Top 20 Most Inspirational Songs of All Time

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Inside: 20 of the most inspirational songs of all time.

The 20 inspirational songs of all time below will inspire us in some way. Whether it’s to become better people, lift our spirits or simply bring a smile to our faces.

Every now and then we all need a little musical inspiration to help brighten our day.

With a passion for music it was difficult to narrow down this list to 20 songs, but below are 20 mainstream must-have classic’s that everyone should add to their musical rotation.

Don’t we all love a feel good song?

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The top 20 most inspirational songs of all time.

1.  That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick and Friends

This beautiful classic will remind you that friends are like bright shining lights helping us through this life.  The harmonica brings Goosebumps and the nostalgia will leave your heart warm.

“Keep smiling, keep shining, knowing you can always count on me, for sure, that’s what friends are for. For good times and bad times, I’ll be on your side forever more, that’s what friends are for.”

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2.  Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole’s

This classic song is guaranteed to cheer you up. This peaceful, soothing version is a personal favourite of mine.

“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, and the dreams that you dream of once in a lullaby. Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly…….dreams really do come true.”

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3.  Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & the Waves

This song will urge you to get up and dance; it fills me with energy and brings a smile to my face.

“I’m walking on sunshine, wooh, I’m walking on sunshine, I’m walking on sunshine, and its starting to feel good.”

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4.  Imagine – John Lennon

Quite possibly one of the most powerful and beautifully written songs of all time.

“Imagine all the people, living for today.  Imagine all the people living life in peace.”

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 5.   Candle in the Wind – Princess Diana Tribute – Elton John

A moving tribute to the late Princess Diana.

“And you lived your life like a candle in the wind, never fading with the sunset when the rain set in, and your footsteps will always fall here along England’s greenest hills.  Your candle burned out long before your legend ever will.”

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6.   It’s a Beautiful Day – Micheal Buble

I watched the video for this song a few months back and even though it’s lyrics are about a breakup every time I hear this song it makes me perk up and smile.  It sends a message that no matter what’s going on in your life, there is so much to be thankful for.

“It’s a beautiful day and I can’t stop myself from smiling, if I’m drinking then I’m buying and I know there no denying. It’s a beautiful day the sun is up, the music’s playing.”

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7.   True Colours – Cindy Lauper

This song is truly beautiful, reminding us to be who we are, no matter what.

“But I see you true colours shining through, I see your true colours and that’s why I love you, so don’t be afraid to let them show.  Your true colours, are beautiful like a rainbow.”

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8.  You Gotta Be – Des Ree

This song will encourage you to be yourself.  It’s inspiring and upbeat.

“You gotta be listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds, try and keep your head up to the sky. Lovers they may cause you tears, go ahead release your fears, stand up and be counted don’t be ashamed to cry. You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser. You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger. You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stick together; all I know all I know, love will save the day.”

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9.  Flash Dance – What A Feeling – Irene Cara

This song hits you deep in your gut, really making you feel that anything is possible.

“What a feeling, keep believing, I can have it all, now I’m dancing for my life.  Take your passion and make it happen.”

10.  Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

Snap your fingers; this catchy song is ridiculously happy.  It’s hard to be angry when your listening to this one. The lyrics are pretty simple; don’t worry be happy, don’t worry be happy now.

“The landlord says your rent is late he may have to litigate, don’t worry be happy. In every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double.”

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11.   Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles

It wouldn’t be a list without the Beetles. Although they have so many feel good songs this is one of my favourites.  I could throw on their CD and I’m happier.

“Here comes the sun, little darling it’s been a long cold lonely winter. Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here. Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, I’ll say, it’s allright.”

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12.  One Love – Bob Marley

Bob Marley is another personal favourite.  I love his lyrics and reagaee beats.

“One love, one heart, lets get together and feel alright.”

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13.  Wavin Flag – Kaanan

This video honestly brings tears to my eyes, it is exceptional and powerful.  Watch it!

