Usually, I write about a dilemma that is posed to me from a colleague or sent to me from a reader (click here to submit your dilemmas!). This week, I’m going to pose my own. The past few weeks have been very stressful at work, and at home. On top of leading a very high profile project with tight timelines and a lot of politics, my children caught whatever was going around. On these days, I really rely on listening to motivational songs on my morning commute so I can show up and face the day.
In this post, I’ll share my Top 10 Motivational Songs, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments!
Top 10 Motivational Songs to Inspire You at Work
1. Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)
I love Kelly Clarkson. She’s so down to earth and, of course, a mom to young kids too. If you get turned down for a promotion, or someone rejects a business proposal you made — and you want to prove them wrong — turn on Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger…
“You didn’t think that I’d come back
I’d come back swinging
You try to break me, but you see
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller”
Out of every artist, I think Kelly Clarkson has the most motivational songs!
2. Stronger (Kanye West)
You can say a lot about Kanye West and his music. Not all of it may be flattering. But, I think his song Stronger sends a message that inspires someone to not let roadblocks drag them down. It’s the pinnacle of motivational songs.
“That that don’t kill me
Can only make me stronger…harder, better, faster, stronger”
In the end, sometimes when the chips are down, you just need to dig deep at work a little harder. Should it be that way? Maybe not. But if you need to in order to be successful, Kanye’s Stronger can help!
3. Let It Be (Beatles)
Sometimes, you don’t have any fight left. Just let the cards fall as they will, and move on from there. I do think that is inspirational…the ability to just be at peace.
“And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be”
4. Runaround (Blues Traveler)
I may be dating myself, but this song was popular when I was in high school. If you’re struggling with someone who just doesn’t see eye to eye with you, or doesn’t appreciate your skills, then this song is for you!
“…this is the pilot speaking
I’ve got some news for you
It seems my ship still stands no matter what you drop
And there ain’t a whole lot that you can do”
This is my favorite of the motivational songs. When this song came out, I had an English teacher who didn’t think I was very talented and refused to select me for an advanced class. She told me she couldn’t recommend me because, “she knew I would have to drop out.” Well, I petitioned to get in the class anyway. In the end, I had the highest grade in that advanced class. This song was popular during that time, and I listened to it frequently during my drama with this English teacher.
5. Let it Go (Performed by Idina Menzel from the movie Frozen)
Hear me out on this one, please! I know all you parents of young kids just recently stopped hearing this song playing in your head non-stop; it was probably replaced by Baby Shark.
But, there are very important motivational messages in this song that can lift you out of a rut at work. If you’re feeling confined to a role, or feeling like you deserve a bigger role or promotion, play this song and sing:
“It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I am one with the wind and sky”
6. Skyscraper (Demi Lovato)
This is another song to listen to if you’ve been looked over for a promotion or a high profile project.
“Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper”
7. The Climb (Miley Cyrus)
This was one of the motivational songs played a big role in my early career. I worked on the launch of a new product about 10 years ago. It was fraught with all kinds of issues, delays, and personality conflicts. We were on a very tight timeline and the weight of the work was crushing.
At the time, Miley Cyrus’ Climb had just come out. Listening to it made me feel like this experience was going to be formative and would shape me as a professional. Seeing that long-term benefit helped me get through that time, and it did end up having a lasting impact on my career.
“There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb”
8. Born This Way (Lady Gaga)
Over the course of your career — especially if you aspire to Leadership — you will get a lot of feedback. Some of it will feel very personal. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback early on in my career that I needed more “executive presence.” My smaller stature and higher pitched voice diminished my leadership profile.
Well, crap. That’s just how I was born! Why should these variables that I cannot control have so much influence over my career trajectory?!
For anyone feeling like they are being criticized for being who they are should listen to Born This Way…
“I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby I was born this way”
9. Greatest Love of All (Whitney Houston)
Oh, Whitney Houston, I miss you so! We all know her typical big hits, but this song is perhaps a lesser known but very powerful and motivational song. If you in the same situation described above (under Born This Way) and want to feel appreciated for who you are. And you don’t change yourself because others want, then check out this song…
“I decided long ago
Never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity”
10. Like a Prayer (Madonna)
If I haven’t dated myself already, you can probably guess I grew up in the era of Madonna. I can’t point to any specifics of the lyrics of the song that are motivational (at least from a work perspective). But, without fail, this song gets me out of whatever funk I am in.
Maybe it was the fact that Madonna went against the grain. For example, she took a lot of heat for this song (or at least the video) and now — decades later — she’s still very successful. If I recall, she was fired by sponsors for this song. In the end, she just used this negative press to become even more famous. No one was going to hold Madonna back.
Goes to show, no one writes your story except you. Could anything be more motivational than that?!
In addition, if you’re looking for more motivational songs for work, check out this list.
In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed this list! Are you ready to go out there and rock your interview or presentation?!? I’d love to hear any suggestions you have for motivational songs in the comments below!!
If you enjoyed this post, check out these others from Mrs. Type A:
- Why am I not getting promoted?
- How to prepare for an interview for a management position
- 3 Behaviors that Will Ensure You Get Promoted
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