Unfortunately, we have become a society that is obsessed with following the latest fads and trends, especially on social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, this is more than a problem that only the United States is facing. This has become a worldwide issue. That’s why songs about being yourself are so powerful. They remind us that it’s okay to be proud of who you are, even if you’re different.
Here are songs that will help guide you along your path to self-discovery and being true to who you are.
Table of Contents
1. It’s My Life by Bon Jovi
When you think of ’80s hair metal, one of the first bands that probably comes to mind is Bon Jovi. They were one of the best-selling bands of the decade and had several hit songs on Billboard. However, after Jon Bon Jovi established himself as a solo act, he began to experiment with different genres like pop and country, although on some songs, he still was able to show his rock roots. “It’s My Life” is a rock song in which he proclaims that it’s his life to live, and he is not going to let anyone stop him from pursuing his dreams. While this song certainly isn’t reminiscent of the old Bon Jovi lineup, it’s what we have for now. Kick back and enjoy the ride. That’s what Jon Bon Jovi would want you to do.
2. Secrets by Mary Lambert
|Album||Heart On My Sleeve|
Have you ever looked at yourself and wondered if everybody’s life is as messed up as yours? Well, Mary Lambert has the answer to your question in her track “Secrets,” which is found on her album “Heart On My Sleeve.” Lambert starts this song off by listing all of the negative thoughts she has about herself, including her habits, her appearance, and many other things. She also touches on how much of a mess her family is, although she says that they still have a good time together. The best thing about this song, at least in my opinion, is that it is so relatable. She lets the listener know that he or she is not the only person having these problems. We all have them. While knowing this may not completely turn your life around, it certainly helps you to deal with all of the negative thoughts and forces in your life much easier,
3. Feeling Myself by Nicki Minaj (Featuring Beyoncé)
If you would ask a group of people to compose a list of the best female rappers of all time, most of them would have Nicki Minaj at the top of that list. Most people believe that she is good enough to hang with the big boys. In her hit single “Feeling Myself,” which features the one and only Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj states that she is feeling herself, which is another way of saying that she is proud of herself and what she has accomplished. With lyrics like “Male or female, it makes no difference, I stop the world,” these two ladies are not afraid to let anybody know that they respect themselves too much to let anybody bring them down or make them change who they are.
4. Broken & Beautiful by Kelly Clarkson
|Album||UglyDolls (Original Soundtrack)|
Kelly Clarkson has been turning heads and gaining fans ever since she won the very first American Idol competition 20 years ago. In 2019, Clarkson contributed a song to the UglyDollssoundtrack called “Broken & Beautiful,” which details a young lady proud and strong and able to take on anything that is thrown her way. However, the song takes an interesting time when she goes from bragging about how much pride she has to ask for someone to hold her and let her know that everything is okay. I think that most of us can relate to this tune because we have all been there at some point in our respective lives. It’s not that we want someone to take over and do everything for us, but instead, we want someone just to be there for us and let us know that everything will be alright.
5. You Should See Me In a Crown by Billie Eilish
|Genre||Alternative Pop, Electro-Pop|
|Album||WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO|
When Billie Eilish first arrived on the alternative pop scene in 2005 with the release of her first single, “Ocean Eyes,” most of us knew that we had something different and special on our hands. In 2019, the seven-time Grammy Award winner released her Grammy-winning album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO,” which included her hit single “You Should See Me In a Crown.” I like this song because of its originality. It starts like it’s going to be a somber, melancholy ballad, but it quickly shifts into a low-paced but bass-heavy trip-hop mashup. While the lyrics that pertain to her “conquer the world” aspirations don’t necessarily match up with the beat of this track, that just adds to this song’s charm. This is a must-listen for all Billie Eilish fans and should gain her some new ones.
6. Greatest Love Of All by Whitney Houston
For nearly two decades, Whitney Houston was a dominant force in both R&B music and on the Billboard charts. She made an instant splash in 1985 with her self-titled debut album, which earned her three number-one songs on the Billboard Hot 100, including the track “Greatest Love Of All,” which became Whitney’s signature song. Conveyed by Houston’s beautifully magnificent voice, the message in this song is very simple. Learn To Love yourself and be yourself without trying to follow in anyone’s footsteps. Be your own man or woman, and learn to appreciate all of the wonderful things about yourself. That’s what Whitney Houston was trying to tell all of us.
7. Be Yourself by Audioslave
|Album||Out Of Exile|
Audioslave was a supergroup that was formed when Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine were both on hiatus. The band consists of Soundgarden lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, as well as Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk from the aforementioned Rage Against the Machine. The band would go on to release three full-length albums and two EPs, including 2008’s “Out Of Exile,” which included the single “Be Yourself.” What I appreciate is the message behind this song, which is that people from all walks of life have problems, but you still have to be yourself, no matter what issues you are facing and what demons you are battling.
8. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Okay, please hear me out for a minute. I have been just as guilty as everybody else for poking fun at Taylor Swift and her breakup songs about her many failed relationships. Well, I guess this song is aimed at me as well as the rest of you who are guilty of this. Swift has made a career out of her detractors, selling 75.7 million albums worldwide. Her top-selling album is 2014’s “1989,” which features her massively successful single “Shake It Off.” Throughout this song, Taylor Swift gives us plenty of examples of what people say about her and how she simply just shakes it off and doesn’t let what anybody has to say get to her because she is perfectly content with who she is.
