25 Of The Best Songs About Strength And Courage

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Music can serve as a mirror to our souls, reflecting our deepest fears, hopes, dreams, and everything in between. Among these myriad themes, songs about strength and courage stand out for their ability to motivate, uplift, and empower listeners.

These anthems of resilience often narrate tales of overcoming adversity, battling inner demons, or pushing past the boundaries of what we believe is possible.

In this article, we’re turning up the volume on empowerment and resilience. We’ve curated a playlist that includes 25 of the best songs about strength and courage. So sit back, relax, and continue reading!

1. “I Will Survive” By Gloria Gaynor

The late 1970s was an era of musical diversity, with rock and pop dominating the charts while disco was making its own statement. Amidst this rich tapestry of sound, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” found its unique space.

The song stands as a testament to human strength and courage in the face of adversity. The lyrics, “Did you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die?” act as a rallying cry for anyone who has ever faced hardship.

Over the years, this message of resilience has resonated with countless people across the globe, making “I Will Survive” an emblem of hope and positivity.

2. “Don’t Stop Believin’” By Journey

Up next is a rock classic from Journey. “Don’t Stop Believin'” was released in 1981 from the album Escape. It is an unforgettable song with inspirational lyrics that motivated many people over the years.

The song is often hailed as an anthem of strength and courage. Its message of perseverance, embodied in the line “Don’t stop believin’, hold on to that feeling,” serves to motivate listeners to cling to their dreams and aspirations, no matter how challenging the journey may seem.

At the time of its release, “Don’t Stop Believin'” enjoyed both commercial success and critical acclaim, reaching #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite being over four decades old, the song remains one of the most downloaded songs of the 20th century, a testament to its enduring popularity.

3. “Eye Of The Tiger” By Survivor

In 1982, Survivor released one of their greatest hits, “Eye of the Tiger.” This powerful rock anthem is recognized for its driving beat and memorable lyrics.

At its core, “Eye of the Tiger” is a testament to strength and courage. The song encourages listeners to face their challenges head-on, much like a tiger would when facing a rival.

“Eye of the Tiger” was an instant hit when released. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks straight and received a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

4. “The Climb” By Miley Cyrus

Poignant and with lyrics that evoke strength and courage, “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus was released in 2009 from her album Hannah Montana: The Movie. The song has become an anthem for many, symbolizing the challenges and triumphs of life’s journey.

The lyrics of “The Climb” are deep, focusing on personal growth and resilience. Central to the song is the idea that life’s value lies not in the destination, but in the journey itself.

“The Climb” has since inspired listeners to face their challenges head-on and to keep moving forward, no matter how difficult the journey may be.

5. “I Believe I Can Fly” By R. Kelly

When R. Kelly released “I Believe I Can Fly” as a single in 1996, the world was introduced to a track of self-belief. This soulful song, later included on his 1998 album R, has become a staple of the singer’s discography and a symbol of strength and courage.

The lyrics of the song are deeply inspirational. The opening line sets a tone of personal struggle that is soon overcome by the powerful affirmation in the chorus, “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky.”

“I Believe I Can Fly” remains one of R. Kelly’s greatest hits. It reached #2 on the Billboard charts and won three Grammy Awards, including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

6. “Not Afraid” By Eminem

Released in 2010, Eminem’s “Not Afraid,” from the album Recovery, serves as a powerful testament to the rapper’s journey toward sobriety and self-empowerment.

The lyrics of “Not Afraid” reflect Eminem’s determination to overcome his personal troubles. It captures a pivotal moment in his career, marking a shift in his lyrical focus from his struggles with drug addiction to his commitment to personal growth and change.

Lines such as “I’m not afraid to take a stand, Everybody come take my hand” showcase his newfound courage and willingness to face his demons head-on. It’s a call to action, not just for himself, but for his listeners too. It encourages them to find the strength to confront their own challenges and fears.

