Music is an integral part of life. It’s embedded in the deepest roots of our respective cultures, and is given a lot of importance in any form of festivity or occasion. The music we listen to has the ability to move us and bring about feelings of nostalgia, happiness, and even sadness. And that’s why when we’re down or just in need of a hand to get back up again, we often turn to our Spotify accounts and play our favorite songs at volumes that would annoy the hell out of our neighbors.
I decided to compile a list of 15 songs that are the most upbeat, positive, mood-boosting numbers that I could think of. There are hundreds out there, and everyone knows of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” or The Script’s “Hall of Fame”, so I wanted to include the songs that aren’t as cliché… or at least I hope I did. These songs are meant to get you through a rigorous workout session, or push you to finish that one last lap during a marathon, or just get you through the day by feeling like an absolute champion. So go ahead… turn up the volume, add these to your playlists, and get ready to feel like you’re ready to conquer the world!
15. When We Come Alive – Switchfoot
Switchfoot is an alternative-rock band that makes positive music. Although often addressing a wide spectrum of issues like love, life, purpose, and struggle, their music has always been a call to action towards thriving in this world instead of merely existing. Songs like “Love Is a Movement” and “We Are One Tonight” are powerful odes to a life of togetherness and community with one another. Then there are songs like “Awakening” and “Thrive” that describe the need of being truly, positively, breathtakingly alive in this world instead of just breathing for the sake of living.
One of Switchfoot’s most driving songs, however, is this track off their 9th studio album, Fading West. Aptly titled “When We Come Alive”, the song is a melodious and upbeat piece that starts relatively calm and then progresses into a choir-esque chorus. “We are fire, burning brightly you and I, attack the sky when we ignite” are just some of the words in this song that are bound to get you hyped for whatever it is you’re doing.
14. Heartlines – Florence + The Machine
With the thunderous thumping of drums in its backbone and an ascending rhythm that eventually culminates in an upbeat, almost dance-inducing chorus, this track off the album Ceremonials will move you, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Florence Welch, the fiery redhead of the band Florence and The Machine, belts out this celebratory beat titled “Heartlines” as an anthem to those who are never willing to give up. Life is hard, everyone knows that, but the last thing you should do is give in to your struggles. “Just keep following the heartlines on your hand” is that nudge you need to keep going, whether it’s to reach your destiny or to do that one thing you’ve always wanted to do, just keep going as Florence says, and you’ll get there.
13. Invincible – Machine Gun Kelly feat. Ester Dean
“Invincible” was used as one of the themes to Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson vs John Cena at WrestleMania 28… that’s the kind of pre-game energy it has. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the final lap of the marathon, or if you’re about to face off against an opponent in the ring, or if you just need a song to get you through your workout, this track by Machine Gun Kelly and Ester Dean will push you to go that extra mile. Heck, you could be listening to this while doing absolutely nothing and it’ll probably boost you up enough to get up and reach for those goals.
12. Remember The Name – Fort Minor
Mike Shinoda, co-lead vocalist of Linkin Park, makes it loud and clear in his second single off the album The Rising Tied; you have to stop at nothing when making your mark in this world. What is your purpose here? What makes you happy? What satisfies your thirst for success? Put on some headphones and drive “Remember The Name” through your aural cavities, and you’re going to be a lot more hyped finding the answers to those questions.
11. Don’t Give Up – Kevin Rudolf
The title of this song should essentially be the motto of everyone’s life, right? Kevin Rudolf’s “Don’t Give Up” isn’t as heart-thumping or as heavy on the bass as some of the more fast-paced songs on this list, but it makes its message loud and clear; no matter what the hurdle, and no matter what anyone says, don’t ever stop believing in yourself and don’t ever give up in life. Most of Rudolf’s songs are about positivity, success, and just the grind of life, so give those a listen as well if you like this track.
10. Boom – P.O.D
Okay, let’s go way back to the early 2000s, specifically 2001, for this big beat. Despite what critics will have you believe, P.O.D has churned out some amazing music over the years. “Boom” comes off P.O.D’s fourth studio album, Satellite, and is guaranteed to get you hyped. For reasons I still can’t understand, P.O.D decided to use ping pong as the game this song is set against in their music video, but I’m pretty sure this song will get you through that extra set of bench-presses if it’s running through your system. Or maybe you’re heading out for a run and you need something to be your cheerleader for that extra mile. Trust me, “Boom” is that cheerleader.
9. Lose Yourself – Eminem
I won’t get into the debate of whether or not Slim Shady is the best rapper in the world. Honestly, that seems like a redundant argument for 12-year-olds to harp on, because music is subjective and every artiste is different… so there’s just no way of quantifying if someone is the best at something as intangible as music.
That being said, the man known as Marshall Mathers has made some incredibly good songs over the course of his insanely successful career as a rapper and hip-hop artiste. “Lose Yourself” is such a thick slice of unadulterated inspiration that it needs to be a staple on all your playlists. It doesn’t matter if you need a song to lift your spirits or just a track to make you feel like an absolute winner, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is that song!