9. Be Good To Yourself by Journey
|Genre||Rock, Classic Rock|
|Album||Raised On Radio|
In the 1970s and the 1980s, rock bands ruled the radio, and Journey was one of the most successful of these bands. Masterfully, lead vocalist Steve Perry delivers a message of being good to yourself, even when nobody else will. Although the lyrics to this track are somewhat repetitive, I find that it’s hard to resist singing along with Steve Perry. The way that he sings this track from 1988’s “Raised On Radio” makes you believe that he not only believes in every word he’s singing but also stands by what this song means. It’s hard to find this kind of emotion in any singer on the charts today. They just don’t make them like Steve Perry anymore, although Journey is still going strong and performing plenty of live sets to this day.
10. Nightmare by Halsey
|Genre||Alternative, Indie Pop|
|Album||If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power|
It seems like as a society we have a bad habit of trying to put people in neat little boxes, although it doesn’t necessarily work that way in the real world. That’s what Halsey is saying in this track, although I have a feeling that most of what she is saying in this song is personal. I believe that Halsey is tired of being treated like a little princess pop star and wants to branch out and find her true identity. The video for this song certainly helps to reiterate that theory. Personally, I believe that there is nothing wrong with wanting to explore all of your options because there may be something out there that you are not aware of yet that could be what you were looking for. All in all, I believe Halsey is telling us to be yourself no matter what others think of that.
11. Sky’s The Limit by Notorious B.I.G (Featuring 1112)
|Album||Life After Death|
Christopher Wallace, also known by his stage name Notorious B.I.G, was shot and killed at the incredibly young age of 24 years old, but the legacy he left behind will go on for decades and decades. Known for his incredible lyrical skills, Wallace released two albums while he was still alive, and three posthumous albums have also been released, each selling over a million copies. One of my favorite songs by Notorious B.I.G is “Sky’s The Limit,” from his second album, “Life After Death.” The song starts by being told from a mother’s perspective, telling her child that he can be anything as long as he applies himself. When Nextotorious takes over the mic, he talks about how he stayed true to himself and was able to achieve all of his dreams.
12. I by Kendrick Lamar
|Album||To Pimp a Butterfly|
Of all the rappers that are performing today, it is my personal opinion that Kendrick Lamar is among the best of them. He is an incredible wordsmith who writes thought-provoking lyrics, and his delivery and flow are second to none. He has been nominated for 47 Grammy Awards, taking home 17 of them. One of his Grammy-winning albums is 2015’s *To Pimp a Butterfly,” which features the track “I.” This track is about one’s ability to maintain one’s integrity and self-worth while facing the trials and tribulations that will be thrown at you daily. Kendrick also reinforces disbelief by reiterating the lyrics “I love myself” throughout all of the situations that he faces during this track. Kendrick Lamar has an extremely creative mind and has found a way to express his beliefs. That’s what I love about him.
13. Who Says by Selena Gomez & The Scene
|Album||When the Sun Goes Down|
Isn’t it funny how somebody will say that they want to be with you, but they want to change everything about you to the point where you are no longer yourself? After a while, you no longer recognize who you are anymore. If you can relate to this, then Selena Gomez has the perfect song for you. In the song “Who Says,” the accomplished actress and singer tells the tale of a time when someone tried to change everything about her, making her insecure and unsure of who she was. Fortunately, she was able to find herself again and be comfortable with who she was. On this track, she is bringing that same message to anyone who will listen. While this music doesn’t appeal to me, the lyrics and the passion with which Gomez delivers her vocals are quite impressive.
14. Express Yourself by Madonna
|Album||Like a Prayer|
With 248,182,000 album sales, digital downloads, and streams, Madonna is the best-selling female artist of all time. She has had an astonishing 12 platinum-certified albums and an unbelievable eight-diamond certified albums. One of her records that reached diamond certification was her fourth studio album, “Like a Prayer,” which featured the hit single and female empowerment anthem “Express Yourself.” The song inspired women around the world to stand up and express themselves in whatever way they saw fit. What I like about Madonna is that while I’m not necessarily a fan of her music, I have always thought that she was bold, brash, and outspoken, but she was comfortable in her skin.
15. Within You Without You by The Beatles
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Rock|
|Album||Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band|
The Beatles were so wildly successful and popular that I believe that you cannot have a conversation about music without including them in some fashion. What made them so incredible to me was their ability to easily transition from one style of music to the next. For instance, when they released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” it surprised everybody because no one expected them to release an album like that. However, people began to love the record, including singles such as “Within You Without You.” Written and performed solely by George Harrison, this song is about finding answers to most of life’s questions within yourself and being free to be who you are as long as you remember your place in the universe.
16. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
|Genre||Hard Rock, Classic Rock|
|Album||A Night at the Opera|
A few of you may think that I’m crazy for putting this song on a list of tunes all about being yourself, but stay with me, and I’ll show you what I mean. As we all know, the English rock band Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury struggled with his sexuality for years. In the 1970s, it was practically unheard of for a rockstar to come out as gay. However, Mercury did so in the most clever way. He wrote a song about it. Yes, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a song in which Freddie Mercury probably comes out as a bisexual man. Before you roll your eyes and dismiss this as hearsay, it was confirmed by Queen bassist John Deacon. What I admire most is that through all of the speculation and rumors, Freddie Mercury stayed true to who he was.
17. You Will Know My Name by Arch Enemy
Sometimes being yourself is simply not enough. There are times when you are going to be forced into letting others know who you are and what you are capable of. Unfortunately, in this life, people are going to judge you and try to hold you back. You are going to have to rise above that oppression and reclaim your dignity and your identity if you want to stay true to yourself. That is the incredible message that Arch Enemy and lead singer Alissa White-Gluz deliver to us in bone-crushing fashion on the single “You Will Know My Name” from their 2014 record, War Eternal. What I love about this song is the tenacity and courage it proudly delivers through Alissa White-Gluz’s amazing vocals.
