70 Best Songs About Overcoming Obstacles, Adversity, and Hard Times in 2024

Human beings have been overcoming obstacles and hardships since the beginning of time. That’s why so many songs about overcoming have been written throughout history.

Songs About Overcoming Graphic

No matter how large or how small, we have all overcome more than a few things in our respective lives, mostly with the power of positive thinking and intuitiveness. However, there may have been a little luck involved some of the time. However you overcome hardships or obstacles, it never hurts to have a few good songs to motivate you. That’s why we put together an epic playlist of songs below. We also have all the songs mentioned below on a Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

1. The Climb by Miley Cyrus

Genre Pop, Country
Year Released 2009
Album Hannah Montana: The Movie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

If anybody knows anything about overcoming adversity and making it through difficult times, then that person has got to be Miley Cyrus. He was born the daughter of famous country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus and also starred in her own Disney Channel television show Hannah Montana, as well as a film made about the titular character. Throughout her life, Cyrus has battled drug addictions and fame and has come out the other side as a shining example of what perseverance and dedication can do for a person. These struggles are documented in “The Climb,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the Hannah Montana movie.

2. Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

Genre Hard Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1981
Album Escape

The band Journey was one of the most successful hard rock bands of the late 1970s and the 1980s, with over 48 million albums sold worldwide and three RIAA diamond-certified albums to their credit. From their smash hit album “Frontiers,” the track “Don’t Stop Believin” what’s one of the band’s biggest hits, cracking the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was about two people who seemingly come from different worlds but are interested in a romantic relationship together. They overcome many obstacles, but they never stop believing in their love, and they never stop believing in each other, either.

3. Imagine by John Lennon

Genre Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1971
Album Imagine

John Lennon is given nearly enough credit for what he is saying in this song, and that’s saying something because “Imagine” has been named the best song of all time by The Guardian, along with several other readers’ polls. John Lennon knocked it out of the park on his very first solo outing in 1971 when he dared to dream of a world that overcame obstacles in communication and understanding by simply suggesting that we remove those obstacles. Trivial things such as money and religion were removed from the equation; people no longer had anything to worry about overcoming.

4. This Is Absolution by Killswitch Engage

Genre Hardcore Metal, Metal
Year Released 2006
Album As Daylight Dies

Killswitch Engage is, without a doubt, the most positive band in metalcore today. Formed in 1999 in Westfield, Massachusetts, from the Ashes of Aftershock and Overcast, Killswitch injected some life into an otherwise bleach genre, transforming it into something that metalheads could use to fuel their fire to accomplish something positive with their lives. Appearing in their 2006 effort “As Daylight Dies,” the track “This Is Absolution” is a perfect example of the positive power of music. The track is about overcoming hardships through unification and togetherness and refusing to Simply cave in, bow out, and give up.

5. No Excuses by Alice In Chains

Genre Grunge, Hard Rock, Rock
Year Released 1994
Album Alice In Chains

Sometimes the best way to overcome something is to put your head down and trudge through it. Facing things head-on can often be the most effective and cost-efficient way to overcome any obstacle or hardship that life may present to you at the moment. If this sounds like an idea you can get behind, then you can relate to the laid-back sound of the Alice in Chains track “No Excuses,” which was from their 1994 self-titled album. Ironically, this would be the last album that the band would release with Layne Staley, who died of a speedball overdose in 1996.

6. Not Afraid by Eminem

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2010
Album Recovery (Deluxe Edition)

There comes a time in our life when we all have to stand up for what’s right. After years of some very controversial and entertaining music, it was refreshing to hear Marshall Mathers come from a place of maturity and responsibility in 2010. Aside from many others, the song is about overcoming some of the obstacles that parenthood presents and putting your personal feelings aside for the betterment of your children. It seemed like the adoring public liked this new version of Eminem as well, as the song shot up to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

7. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

Genre Disco
Year Released 1978
Album Love Tracks

Written by Motown lyricist and songwriter Dino Fekaris, this track not only became a female empowerment anthem of the 1970s, but it also became a theme song for those having to get through hard times everywhere. When asked what the song means to her on a personal level, Gloria Gaynor had this to say, “I love the empowering effect, I love the encouraging effect. It’s a timeless lyric that addresses a timeless concern.” The track was also nominated for the 1980 Grammy Award for Record of the Year, as well as taking home the Grammy for Disco Record of the Year. If you enjoy this song, you’ll love our full playlist of songs about surviving as well.

8. Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor

Genre Hard Rock, Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1982
Album Eye Of The Tiger

Whether it’s a sleeping, uplifting orchestral track from the first film Rocky, or it’s this hard rock classic from Rocky 3, there’s nothing like the theme song from one of these films to make you feel like you can accomplish anything, and overcome any challenges and obstacles that are in the way of your goals. Originally appearing on Survivor’s 1982 album “Eye Of The Tiger,” this song also served as the theme song for the third installment of the Rocky franchise and hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed for six consecutive weeks.

