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5 Motivational Songs to Start Your Year Right

Here are some well-deserved soundtracks to keep you motivated this year!

For many of us, 2020 has been a tough year for the record.  It was filled not only with ups and downs, but also twists and turns. From the unprecedented pandemic to humanitarian injustices, we have seen and experienced a lot this year. But amid the struggle, there is hope for a better future. 

While there are still scars that will show as we embrace the new chapters of our lives, we also have the chance to start out the new year that is 2021 on a good note. (Read: 3 Powerful Prayers for Strength and Positivity)

Whether you’ve finally found the courage to leave the job that has been stressing you out or simply learned to give yourself a break, you always deserve happiness— in whatever form it may be. So while you’re starting anew this year, why not listen to a killer soundtrack to keep yourself motivated and reminded of why these changes are a good thing? Check out these five motivational songs to help you start the year right!

Motivational Songs: ‘Alive’ by Sia 

Sia is known for her powerful anthems and thought-provoking music videos — but nothing compares to the message of her single “Alive” from her 2016 album, This Is Acting. The song sings about being grateful for staying alive after all the hardships you’ve gone through in your life. 

Sia originally penned “Alive” for Adele’s 2015 album 25 but got scrapped at the last minute. Sia also shared on multiple occasions that the primary hook, “I’m still breathing,” was taken directly from a line by Keith Carlos of America’s Next Top Model. (Read: Revisiting Adele’s Previous Albums as We Await the New One)

“This beautiful young man on the last cycle had said that he had had a tough life, but he said, ’I am still breathing,’ and I felt emotional, and so I wrote it down,” she said. 

Motivational Songs: ‘Resilient’ by Katy Perry

It’s important to remind yourself about the journey you’ve been through— particularly when it comes to challenges you have faced throughout the year. If this sounds like where you’re at, Katy Perry’s “Resilient” from her 2020 album Smile is exactly the song for you. (Read: 3 Secrets to Sustain a Grateful Mindset)

“Resilient,” which, as the title suggests, is about reminding yourself of the strength and power that you hold within yourself. “I know there’s gotta be rain if I want the rainbows,” the song says. “And I know the higher I climb, the harder the wind blows” — a smooth way to describe the challenges one will face as we continue the journey that we call life.  

Motivational Songs: ‘Best Day of My Life’ by American Authors

This joyful, banjo-laced tune celebrates the best in life and it’s perfect to start the year right. “Best Day Of My Life”  by American Authors is an anthem of change and hope for the best to come. (LIST: The Best Christmas Songs From Four Music Genres)

“We wanted to tell this story of how no matter what’s going on – whether you’re stuck at your job or having a bad day – there’s always an escape from that, and there’s always a way to make any day the best day of your life,” the band said. 

Motivational Songs: ‘Thank U, Next’ by Ariana Grande 

Ariana Grande describes her song “Thank U, Next” as the start of a new chapter, characterized by “gratitude, growth, embracing our path bumps n all.” The song has since then undoubtedly become an all-time favorite moving-on anthem for many— and we can’t blame them, the song is catchy and radiates positivity in every note!

The song includes very relatable lyrics such as “I’ve learned from the pain, I turned out amazing,” and  “I’ve got so much love, got so much patience”. 

Motivational Songs: ‘New Romantics’ by Taylor Swift

“New Romantics” is the last bonus track from Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989. In the song, Swift sings about adopting a more mature mindset and approach towards love as she moves from the fairy tale romanticism she was used to. This song is perfect if you’re planning to go outside your comfort zone this year. It also talks about taking all the pain you’ve been through and make a good living out of it. 

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