16 Of The Best Songs About Resilience To Keep You Going

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Resilience can come in all shapes and sizes. Some people face adversity from within, from others, or from society. Regardless of the source, fighting back can feel impossible.

When we get knocked down on our knees, we need encouragement to return to our old selves. We may need a reminder that we are strong, despite our worst insecurities. Other times, we may need to put up boundaries.

Wherever you fall on this spectrum, there is an empowering song for you. So check out and listen to 16 of the best songs about resilience when you need a boost.

1. “Resilience” By Born Of Osiris

We are starting this list with a song with “resilience” in the title. Born of Osiris‘ “Resilience” came out in 2015 from their album Soul Sphere.

In the song, the singer leaves clues of his inner turmoil. He asks, “Who have I become what have I done?” He seems lost as he wishes he was following a path of his own choosing.

But there’s no time now to regret his past actions, and “death is not an option.” He claims that he can gain strength from being resilient and his actions guiding him.

2. “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” By U2

You’re blessed if you have someone who tells you the message that U2‘s “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” imparts. The song says that yes, we occasionally find ourselves in tough situations. But it’s not all about hardships.

In the song, the singer shares what the other person, presumably his lover, is going through. Apparently, she finds herself in a situation that’s hard to come out of. We can only imagine how difficult it is for her and how she must feel at this moment.

Bono, the lead singer, wrote this hit while considering the worldwide issue of suicide. He leaves us with a clear message that this terrible feeling will pass. We can get through anything because we are resilient.

3. “Smile” By Nat King Cole

Our next song, “Smile,” carries both sad and happy undertones. Nat King Cole released his rendition of this hit in 1954, and it has since become an iconic song.

This chart-topper is a reflection of how resilient human beings are. Even when we go through the eye of a needle, we find the strength to smile. We are resilient in that we can go through “fear and sorrow” and come out stronger.

This song reminds us to take a moment and look for the good. Even when everything seems to be falling apart, there is much to make us smile. It can actually heal us. So we must wipe away our tears and look forward to a better tomorrow.

4. “Resilient” By Katy Perry

If we’re talking about songs with “resilient” in the lyrics, Katy Perry‘s “Resilient” comes in. It says that being aware of your resilience is empowering.

The singer shows self-awareness by acknowledging that if she wants to succeed, she must fail first. If she “wants the rainbows,” she’ll get some rain before that. Going through these trying times is what makes her strong.

But what’s admirable is her recognizing her resilience. She is a flower that will grow even through the cracks of concrete. And now she is in full bloom.

5. “Don’t Stop” By Fleetwood Mac

Have you been in a situation where you woke up, and you feel like the world is on your shoulders? It’s difficult to look at the day with a light heart and happy disposition. Fleetwood Mac tells us in “Don’t Stop” that if you’re not happy today, then look forward to tomorrow.

The song urges us to be resilient in the face of tough times. We must always look forward and not backward. “Yesterday’s gone,” and we can’t do anything about it anymore. But tomorrow is still to come. We have a lot of chances to make it different.

Of course, that largely depends on how we want it to be. If we keep focusing on the past, then we’re always stuck. But if we focus on tomorrow, “it’ll be better than before.”

6. “I Will Survive” By Gloria Gaynor

All of us have resilience hiding in our bones. That’s why even in the most painful heartbreak, we can confidently say, “I Will Survive.” This anthem was popularized by Gloria Gaynor.

In the song, the singer recounts how her heart was broken by someone she loved and trusted so much. It made her doubt whether she could come out of that situation.

But realizing all the wrong things he did against her gives her the resilience to move on. She is able to have the strength to turn him away and make a life for herself. She mends her broken heart and proves to him that she’s never the same person.

7. “Hall Of Fame” By The Script

Another song that’s a testament to how resilient we are is The Script‘s “Hall of Fame.” The song basically says that we can be anything we set our minds to.

This song reminds us of our endless potential. It empowers us with the idea that we can be anyone we want and change the world with our gifts. If we dedicate ourselves to the cause, we can be the greatest and we can be the champions.

It’s all a matter of trying. We’ll never know what we can do until we try. And we must believe in ourselves that one day, we will accomplish what we set out to do.

8. “If You’re Going Through Hell” By Rodney Atkins

In “If You’re Going Through Hell,” the singer has some valuable advice based on his own experience. This upbeat country hit was the first single off Rodney Atkins’ album, If You’re Going Through Hell.

The song straightforwardly tells us to keep going. If you’re having problems, don’t wallow in them. If you’re having a bad day, going through a breakup, or other painful experiences, don’t get stuck in them. Stopping to lament our problems won’t solve anything.