9. Stronger by Britney Spears

Genre Pop
Year Released 2000
Album Oops!… I Did It Again

Everybody is going to face challenges and difficulties in their personal lives, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. In this female empowerment anthem found in the 2000’s “Oops!… I Did It Again,” Britney Spears sings about being unlucky in love but also about how her trials and tribulations have made her a much stronger person. This hit track was written by the Swedish songwriters’ Max Martin and Rami Yacoub, who was also responsible for Britney Spears’ first hit single, “Baby One More Time.” The song peaked at the 11th spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

10. Fighter by Christina Aguilera

Genre Pop
Year Released 2002
Album Stripped

One of the fascinating things about Christina Aguilera is that after the success of her first album, she was given the freedom to create the music that she wanted to make, instead of recording albums the label wanted to hear. The singer says that the success of her first album gave her carte blanche to record the album she wanted to record when it came time for her second record. The result was 2002’s “Stripped,” which featured the single “Fighter.” The track is about taking life’s hardships and allowing them to make you stronger instead of letting them break you. Songs about fighting and getting stronger like this one have always been very inspirational to me.

11. There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back by Shawn Mendes

Genre Pop
Year Released 2016
Album Illuminate

In this song, Shawn Mendes expresses his gratitude for his partner because they are in a relationship that allows him to feel like he’s free to be himself. The singer stops feeling self-conscious when he gets around his girlfriend because she is a carefree spirit that acts “wild and crazy.” This allows him to forget about how painfully shy he is. To him, this is all he needs to feel good about himself. Mendes co-wrote the track with a friend of his, New York singer-songwriter Teddy Geiger, and admits that the song was not written about anybody in particular.

12. Move Along by The All-American Rejects

Genre Alternative Rock, Indie
Year Released 2005
Album Move Along

The All-American Rejects were formed in 1999 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and are known most for their single “Move Along,” which was also the title of their second studio album. The song serves as a pep talk for anybody who needs a reminder to keep moving and not to let trivial or Instagram things get in your way or stop you from progressing. Sometimes, we all need a reminder that we need to stay strong. This song serves as a reminder that sometimes all we need is a little push to keep moving forward in the right direction.

13. Strength in Numbers by Times of Grace

Genre Heavy Metal, Metal
Year Released 2011
Album The Hymn of a Broken Man

When confronted with trials, tribulations, and hardships in their daily lives, many people turn to their faith to help them overcome whatever it is they must get through at that time. That’s the message that the metal supergroup Times of Grace is bringing with their track “Strength in Numbers,” which was featured on their 2011 release “The Hymn of a Broken Man.” One of the song’s standout lines occurs when lead vocalist Jesse Leach (of Killswitch Engage fame) says, “Our roots must balance our branches,” which means that we have to be strong enough to branch out and reach new heights. If you haven’t heard this song, give it a listen, it’s easily one of my favorite songs about overcoming obstacles of all time. If you enjoyed this song, we have a full playlist with tons of songs about strength here that I recommend checking out.

14. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Fleetwood Mac

Genre Soft Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1977
Album Rumours

I’ve always found that one of the most effective ways to get through a long and growing day is to think about what a better day tomorrow will be. It’s much like Fleetwood Mac’s hit single “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” says, once yesterday has passed, it’s gone, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Keep focusing on the positivity that tomorrow will bring, and it should make overcoming your obstacles and hardships much easier to endure. The song was featured on the Grammy-nominated album “Rumours,” which is often considered to be one of the best rock albums of all time.

15. Redemption by Shadows Fall

Genre Hardcore Metal, Metal
Year Released 2007
Album Threads Of Life

Unfortunately, one of the many things that you have to overcome if you are a member of a band is going through several lineup changes throughout your band’s life cycle. People’s lives take them down many different paths, and most of us are not meant to stay on the same path forever. Still, I must admit that it’s refreshing to see a band like Shadows Fall endure so many lineup changes, yet maintain such a positive outlook about overcoming the challenges that this presents. This is especially reflected in the track “Redemption,” which was on 2007’s “Threads Of Life.”

16. It’s My Life by Bon Jovi

Genre Rock
Year Released 2000
Album Crush

Many people agree that there’s only one way to live your life, and that is to live each day to its fullest. Most people will tell you that if you’re not living each day to its fullest, then you aren’t truly living. Well, in his hit single “It’s My Life,” Jon Bon Jovi fully declares his intent to live his life to its fullest and on his terms. This track marks something of a comeback single for The band, Which was one of the top-selling musical acts of the 1980s, selling over 37.8 million albums worldwide.