7. “Lose Yourself” By Eminem

Released in 2002 from the soundtrack of the film 8 Mile, Eminem‘s “Lose Yourself” is a quintessential piece of rap culture. This song chronicles the struggles of a rapper seizing his opportunity to follow his passion, reflecting Eminem’s own journey.

The lyrics of “Lose Yourself” are both personal and universal. Lines such as “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, This opportunity comes once in a lifetime” encapsulate the song’s central theme of seizing the moment.

“Lose Yourself” conveys not just a powerful message of strength and courage but also determination and resilience. It offers inspiration to listeners who may be facing their own moments of challenge or opportunity.

8. “Roar” By Katy Perry

In 2013, pop sensation Katy Perry released “Roar” as the lead single from her fourth studio album, Prism. The song is a powerful anthem of self-empowerment and resilience.

Though the song does not specifically state “strength” or “courage,” the lyrics of “Roar” reflect it. It is a testament to overcoming adversity and finding one’s voice, particularly the chorus, “You’re gonna hear me roar.”

“Roar” topped the charts in several countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, when it was released. It has since been certified Diamond and continues to inspire listeners worldwide, making it an enduring classic in popular music.

9. “It’s My Life” By Bon Jovi

In the year 2000, rock band Bon Jovi released “It’s My Life” as the lead single from their seventh studio album, Crush. The song is a powerful anthem that affirms the vocalist’s intent to live life to the fullest.

The lyrics of “It’s My Life” are a clear assertion of personal freedom and individuality. Lines like “It’s my life, It’s now or never” and “I ain’t gonna live forever, I just want to live while I’m alive” underscore the narrator’s inner strength and courage to seize the moment.

The song has resonated with listeners since its release, becoming a staple in popular culture and serving as an anthem for empowerment. It has also become one of Bon Jovi’s most recognizable and enduring hits.

10. “Stronger” By Britney Spears

Unleashed in 2000 as the third single from her album Oops!… I Did It Again, Britney Spears‘ “Stronger” marked a significant turning point in the pop icon’s career. This song allowed Spears to assert her growing independence and resilience.

Though it’s not a song with “strength” in the title, it embodies the same meaning. With its compelling lines like “But now I’m stronger than yesterday, Now it’s nothing but my way,” “Stronger” encourages listeners to value their self-worth and never let anyone hold them back.

“Stronger” received acclaim from music critics for its shift in tone and subject matter, marking a maturation in Spears’ music. The accompanying music video further emphasized the singer’s evolution from a teen pop star to a femme fatale.

11. “Brave” By Sara Bareilles

Up next is “Brave,” released in 2013. This powerful track is from Sara Bareilles‘ fourth studio album, The Blessed Unrest.

“Brave” is not just a song. It is an encouragement to listeners to find the courage to be who they want to be. Penned from the perspective of one friend encouraging another to come out, the lyrics underscore the importance of self-expression and authenticity, even in the face of potential judgment or rejection.

This message has resonated deeply with listeners since its release, becoming a staple in popular culture and serving as an anthem for empowerment and self-expression.

12. “Fight Song” By Rachel Platten

It takes a lot to find yourself after being beaten down, and Rachel Platten knows it with her 2015 single “Fight Song.” The track’s lyrics and melody are crafted to inspire the strength and courage needed to rise up again.

The song’s lyrics speak directly to the listener’s inner strength. Platten uses vivid imagery to depict the process of finding courage in the face of adversity.

At its core, “Fight Song” is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt defeated or worn down. It reminds them that they possess an inner strength that can overcome any obstacle.

13. “Keep Holding On” By Avril Lavigne

The power ballad “Keep Holding On,” by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne, stands as the closing track on her third studio album, The Best Damn Thing. The song has found a cherished place in popular culture, notably playing during the credits of the film Eragon.

The lyrics to “Keep Holding On” are a compelling testament to resilience and companionship. Lavigne expresses to another person that they aren’t alone and will overcome their struggles together.