The singer has gone through similar experiences before. He showed resilience by keeping forward. And he acknowledges the “angels” who have helped him back on his feet.

9. “Rise Up” By Andra Day

Those days inevitably come when we feel like the world defeated us. How redeeming it would be for someone to come save us. Andra Day‘s “Rise Up” is a message of hope for people losing the will to fight.

In the lyrics, the singer speaks to the listener, who is “broken down and tired.” While they lose sight of their own strength, she sees it in them and helps them draw it out. She shows them that they can be resilient like her.

Not only that, she’d go the mile to be strong for them. She’ll “rise up” for them and help them back on their feet. And because she loves them, she’ll do it over and over again.

10. “Firework” By Katy Perry

Another song that speaks of our resilience is Katy Perry‘s “Firework.” This dance-pop hit was featured on Teenage Dream, Perry’s third studio album. It held many number-one spots on US Billboard charts, such as the Billboard Hot 100.

Katy Perry empowers people everywhere with this song. She had obviously been in similar situations before when we feel like we don’t matter. There are times when we feel weak like no one understands us.

But she convinces us that “there’s a spark in you.” What we have to do is ignite it, and we’ll be unstoppable. We must take a leap of faith and show the world how resilient we are.

11. “Hero” By Mariah Carey

Being resilient means finding the strength within yourself. That’s what Mariah Carey‘s “Hero” is all about.

Doing huge accomplishments isn’t the only basis for being a hero. Most of the time, it’s the small things that make us a hero to others or ourselves. The singer reminds us of this that we are heroes in our own small ways.

It is within our hearts that we must look first, and there we will find the answers we need. We will see that we are strong and we can get through anything.

12. “Keep Holding On” By Avril Lavigne

Like Andra Day’s “Rise Up,” Avril Lavigne‘s “Keep Holding On” shows strength in numbers. You may feel weak sometimes, but someone will always be there to help you.

“Keep Holding On” follows someone promising to stand by the listeners’ side. Regardless of whatever is thrown their way, she promises to be “here for you” and will remain by their side. She will be their strength, their cheerleader during tough times.

She is confident that they’ll “make it through” anything. What they need to do is be strong and not give up.

13. “Resilient” By Rising Appalachia

Here’s another song that mentions being resilient as a way to be uplifted. Rising Appalachia released “Resilient” in 2019 from the album Leylines.

The song begins with the powerful statement, “I am resilient.” Like Katy Perry’s “Resilient,” this one reflects the singer’s recognition of her inner strength. By being so, she’s confident that it will bring the system “down to its knees.”

But before coming to that state, she had been through the wringer. She declares, “I’m made of thunder, I’m made of lightning, I’m made of dirt.” All these combine to make her what she is now.

14. “Roar” By Katy Perry

Often hailed as this generation’s “Eye of the Tiger,” Katy Perry’s “Roar” focuses on fighting back against people that doubt you. The song pays homage to “Eye of the Tiger” in the pre-chorus, drawing the comparison home.

In the song, the narrator was often an underdog: she did not talk back and was quiet and polite even though she was being pulled down.

After being pushed to her limits, however, this all changed. Now speaks out against the people who have held her back. She chose to stand tall because she’s strong; she’s a champion and a survivor, and no matter what doubters do or say, she can weather it all and succeed.

15. “Fight Song” By Rachel Platten

Author and singer-songwriter Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” is among the most motivational songs of the millennia. Intending to take her life back to where it used to be, Platen promises to be strong on her journey.

The song starts by detailing how the narrator feels, like “a small boat on the ocean” with tumultuous waves tossing it about. But no more—the singer is resilient and fighting back, and this is her song.

Like in “Roar,” “Fight Song” highlights not letting others hold you back. Don’t worry if others don’t believe in you so long as you believe in yourself!

16. “The Greatest” By Sia Ft. Kendrick Lamar

We are closing this list with “The Greatest,” a collaboration between Australian singer Sia and rapper Kendrick Lamar. The song was released in 2016 on Sia’s seventh studio album, This Is Acting.

This song is about resilience and overcoming adversity while emphasizing the idea of living life to the fullest. Despite the challenges, the singer claims she has the stamina to go through them. Giving up is not an option for her.

In Lamar’s verse, he raps about how he has worked and prayed hard, and paid his dues. He exemplifies resilience by saying that he bounces back every time he falls.

Summing Up Our List Of Resilience Songs

One admirable thing about us humans is our resilience in the face of adversity. We may be weathered and battered by life’s problems, but we have this strength that keeps us getting back on our feet.

Life is a never-ending story of ups and downs. And it’s necessary to go through both to help make us strong.

Like Katy Perry’s song, we’re like flowers that persistently grow through the cracks. And we’re beautiful and resilient that way.

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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.