8. Who’s Gonna’ Stop Me?! – Paperplane Pursuit
Let’s lay off the big chart-toppers for a second, shall we? Paperplane Pursuit is a band from Malaysia that made an impact by exploding onto the US Billboard charts in 2015, topping bands like Maroon 5 along the way. Their song “Who’s Gonna’ Stop Me?!” is a cheery pop beat that’s fun and bound to get your spirits up. Heck, their music video has them standing in the center of a ring, raising their hands like champions. Sometimes you don’t need the big ballads or the heavy riffs to get you feeling invincible… lighthearted songs like this will do just fine.
7. Could Have Been Me – The Struts
You don’t have to go more than 10 seconds into this song to know that this is your new beat. The Struts bring out the guitars and tune those high notes in their vocal range for this riff-heavy mood booster. Simply put, there’s no low point in this song. It isn’t peaks and valleys… it’s just one crazy, stretched out peak, and if that doesn’t get you feeling like you could swim the seven seas I don’t know what will.
The Struts sing about how they want to feel everything, do everything, and regret nothing in the end. It’s a reckless way to live, but then again life isn’t a bed of roses, so you might as well enjoy the ride by taking it all in and enjoying every second of it.
6. Bent To Fly – Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators
There are guitarists, and then there’s Slash. Although Guns N’ Roses aren’t what they used to be, Slash continues to belt out fantastic pieces with his handy guitar and that genius sense of sound. Simply put, his career has enjoyed its longevity for extremely valid reasons. Recently banding up with Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, Slash has produced new songs in the vein of 80s rock n’ roll, but with a more contemporary vocal range thanks to Myles. “Bent To Fly” is about breaking out of your comfort zone and reaching for those dreams. Hey, Rocky didn’t become the ultimate underdog by sitting in his comfort zone, and neither should you.
5. Good Feeling – Flo Rida
Flo Rida has been on the receiving end of a ton of criticism for basically sampling other songs for most of his biggest chart-toppers. He also botched a rap battle against Bo Dallas during a “rap battle” on WWE Monday Night Raw. Yikes. When you’re bad at the one thing you’re supposed to be good at, people are going to give you sh*t for it… especially if the show you failed on happens to be a scripted, pre-determined rap battle. Tsk tsk tsk, Flo Rida, you should really get your act together, man.
That being said, you can’t deny that Flo Rida’s music will get your feet tapping. His songs are catchy and easy to dance along to, but none are more upbeat than this earworm aptly titled “Good Feeling”. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, listening to this song will… well… get you feeling good. Don’t take my word for it, just give it a listen!
4. Jungle – X Ambassadors, Jamie N Commons
Trust me, you’re going to want to turn up the bass for this one. There are only a handful of songs that will get you pumped more than this song by X Ambassadors and the incredibly talented singer-songwriter, Jamie N Commons. There are times when hurdles and closed doors in your path to success are going to make you want to turn around and walk away. Put this track on, and in no time you’ll be kicking down those doors and blazing that trail again. It’s a jungle out there, sure, but who says you can’t own that jungle and become king?
3. Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
My taste in music might be a more on the side of eclectic and rock, but songs like “Can’t Hold Us” are what turned me into a fan of Macklemore and his partner in crime, Ryan Lewis. While he receives his fair share of criticism, I enjoy the fact that Macklemore’s music is more old school in terms of rap and hip hop. He sings about love and life, but also about the simpler things like baseball games and enjoying the company of friends at a bar. And then he tackles the more important issues like LGBT rights and the pitfalls of capitalism.
And then there’s this gem… addressing the drive and the will to win. No one should hold you down, and if they do, you shouldn’t let them. “Can’t Hold Us” is a powerful ode to everyone who has struggled and continues to struggle, and with songs like this to provide inspiration, who says we can’t reach those unattainable heights, right?
2. Warrior – Imagine Dragons
Dark, heavy, and equipped with impressive vocals, “Warrior” by Imagine Dragons is a song that will make you feel like an absolute boss. Due to the nature of their high-octane songs, the Dragons’ albums have been tapped into multiple times to provide pre-game anthems for numerous sporting events. However, “Warrior” is by far my favorite because of how the chorus keeps ascending despite being in a lower key.
1. Clement Marfo and The Frontline – Champion
Okay I’ll admit… I wrote this list while listening to this song. Yes, it’s the genesis to this entire article and the reason why I wanted to compile a set of 15 bona fide hype-inducing songs in the first place. Clement Marfo and The Frontline kick off “Champion” in a big way. Big notes blaring, upbeat melody, and genuinely inspiring vocals are bound to get you feeling triumphant. Simply put, if you need a song that will reassure you of the champion that you are, Clement Marfo and his band have got you covered.