13 Classic Songs That Will Keep You Motivated

We all need a little motivation to get us through the day. Whether you are at work, at the gym, or working on one of your lifetime goals, having a little extra motivation can go a long way in helping us stay focused and see our tasks through to the end. Sometimes we draw inspiration from our coworkers, friends, or role models, and other times we turn to less conventional ways of getting motivated. One of these ways is by listening to some motivational music. A big group of people can try listening to a real upbeat song played really loudly for everyone in the room to hear, but if you’re in the position of being isolated to headphones, these thirteen songs can help you get motivated right from the comfort of your desk.

*There’s really no way to judge this list by order of importance…they are all equally motivating to listen to!

1. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

We’ll start with one of the more cliché entries on the list. ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor is, perhaps, better known as one of the contributing theme songs to the Rocky soundtrack, but regardless of where you first heard it, it definitely makes you feel more upbeat every time you hear it.

2. Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles

The Beatles catalogue is filled with a vast assortment of positive and motivating Lennon-McCartney songs, like All You Need Is Love, A Hard Day’s Night, and With A Little Help From My Friends. One of their more renowned entries, however, is George Harrison’s Here Comes The Sun. It’s upbeat, melodic tempo and chord structure, along with it’s positive lyrics, gives the listener a sense of inspiration and comfort every time.

3. Over The Rainbow – Judy Garland

Another movie soundtrack gem, Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz is one of the most beautiful songs ever written for the screen. Its plane, simplistic lyrical structure and heartfelt homage to hope and dreams are enough to inspire any listener. Plus, if you loved the movie as a kid it’s a great way to escape for a few minutes and reminisce about old memories.

4. It’s My Life – Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi may not be your favorite artist (he’s certainly not mine), but It’s My Life is a pretty good song to get you pumped up and motivated. If the words aren’t enough to motivate you, the upbeat tempo certainly is, but anybody who sings about living life and getting things done in the limited time you have is right on par with us.

5. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

No matter where you are, this song always makes you want to get up and get going. From the slow, soulful intro to the upbeat, funky disco chorus, I Will Survive will get you motivated to work every time you hear it. No questions asked!

6. Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees

Much like Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, this song instantly makes your head nod along to the rhythm and continues to build until you find yourself “funking-out” right at your desk. For those Saturday Night Fever fans, it also offers the perfect opportunity for a John Travolta impersonation. But at the heart of this one is the simple, yet positive message of giving life your all and working to accomplish your goals and come through the trials and tribulations alive.

7. That’s Life – Frank Sinatra

Easily one of Sinatra’s best when considering lyric structure and melodic tempo. It’s the classic story everybody can relate to, “You’re riding high in April, shot back down in May.” Life is a series of ups and downs, but come hell or high water, we find a way to pull ourselves through. Giving every day our best and seeking to find fulfillment in our lives is exactly what life is all about.

8. Jump – Van Halen

Another one of those instantly recognizable songs, Jump will literally make you want to jump every time. Coming from the heavy synthesizer sounds of the 1980s, Jump is great for working out, waking up, and everything in between. Even if you don’t know all of the words, the searing voice of David Lee Roth, the echoed percussion sounds of Alex Van Halen’s drum kit, and the roaring synthesizer of brother Eddie Van Halen, Jump will get you motivated no matter where you are or what time it is.

9. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

At the risk of throwing more clichés into the mix, Don’t Stop Believing by Journey is one of those songs you will most likely find on everyone’s playlist. Another great piece for keeping yourself motivated, this one would be nothing without Steve Perry’s driving vocals and Jonathan Cain’s piano intro. You don’t even have to listen to the words; the minute you hear the piano entrance you will already have the whole song stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Good luck!

10. Where Is The Love – The Black Eyed Peas

This one is definitely one of the better hip-hop entries that have come out since 9/11. A desperate, and heartfelt cry for love and peace for all humanity, Where Is The Love appeals to the human being in each of us, pushing us to really change things and not simply stand idly by and watch the world burn. Perhaps a bit more inspirational than motivational, but a powerful gesture all the same.

11. Back in Black – AC/DC

Malcolm Young’s power-chord entrance to Back in Black makes this song easily one of the most instantly recognizable hits ever put on record. The song and subsequent album of the same name was the first recording of the group’s with new lead singer Brian Johnson, following the death of original singer Bon Scott. Along with Malcolm and Angus Young’s distorted power chords and searing guitar licks comes Johnson’s inspiring, good-luck-trying-to-stop-me lyrics delivered through his Bon Scott-inspired voice, making Back in Black one of the most effective songs ever as far as motivation is concerned.

12. My Life – Billy Joel

Billy Joel’s third track on the 52nd Street LP, My Life, helped to kick-start the 80s synthesizer-movement, but it also gave us another motivating song we can’t help but keep the pace with. It’s a testament to self-discovery of how to follow rules and regulations and then how to live life. “First they say this, then they say that, so I’m just going to do me and thank you, have a good day,” seems to be the overall theme here. Perfect for picking you up when you are down and out on life, work, or relationships.

13. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down is another gem that gets you off your feet every time. “There ain’t no easy way out, but I won’t back down,” is the ultimate testament to having a can-do attitude. So the next time you feel fear or anxiety from an upcoming event (whether personal or work related) or challenge, just remember Petty’s words to get yourself through it.