Too often, the media portrays girls as soft, pretty creatures that need to be protected. It can be too much, and sometimes you need to feel pumped up and reminded that you’re a queen.
These songs are about female empowerment and finding strength across many situations.
1. Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé
This song debuted on Beyoncé’s fourth album in 2011, and it quickly became a female empowerment anthem.
Run the World talks about women’s grit every day by going to school, working hard at their jobs, and motherhood.
Beyoncé also talks about the power of influencing the opinions of others and how good women are at persuasion.
This is a great, high-energy song that shows the power women have already carved out in society.
2. Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Platten’s 2014 song is about finding your inner strength when you feel lost.
Fight Song talks about the difficulty of pursuing your dreams and the feeling of hopelessness that can come along the way. However, the solution to fear and doubt is to fight.
This song is sweet and a bit melancholy, but it shows that a woman can overcome more than she thinks.
3. Survivor by Destiny’s Child
This 2001 throwback is about being strong in the face of heartbreak.
Survivor talks about being afraid of the loss that accompanies a breakup but coming out on top. Though circumstances might change, the song dresses that a woman can work hard and be better off without someone who was holding her back.
Survivor does an excellent job raising femininity and womanhood without bashing the man in the relationship. It talks about not being petty or hurtful but instead focusing on improving and being happy.
4. Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves
Debuting in Musgrave’s 2013 album, Same Trailer Different Park, this country-pop song talks about the stereotypes and expectations placed on women before promptly rejecting them.
Follow Your Arrow talks about the hypocrisy in the expectations placed on women and the impossibility of being a “perfect” woman. Her solution is to be whoever you want to be.
This feel-good song involves letting go of society’s expectations and enjoying life.
5. Me Too by Meghan Trainer
This 2016 pop song is about self-love.
Me Too talks about being confident and strong and not worrying about what others think. It further looks at being envious of others but turns the idea away in favor of being happy with being who you are.
6. Soulmate by Lizzo
Soulmate first appeared on Lizzo’s 2019 album, Cuz I Love You. Despite the song’s title, Soulmate isn’t about loving someone else, and this song talks about being your own soulmate.
Lizzo talks about the things she doesn’t want to deal with by being in a relationship with someone else and how getting all of the things she could get out of a relationship from herself. The song’s message is about being strong, happy, and confident while alone.
7. Phenomenal Woman by Oliva Newton-John
Based on the 1995 collection of poems by Maya Angelou, this 2005 R&B pop song is about the subtle strength of femininity.
Phenomenal woman talks about being confident and refusing to bow one’s head. It talks about a woman who attracts men with her inner light and refuses to be meek or mild.
The woman described in this song isn’t strong because she’s loud or doing more than any other, but because she’s decided her worth and won’t back down.
8. Confident by Demi Lovato
Confident is the title track to Demi Lovato 2015 album.
Confident hints at the societal idea that women are more attractive if they’re meek or don’t know that they’re beautiful, but then says that confidence is better.
Levato claims that there is strength in confidence, allowing you to be free and more in control.
9. So What by Pink
In Pink’s 2008 album, Funhouse, Pink released many songs about her separation from her husband. One of these songs was So What.
The song is about not needing her husband, having an independent career, and being strong alone.
So What also talks about being crazy and acting impulsively to let out residual stress from the separation.
10. God is a Woman by Ariana Grande
God is a Woman debuted on Grande’s 2018 album, Sweetener.
This song is about the power that a woman has over her lover. She promises him that he’ll want to worship her and think her equal to a god.
The music video shows Grande as a woman taller and more powerful than men who want to hurl insults at her and her being something ethereal and beautiful.
This is a song about feeling sexy, confident, and powerful.
11. We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus
We Can’t Stop was one of the first songs released by Miley Cyrus in 2013 after she stepped away from Disney.
This song is about breaking out of the shell of childhood and growing into a woman who can make her own decisions. It describes a party where women are free to do and dress as they want without being judged.
12. Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood
This Country-Pop song is a song about reclaiming strength, albeit through vandalism, after a woman’s guy was unfaithful to her.
Underwood sings about destroying a man’s car after he cheated on her and how maybe if he has real repercussions for his actions, he might not repeat his mistakes.
The song is an excellent choice for self-empowerment, but it doesn’t do a lot to support other women. Before He Cheats doesn’t paint the ‘other woman’ in a very positive light.
13. IDGAF by Dua Lipa
IDGAF debuted on Dua Lipa’s 2017 album.
The song talks about a strong woman who doesn’t want to take her ex back, no matter how much he begs.
IDGAF isn’t afraid to show that there was pain and weakness at the beginning of the breakup but talks about how you can build strength and recover when you’re alone.
The song shows that you shouldn’t be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings if they already hurt yours first and that you shouldn’t trust someone who has already shown you that they aren’t trustworthy.
14. Love Song by Sara Bareilles
Love Song debuted on Sarah Bareilles’s 2007 album, Little Voice.
While it seems at first that this song is about a pushy guy who wants the artist to write a song about him, the story behind this song is a little more complex!
Bareilles’s song was actually about her experiences dealing with the music industry and receiving feedback on what type of music she should be writing.
When her record label demanded a “Love Song,” they were given this piece instead.
The song asks for respect. She acknowledges that they are trying to help her but asks to be left alone to help herself. Love Song is a rejection of giving up an artistic license to try to make a sale.
The song asks to be loved for the strength and bravery to say no and ends by saying that regardless, she will not meet the label’s demands.
15. Respect by Aretha Franklin
Respect came out in 1967 and is still a song that most people know today. Many other artists have covered Respect in the last 50 years.
Franklin’s falcon soprano belted out demands for better treatment, and she refused to be unheard.
Respect talks about a woman who wants to be appreciated by her man for all the hard work at home and for the income she brings into the household.
16. Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia
Titanium came out on David Guetta’s fifth album, Nothing But The Beat, in 2011. Guetta is a French DJ who writes and produces music, but the vocals of Australian singer, Sia, added power and depth to the song.
Titanium talks about being strong when being targeted. Titanium is a bulletproof material, and it is a metaphor for standing up to hardship in this song.
Sia’s versatile voice helps tell the story of someone dragging her down, using words and actions to make her feel small but not letting it get her down. Even if they hit their mark, Titanium talks about being strong enough to withstand anything.
17. Superwoman by Alecia Keys
Superwoman debuted in 2007 on Keys’ album, As I am.
The song talks about being disappointed with the state of the world and feeling like you need to do something about it.
Keys uses imagery from the famous superhero, Superman, to say that she can be powerful, strong, and stand up for justice.
This song is less about being assertive with interpersonal relationships and more about being strong in the face of the current state of the world. It takes a lot of strength to make a change, and this song talks about making an effort for that.
18. She Wolf by Shakira
She Wolf was the title song of Shakira’s eighth album in 2009.
The Columbian singer has several songs she released in both English and Spanish, and this song is one of them. The Spanish version of this song is called “Loba.”
She Wolf is about a female wolf who lives inside of the hearts of women. The song talks about a wild, strong beast that needs release. The song is similar to a wolf in sheep’s clothing in that it talks about the wolf hiding away where others can’t see it.
In She Wolf, the singer becomes frustrated with the life that she’s living and how much she needs to restrict herself. She wants to be wild and crazy, and she will not maintain that forever.
19. Defying Gravity from “Wicked”
Defying Gravity is one of the most popular songs from the musical, Wicked. The original Broadway cast version of this song, sung by Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, came out in 2003.
The song is about redefining oneself and reaching for a better future.
This song shows two friends discussing how to handle a discovery that their dreams aren’t what they seemed to be and the response to that.
While one girl thinks that going with the flow might lead to success, the other decides to change the system and better the community on her own.