18. Born This Way by Lady Gaga
|Album||Born This Way|
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, perhaps better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, has never been bashful about who she is. This includes her sexuality. While it is no secret that Lady Gaga is bisexual, she wanted to write something for those of the LGBTQ + community who were not as brave as she was when coming out. The title track from her 2011 album “Born This Way” delivered this message loudly and proudly. The song was so well accepted and appreciated by the LGBTQ+ community that pop superstar and gay icon Elton John predicted that this song would be the official gay anthem for the new millennium. Lady Gaga did something that I applaud. She spread a message about being yourself that made her a superstar while also lifting others around her.
19. It’s Your Thing by The Isley Brothers
|Genre||Funk, Psychedelic Groove|
|Album||It’s Our Thing|
Hailing from Lincoln Heights, Ohio, the Isley Brothers started making music in the late 1950s as a trio. The vocal group consisted of brothers Ronald, Rudolph, and O’Kelly. Shortly after, the group added their younger brother, Vernon, and started playing gospel music. Later, the brothers moved to New York and began playing funk music. Their fourth single, “Shout,” garnered much attention from the band because it was their first song to chart on Billboard. In 1969, The Isley Brothers released their highest charting single ever, the hit song “It’s Your Thing.” Ronald Isley would later explain that the song has two meanings. The first is to be yourself, and the second has more of an adult-friendly connotation. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was never aware of that.
20. Wasted Years by Iron Maiden
|Album||Somewhere in Time|
The English heavy metal band Iron Maiden was among the leaders of what was called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that took over America in the early 1980s. However, the group found massive success when lead singer Bruce Dickinson joined the band. By 1986, Iron Maiden had released their sixth studio album, “Somewhere in Time,” which includes my favorite Maiden track, “Wasted Years.” Written by guitarist Adrian Smith, the song is about “the fleeting nature of time.” Another message that the band conveys through the song is that you shouldn’t worry about the past, and instead focus on being yourself and going forward into the future.
21. Respect by Aretha Franklin
|Album||I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You|
Aretha Franklin, also known as the Queen of Soul, was an artist who garnered praise from music critics while also selling over 25 million records worldwide. By the time she released her tenth album, “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You,” the Queen was already well known and incredibly popular, but that would change after she released her massively successful single “Respect.” This track became an anthem for women everywhere because its message proudly states that you should stay true to yourself by demanding respect from your partner. What separates it from other songs of this nature is that Aretha belts out her message in an unequaled voice.
22. By Yourself by Ty Dolla $ign (Featuring Jhené Aiko and Mustard)
|Album||Featuring Ty Dolla $ign|
One of the most important lessons we need to learn in life is that we need to be able to thrive and succeed on our own, as well as learn not to depend on others. Simply put, you need to learn how to find solace in being yourself and being by yourself. Hidden in a song that on the surface appears to be about infidelity, its message is firmly placed in the chorus of the song. Ty Dolla $ign further reinforces the song’s message in his verse, which praises single women everywhere for not relying on men and also commends them for doing so with confidence. I like this message because it praises women for being themselves while also maintaining their independence. I think this is a song that could become an anthem for women not only in the United States but also around the world. This is easily one of the most powerful songs about being yourself out there.
23. Come As You Are by Nirvana
Nirvana lead vocalist and guitar player Kurt Cobain was the epitome of the phrase “be yourself.” Although he was a world-famous rock star, Cobain never felt the need to impress anyone. I believe that’s what the grunge movement was all about, and that’s why it caught on so quickly. Unfortunately, Kurt committed suicide in 1994 at the young age of 27 years old. However, he left plenty of messages for his fans in his music. One of those messages that Nirvana fans have obsessed over can be heard on “Come As You Are.* Appearing on the wildly successful album “Nevermind,” this track reminds us that no matter what you do or who you are with, you should simply “come as you are.”
24. Extraordinary Machine by Fiona Apple
When I think about Fiona Apple, the first words that come to mind are usually quirky, confident, and incredibly talented. That’s why I believe I enjoy this track so much, although I must admit that I am a loyal fan of Fiona’s. The title track from her third studio album, “Extraordinary Machine,” delivers the message of the enjoyment that can be found by reaching out of your comfort zone while still being true to who you are and having new experiences. In this song, Fiona Apple wants to do different things and have different experiences while her guy is content with staying the same. She wants to shed the impression that she is fragile by declaring that she is indeed an “Extraordinary Machine.”
25. My Way by Frank Sinatra
|Genre||Vocal, Easy Listening, Swing|
Known across the world as Old Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra certainly had his fair share of hits. Sinatra had 44 songs that hit the Billboard Hot 100, with three of them reaching the 10th spot and two of them hitting the top of the Billboard charts. Surprisingly, his single “My Way” only reached number 27 on the charts, although it became an anthem for Sinatra and a crowd favorite at his shows. It’s not only the lyrics of this song that make it a powerful anthem. It’s also in his delivery, which is confident, bold, and brave. Sinatra means every word of this song when he sings it because he wouldn’t have it any other way, and that’s what I love about this track. It has also been covered numerous times, most notably by bassist and vocalist Sid Vicious of the punk rock band Sex Sistols.
26. Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J
|Album||Mama Said Knock You Out (Deluxe Edition)|
LL Cool J was a dominant force in the 1980s and the 1990s. The Long Island-born rapper had 28 songs chart on Billboard, garnered respect amongst his peers, and was nominated for nine Grammy Awards while winning two of them. In 1990, the respected rapper released his album “Mama Said Knock You Out.” The title track from that album became an instant hit and won LL Cool J the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. Of all of his singles, this one has always been my personal favorite because it portrays a completely different person than what I was used to seeing in him, and the message of staying true to yourself and being ready to fight for what you believe in is conveyed brilliantly.
