Songs to lift me up
August 31, 2012 2:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations for music that might make me feel better about myself.

I want a mix CD that I can play in my car with the volume up high on the way to work to give me some energy and gee me up for the day, and make me feel like a better human being. Maybe something to boost my self esteem or help me feel empowered about my life. I'm not looking for physical energy, more the musical equivalent of a hug and a motivational speech.

I'm having a hard time explaining what I'm looking for, but here are some examples:

P!nk - F*cking Perfect.
Fun. - Carry On.
David Guetta - Titanium.
Queen - Don't Stop Me Now.
La Roux - Bulletproof.
posted by Solomon to Media & Arts (34 answers total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
Hoppipolla - Sigur Ros

I have no idea what the words are but it's ridiculously uplifting.
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 2:34 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Lunchbox: Marilyn Manson will empower you.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 2:38 PM on August 31, 2012

This Year by The Mountain Goats.
posted by bennett being thrown at 2:45 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Feeling Good, by Nina Simone
posted by K.P. at 2:47 PM on August 31, 2012

Plea from a Cat named Virtute by the Weakerthans
posted by sarastro at 2:49 PM on August 31, 2012

I'm Not Down, by the Clash

Oooh Child, by the Five Stairsteps

Dog Days are Over, by Florence and the Machine

I'm the Best, by Nicki Minaj
posted by dysh at 2:59 PM on August 31, 2012

A departure - genre wise - but this is like a cool drink of water for always makes me smile.
posted by j_curiouser at 3:08 PM on August 31, 2012

Move On Up, Curtis Mayfield (link is to the extended version, but there's also a shorter version without the long instrumental portion available on Amazon, I believe)
Shout to the Top, The Style Council
posted by scody at 3:15 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Float On, Modest Mouse.
posted by sweetkid at 3:16 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

I Wish I Looked A Little Better by Sparks
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:20 PM on August 31, 2012

Previously (my cheer-up list is in there).
posted by dlugoczaj at 3:21 PM on August 31, 2012

Braggadaccio, MC Frontalot.
posted by sweetkid at 3:27 PM on August 31, 2012

I don't know about you, but "Plea from a cat named virtue" always makes me tear up. Maybe just me.

I like listening to Nicki Minaj songs on the way to work, she has a lot of that "I'm the best" hip-hop sentiment. "I'm the best now/any body with some money should invest now/soccer moms need to organize a pep rall/" etc. The Beastie Boys do that a lot also.
posted by bleep at 3:46 PM on August 31, 2012

Prince Charming, Adam Ant.
posted by immlass at 4:05 PM on August 31, 2012

"Make You Feel That Way" by Blackalicious.

In the dark it's more likely that you notice light
In the light more likely that you notice night
Hungry, more appreciation for that meal
Dead broke, more appreciation for that scrill
A bad day'll make you really notice ones that's good
And that'll make things a little better understood
Times I feel I wanna shout, man it's real that way
When I think of things that make you feel that way

posted by milk white peacock at 4:12 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ok, here are some from my list:

Dolly Parton, Light of a Clear Blue Morning
Reba McEntire, Is There Life Out There?
Des'ree, You Gotta Be
Carly Simon, Let the River Run
Kay Weaver, One Fine Day

Folks could probably guess my age based on these.
posted by worldswalker at 4:25 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I really like Mika's Grace Kelly for this.
posted by fiercecupcake at 4:37 PM on August 31, 2012

Van Halen, "I'm The One" (Shooby-doo-wah!)
Hüsker Dü, "New Day Rising"
Bo Diddley, "Who Do You Love"

But the best song ever for this sort of personal cheerleading:

Uncle Tupelo's cover of the Soft Boys classic, "I Wanna Destroy You"
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:42 PM on August 31, 2012

You're So Cool by Hans Zimmer.
posted by zardoz at 4:46 PM on August 31, 2012

l always feel like a Boss after listening to Slim Thug's "like a boss"
posted by udon at 4:50 PM on August 31, 2012

Best answer: Nina Simone's Ain't Got No - I Got Life
posted by Lettuce_Leaves at 5:16 PM on August 31, 2012

Little Bit of Feel Good - Jamie Lidell
posted by Fig at 5:19 PM on August 31, 2012

I'm the Sh*t (remix), by DJ Class (with Kanye West)

NSFW and over-the-top silly, but I still find it a ridiculously fun listen that makes me laugh and pumps me up on a Friday or Saturday night on my way out the door....

"I got them diamonds on my neck, got Patron in my cup; if you want it come and get it, shorty, I don't give a f*ck."
posted by diabolik at 6:51 PM on August 31, 2012

Control by Poe

Super Bon Bon by Soul Coughing

The Distance by Cake

You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon

Open Road Song by Eve 6
posted by PussKillian at 8:11 PM on August 31, 2012

Tightrope by Janelle Monae
posted by entropyiswinning at 11:28 PM on August 31, 2012

I am also going to mention Cake, except I was gonna link to their cover of I Will Survive.
posted by yaymukund at 12:46 AM on September 1, 2012

I Love Myself Today by Bif Naked

It's my go-to song for...a lot of things, actually.
posted by carolinecrane at 6:42 AM on September 1, 2012

Kelly Clarkson's Stronger has a similar feel to the Pink song you listed (I actually thought it was a Pink song at first!)

Starships by Nikki Minaj (really such a dumb song but it makes me dance in the driver's seat on the way to work!)

Touch the Sky by Kanye West with Lupe Fiasco (samples the aforementioned "Move On Up" which is indeed an awesomely uplifting song)

Lupe Fiasco's cover/version of the earlier-mentioned Float On, Show Goes On, always puts me in a good mood.

And for something a little less Top-40: Better Things by Dar Williams (has been done by a lot of people, but I like the version from her live album)
posted by lunasol at 9:30 AM on September 1, 2012

The Legally Blonde soundtrack was made for this. Specifically, songs 6, 8, and 10.
posted by anderjen at 9:50 AM on September 1, 2012

When I want music to make me feel empowered about my life and the good I can do with it, I reach for reggae and roots. These were a few of my inroads:

Jimmy Cliff - The Harder they Come (the whole soundtrack album is also amazing)
Sebastian Sturm - Get Going
Groundation - Weak Heart
posted by protorp at 12:36 PM on September 1, 2012

It's really fluffy, but Mika's entire Life in Cartoon Motion album is pretty great for this.

sample song: Big Girl (you are beautiful)
posted by randomnity at 2:11 PM on September 1, 2012

I like James - Are You Ready
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:12 PM on September 1, 2012

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