17. The World Is Yours by Arch Enemy

Genre Hardcore Metal, Heavy Metal
Year Released 2017
Album Will to Power

Arch Enemy has been one of the most well-respected and persevering names in melodic death metal. Originally formed as a supergroup featuring members of Carcass, Mercyful Fate, Armageddon, Eucharist, Carnage, Spiritual Beggars, and Nevermore, Arch Enemy took shape at the beginning of 2000 when the band hired German lead vocalist Angela Gossow to front the outfit. However, she would leave the band in 2014 to become their manager and was replaced by Canadian singer Alissa White-Gluz. As you can see, Arch Enemy has plenty of practice overcoming hardships and lineup changes, and it reflects in the message of its music.

18. My Way by Frank Sinatra

Genre Big Band, Easy Listening
Year Released 1969
Album My Way (Single)

Being able to overcome hardships and adversity is one thing, but being able to say that you did it your way is something completely different. You gain a certain amount of satisfaction from knowing that you were able to come to grips with whatever it was you were facing on your terms. Well, that’s exactly what “Old Blue Eyes” was able to do in his hit single “My Way,” which spent a record 79 weeks on the Billboard charts and has become a mainstay in modern American popular culture until this day and before you ask, Sinatra did it his way.

19. A Little Bit Stronger by Sara Evans

Genre Country
Year Released 2010
Album Country Strong

Getting past the heartache and misery caused by a bad breakup can be one of the most challenging things that you have to face in your personal life. However, as demonstrated in Sara Evans’ track “A Little Bit Stronger,” you still have to get up and carry on with your life every single day. Sara Evans wrote the song with Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, and Hillary Scott. When asked about writing the tune, Scott said, “When I wrote it, I was barely a month out of a really, really bad break-up. It’s very autobiographical … one of the most personal songs that I’ve ever written.”

20. Gonna Fly Now – Theme Song from Rocky by Bill Conti

Genre Symphony, Film Score
Year Released 1976
Album Rocky (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

I can’t think of a more fitting movie in modern American cinema about overcoming adversity and rising to the challenges that stand in the way of accomplishing your dreams than the 1976 Sylvester Stallone film rocky, which was the recipient of 10 Academy Award nominations. So, what more fitting song to include than the theme song from the movie? While there aren’t very many lyrics to the song, its sweeping and uplifting momentum builds into a glorious crescendo that will make you feel like there’s no obstacle that you can’t overcome or nothing that can stand in your way.

21. The Show Must Go On by Queen

Genre Hard Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1991
Album Innuendo

Queen’s Freddie Mercury has long been regarded as one of the best frontmen and vocalists not only in the history of hard rock but in any genre. In 1991, the singer was battling his demons as he had been diagnosed with AIDS. Brian May, the band’s lead guitarist, wrote this song as a tribute to his singer, making sure that the track appeared as the final song on Queen’s last album with Mercury, “Innuendo.” The guitarist was said to have been inspired by the courage Freddie Mercury displayed in the face of his illness and his love for life.

22. I’m Still Standing by Elton John

Genre Pop, Soft Rock
Year Released 1983
Album Too Low for Zero

Elton John and Bernie Taupin are one of the most prolific and celebrated songwriting teams in the history of pop music. The two have combined for an incredible 29 top-ten hits, with nine of them reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Although his track I’m still standing wasn’t one of the singer’s biggest commercial successes, it has long served as a mantra of resilience in the face of overcoming hardships in difficult relationships. Taupin had this to say about the track, “I think people see it as an anthem based on Elton’s strong sense of survival in the face of adversity.”

23. Keep Ya Head Up by Tupac Shakur

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 1993
Album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.

Sometimes, all it takes for someone to overcome something significant in their lives is for another person to be willing to speak up for them and let them know that they have their back when nobody else does. More and more often, many women find themselves in a position where they are in an abusive relationship and do not have the courage or the means to overcome this hardship. Tupac Shakur was a champion of the African-American community who wasn’t scared to stand up for what was right, pertaining to African-American women, especially in his track “Keep Ya Head Up.”

24. Everybody Hurts by R.E.M

Genre Alternative Rock, College Rock, Indie
Year Released 1992
Album Automatic for the People

Raising awareness for mental health and teenage suicide prevention has been a passion project of former R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry, who left the band in 1997 to pursue a career in farming. However, before leaving the band, Barry wrote the song “Everybody Hurts,” which appeared in 1992’s “Automatic for the People.” Strangely enough, the drummer didn’t even perform on this track. The drums were programmed using a $20 drum machine that bass player Mike Mills bought because it had a metronome-like quality. The string arrangements for the track were written by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

25. Lost in the Echo by Linkin Park

Genre Nu-Metal, Alternative Metal, Rock
Year Released
Album Living Things

It’s been long believed that one of the most effective methods of overcoming hardships is to rid yourself of the negativity that surrounds you and keeps you locked into that mindset. Unfortunately, while you may not be prepared to come to grips with this, this may include leaving people behind that you feel are holding you back and stopping you from being your best self. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but this is the message being presented to us in Linkin Park’s track “Lost in the Echo.” Remember, you can’t move forward if you have somebody holding you back. If you’re a fan of rock music, this is one of those songs about overcoming you must have on your playlist. If you’re feeling lost or alone, or you know you need to move on from someone you care about, this song will most likely resonate with you.