27. Englishman In New York by Sting
|Album||…Nothing Like the Sun|
Sting and The Police shocked everyone when they decided to part ways in 1986, although it should have been no surprise because of all of the fighting and arguing that the trio did amongst each other. However, sting went on to have a very successful solo career, releasing 15 solo albums between 1985 and 2021. One of those albums was “…Nothing Like the Sun,” which featured the song “Englishman In New York.” But I had my hair best about this song is the message that it conveys. You can hear it in the lyrics, “It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile. Be yourself no matter what they say.” Personally, I love his “I am who I am, take it or leave it” attitude. It speaks to me.
28. Who You Are by Jessie J
|Genre||Alternative Pop, Reggae|
|Album||Who You Are|
Jessica Ellen Cornish, known professionally as Jessie J, is a pop singer hailing from London, England. The pop singer first studied at the BRIT School before branching out and striking a record deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. By 2011, Jessie J was ready to release her debut album “Who You Are,” which reached the second spot in the UK charts. The title track may not have been the biggest hit single from the record, but its message is the most powerful. It speaks about being humble and staying true to yourself, even if you make it as a big star. The singer also States that you should give yourself a break and not fall to pieces whenever things don’t go your way. That’s exactly the message that we need to hear.
29. The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
When you hear the name of the band Jimmy Eat World, it may initially strike you as one of those one-hit wonders that came from a plethora of new alternative rock bands in the 2000s. However, the band has been putting in work since it was formed in Mesa, Arizona, in 1993. Although it’s nearly impossible to resist singing along with lead vocalist Jim Adkins during the song’s chorus and should be officially declared as an “earworm,” this song delivers an important and powerful message. It tells girls everywhere that it’s okay to be yourself and not to succumb to peer pressure. I must admit that I had never paid attention to most of the lyrics of this track until I researched it, but I have gained a whole new respect for Jimmy Eat World.
30. The Way I Am by Eminem
|Album||The Marshall Mathers LP|
Any rapper on the planet who is hated as much as he is loved would be Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem. Although, I have to admit that I love the way Eminem strikes back at his haters. He simply writes a song about it and makes a few million dollars in the process. It truly is a win-win for Eminem. One of these songs that I speak of is his massively successful single “The Way I Am,” which is featured on his album “The Marshall Mathers LP,” which managed to sell over 32 million copies. This track shoots both of Em’s middle fingers at anyone who has anything negative to say about him while remaining true to who he is (and making millions) in the process.
31. I Love Myself Today by Bif Naked
Let’s face it. In life, there are going to be days when you are not as happy or energetic as others. As a society, most of us need to learn that it is okay to have days like this. However, there are also going to be days when you love yourself. These are always the best days because you feel almost impenetrable, where nothing can get to you or hurt you. On Bid Naked’s track “I Love Myself Today,” how’s the tail of a woman who has been on ceremony if we don’t buy her boyfriend and goes into a deep depression? Fortunately, she can find herself again. Most importantly, she also finds the strength to see her self-work and love herself again. I love songs like this because they have the power to uplift people who listen to them.
32. Stronger Woman by Jewel
|Genre||Country, Folk, Indie|
Jewel Kilcher, who professionally goes by Jewel, began her career by singing with her father at local events in Home, Alaska. At the age of 15, she received a partial scholarship to the Interlochen Arts Academy where she studied Operatic Voice. Throughout her career, Jewel has transitioned from folk and indie music to the singer-songwriter genre and has now made a name for herself in country music. She is known for her poignant lyrics, which she began writing shortly after graduating. These lyrics shine through on her track “Stronger Woman” from her 2008 effort, “Perfectly Clear.” This track takes on a special meaning because it was Jewel’s first release on country radio. It also delivers a message of self-love. She says in this song that even if you are in a bad situation, it’s okay to love yourself and to allow yourself to be strong.
33. I Don’t Want to Be by Gavin DeGraw
|Genre||Alternative, Rock, Adult Contemporary|
Upon first listening, you may recognize this song as the theme song for the TV series One Tree Hill. However, if you’re willing to dig a little deeper and pay attention to the lyrics, you will see that this track is about a man who refuses to conform to what everybody else wants him to be. What I like about this song the most is that you can hear the frustration and the fact that he is tired of everybody trying to make him be something he’s not in Gavin DeGraw’s vocals. I also like the chorus, which is so infectious that you simply can’t resist singing along with it every time you hear it. Friends, trust me when I say that this is possibly the most accessible sing-along song about being yourself. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like this song makes me want to immediately start making changes in my life.
34. Whatever by Oasis
|Genre||Alternative, UK Pop|
The British alternative band Oasis came out swinging in 1994 with their debut album “Definitely Maybe,” which sold well over 5 million copies. Speaking factually, a lot of music fans thought that they were going to be the second coming of The Beatles, including myself. Although fighting between brothers Noel and Ian Gallagher prevented that from happening, they did manage to be rather successful and have quite a few hits. While “Whatever” may not have been one of their highest charting singles, it is a catchy tune that delivers a powerful message. That message says that there is power and freedom in being yourself, no matter what that may be. It’s quite a change of pace from Ian Gallagher’s usual seething sarcasm.
35. Try by Colbie Caillat
Here’s another empowerment song for women everywhere, but this one’s got a different feeling. The message it conveys is particularly close to the messages delivered by most of the songs on this list. This track encourages women to be free and be themselves while also encouraging them to love who they are. This song became popular in 2014, partly because of its video which shows people of all races and body types lip-syncing to the lyrics of the song. Unfortunately, the song only reached number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. I feel that the video made a powerful impression on millions of people around the globe, regardless of its chart position.
