11 Of The Best Songs About Self-Care And Looking After Yourself

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Self-care can look like all sorts of different things. Whenever you make time to prioritize your well-being, physically or emotionally, you’re practicing self-care.

Self-care might be easy to neglect as we get busy. But, as the National Institute of Mental Health explains, self-care can help you decrease stress, improve your immune system, and give you an energy boost. It’s well worth the investment.

You’re likely to notice significant improvements in your life when you start prioritizing your well-being. To help you get on the right track, check out 11 of the best songs about self-care. They just might inspire you to be more confident and take care of your strong and resilient self!

1. “U + Ur Hand” By P!nk

No need to look far for inspiration. P!nk may just be the one true pop music queen of confident independence. Many of her songs and music videos reinforce the idea that she is not afraid to do what’s right for her. Case in point, “U + Ur Hand.”

P!nk believes that taking care of your needs is not selfish nor something to be ashamed of. In the song, she brushes off potential suitors with the firm declaration that she’s “not here for your entertainment.”

She cares for herself by refusing to settle for just any man who shows an interest in her, even though there are plenty of them around.

2. “The Show Goes On” By Lupe Fiasco

Sometimes, self-care comes in the form of being emotionally resilient. That’s what Lupe Fiasco wants to tell you in “The Show Goes On.” The lyrics encourage you to recognize and honor your own potential, no matter what life throws at you.

You can practice self-care by refusing to let other people keep you from achieving your dreams. The catchy chorus has become an anthem for all. Not only for those who prioritize self-care but for teams and performers who experience the highs and lows of their craft.

“The Show Goes On” is Lupe’s most popular song yet, having hit #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. More than 140 million YouTube views on the music video are no statistic to sneeze at, either. It’s clear that the message of self-worth and perseverance has resonated with a wide audience.

3. “Shake It Off” By Taylor Swift

Love her or hate her, it’s difficult to deny that Taylor Swift is a songwriting force to be reckoned with. It’s not surprising that one of her many hits, “Shake it Off,” is one of the best self-care songs.

“Shake It Off” represents self-care as it relates to confidence in your uniqueness. When you accept and even celebrate yourself as you are, you’re taking care of your emotional health.

Through her lyrics, Swift encourages listeners to dance to the beat of their own drums. And when criticism comes your way, just “shake it off.”

4. “No Scrubs” By TLC

Our next song is a bit of a throwback hit. TLC’s 1999 “No Scrubs” remains a classic confidence booster for women who would rather be single than settle for a “scrub” or a partner lacking the drive to work hard and earn his own way in life.

At first, the message of the song may sound shallow. The singer doesn’t want anything to do with a scrub. This is a man who still lives with his momma and doesn’t do anything to get out of being broke.

But the bigger picture here is to encourage listeners to set and maintain boundaries in romantic relationships, which is a powerful way to take care of yourself.

5. “So What” By P!nk

Another powerful self-care hit by P!nk is the very catchy single “So What.” It’s a song that discusses self-care following a breakup.

The lyrics and music video speak to honoring your emotions after a breakup. There will be sadness following the loss of a partner. But there’s also pleasure in moving on and knowing you’re still a “rock star” with or without them.

If you learn to love yourself, you don’t need a relationship to define you or give your life meaning. Follow P!nk’s lead in this song to maintain your self-identity regardless of your relationship status.

6. “Bulletproof” By La Roux

The first line of our next song, “Been there, done that,” speaks to a lot of us. It’s a familiar situation that applies to all kinds of relationships. La Roux’s “Bulletproof” is an empowering self-care song that tells us to learn from our mistakes.

From the lyrics, we take it that the singer has finally had enough. She’s no longer letting him in nor letting him sweep her off her feet. She wants absolutely nothing to do with him, so she’s “burning bridges shore to shore.”

What’s beautiful about this song is that she has finally put an end to a loop that brought her to the same situation over and over. It’s about being free from behaviors that only hurt her and coming out resilient and stronger than before.

7. “Jumpin’, Jumpin’” By Destiny’s Child

Who says your social life has to revolve around just you and your partner as a couple? Certainly not Destiny’s Child. “Jumpin’, Jumpin’” is all about attending to your social needs as an individual, too.

So if you’re sitting and home with your boyfriend or girlfriend and you want to go out, but they don’t, this song’s lyrics have this sage advice: call up some friends, get all dolled up, and go out and have fun – without them!

This girl group wasn’t trying to say you should never compromise on your plans, of course, but don’t forget yourself, either. You and your partner might both benefit from your investment in other social connections.

8. “The Middle” By Jimmy Eat World

Our next song talks about being yourself as a form of self-care. “The Middle” is Jimmy Eat World’s biggest hit to date, having reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Its lyrics are nearly universally relatable, addressing the listener as someone rejected and in need of cheering up.

“The Middle” is like a supportive friend, opening with the line, “Hey, don’t write yourself off yet.” It encourages listeners to care for themselves by hoping that things will get better and having a more positive mindset.

This catchy, upbeat song has been featured in many commercials. It was even played in the pilot episode of ABC’s The Middle, a show partially inspired by the tune.

9. “Float On” By Modest Mouse

When things go bad, it helps to have the right mindset. Just listen to Modest Mouse‘s “Float On.” Its simple but powerful message is not unlike “this too shall pass.”

The lyrics describe all kinds of misfortune befalling the singer. Yet the chorus concludes that “we’ll all float on.” Things might end up “a bit too heavy,” but everything will be all right.

Having this kind of emotional resilience is an important component of maintaining mental health. Modest Mouse doesn’t sing that everything will always be perfect. But we’ll be able to figure out some way to handle the chaos and eventually move past it.

10. “Good As Hell” By Lizzo

The best combination of self-care is one that takes into account your physical as well as emotional well-being. Lizzo has the right words about this in her 2016 single “Good as Hell.”

The song speaks about going through difficult moments in relationships. It’s not just about feeling good physically by getting your hair and nails done. It’s also about making sure you are in an emotionally healthy stage.

So when your man “don’t love you anymore,” have the courage to walk away. “Take a deep breath” and “focus on you.” After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

11. “I Wanna Get Better” By Bleachers

What a way to end this list with Bleachers‘ “I Wanna Get Better.” This may be the most indie song in our compilation, but its place is well-deserved.

Unsurprisingly, the song’s repeated refrain is the same as the title: “I wanna get better.” What that means exactly is different for everyone. But there’s something that resonates with everyone who knows they have some room for improvement.

The song is a powerful declaration of hope. Even though we all have problems and feel as though we’re facing them alone at times, the lyrics are reassuring that everyone is a work in progress. Committing to change is a great way to start moving toward a happier and healthier life.

Summing Up Our List Of Self-Care Songs

The best songs that talk about self-care are the ones that remind you of your worth. They should motivate you to think and act in a way that reflects self-love.

So no matter your relationship status, mental state, or life circumstances, put yourself first. There is definitely nothing wrong with prioritizing your overall well-being. After all, one cannot pour from an empty cup.

We hope you liked the selection of songs we have put together today. And while listening to them, remember to give your love to the person who deserves it: you. Because you’re worth it!

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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.