26. Supremacy of Self by Hatebreed

Genre Hardcore Metal, Metal
Year Released 2006
Album Supremacy

From the moment that Hatebreed lead vocalist Jamie Jasta utters the line, “Some wars must be fought alone,” you know that these guys or not want to back down from a challenge. The biggest part of overcoming something difficult can be realizing that you need to conquer it on your own. This is a realization that is not easy for many people to accept. They say that there is strength in numbers, but sometimes you draw strength from knowing that you are the only person you can depend on. That’s the philosophy that has epitomized the underground hardcore metal scene for years.

27. Long Promised Road by The Beach Boys

Genre Pop, Surf Rock
Year Released 1971
Album Surf’s Up

The Beach Boys are certainly familiar with overcoming obstacles and confronting challenges that may have otherwise ruined lesser bands. However, as most great artists do, when the Beach Boys were faced with these challenges, they tackled them head-on, usually writing music about whatever they were going through. For instance, the track “Long Promised Road” was written as a way to help cope with the challenges of Brian Wilson no longer being able to lead the Beach Boys after his well-documented battles with bandmate Mike Love and struggles with mental illness and Carl Wilson stepped in and became head of the band.

28. Smile by Nat King Cole

Genre Easy Listening, Orchestral, Jazz
Year Released 1936 (Instrumental), 1954 (Lyrics)
Album Modern Times (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

One of the most fascinating aspects of overcoming obstacles and challenges is knowing that there is always a possibility of a brighter tomorrow just over the horizon. Although it may be much easier than it sounds, sometimes it pays just to smile and know that whatever you’re going through will eventually get better. If you are familiar with the old saying, “You have to fake it until you make it,” then you understand the concept behind this Nat King Cole classic tune. Even if it seems nearly impossible, if you keep smiling, you might find more reasons to smile.

29. Don’t Look Down by Jennifer Hudson

Genre R&B, Soul
Year Released 2011
Album I Remember Me

Jennifer Hudson is a Grammy Award-winning singer, an Academy Award-winning actress, a talk show host, and an accomplished producer. In 2011, Hudson released her feel-good hit single” Don’t Look Down,” which appeared on her second studio album “I Remember Me.” The song conveys the message that you can only go as far as your perception takes you, which is why you shouldn’t set limits on what you can achieve. That’s why if you want to conquer new heights and have a life that isn’t filled with limitations, you should never look down. Together, you will accomplish things you never dreamed of.

30. I Can by Nas

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2002
Album God’s Son

Hailing from Crown Heights, New York, and better known by his stage name Nas, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones is widely considered to be one of the top rappers in the history of the genre, and his album sales prove it. Six of the rapper’s seven albums have reached platinum status, including 2002’s “God’s Son,” which featured the track “I Can.” This track is a perfect example of how positive affirmation can help to get you through the most difficult times simply by refusing to admit defeat and believing that you can achieve anything as long as you put your mind to it.

31. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson

Genre Pop
Year Released 2011
Album Stronger

Kelly Clarkson rose to national prominence after winning the first season of American Idol in 2002. Known for singing empowerment Athens used by women around the globe, the title track from Clarkson’s fifth studio album fits right into her catalog and is beloved by her fans. The song plays on the saying, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” which is borrowed from one of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s teachings. What the singer is trying to say is that she is now stronger for having survived circumstances and situations that she previously would not have been able to have gotten through.

32. You Gotta Be by Des’ree

Genre R&B, Soul
Year Released 1994
Album I Ain’t Movin’

Sometimes, if you want to be able to make it past any of the obstacles that stand in your way of being your best self, you have to know that you are good enough to rise above the situation. You have to also show that you can take your future into your own hands and make your happiness. These are the messages that I feel are being conveyed in this track from R&B and soul singer Des’ree from “I Ain’t Movin’.” The song was used in the Hilary Swank film The Next Karate Kid and was the only US hit for Des’ree.

33. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel

Genre Folk, Acoustic, Indie
Year Released 1970
Album Bridge Over Troubled Water

Let’s face it, we all go through tough times, and we all have obstacles that we have to overcome almost daily. Unfortunately, some of those obstacles are bigger than others. However, it always helps to know that we are not going through it alone whenever we have challenges to face. The title track from the Simon and Garfunkel album “Bridge Over Troubled Water” comes from a metaphor of someone living through a difficult time and also references the sacrifices and perseverance that you make as you try to find your way through these difficult times. If you enjoy songs with metaphors, you’ll most likely love this song.

34. Defying Gravity by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth

Genre Broadway
Year Released 2003
Album Wicked: Original Cast Recording

Perhaps one of the last places you would think to find a song about overcoming adversity and hardships would be from a Broadway musical, but that’s exactly where we are going for this next song on the list. From the original cast recording of the hit Broadway musical “Wicked” comes the song “Defying Gravity,” which is performed by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. The song is about refusing to play by someone else’s rules. It’s about overcoming life’s obstacles and hardships on your own terms and refusing to play someone else’s rigged game by their rules instead forging your path.

35. Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead

Genre Funk, Disco
Year Released 1979
Album McFadden & Whitehead

Employed by Philadelphia International Records before they wrote their famous disco track “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” Gene McFadden and John Whitehead formed the disco duo McFadden & Whitehead. However, the two were no strangers to writing hit singles as they also wrote “The Backstabbers” by The O’Jays. Nevertheless, the two grew weary of writing material for other artists, so they decided to take it upon themselves to record their material. Sadly, this track about not letting anything step in the way of your happiness would be the only hit for the duo, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

36. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

Genre Pop
Year Released 2014
Album 1989

I’ve always found that one of the necessary abilities that you must have to overcome adversity and difficult challenges is to be able to disregard anything negative that people have to say about you and what you are doing. Well, if anyone has experience in shaking off everything that the haters have to say about them, that person is Taylor Swift. Never have I seen an artist placed under so much scrutiny, both in their professional life and in their private life. However, in typical Taylor Swift fashion, she turns all of these negatives into positives, selling millions of albums in the process.

37. Survivor by Destiny’s Child

Genre R&B, Soul
Year Released 2009
Album Survivor

Destiny’s Child is one of the top-selling female acts of all time. The group has sold over 29.9 million albums worldwide and was inducted into the All-Time Hot 100 Artist list in 2008 by Billboard magazine. In 2001, Destiny’s Child released their second-best-selling album to date, which was called “Survivor.” This album featured the title track, which shot up to the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The track is about overcoming hardships by refusing to give up or give in. Instead of being victims of their circumstances, these ladies choose to be survivors, and it shows.

38. Fight Song by Rachel Platten

Genre Pop
Year Released 2014
Album Fight Song

There are going to be plenty of times in your life when you are going to have to stand up for what’s right if you ever want to be in control of your destiny. You are going to have to stand directly in the face of adversity, overcome any obstacles, and be willing to take your life back at any cost if you want to live on your terms. If you can get behind this sentiment, then you can get behind Rachel Platten’s hit single “Fight Song,” which is about taking control and being responsible for yourself and for what happens in your life.

39. O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps

Genre R&B, Soul
Year Released 1970
Album Step by Step by Step

For things to get better, sometimes all you have to do is to believe that they will eventually get better. Many people will tell you that one of the hardest parts of overcoming hardships is having faith that there are brighter days ahead. Once you have mastered that part, getting through the difficult times will prove to be much easier. That was the basic meaning behind the song “O-o-h Child” by The Five Stairsteps. While things may appear to be at their darkest now, the group has faith that brighter days are facing them ahead.

40. Hall Of Fame by The Script (Featuring will.i.am)

Genre Alternative Pop, Pop-Rock
Year Released 2012
Album #3

Most people will tell you that if you want someone to believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. Those same people will also tell you that if you want to be able to overcome any adversity you are facing, you have to believe that you will be able to get through it. That’s what The Script and will.i.am are declaring loudly and clearly in their song “Hall of Fame,” which is about having belief in yourself and knowing that you can overcome and move past anything that life puts in your way.

41. Rise by Katy Perry

Genre Pop
Year Released 2016
Album Rise (Single)

With 14 top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including nine of them that have reached the top spot, Katy Perry is one of the most successful pop artists in the last 20 years. While her single “Rise” may not have been one of Katy Perry’s highest charting songs, it was one of the most inspirational tracks of her career. The song is about Perry’s refusal merely to survive. It’s about her desire to overcome all obstacles and thrive in the face of new challenges. The song is saying that it doesn’t matter if you believe in her. She believes in herself.

42. I’m Movin’ On by Rascal Flatts

Genre Country
Year Released 2001
Album Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts is one of country music’s most famous bands of all time. There are also one of the genre’s most successful acts, with four Grammy Award nominations to their name. The band won 19 CMA Awards and has also been honored with eleven ACM Awards. One of the reasons for the band’s astounding success is the positive affirmations that are contained within their lyrics. One of the best examples of this can be seen in their ballad “I’m Movin’ On,” which is about a man who recognizes the mistakes of his past but wants to move on with his future.

43. You Learn by Alanis Morissette

Genre Alternative
Year Released 1995
Album Jagged Little Pill

Nobody has ever claimed that anyone will get through this life without making a couple of mistakes. We all do. That’s just a fact of life. What separates some of us from the rest is that we can learn from those mistakes, and we are determined not to repeat them. In Alanis Morissette’s hit single “You Learn,” the singer says that one of the best ways to learn from your mistakes is to be fearless in making them. You can’t be afraid to fail because everybody does. However, not everybody learns. That’s the key to growth.