“When I get older I will be stronger they’ll call me freedom just like a waving flag. In the streets are heads are lifting as we lose our inhibitions.”

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14.   Dare you to Move – Switchfoot

This is a classic song dares you to lift yourself off the floor and keep going.  No matter what happens, keep going.

“I dare you to move, dare you to move, dare you to lift yourself off of the floor, dare you to move, like today never happened.”

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15.  You Get What you Give – New Radicals

This song reminds me of my early 20’s.  It’s catch It was an international hit, it has been played over one million times on U.S. radio.  It’s an upbeat tune that speaks to me about karma.

Don’t forget you only get what you give. “But when the night is falling, you cannot find the light. If you feel your dreams are dying, hold tight. You got the music in you, don’t let go, you got the music in you, one dance left, this world is gonna pull though, don’t give up, you gotta reason to live, can’t forget we only get what we give.”

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16.   We are the World – Various Artists (My favourite inspirational song of all time)

We Are the World” is a song and charity single originally recorded by the super group USA for Africa in 1985. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We Are the World. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is one of the fewer than 30 all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) copies worldwide.

“We are the world we are the children, we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving”

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17.   What a Wonderful World – Louie Armstong

What a beautiful song.  It makes life feel like rainbows, with snowy, warm hot chocolate filled nights.

“I think to myself, what a wonderful world.  The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky, are also on the face of people going by, I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do, they’re saying, I love you.”

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18. The Christmas Shoes – New Song

The list wouldn’t be complete without a Christmas song, this one really pulls at my heart strings and makes me appreciate all that I have and those in my life.

“His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe, Sir I want to buy these shoes, for my momma please, it’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. Could you hurry sir, daddy says there’s not much time, you see she’s been sick for quite awhile, and I know these shoes will make her smile, and I want her to look beautiful if momma meets Jesus tonight.”

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19.  Ain’t no mountain high enough – Marvin Gaye

This song reminds me of the movie step mom and makes me want to burst out dancing and singing.

“Baby there ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough, to keep me from getting to you baby.”

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20.   I’ve had the Time of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

There is no denying this song belongs on everyone’s inspirational song list!

Dirty dancing – no one puts Baby in a corner.  Need I say more?

“Now I had the time of my life, and I owe it all to you.”

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These are 20 of my favourite inspirational songs of all time. Let’s hear yours below, what song makes you feel good?

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  1. Jennifer Bargiband says:

    Hello, I just stumbled across your blog on MindBodyGreen and it made me want to check out Barefoot Beginnings. I’m really enjoying it so far. I am also very passionate about music..all’s on my bucket list to take guitar lessons someday!
    Anyway I love this list you composed, I would have a hard time narrowing it down to 20 but Kudos to you for a job well done! Another great addition, in my humble opinion, would be “Bittersweet” by Big Head Todd and the Monsters. My favorite line is:

    Said, “I’m older now” I work in the city we live together
    But it’s different than my dream
    Morning light fills the room I rise and she pretends she’s sleeping
    Are we everything we wanted?

    It’s bittersweet more sweet than bitter
    Bitter than sweet
    It’s a bittersweet surrender

    I really think it’s a great song about relationships and lasting love…you we’re always questioning if it’s everything we thought it would be, especially the longer you’re with someone. I think it’s why so many relationships do not last because people do not want to work through the bitter times…I don’t know…just rambling now.
    Thanks for reading.

    1. Tina Williamson says:

      Thanks Jennifer, I was really hard to narrow down the list, I could honestly do a top 100 inspirational songs list there are so many!
      I checked out the song you recommended Bittersweet by Big Head Todd, what a great song, I really enjoyed it.
      I also love the message you talked about above, how we need to work through things and stop trying to find something that is perfect, because perfect doesn’t exist 🙂

  2. sam thompson says:

    Seperate ways by journey…and remember the name are 2of my favorite motivational songs.

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