36. Unpretty by TLC
|Genre||R&B, Hip-Hop, Soul|
During the 1990s, the R&B group TLC was dominating the Billboard charts with nine top ten hits, four of them reaching the top spot of the Hot 100. One of those songs to reach number one on Billboard was a track from their greatest hits collection called “Unpretty.” Relationships in which one of the people involved consistently tries to tear the other down, destroying her self-worth and her self-esteem. The track also details all of the things that you can do to try to appear more attractive on the outside, but there is nothing you can do when someone makes you feel worthless and ugly. You have to fight to find yourself again and to love yourself again. Once you can accomplish that, you will find happiness again.
37. I Love Me by Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor became a household name thanks to the popularity of her amazingly successful single “All About That Bass.” However, she managed to do something practically unheard of in the music industry. She was able to maintain that popularity while becoming an accomplished singer and a bona fide pop star. She was also an idol for many young girls because of her positive self-image. In 2016, Meghan Trainor released an album called “Thank You,” which featured the song “I Love Me.” This track is about maintaining your self-worth and loving who you are despite what outside influences try to tell you. No matter who you are, somebody is going to try to break you down at some point in your life. Always remember who you are and stay true to yourself. That’s the message this track brings.
38. I Can by Nas
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones is one of the most respected rappers of all time, making practically everyone’s list of the best rappers to ever rock the mic. He also claimed the fifth spot on USA Today’s Hip-Hop 50. Most of his albums are also considered classics and must-haves for any record collection. Well, I must admit that I probably sound a bit biased. I am and have been a Nas fan for quite some time now. One of my favorite albums that he released was the 2002 classic “God’s Son,” which featured his hit single “I Can.” This track tells people of all ages, races, and sizes that they can be who they want to be. It’s inspiring to hear a track that can encourage so many people to be the best version of themselves while staying humble and true to who they are.
39. Pushover by Etta James
|Genre||R&B, Classic Soul|
|Album||Etta James Top Ten|
When you are composing a list of the best female vocalists of all time, you had better include Etta James. She is an amazing R&B and soul vocalist who has a voice that is practically incomparable to any other. While she certainly has other hits, I like the way her voice sounds in the song “Pushover,” in which she is telling a particularly cocky and conceited male suitor that he doesn’t have a chance with her. She believes that she is worth more than this young man can deliver while staying true to herself. I like the lyrics for the song, but what I like most is the way that Etta James delivers them. There is so much passion and feeling in her voice that you can picture everything she’s singing about in your head. Yes. She is that impressive, and she always has been.
40. Let Me Blow Ya Mind by Eve (Featuring Gwen Stefani)
Eve Jihan Cooper is an accomplished actress and rapper, and she is also known as the record label Ruff Ryders’ First Lady. Eve’s debut album hit number one on the Billboard 200, and her follow-up album “Scorpion” also cracked the top ten. Her single “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” from that album reached number two on the Hot 100, making it the highest charting single of her career. Featuring a guest spot from Gwen Stefani, this song reflects Eve’s fight to reach the Pinnacle of rap music while simultaneously brushing off any detractors and haters who desperately try to derail her career. In this track, Eve proudly boasts that she is going to remain who she is, no matter who likes it or not. She has worked too hard to get where she is, and she is not going to let go of her position.
41. Brave by Sara Bareilles
|Genre||Adult Contemporary, Singer-Songwriter, Pop|
|Album||The Blessed Unrest|
While I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily my favorite musical style, I will give Sara Bareilles credit for her originality in covering a topic that’s been done over and over again. It doesn’t hurt that the video for this track brilliantly conveys the message that the song is delivering. “Brave” is all about being yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone from time to time, and it does so in a quirky and upbeat manner. Sara Bareilles not only encourages people to be themselves, but she also wants to see people stand up for what’s right and speak out when they need to. This is evident in the lyrics, “Say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.”
42. Scars To Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara
Have you ever known someone so obsessed about their flaws that they couldn’t see how truly beautiful they are? If you can relate to this, then you will certainly relate to “Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara. What I like about this song is that it can serve as an empowerment anthem, but it also tackles tough subjects such as self-harm. Backed by a simple electronic beat, Alessia Cara belts out this song in wonderful fashion, making a statement about being Who You Are and being comfortable in your body. I believe that there are far too many instances where people are made to feel like freaks and outcasts these days. We need to start practicing more kindness and acceptance, and that’s what makes this track so touching to me.
43. Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson
Born in New York City in 1979, Ingrid Michaelson began her singing career in 2005, releasing nine albums since then. In 2008, she released a collection of b-sides, live recordings, and cover versions of some of her favorite songs called “Be OK.” The title track for this record is an acoustic little ditty that manages to sound upbeat, yet it has lyrics that indicate that Michaelson has had her heart broken several times, although it’s not specifically mentioned. This is indicated by the lyrics, “Open me up and you will see, I’m a gallery of broken hearts. I’m beyond repair, let me be, and give me back my broken parts.” However, Ingrid Michaelson makes it abundantly clear that she is not willing to compromise and be anybody except herself.
44. Love Yourz by J. Cole
|Album||2014 Forest Hills Drive|
I know that I have said this about plenty of rappers, but I think that J. Cole is one of the most talented rappers in the game, and he is easily one of my favorite hip-hop artists. His track “Love Yours,” which is featured on Cole’s album “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” is easily one of my favorites and one of the main reasons that I began to listen to his music. On this track, he manages to lay down some of the most poignant and meaningful lyrics I have ever heard in a rap song. He tells us that we’re all going to go through struggles, but the important thing is to find the beauty in those struggles and stay true to who you are. That is a message that we could all stand to hear from time to time.