The lines “We’ll make it through” and “Just stay strong, ‘Cause you know I’m here for you” are a powerful reassurance of unwavering support, embodying the song’s theme of strength in unity.

14. “Hero” By Mariah Carey

Released in 1993, “Hero” is one of the most iconic songs by singer-songwriter Mariah Carey. The ballad has touched the hearts of millions with its powerful message of resilience and self-belief.

The song profoundly mentions strength and courage: “When you feel like hope is gone, Look inside you and be strong … a hero lies in you.”

These words inspire listeners to seek the hero within themselves, emphasizing that they have the power to conquer their fears and achieve their dreams.

Since its release, “Hero” has become an anthem for empowerment. It continues to capture the hearts of listeners, serving as a reminder of the innate strength we all possess and the courage we can summon in challenging times.

15. “Warrior” By Demi Lovato

Another song of self-empowerment is “Warrior” by Demi Lovato. Featured in her fourth studio album, Demi, the song tells a story of overcoming adversity and personal battles.

The song’s title symbolizes a person who fights bravely through life’s challenges. It talks about strength and courage in the lyrics with the lines “I’m a warrior, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.”

Throughout the song, it reinforces that no matter how difficult the struggle, one can emerge stronger and more resilient on the other side.

“Warrior” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. But because of its message of resilience, it continues to inspire listeners across the globe.

16. “Unstoppable” By Sia

With its powerful lyrics and pulsating rhythm, “Unstoppable” by Sia was featured on her seventh studio album This Is Acting. It stands as a testament to human strength and the indomitable spirit.

The lyrics paint a picture of unyielding determination and self-assuredness. The words inspire listeners to tap into their inner strength, embrace their power, and face life’s challenges head-on.

Sia’s emotive vocal delivery brings depth to the song’s empowering message. Her unique voice adds a layer of relatability that connects with listeners on a personal level.

17. “Stronger” By The Score

The alt-rock duo The Score created an anthem in the song “Stronger.” Released in 2020, it encourages listeners to embrace their struggles and view them as stepping stones to success and self-discovery.

The song’s message is encapsulated in its title, “Stronger.” Its lyrics are a shout informing others that no matter what anyone or anything throws at the narrator — even set him on fire! — he will always come out alive and stronger.

Though “Stronger” did not chart, it was still well received. Its music video on YouTube has had over 80 million views, a testament to the listeners’ appreciation for its uplifting message and catchy melody.

18. “Confident” By Demi Lovato

Up next we have another anthemic track by Demi Lovato. “Confident,” released in 2015, is the second single from her fifth studio album of the same name. The song boldly explores themes of strength, courage, and self-affirmation.

The lyrics of the song are a testament to Lovato’s journey toward self-belief and assertiveness. Lines like “I used to hold my freak back, now I’m letting go, I make my own choice, yeah I run this show” reflect her decision to take control of her life.

Moreover, the repeated phrase “What’s wrong with being confident?” strongly advocates for self-confidence and self-love. It encourages listeners to embrace their individuality and be proud of who they are, thereby promoting a message of strength and courage.

19. “Float On” By Modest Mouse

Our next song is considered the rock band Modest Mouse‘s signature song. “Float On” was released in 2004 as the lead single from their fourth studio album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News.

The lyrics of the song do not explicitly discuss strength and courage. However, its story — which portrays various down-on-your-luck events, like backing into a police car and getting fired — certainly requires a lot of strength and courage to overcome.

These themes continue throughout the song. However, with the refrain “And we’ll all float on okay,” the song offers reassurance that no matter the obstacles, everything will eventually be all right.

20. “Dare You to Move” By Switchfoot

From Switchfoot‘s 2003 album The Beautiful Letdown, “Dare You to Move” stands as an anthem of courage and resilience.

The song describes life — everybody is here watching your every move. There will be resistance to your choices and the fallout of relationships, among other things life throws at us.

