’s comfortable. It’s time for her to follow her dreams, wherever that may lead her. She’ll be making big mistakes along the way, but these are part of life.

The song also reflects many parents’ sentiments when their children leave home for college or to strike on their own. They want to guide their children as much as possible. But their children must make their own decisions and become responsible and independent adults.

9. “Confident” By Demi Lovato

When you listen to the words behind this Demi Lovato song, you’ll realize how freeing it can be to be “Confident.” A woman of that caliber knows what she wants and she’ll get it.

In the song, we find a woman who has found her self-confidence and independence. She can love herself and be comfortable in her skin. She’s telling us that women shouldn’t have to hide who they are to please the people around them.

Lovato also sings about taking control of her life and her sexuality. It begins with loving and accepting yourself. Nothing is more freeing than loving who you are and who you are becoming.

10. “Control” By Janet Jackson

A life of independence is impossible if we are controlled left and right. Janet Jackson sings about this in “Control,” from her 1986 album of the same name.

This is a song that mentions “control” from the perspective of someone breaking away from her family. The singer recounts how people had control over her decisions when she was 17.

But now that she’s an adult herself, she is in control of her life. She sings, “I want to make my own decisions,” something that her family used to do for her. She doesn’t want to “rule the world.” But she wants to run her life the best she can.

11. “Stronger” By Britney Spears

Unfortunately, some of us get into relationships that smother us rather than make us better individuals. In “Stronger,” Britney Spears sings about coming out of this kind of relationship and being stronger from lessons learned.

Obviously, it’s a toxic relationship where the ex treated her like property. She has become too dependent on him. And he made a mistake thinking she can’t make it on her own because she can.

Now away from his clutches, she proves just how independent she can be. She’s on her own, knowing she’s “better off alone.” She will continue with her life no matter what anyone says and live her life to the fullest on her terms.

12. “Soar” By Christina Aguilera

It’s not wrong to put ourselves first. In “Soar,” Christina Aguilera tells us to have the courage to believe in ourselves and to follow our dreams.

The song says that there will be times when we feel low and “insecurity seems to take control.” More often than not, we look to others for strength and guidance. But the lyrics encourage us to be who we are and find our strength. And in those dark hours, that will pull us through.

The song emphasizes the importance of independence and knowing yourself more. It is essential to make your happiness and not depend on others to provide it.

13. “I Won’t Back Down” By Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers

One of the characteristics an independent person has is being strong in the face of opposition. In “I Won’t Back Down,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers talk of someone having this characteristic.

The song finds this person declaring that no matter what people do, he’s not going to back down. You can even drag him to the gates of hell, but there’s no way he’s giving up.

It’s his decision to be strong and to keep standing up no matter how many times he falls down. He will not let the world drag him down because he’s only got one life and he’s resolved to live it to the fullest.

14. “Independent” By Salt-N-Pepa

You know a woman is fiercely independent when she can say, “You need me, and I don’t need you.” This line appears in Salt-N-Pepa‘s “Independent,” from their 1990 album Blacks’ Magic.

The lyrics describe someone who’s proud to say, “Woman and I am independent.” She is earning her own money and paying her way. She doesn’t need help from anyone and will not cater to a man. She can do her own thing and won’t be used for entertainment.

The woman is independent enough to recognize the red flags and leave her partner. Crying is not worth it, so she’s not going to shed a tear for him.

15. “Unwritten” By Natasha Bedingfield

According to Natasha Bedingfield‘s “Unwritten,” being independent means, we are in control of our lives. The path we want to take depends on us. Today, our life begins, and we get to write the chapters we want.

As such, it’s important to live life to the fullest and take chances. We never know what opportunities will come our way.

The song also says that mistakes are expected to happen. In a society where we are “conditioned to not make mistakes,” we end up failing. The singer recognizes that she’ll make mistakes along the way, but it’s okay. What matters is that we take control of our life, be independent, and follow our dreams.

16. “King Of Anything” By Sara Bareilles

If people give you unsolicited advice about life and you hate it, remember Sara Bareilles‘ “King of Anything.” It’s one way of telling these people to leave you alone.

In the song, we can understand the singer’s frustrations with hearing everyone’s opinions. She’s tired of hearing people tell her who to be and of making others happy.

Now she’s asserting her independence by realizing that she’s her own person. She is old enough to make her own decisions without any judgments. And she won’t care a bit even if others disagree with her.

17. “Follow Your Arrow” By Kacey Musgraves

No matter what you do, whether right or wrong, people will always have something to say about it. What Kacey Musgraves suggests is to “Follow Your Arrow.”

In the song, Musgraves presents two sides of the coin. For instance, saving yourself for marriage or not. Drinking a little or too much. Being too fat or too thin. And for every choice you make, people judge you. You no longer know where to stand.

But the best thing to do is “follow your arrow wherever it points.” Who cares about what other people think, right? It’s your life and you’re the one living it, not them. So be yourself and embrace your independence.

18. “Bird Set Free” By Sia

Love is supposed to be freeing. But sometimes, people find themselves in relationships that make them prisoners. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to remain this way, as Sia tells us in “Bird Set Free.”

In the song, the singer is like an injured bird. She has “clipped wings” and a voice that “could not sing.” These tell us that the other person held her back. The desire for independence remains in her heart, though.

And when she is finally free, she realizes how much she wants to live and sing. Who cares if she sings offkey? She’s finding her voice, and that’s what matters.

19. “Redemption Song” By Bob Marley And The Wailers

An anthem of emancipation, Bob Marley and the Wailers‘ “Redemption Song” leaves a timeless message for his listeners. Marley wrote this song at a time when he was in his life’s latter moments. He was in great pain when he was writing this song and thought about his own mortality.

Marley borrowed an excerpt from black nationalist Marcus Garvey’s 1937 speech. That became a famous line from the song. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, None, but ourselves can free our minds.”

The lyrics encourage people to live the way they want and not how society dictates. It’s about taking a step to rid yourself of the negative influences in your life and fulfill your potential.

20. “It’s My Life” By No Doubt

How many have found themselves prisoners of “love”? You’ll resonate with the message No Doubt‘s “It’s My Life” says.

The lyrics describe a woman in a toxic relationship. No matter how many times he lied or the red flags he showed, she still loves him. Despite seeing his true colors, she won’t walk away. She still hopes that he would commit to their relationship fully.

In the chorus, she sings, “It’s my life, don’t you forget.” It’s a realization that she must love and respect herself. She needs to assert her independence to take control of her life.

21. “Free” By Ultra Naté

Sometimes it takes a reminder for us to realize that we are free and independent. Let Ultra Naté‘s song, “Free,” remind us of this fact every day.

This song is about empowerment and the importance of doing what you want. It tells us, “Now’s the time, ‘Cause you’re free to do what you want to do.” You have the power to live your life on your own terms.

The lyrics also encourage people to find it within themselves to stand up when they fall down. To reach for their dreams and not be afraid.

Summing Up Our List Of Independence Songs

Independence is a gift, a privilege, more than we ever realize. And sometimes, we need to be reminded of this fact, especially if we ended up in relationships or situations that made us question ourselves.

Thank goodness for music. We have something to remind us to yearn for independence. We hope that the songs above showed you that you can be your own person. That you can make your decisions and run your life.

Don’t let others make you a prisoner of their opinion of you. And never let someone quash your dreams. And finally, keep calm and be independent.

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.