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8 Powerhouse Songs About Not Giving Up (and 2 for Added Encouragment)

Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated. The more you strive to achieve in life, the more disappointments you are bound to face.

Maintaining your optimism and finding inspiration can mean the difference between giving into discouragement or having the staying power to tackle your goals and achieve your dreams.

Anything that keeps you moving forward in times of disappointment are good to keep on hand.

So, we’ve compiled a list of inspirational and encouraging songs to add to your personal motivational soundtrack.

“Don’t Give Up” Songs

“Rise Up” – Andra Day

You’re broken down and tired

That’s how this song begins. Then, it absolutely soars.

It’s a song about finding the will to keep doing your best every day, because there is someone who needs you to be your best you.

But it’s also about you alone, and digging deep to find an inner strength you may not know you possess.

Plus, choir.

And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid

Andra Day - Rise Up [Official Music Video] [Inspiration Version]

“Only for Now” – Avenue Q

This song is a little bit jokey compared to the other songs on this list. As it should be. It’s from a jokey Broadway musical after all.

But there are actually some really good lyrics in here about the ever-changing nature of life. And how circumstances – good or bad – are all only passing moments in time.

Life may be scary

But it’s only temporary

Avenue Q - "For Now" (2004) - MDA Telethon

“Don’t Stop Believin’” – Journey

The ultimate road trip song. But that’s not all this song is. It’s also hella inspirational. That’s why this light rock power ballad has such incredible staying power.

Any song that tells us struggling humans not to stop believing is going to stir something in us.

Some will win, some will lose

Some were born to sing the blues

Journey - Don't Stop Believin' (Official Audio)

“You Gotta Be” – Des’ree

Start playing this song around a child of the 80s/90s and see if you can’t get them to stop dead in their tracks.

Cause this right here is an anthem for life. And you don’t ignore a life anthem. You internalize it and shake your booty with respect every time it passes your ears.

Herald what your mother said

Read the books your father read

Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time

Des'ree - You Gotta Be (Official Video)

Related: 17 Songs About Hope for When You Need Inspiration

Songs About Perseverance

Motivation matters, but sometimes it simply isn’t enough. When the world keeps smacking you down again and again, you need a more proactive soundtrack.

These songs go a step beyond motivation, encouraging you to keep pressing onward in the face of overwhelming adversity.

“Fight Song” – Rachel Platten

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

-Marianne Williamson

Not in this song, it isn’t.

When disappointments keep coming, your belief in yourself is often what takes the biggest hit.

This song is about holding onto that belief. And, more than that, it’s about recognizing just how much power you truly possess.

And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Rachel Platten - Fight Song (Official Video)

“I Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty

The most stubborn song on this list, and that’s a good thing.

Staying true to oneself and not putting up with the world’s (and the haters’) nonstop crap is sort of the core essence of perseverance.

If you can manage that, you can manage just about anything.

I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground
And I won’t back down

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - I Won't Back Down (Official Music Video)

“Can’t Lose Them All” – Kim Richey

Speaking of stubborn confidence, this song is just chock-full of it. The verses acknowledge what it is to keep failing again and again, but to keep striving for something anyway.

Perseverance is literally its entire moral.

It’s also a lesson in stellar songwriting. There are at least half a dozen great metaphors in  here, several of them strung together into a single stanza.

Every time I get shot down
I justify the risk
Because I come a little closer
To a hit with every miss

Kim Richey "Can't Lose Them All" @ Eddie Owen Presents

“The Impossible Dream” – Man of La Mancha

The ultimate perseverance song. From the ultimate perseverance story.

Emphasis on the “impossible.”

This song reminds us that we may fail to achieve what we hope to achieve. (Hey, we’re not all going to do the thing.) But knowing that doesn’t mean we get to stop trying.

This is my quest

To follow that star

No matter how hopeless

No matter how far

The impossible dream - Man of La Mancha - Brian Stokes Mitchell - 2003

Encouraging Songs

Okay. So, we’re not giving up. We’re going to persevere. But both of those things can be difficult, so how about a couple songs of encouragement?

“Believe in You” – Amanda Marshall

Here you go. This song is nothing but encouragement.

It’s basically a battle cry to stir one’s belief in herself (or himself or themself).

It’s also a brilliant song with a big-voiced singer who absolutely kills it on these particular vocals.

I believe in you
And all I want to do is help you to
Believe in you

Amanda Marshall - Believe In You (Official Remastered HD Video)

“Dare You to Move” – Switchfoot

If the above song is a battle cry, this one is a whisper.

It’s a reminder to just do something – anything. Not to let yourself get buried under the weight of life, and to keep crawling out of its rubble.

If you’re going to succeed, you’ll have to pick yourself up again and again. If it takes a dare, so be it.

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor

Switchfoot - Dare You To Move

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