These things might stop us in our tracks. But the lyrics challenge listeners to gather the strength and courage to take action despite fears and uncertainties — it dares us to move.

“Dare You to Move” hit the hearts of many listeners upon its release and landed in the top 20 of Billboard Hot 100. It was also nominated for Song of the Year at the 2005 Dove Awards.

21. “Just Give Me A Reason” By Pink

Courage and strength do not only apply to life but to love as well, as Pink‘s song “Just Give Me a Reason” can attest. From the singer’s album The Truth About Love, the track stands as a powerful testament to the resilience of love and the will to fight for it.

The lyrics depict a couple struggling with their relationship, yet determined to hold on. Pink uses the metaphor of a thief to describe her partner, signifying how he has stolen her heart. However, the song suggests that the relationship has been neglected or even broken for some time.

As a song about strength and courage, “Just Give Me a Reason” inspires listeners to fight for love, even when things seem bleak. Lines like “We’re not broken just bent, and we can learn to love again” underline the belief that love can be rekindled with effort and perseverance.

22. “Courage” By Céline Dion

Up next, Céline Dion delivers a powerful and poignant performance in the song “Courage.” The song was written by Stephan Moccio and is an ode to resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

The lyrics of “Courage” are a testament to human strength and the will to keep going even when times are tough. Lines such as “Courage, don’t you dare fail me now, I need you to keep away the doubts” depict a heartfelt plea for inner strength and fortitude during challenging times.

Since its release, the song has become a universal theme of resilience and determination. Today, it continues to inspire, making it a significant addition to Dion’s discography and popular culture.

23. “Courage” By Pink

Our next song is also titled “Courage,” but this one by Pink tells a different story. Released in 2019 from her album Hurts 2B Human, “Courage” marks her second collaboration with Sia. It showcases Pink’s signature blend of pop-rock and emotionally charged lyrics.

The lyrics of “Courage” are a plea for bravery in the face of adversity. The song’s title itself is a call to action, a reminder to summon inner strength and face whatever challenges lie ahead.

Moreover, the collaboration with Sia amplifies the song’s message of resilience. The interpolation of “Courage” in Sia’s “Courage to Change” further emphasizes the transformation that can occur when we confront our fears with bravery.

24. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” By Kelly Clarkson

Just as the title suggests, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” by Kelly Clarkson, is a song that celebrates strength and courage. Released as the title track from her fifth studio album, the song quickly resonated with listeners worldwide for its relatable and empowering message.

The song’s lyrics encourage listeners to confront their struggles head-on, drawing strength from their experiences. The line “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” encapsulates this sentiment perfectly.

“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” is not only a catchy tune but also deeply meaningful. The upbeat tempo and Clarkson’s powerful vocals add a layer of intensity to the song.

25. “Get Up, Stand Up” By Bob Marley & The Wailers

Penned by the legendary Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, “Get Up, Stand Up” is a compelling song that has echoed through time. Released as part of The Wailers’ 1973 album Burnin’, this track is not merely a song, but a powerful call to action.

The lyrics of the song are a potent critique of passive attitudes toward oppression and injustice. The song encourages listeners to rise, take a stand, and not be deceived by religious or political illusions.

As a testament to strength and courage, the song pushes listeners to confront their challenges head-on and to fight for their rights. It is about resilience, about standing up against adversity, and about refusing to be silenced. It’s about being brave enough to rise against the status quo and assert one’s dignity and rights.

Summing Up Our List Of Strength And Courage Songs

Wrapping up our musical journey, it’s clear that the realm of music is rich with songs that inspire strength and courage. These tunes we’ve listed have resonated deeply, providing a melodious backdrop for life’s trials and triumphs.

We hope you found some new favorites to add to your playlist and that these powerful tracks serve as a reminder of your inner strength and courage.

However, this list is far from complete. If there are any songs about strength and courage that you hold dear, share them with us so we can add them here!

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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.