- 1. Roar – Katy Perry
- 2. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
- 3. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
- 4. Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
- 5. Fighter – Christina Aguilera
- 6. Heroes – David Bowie
- 7. Survivor – Destiny’s Child
- 8. Black Muddy River – Grateful Dead
- 9. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
- 10. Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
- 11. Wide Awake – Katy Perry
- 12. Warrior – Demi Lavato
- 13. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
- 14. Lady Gaga – Rain on Me ft. Ariana Grande
- 15. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
- 16. When You Believe – Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey
- 17. I’m Still Standing – Elton John
Surviving life’s challenges can be a daunting task, but music has the power to inspire and uplift us, reminding us of our strength and resilience. From heartbreak to illness, loss, and adversity, the journey of survival can take many forms, and music can help us navigate the tough times. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 17 best songs about surviving to spur you on when times get tough.
This list includes classic hits like “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor and “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, as well as more recent releases like “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten and “Roar” by Katy Perry. Each song on the list offers a unique perspective on survival, with lyrics that encourage us to keep pushing through and never give up. Whether you need a pick-me-up after a tough day or inspiration to tackle a difficult challenge, these songs are sure to motivate and inspire you on your journey to survival. So turn up the volume, sing along, and let these songs remind you of your strength and resilience.
1. Roar – Katy Perry
“Roar” is a power anthem and one of the biggest hits by American singer Katy Perry. Released in 2013, the song features an upbeat pop-rock sound and uplifting lyrics about finding strength and confidence within oneself. The song encourages listeners to stand up for themselves and not be afraid to speak their minds. With its catchy chorus and empowering message, “Roar” became an instant hit, topping charts around the world and earning numerous accolades. The song’s music video, which features Perry stranded in the jungle and eventually rising above her circumstances, has also become iconic. “Roar” continues to inspire and motivate listeners to this day.
2. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
“I Will Survive” is a disco classic and one of the most iconic songs by American singer Gloria Gaynor. Released in 1978, the song features a driving beat and powerful vocals, with lyrics that speak to the strength and resilience of the human spirit. The song’s message of overcoming adversity and moving on from heartbreak has resonated with generations of listeners, making it a timeless anthem for empowerment and self-confidence. With its catchy chorus and upbeat rhythm, “I Will Survive” has become a staple of dance floors and karaoke bars around the world, cementing its place as one of the greatest disco songs of all time.
3. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
“Eye of the Tiger” is a classic rock song and one of the most famous hits by American band Survivor. Released in 1982, the song was written as the theme for the movie Rocky III and features a driving guitar riff and powerful vocals. The song’s lyrics, which speak to the theme of overcoming challenges and rising to the top, have made it a popular choice for sports teams, motivational speeches, and workout playlists. “Eye of the Tiger” became an instant hit upon its release, topping charts around the world and earning numerous accolades. Today, the song remains a timeless anthem for perseverance and determination.
4. Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
“Unwritten” is a pop anthem and one of the biggest hits by British singer Natasha Bedingfield. Released in 2004, the song features a catchy melody and inspirational lyrics that encourage listeners to embrace the unknown and follow their dreams. The song’s message of living life to the fullest and seizing opportunities has resonated with fans around the world, making it a beloved anthem for self-discovery and empowerment. “Unwritten” was a commercial success upon its release, topping charts and earning numerous accolades. The song’s positive and uplifting message continues to inspire listeners to this day.
5. Fighter – Christina Aguilera
“Fighter” is a powerful pop ballad and one of the most popular hits by American singer Christina Aguilera. Released in 2002, the song features emotional lyrics and a soaring chorus that speak to the theme of personal growth and overcoming adversity. The song’s message of resilience and self-empowerment has resonated with listeners, making it a beloved anthem for those who have faced difficult times. “Fighter” was a commercial success upon its release, topping charts around the world and earning numerous accolades. The song’s raw and honest message continues to inspire and uplift listeners to this day.
6. Heroes – David Bowie
“Heroes” is a classic song by the legendary British musician, David Bowie. Released in 1977, the song is known for its iconic melody, soaring vocals, and poignant lyrics. The track tells the story of two lovers who meet at the Berlin Wall, and despite the odds against them, decide to be together. With its powerful message of love and hope in the face of adversity, “Heroes” has become an anthem for people all over the world, inspiring countless covers and interpretations. Bowie’s impassioned vocals and the song’s lush instrumentation create a transcendent experience that is both uplifting and deeply moving. A timeless classic, “Heroes” remains a beloved and enduring masterpiece of popular music.
7. Survivor – Destiny’s Child
“Survivor” is a smash hit song by American girl group, Destiny’s Child. Released in 2001, the track quickly became an anthem for empowerment and resilience, with its catchy chorus and uplifting lyrics inspiring listeners to persevere through challenges and adversity. The song’s infectious beat, energetic vocals, and memorable hooks make it a standout in the group’s discography, and a classic of early 2000s pop music. “Survivor” showcases the group’s signature harmonies and dynamic vocal performances, with each member delivering a powerful message of strength and self-belief. The song’s enduring popularity and cultural impact have cemented it as a beloved and empowering anthem for generations of fans.