44. Get Up by Shinedown

Genre Alternative Rock, Rock
Year Released 2018
Album Attention Attention

On the band’s album “Attention Attention,” Brent Smith didn’t have to look much further than his bass player Eric Bass for inspiration for one of the album’s standout tracks, “Get Up.” In an interview with Louder Sound, Brent Smith had this to say about his bass player, “Eric faces what is considered to be clinical depression daily. Some days everything is great; some days the sky is falling in.” The singer went on to say that this song took longer than most to write because he was afraid of what Eric was going to think about the song.

45. Hold On by Kansas

Genre Progressive Rock, Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1980
Album Audio-Visions

Appearing on the album “Audio-Visions,” the track hold on was one of the last songs recorded by the original members of the band Kansas before Steve Walsh left the band. Kerry Livgren wrote this song as a way to try to convince his wife to convert to Christianity along with him. Needless to say, it worked, as the two have remained steady in their faith since converting to Christianity. I’m sure that their belief in Christ and their belief in each other have helped the couple overcome their fair share of challenges and adversity in both their professional and personal lives.

46. Dedicated by Parkway Drive

Genre Hardcore Metal, Metal
Year Released 2015
Album Ire

For this song from their 2015 release “Ire,” the metalcore band Parkway Drive went back to an old, familiar sound to celebrate their 12th anniversary of being a band. The song talks about the many years that they have served together and how they have overcome a lot of adversity and tackled many obstacles in their 12 years together to be one of the most recognized forces in metal today. The phone is also about how the band is stronger than ever and is as much a force to be reckoned with today as they have been in the past.

47. When You Believe by Whitney Houston (Featuring Mariah Carey)

Genre R&B, Soul, Pop
Year Released 1998
Album The Prince of Egypt (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

The message of this song is relatively simple. When you believe in God and have faith in him, things will start to happen for the better. Of course, what would you expect from a song performed by two of the greatest voices of their generation? Recorded for the animated film The Prince of Persia, this song also won the 1998 Oscar for Best Film Song. This song just goes to show that when you have faith, anything is possible. There’s nothing you can’t overcome as long as you have faith in God and faith in yourself.

48. Let It Be by The Beatles

Genre Alternative Rock, Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1970
Album Let It Be

With over 183 million albums sold around the globe, The Beatles are the world’s most successful musical act, and it’s not even close. This is why it came as such a surprise when The Fab Four announced that they were parting ways in 1970, pending the conclusion of their final masterpiece, “Let It Be.” It may seem ironic to include one of the Beatles’ last songs in a list about overcoming obstacles and hardships, but the lyrics of this song will always ring true, no matter what problem presents itself. There will be an answer if you let it be.

49. Love Yourz by J Cole

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2014
Album 2014 Forest Hills Drive

One of the most positive messages that J Cole has conveyed in his lyrics is that you should love your life because there is no such thing as a life that’s better than yours. Life is going to deal you all sorts of obstacles that you will need to overcome. You can only play the hand that you have been dealt, and it isn’t feasible to wish that you had someone else’s situation when yours will be there waiting for you when you come back to reality. You’ve only been given one life. Learn to love it and embrace it.

50. Riser by Dierks Bentley

Genre Country
Year Released 2014
Album Riser

Frederick Dierks Bentley was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1975 and has become one of country music’s most popular and rising stars. However, that doesn’t mean that the singer hasn’t experienced his fair share of hardships in life. For example, his song and album “Riser” was written in the year that followed his father’s death and is about resilience and determination. Bentley said this about the song, “That song really applies to anybody that’s lived. There have always been those moments when we have to get back up and get on our feet. They are defining moments… breakthrough moments.”

51. Carry On by Fun

Genre Alternative, Electronic, Poo
Year Released 2012
Album Some Nights

Never let it be said that music doesn’t have the power to heal the soul. Fun frontman Nate Ruess is a firm believer in the power of including positive thoughts in his lyrics. When asked about his lyric writing process, the singer had this to say about the majority of the lyrics to his songs, “I feel like a lot of it is just trying to convince myself that everything’s okay. When you’re singing those words every single night, you kind of start to believe it in some way or another.” Now, that’s what I would call the power of positive thinking!

52. Dreams by The Cranberries

Genre Alternative
Year Released 1993
Album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

Falling in love can be one of the biggest obstacles that you may have to overcome in your lifetime. And the song “Dreams,” The Cranberries’ lead singer Dolores O’Riordan uses figurative language such as metaphors to describe the feeling of falling in love for the first time. She was a young girl in Ireland, and she says that this song was about her first love. The song was written by Dolores O’Riordan and Cranberries lead guitarist Noel Hogan. The song became The Cranberries’ first major hit in the United States and was released when O’Riordan was only 20 years old.

53. Win by Jay Rock

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2018
Album Redemption

Overcoming obstacles that are in the way of your success can be all about your mindset. If you have a positive mindset, the results that you yield are going to be positive. Jay Rock found this out during the writing process of his track “Win.” When asked about his outflow of positivity, the rapper said. “I was just in a winning spirit at the time. I had finished a lot of dope records so I was like, man, I gotta do something to sum all this up. And what better way, man? At the end of it all, we all trying to win.”

54. Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack (Featuring Sons of the Desert)

Genre Country
Year Released 2000
Album I Hope You Dance

Part of the healing process after a romantic relationship has run its course is hoping that the other person finds someone or something right for them. It’s about hoping that everybody can come out of this situation a happier and better person in the end. In “I Hope You Dance,” Leanne Womack finds herself wishing for the best for whomever it is that she’s thinking about. This song doesn’t necessarily have to apply to a relationship gone wrong either. She can be wishing that her child or someone close to her takes chances in life and isn’t afraid to succeed. If you’re looking for songs that will make you cry and are also about overcoming, listen to this one.

55. You’re Gonna Be Okay by Brian and Jenn Johnson

Genre Christian
Year Released 2017
Album After All These Years

Mental illness is no laughing matter, and more people suffer in silence from things like clinical depression or bipolar disorder than you could imagine. Whenever this happens, some people find comfort in turning to God and relying on their faith to get them through the darker times. This is exactly what happened with Jenn Johnson’s husband, Brian, as he suffered a nervous breakdown and had to trust in God like never before if he was going to get better. Jenn told News Release Today that the couple’s Faith got them through the most difficult time of their life.

56. Courage Is… by The Strange Familiar

Genre Country-Rock
Year Released 2008
Album The Strange Familiar

If you ask 100 people to Define what courage is to them, you would probably get at least 50 to 75 different answers. That’s because courage is relative to the situation and the person. What’s courageous to some may be cowardly to others. A group called The Strange Familiar, who was relatively unknown until they released the song “Courage Is…” had this to say about their song, “Whether someone hides their feeling of sorrow through a thick layer of skin, or is overwhelmed with grief and pain publicly to the world, each can feel a sense of inspiration through this piece of music.”

57. You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up) by Josh Groban

Genre Jazz, Classical
Year Released 2006
Album Awake

Have you ever been so depressed that things didn’t seem like they would ever be right again? During those times, did it help for someone to tell you not to give up and that you were loved? Well, that’s the message that Josh Groban is bringing in his song “You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up)” from his record “Awake.” Christian artist Josh Groban meant for the song to serve as a reminder that God never gives up on us and God loves each one of us as his children. If you’re going through a difficult time, perhaps you can find strength in that message.

58. Be (Intro) by Common

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2005
Album Be

Common is one of the few rappers in the genre who has a reputation for spreading the truth and positivity throughout his music. In the intro to his album “Be,” the rapper waxes poetically about wanting to be free from the burdens of society. He doesn’t want to concentrate on what has happened in the past, nor does he want to think about what may happen in the future. He just wants to be in the present, and treat it like the blessing that it is. One way to do this is to be in the moment, and not worry about what may happen or what has happened.

59. Rain On Me by Lady Gaga (Featuring Ariana Grande)

Genre House, Disco, Pop
Year Released 2020
Album Chromatica

If you are looking for an empowering song to uplift you with a message of persevering through difficult times, you needn’t look any further than “Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga, featuring Ariana Grande. The unusual and talented singer has made a career of being a strong, individual female role model whom many people look up to because of her ability to overcome anything that life throws at her. She must be getting through to somebody because the singer has had 17 top-ten songs, including nine number-one singles. “Rain On Me” was one of those singles that reached the top spot.

60. Titanium By David Guetta (Featuring Sia)

Genre Pop
Year Released 2011
Album Nothing but the Beat

Bullying has become a major epidemic in our schools here in the United States. It doesn’t matter if it is being conducted online or in person. More and more kids are being bullied every day. That’s exactly why David Guetta recorded his song “Titanium.” He wanted to give a Beacon of Hope to those out there who were suffering from bullying. An interesting fact about this song was that Sia was not his first choice for a guest appearance on the song. He originally wanted Katy Perry, but she didn’t want to work with him. He sent the song to Sia, and the rest is history.

61. Float On by Modest Mouse

Genre Alternative Rock, Indie
Year Released 2004
Album Good News for People Who Love Bad News

Modest Mouse lead vocalist Isaac Brock, unfortunately, knows a thing or two about having to persevere through difficult times, having lost two friends who were very near to him. Needing to know that everything was going to be okay, the singer wrote the lyrics to the band’s biggest hit, “Float On,” from their album “Good News for People Who Love Bad News.” Brock said that he had been far too busy concentrating on how dark and bad things were at that time in his life. When he wrote this track, he was only trying to feel good for one day.

62. Up! (Green Version) by Shania Twain

Genre Country, Pop-Country
Year Released 2002
Album Up!