45. The Way I Am by Charlie Puth
Not to be confused with the Eminem track of the same name, Charlie Puth Glen’s a pop sensibility with some unique rock elements to form a very accessible and likable song about being yourself. What makes this such a good song is that Charlie is quite insistent on being exactly who he is and proudly declares that he will tell everybody that he’s not going to change for them or anybody else. Although the track delivers the same message that we’ve all heard before, I like the way that Charlie Puth delivers it in a unique style that I can best describe as alternative pop. However, even that doesn’t seem to correctly describe what he’s created. The best advice I can give you is to go check out the song for yourself without any preconceived notions about what it’s going to be.
46. Fabulous by Ally Brooke
During the first few opening seconds of this song, it seems like it’s going to be an average, run-of-the-mill pop song about having a crush on someone and seeing if they are going to pursue you. However, make no mistake. Ally Brooks probably let us listen or know that she is brimming with self-confidence and she knows her worth. No man is going to burst through the doors and make her change who she is. I honestly think that this is a song that most younger ladies need to hear because it tells them that their self-worth is worth more than any suitor can deliver. Sure, other people may find a way to make you happy, but if they truly care about you, they shouldn’t try to change who you are inside. I think that that’s a message that I can get behind.
47. Irreplaceable by Beyoncé
First off, even if you don’t recognize this song by its title, this is a song that I would be willing to bet that you’ve heard at least a few times since it’s been released. The opening lines where Beyoncé says .”To the left, to the left,” are instantly recognizable. This song, which is one of Queen B’s eight number-one billboard hits, sees her at the beginning stages of a breakup, where her significant other is being told to move all of his things out immediately. He then tells her that she is a fool and she will regret what she’s doing. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and doubt, she proudly proclaims that she is irreplaceable, as dictated in the title. She also tells him that she can have someone else like him there before he’s finished moving. Wow. Talk about self-confidence.
48. Beautiful by Christina Aguilera
|Genre||Contemporary R&B, Pop|
I believe that Christina Aguilera is easily one of the most gifted vocalists to come from the whole “Disney Channel Club.” If you disagree or need a little more convincing, all you have to do is play this song, which is from her 2002 effort “Stripped.” What I enjoy most about this track is that it showcases a much more adult side of Christina Aguilera. She indicates which direction she is planning on taking her career with this song, which is a basic, simple piano ballad backing her incredible vocals. She’s encouraging everyone to see the beauty in themselves, which is something you can accomplish after you have seen the beauty in yourself and are happy with who you are.
49. Get Happy by Erin McKeown
|Genre||Indie, Christian Rock, Folk|
|Album||Sing You Sinners|
The first thing I noticed about this track was that Erin McKeown ushered in an overtly Christian message. Let’s not get this twisted. I have no problem with Christianity or anyone who proudly proclaims their faith. I honestly thought that this song would be a pure and simple message about being able to find happiness in yourself. However, that is part of the message. She is letting everyone know how she finds her happiness, and that just happens to be by her faith in God. I don’t know if it was the beat or her lyrics, but this song by Erin McKeown made me feel pretty warm and happy inside, which I’m sure is exactly what she wanted to do with this tune.
50. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
Now, we have arrived at what has become the official empowerment anthem of divorced women everywhere. Gloria Gaynor’s disco track about finding Independence in yourself, and being able to survive without the love of your significant other became the first and only Billboard Hot 100 number-one song of her career. In this song, Gaynor fills us in on a bad situation that she was involved in. Fortunately, she was able to escape this and find independence and love for herself. It didn’t take long for the song to be adopted by women throughout the United States as an official song declaring their independence. I prefer the band Cake’s cover version of this song better than the original, but I’ve been told that this kind of talk is downright blasphemy.
51. If You Don’t Love Yourself by The Script
|Album||Sunsets & Full Moons|
For years, my parents would tell me that it’s almost impossible to find true love if you can’t love yourself. I’m sure that most of you have heard that from a few people in your lives. That’s what the Irish rock band The Script is getting across to us in their song “If You Don’t Love Yourself,” although I believe that I can confidently assume that most of you got that point from the track’s title. The Script doesn’t use figurative language or clever innuendo to bring their message to their fans. Instead, they are straightforward. Their message is coming right at you like a freight train, and there’s absolutely nothing that you can do to stop it. Honestly, I like that because it is a refreshing change of pace. They are delivering the message, and you can either take it or leave it. It’s up to you.
52. It’s Your World (Parts 1 & 2) by Common(Featuring J Dilla)
Common is known for being one of the best wordsmiths in rap. He probably showcases that talent in his masterful track “It’s Your World (Parts 1 & 2),” which appears on what many fans refer to as his comeback album, “Be.” Instead of preaching to us about how much he loves himself and how happy he is with his life, Common tells a very sad tale about growing up in the hood with no parents around for guidance. He also wants us to know the negative consequences that can come from growing up in that situation. All of this occurs in the first part of this song, which is a semi-autobiographical account of Common’s childhood. In the second part of the song, he tells us of a young lady who has all the potential in the world but is not happy with herself and grew up in an equally bad situation. Now, she is addicted to crack and prostitutes herself for money.