8. Black Muddy River – Grateful Dead
“Black Muddy River” is a beautiful and melancholic song by American rock band, the Grateful Dead. Written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, the track features gentle acoustic guitar, ethereal keyboards, and emotive vocals, creating a haunting and reflective atmosphere. The lyrics contemplate the passage of time, the weight of regret, and the fragility of life, with the imagery of a black muddy river serving as a metaphor for the inevitability of mortality. The song’s somber tone is contrasted by moments of soaring beauty and hope, as the narrator expresses gratitude for the love and connections that have sustained him through life’s struggles. “Black Muddy River” is a poignant and timeless masterpiece, showcasing the Grateful Dead’s unique ability to blend rock, folk, and country influences into a singular and powerful sound.
9. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
“I Won’t Back Down” is a timeless classic by the legendary musician Tom Petty. Released in 1989, the song is a powerful anthem about perseverance and standing up for oneself in the face of adversity. The lyrics are simple yet powerful, encouraging listeners to hold onto their beliefs and not give up in the face of challenges. The song’s upbeat tempo and catchy guitar riffs give it an irresistible energy, making it an enduring favorite among fans of rock music. “I Won’t Back Down” has become a symbol of resilience and determination, inspiring generations of listeners to stay strong and stay true to themselves.
10. Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia
“Titanium” is a powerful and energetic electronic dance music track by French DJ David Guetta featuring the soulful vocals of Australian singer-songwriter Sia. Released in 2011, the song became an instant hit, reaching the top of the charts in many countries. The song’s lyrics are an empowering message about inner strength and resilience in the face of challenges, and Sia’s soaring vocals add to the song’s emotional impact. The driving beat and pulsing synth lines make “Titanium” a dancefloor favorite, and its message of overcoming obstacles has resonated with many listeners around the world, making it an enduring pop classic.
11. Wide Awake – Katy Perry
“Wide Awake” is a powerful pop ballad by American singer Katy Perry, released in 2012. The song was written as a tribute to the singer’s personal growth and empowerment following a difficult period in her life. The lyrics are a message of self-discovery and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, delivered with Perry’s characteristic energy and emotion. The song’s haunting melody and soaring chorus make it a memorable and impactful addition to Perry’s discography. “Wide Awake” is an inspiring anthem of hope and perseverance, and has become a fan favorite for its uplifting message and catchy sound.
12. Warrior – Demi Lavato
“Warrior” is a powerful and emotional pop song by American singer Demi Lovato, released in 2013. The song is an anthem of strength and resilience, with Lovato singing about overcoming personal struggles and finding the courage to stand up for herself. The lyrics are deeply personal, reflecting the singer’s own experiences with mental health and addiction, and the song’s soaring chorus and driving beat add to its emotional impact. “Warrior” is a testament to the power of vulnerability and the importance of seeking help and support when facing difficult times. The song has become a fan favorite for its uplifting message and powerful vocals, and is considered one of Lovato’s most impactful songs.
13. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
“Born to Run” is a classic rock anthem by American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen, released in 1975. The song’s driving beat, powerful vocals, and cinematic lyrics capture the youthful energy and rebellious spirit of 1970s America. Springsteen’s passionate vocals express the desire to escape the confines of a small town and pursue a life of freedom and adventure. The iconic chorus “Tramps like us, baby we were born to run” has become a rallying cry for generations of fans who identify with Springsteen’s message of hope and defiance. “Born to Run” has become a timeless classic and a defining song in Springsteen’s career, solidifying his reputation as one of rock music’s most iconic figures.
14. Lady Gaga – Rain on Me ft. Ariana Grande
“Rain on Me” is a collaboration between two of the biggest pop stars of our time, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. The song, released in 2020, features a high-energy dance beat and a catchy chorus that showcases the powerful vocal talents of both artists. The lyrics describe the healing power of being able to release emotions and cry, using the metaphor of rain as a cleansing force. The music video, directed by Robert Rodriguez, features Gaga and Grande in a surreal, futuristic setting, dancing in the rain and embodying the song’s message of resilience and self-empowerment. “Rain on Me” became an instant hit, earning critical acclaim and topping charts around the world.
15. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” is a powerful pop anthem by Kelly Clarkson that celebrates resilience, perseverance, and self-empowerment. Released in 2011, the song features an upbeat and catchy melody, soaring vocals, and empowering lyrics that encourage listeners to rise above adversity and find strength in their struggles. With lines like “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller, doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone,” the song embodies a message of hope and determination that has resonated with audiences around the world. It’s a feel-good song that inspires listeners to keep pushing forward no matter what challenges they may face.
16. When You Believe – Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey
“When You Believe” is a powerful and uplifting duet performed by two of the greatest female vocalists of all time, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. The song was featured in the animated film, “The Prince of Egypt,” and it tells the story of two individuals who have lost faith in themselves and the world around them, but eventually find hope and inspiration in each other. The powerful vocals of Houston and Carey perfectly capture the emotion and spirit of the song, and the gospel-influenced production adds to the grandeur and majesty of the track. “When You Believe” is a timeless anthem of hope and perseverance that continues to inspire and move listeners around the world.
17. I’m Still Standing – Elton John
“I’m Still Standing” is a classic pop-rock anthem by legendary singer-songwriter Elton John. Released in 1983, the song features a catchy, upbeat melody and optimistic lyrics about overcoming adversity and standing tall in the face of challenges. The driving piano riff and infectious chorus make it a crowd-pleaser and a staple of John’s live performances. The song’s message of resilience and perseverance has resonated with fans for decades and has become a symbol of personal triumph and determination. “I’m Still Standing” remains a beloved track in Elton John’s catalog and a timeless reminder that even in the face of hardship, we can emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.