Defying Gravity talks about not letting others limit you, believing in yourself, and being willing to try something new. It takes a lot of strength to turn your back on what you’ve always known to try and fight for what is right.
20. Born This Way by Lady Gaga
Born This Way was the title track of Gaga’s 2011 album.
While the song tells everyone, man or woman, to be strong regardless of their circumstances in life, the main focus of this song is about women and minority groups finding strength within themselves.
Lady Gaga talks about being a child and how her mother gave her advice on living a life with pride. Born This Way says that one’s circumstances don’t prevent anyone from being beautiful or strong.
The song recommends being true to yourself to find inner peace, strength, and acceptance.
21. These Boots are Made for Walkin’ by Nancy Sinatra
These Boots are Made for Walkin’ debuted in 1966 and has been covered many times over the years.
This song calls out a guy who doesn’t seem to be acting honestly and his lover who isn’t going to put up with it anymore.
Sinatra promises to return the favor if any man attempts to take advantage of her.
22. Not Your Barbie Girl by Ava Max
Ava Max’s 2020 album, Heaven & Hell, features this song.
Almost everyone knows the song “Barbie Girl” by Aqua. Not Your Barbie Girl leans heavily into the Aqua song to talk about the problems within it. Ava Max talks about being in control of one’s body and not seeking perfection in the eyes of others.
This song talks about being able to take care of oneself and not needing a man to be fulfilled. Not Your Barbie Girl contrasts being a pretty doll with being someone who is strong and works to get what they want.
23. Joan of Arc by Little Mix
Joan of Arc debuted in 2018 on Little Mix’s album, LM5.
Joan of Arc is a song about self-love and crazy levels of confidence. Little Mix talks about loving herself and not needing a man to be happy. She talks about being brave, strong, and beautiful and not requiring anyone else’s opinion to maintain her belief.
The song references other strong women in history and talks about embodying them in daily life.
Little Mix compares herself to a goddess and says she’d be happy to marry herself.
24. This is Me by Keala Settle
This catchy pop song comes from the movie, The Greatest Showman, which came out in 2017.
The Greatest Show is about a circus, and because of this, many of the characters are strange, and society would not welcome them.
While the entire cast sings This is Me, Keala Settle is the main vocalist. Settle plays the circus’s bearded woman, and the song is about her learning not to hide who she is.
The song is about transitioning from feeling like you need to hide and conform to make society happy, to having the strength and confidence not to want to change.
25. I Don’t Need a Man by The Pussycat Dolls
I Don’t Need a Man featured on the 2005 album, PCD.
This song talks about not needing a man and not enjoying being pursued by pushy men. The song also talks about independence.
I Don’t Need a Man suggests that a woman can be happy, fulfilled, and strong on her own. Anything that she may need, she can find on her own.
26. Ain’t Your Mama by Jennifer Lopez
Ain’t Your Mama debuted in 2016 on the album 538 Hitzone 78.
This song talks about a man who expects to be taken care of, and Jennifer Lopez says that taking care of a grown man isn’t her job.
Ain’t Your Mama talks about saying no and not allowing a guy to take advantage of kindness. This song hints that a couple should be equal partners, and a man can only expect his mother to take care of him completely.
Jennifer Lopez sings that her man has to grow up a bit and put aside childish things getting in the way of his self-growth. The song says that it feels like disrespect if your partner isn’t willing to put in any work. With too much disrespect, love won’t be enough to make a relationship last.
27. Go Find Less by Riley Roth
This song was the title track to Roth’s 2021 album, and snippets of the song made their way across TikTok.
People often tell women that they are too loud or bossy if they act the same way that a man would. People often call women who act like men “too much.” Go Find Less turns the problem around, saying that being who you are doesn’t make you too much.
Roth suggests that the fault isn’t in the woman but in those who can’t accept women as they are.
Women are strong at work, in relationships, and as individuals. Being the fairer sex does not make women weak.
The songs in this article show that there are a lot of ways to find confidence and self-love, but that with the right attitude, any woman can find what she needs.