53. You Deserve To Be Loved by Tracy Dawn
|Album||Sweet November (Original Soundtrack)|
My first impression of Tracy Dawn was that he had a voice that was very reminiscent of the great Bob Dylan. To be honest, I couldn’t even pay attention to the lyrics When I first heard this song because I was so blown away by how closely he sounded like Dylan. The lyrics tackle a tough subject, and I applaud him for that. It addresses the way that society and authority figures such as parents like to try to mold and shape who we are and who we will become. This track tackles societal norms like having the husband go to work to provide for the family and having the wife stay home and take care of the cleaning and cooking. We all know that that’s not the way that things are today. People deserve to be free to do as they please and to be who they want. Most importantly, as Tracy Dillon says in this song, everybody deserves to be loved for who they are.
54. Freckles by Natasha Bedingfield
One of the worst mistakes that we can make is to put too much stock into what others think about us, although I know that plenty of us have been guilty of that at some point. If we put as much effort into being happy with ourselves as we put into trying to please others, I believe that the world would be a much better place. That’s also what Natasha Bedingfield is saying in her country and blues-infused poppy little diddy “Freckles.” If you haven’t guessed by now, this song is about a little girl who is teased for having freckles but is told that the freckles are what makes her special. Luckily, she hangs on to that lesson and learns to be proud of herself.
55. Perfect To Me by Anne-Marie
Hailing from East Tilbury, Essex, Anne-Marie Rose Nicholson started performing at an early age when she went to stage school when she was only 5 years old. The budding star then auditioned for Les Misérables when she was 6 years old. She signed her first record deal at the age of 22 years old and has since become a British pop sensation, charting several times on the UK charts. Enjoy this song, and I also think that it is a song that everybody could benefit from listening to at least once. Anne-Marie is saying that it’s okay not to be perfect as defined by society. She is only living up to her definition of being perfect, which is simply being on herself. The video is worth watching as well. It shows clips of her home videos mixed in with other people talking about being perfect.
56. Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) by Mika
|Album||Life in Cartoon Motion|
One of the many issues that people face when they are trying to love themselves for who they are is being overweight. Well, Mika is one of many people who doesn’t seem to have a problem with that. In fact, according to this song, he prefers voluptuous women to thin ones. In a catchy disco-pop-funk fusion fashion, “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” focuses on celebrating larger women. What I like best about this song is the tie between how catchy it is and the message the song reflects. There’s no doubt in my mind that the point of this song is to help raise this self-esteem and encourage a more positive self-image of larger women, and I believe that that is admirable. I hope he succeeds.
57. Bulletproof by La Roux
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Pop|
|R lease Date||2009|
Sometimes, we tend to lose sight of who we are in relationships. We change ourselves just to make our partners happy. In “Bulletproof,” which sounds like a Nintendo game gone crazy, La Roux lets us know that she is willing to burn any Bridges and end any friendships that she feels are necessary to get away from her former partner and find herself again. What I like most about this song is that it sounds like an old-school video game going awry, but seriously, I like the fact that LaRoux is unwilling to compromise, and she is not willing to sacrifice her identity for this partner again. She has fallen for their game once but won’t do it this time. If you like this song, check out our playlist of songs with metaphors used in them.
58. I’ve Gotta Be Me by Sammy Davis Jr.
|Genre||Traditional Pop, Easy Listening|
|Album||I’ve Gotta Be Me|
Originally, this song was written for a musical production called “Golden Rainbow.” However, much to Sammy Davis Jr.’s surprise, it was released as a radio single and did quite well. The song spent 7 weeks at the top spot of the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The song’s message is perfectly simple, and Davis came out swinging in the first verse with these lyrics, “Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong, whether I find a place in this world or never belong, I gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me. What else can I be but what I am?” That he is going to stand by his convictions and be loyal to himself, no matter what the reward or consequence may be. That’s a message that I believe anybody can get behind. I know that I certainly can.
59. Good As Hell by Lizzo
|Genre||Alternative Pop, Hip-Hop|
|Album||Cuz I Love You|
I will be the first to admit that I have not been Lizzo’s biggest fan, although I know that she can deliver when it comes to giving people a valuable message that they can support. That’s exactly what she does on her single “Good As Hell,” which appeared on her album “Cuz I Love You.” On the surface, this song is about making yourself up and looking your best,” although anything a little deeper going on here, which is why I like this track. What this song is truly about is finding beauty in yourself, loving yourself for who you are, and always staying true to yourself. That’s something that even the biggest Lizzo hater can believe in. It honestly makes me want to check out some of her other records to see if there is something as positive as this.
60. Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
|Album||Love. Angel. Music. Baby.|
BackedGwen Stefani made a name for herself by being the lead singer for the ska-infused alternative pop band No Doubt. I know that that is a fairly long description, so please bear with me. They’ve only transitioned into three different genres. That’s probably why I appreciate Gwen’s solo work. She went into one genre and stayed there. Stefani’s most popular song from her solo catalog has got to be “Hollaback Girl,” which is the feature track from her debut solo effort “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.” Backed by an incredibly catchy drumline, Gwen Stefani proudly boasts that she refuses to be a hollaback girl, which is playing for a promiscuous girl who’s willing to sacrifice her values and fool around with whoever comes along.
61. Fingerprints by Katy Perry
|Album||One of the Boys|
Katy Perry may not be the first person that comes to mind when compiling a list of songs about being yourself, but here we are. On her track “Fingerprints,” which appears on her album “One of the Boys,” Katy Perry joins the female empowerment movement by releasing the song which she is quite proud to announce that her self-worth is more than it seems like anybody is willing to pay. She is a take-charge kind of lady, which comes through in the lyrics, “I wanna break the mold, I wanna break the stereotype. Fist in the air, I’m not going down without a fight. It’s my life, and I’m not sitting on the sidelines watching.”