When your spirits are down, and things seem like they couldn’t be any worse, remember that the best direction that you can go is up. In her song “Up,” country Superstar Shania Twain sees herself down and out and wishes that she could disappear to avoid all of the obstacles and hardships that she has to face in her life. So, what does the singer do? Instead of throwing in the towel and calling it quits, she realizes that the only way she can go is up and pulls herself out of the bad situation he’s found herself in.

63. Win by Brian McKnight

Genre R&B, Soul
Year Released 2000
Album Men of Honor (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

They say that it’s always darkest just before dawn, which is a way of saying that when things are looking like they’re at their worst, you shouldn’t give up or give in. Better things could be right around the corner for you. Appearing on the soundtrack to the film Men of Honor, Brian McKnight’s song “Win” is about hope and perseverance and fighting until you can’t possibly fight anymore. It’s about knowing who you are and knowing your inner strength. It’s about knowing that your back is against the proverbial wall, yet you keep going. It also epitomizes the saying, “Never Say Die.”

64. If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows) by Rodney Atkins

Genre Country
Year Released 2006
Album If You’re Going Through Hell

The title of this song originates from Winston Churchill’s quote, “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” It also has roots and an old Irish toast that says, “May you be in Heaven five minutes before the devil knows you’re dead.” Both sayings mean that Atkins hopes that your bad times don’t last long. This song was the lead single from Rodney Atkin’s second album, “If You’re Going Through Hell,” and became the first number-one single of the country music star’s career, where it stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Sonatcharts for four consecutive weeks.

65. Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine

Genre Alternative, Indie
Year Released 2009
Album Lungs

Being comfortable can be the detriment of one’s happiness. Sometimes, you have to get out of your comfort zone if you ever expect to find anything better in a partner or a romantic relationship. This song’s title originates from the old phrase “dog days,” which was used to describe a period of madness in the old days. The “period of madness” that the narrator is escaping could be an abusive relationship, and the happiness coming over her could be that she realizes that the horrible life she has been living is finally coming to an end.

66. Number 1 by Manowar

Genre Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Year Released 1996
Album Louder Than Hell

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for some of the challenges that life throws at you is to expect the unexpected and train for it. Think about it. You constantly hear about professional athletes practicing and training for the big game. Musicians and artists rehearse before they go on tour. Being prepared is more than just a saying that has been adopted by the boy scouts. For some people, it is a way of life. If you can relate to this, then you can relate to the lyrics in Manowar’s song “Number 1,” which is about training and preparing to win.

67. The Comeback by Danny Gokey

Genre Christian
Year Released 2017
Album Rise

Whether it’s in professional sports or life, comebacks happen all the time. That’s why you should never count yourself out. You never know when you will be able to bounce back and take control of the situation. This optimistic message is what’s behind the lyrics for Danny Gokey’s track “The Comeback,” which is found on his 2017 album “Rise.” Strangely enough, the song has taken a little bit of heat from the Christian Community for not giving enough glory to God and rather being an Earthly motivational song. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought that the song sounded pretty positive and uplifting.

68. Life Is Worth Living by Justin Bieber

Genre Pop, R&B, Soul
Year Released 2015
Album Purpose

Whether you love him or hate him, Justin Bieber has carved out a respectable career in pop music, with 26 songs that have entered the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100, and nine of them shooting up to the number one spot. Although his track “Life Is Worth Living” wasn’t one of those top-ten hits, it certainly was one of the most positive and uplifting songs of the pop star’s career. The singer said that he wanted to share his journey with his fans and said, “I think when you’re being the best version of yourself, you surround yourself with people that are encouraging.”

69. Never Give Up by Sia

Genre Soundtrack, Pop
Year Released 2016
Album Lion (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Sia’s song “Never Give Up” was written for the soundtrack to the motion picture Lion, which is a story about overcoming obstacles, and about keeping pushing in the face of near defeat. The singer also has said that the song Perfectly describes the state of the nation after Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential Election. She said that this is how she felt when she woke up the morning after the election, knowing that now the country could “move into action.” I guess sometimes a little change is the only catalyst and inspiration you need to overcome anything holding you back.

70. Believer by Imagine Dragons

Genre Alternative Pop
Year Released 2016
Album Evolve

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last six or seven years, you have heard the Imagine Dragons track believer at least two dozen times by now. The song dominated the airwaves in early 2017 and cracked the top five on the Billboard Hot 100, peeking at the number four position. When asked what inspired the lyrics for the track, Imagine Dragons lead vocalist Dan Reynolds said that he drew inspiration from reflecting on the things in his life that were particularly anxiety-inducing or caused him pain. Anything that was a source of depression, he turned into something positive.

Spotify Playlist of Songs About Overcoming

Closing Thoughts:

As you can see, inspiration for overcoming obstacles and hardships that most of us face daily can be found just about anywhere. While most art is open to the interpretation of the listener, you don’t have to dig too deeply to find the meaning behind most of these tracks. They are here to provide you with some joy and comfort during those difficult times when you need them most. Feel free to take your message of hope from these tunes. As long as it eases your pain a little, that’s what matters.

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