62. Royals by Lorde
“Royals” is a song that aims at the rap and hip-hop community and their need to have flashing jewelry and expensive cars to make them feel better about themselves. Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, most notably known by her stage name Lorde, doesn’t seem to care if she gets backlash from rap and hip-hop. She is here to make a statement, in that statement is that you can be happy with yourself without compensating for your loneliness by purchasing expensive cars and watches. She is happy with herself, and she will probably boast that she can do it without all of the luxury items that seem to be mandated in the genre today.
63. Bird On the Wire by Leonard Cohen
|Album||Songs From a Room|
Leonard Cohen has one of the most unmistakable voices in all of music. You can tell that you are listening to a Leonard Cohen song within seconds of putting it on. “Bird On the Wire” is no different. This track, which is featured on his 1969 record “Songs From a Room,” sees a man who is experiencing sorrow and remorse for some of the things that he has done to people that he cares deeply about in the name of being himself. However, that doesn’t mean that he is willing to change who he is. He is simply offering an apology to those who deserve it. Honestly, this is a very fitting song for Cohen. The mood of the track and his voice blend seamlessly to create a song that will grab you by your heart and soul, and believe me when I say that it won’t let go.
64. I Am Woman by Helen Reddy
|Genre||Vocal, Easy Listening|
|Album||I Am Woman|
Sometimes, you have to walk through the proverbial fire so that you end up paying the answers to some of life’s most important questions. Other times, you have to be willing to keep your self-respect and dignity intact. In *I Am Woman,” Helen Reddy lets us know that she has been through these things, but she has come out on the other side, and she is much stronger. This newfound strength is exactly what she needed to stand up for herself and leave her partner. I don’t know if this story being told on this track is factual or not, but I do know that this song almost instantly became one of the most beloved female empowerment anthems ever recorded.
65. Can I Get An Amen by RuPaul (Featuring Season 5 Queens)
RuPaul is one of the most well-known drag queens there, which is probably why the television show RuPaul’s Drag Race was so popular. Season 5’s Queens joined him on the song “Can I Get An Amen,” which is found on RuPaul’s 2014 release “Born Naked.” This song touches on how you can put your all into a relationship and never get anything back. After a time, this can slowly either way at you until you no longer feel like yourself, and a change has to be made. This sounds exactly like something you would get from RuPaul. However, what I think is admirable about him is that he has been outspoken and animated for as long as I can remember. RuPaul is RuPaul. It’s as simple as that. He is not going to change who he is for anybody, although I think that that is fairly obvious by now.
66. Champion by Kanye West
Although I am not a huge Kanye West fan, I feel like I have to give him credit for being an incredibly talented and gifted wrapper underneath all of the drama and mess that follows him. The problem is that you have to be able to look past all of the Kardashian mess to see who Kanye is, although I am well aware that he has recently made a few public mistakes. Champion” has always been one of my favorite tracks by Ye because it addresses several topics in one track. He starts by saying that he wants better for his kids than he had, and then Kanye tackles the topic of how his father provided for the family before he finally states that he is not going to change a thing about himself for anyone before bragging about his success.
67. This is Me by Keala Settle and The Greatest Showman Ensemble
|Album||The Greatest Showman (Original Soundtrack)|
The Greatest Showman is an incredibly popular musical about the Barnum Brothers and their Barnum & Bailey circus shows. The theme song for the film was nominated for a Golden G.lobe award. It is about remaining true to yourself, no matter what people say about you. There’s another underlying message in this song that deals with patience. Do you remember that old saying, “Good things come to those who wait?” It has been my personal experience that this statement is correct. However, you have to remember that having patience and understanding with yourself is imperative to being a good person.
68. I Am What I Am by Gloria Gaynor
|Album||I Am Gloria Gaynor|
Brought to you the same woman who sang “I Will Survive” and captured the attention of a generation, Gloria Gaynor gives us yet another empowerment anthem in “I Am What I Am.” However, this one isn’t just for the ladies. It is an empowerment anthem for everybody. On this track, Gloria Gaynor talks about how it takes a lifetime for you to develop into who you truly are, and she doesn’t want praise or pity for the person she is. She just wants to be herself. She makes no excuses but instead proudly boasts that she is who she is. She loves herself, and that is one of the greatest loves that you will ever experience. p
69. Good To Be Alive by Jason Gray
|Genre||Contemporary Christian, Christian Rock|
|Album||A Way to See in the Dark|
Is there a certain song that any of you play when you need a pick-me-up to make you feel warm and cozy inside? Just got to be a song that you can put on that just makes you feel happy. That’s the kind of song that Jason Gray was aiming for in his song “Good To Be Alive.” He is not willing to change for anybody and stands firm for what he loves and what he believes in. I want to let all of you in on a little secret. When I put this song on to give it a listen, I thought that this song was written for his significant other. After I listened for a while, I began to realize Pat Jason Gray is a Christian artist, and he was referring to God. When you go back and apply that knowledge to this track, it fits perfectly. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.
70. Freewill by Rush
|Genre||Progressive Rock, Classic Rock|
Rush lead vocalist and bass player Geddy Lee has been an outspoken atheist for as long as I can remember. Now, you can probably imagine a fraction of the heat that he has taken for not only being an atheist but also for not being bashful or regretful about his choice. That’s why I chose this song. It highlights his refusal to change just to fit in. He is going to remain who he is, no matter what it may cost him. Yeah, I also mention that this is an incredible song because Geddy Lee showcases some of his otherworldly bass playing. Rush may not be the heaviest band, but standing up for your beliefs and refusing to change who you are is probably the most metal thing that I have ever seen.
Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m from Butler, Pennsylvania. I’ve been obsessed with music and audio gear for as long as I can remember. I started this website to help people find professional advice related to a wide range of audio topics. We have a number of Audio Engineers on our team who have been designing and fixing audio gear for decades.