17 Empowering Lyrics From Pop Songs

Whatever your musical tastes, it’s hard to deny that pop tracks can be catchy, fun, and moving. The best pop songs aren’t only danceable and memorable; they also hit on universal themes of love, loss, friendship, and pride — sometimes with unexpected depth and power. Whether it’s upbeat music that lifts your spirits or soaring melodies that express your own feelings, these chart-toppers offer timeless, relatable stories that are beloved by generations of listeners.

From Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” pop anthems across the decades have woven messages of strength, self-love, encouragement, and resilience into their infectious tunes. In these 16 empowering lyrics, legendary artists eloquently encourage us to hold our heads high, stay hopeful, and believe in our dreams.

Don’t hide yourself in regret / Just love yourself, and you’re set
— “Born This Way,” written by Lady Gaga, Edward Blair, Jeppe Breum Laursen, and Fernando Garibay (performed by Lady Gaga)

And if the elevator tries to bring you down / Go crazy — punch a higher floor
— “Let’s Go Crazy,” written and performed by Prince

I’m dancin’ on my own / I make the moves up as I go
— “Shake It Off,” written by Taylor Swift, Shellback, and Max Martin (performed by Taylor Swift)

If I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe / No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity
— “Greatest Love of All,” written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed (performed by Whitney Houston)

Freedom comes when you learn to let go
— “The Power of Good-Bye,” written by Rick Nowels and Madonna (performed by Madonna)

All true love needs is a chance
— “Overjoyed,” written and performed by Stevie Wonder

I’m stronger than yesterday / Now it’s nothing but my way
— “Stronger,” written by Max Martin and Rami (performed by Britney Spears)

You are beautiful in every single way
— “Beautiful,” written by Linda Perry (performed by Christina Aguilera)

I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it
— “Formation,” written by Beyoncé Knowles, Michael L. Williams II, Asheton Hogan, Aaquil Brown, and Khalif Brown (performed by Beyoncé)

All I’m askin’ is for a little respect
— “Respect,” written by Otis Redding (performed by Aretha Franklin)

If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected / Decide what to be and go be it
— “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise,” written by The Avett Brothers and Bob Crawford (performed by The Avett Brothers)

Get the best out of life, treat yourself to something new
— “Just Fine,” written by Mary J. Blige, Christopher Stewart, Phalon Alexander, and Terius Nash (performed by Mary J. Blige)

Some people stand, some people move / Tough times don’t last, but tough people do
— “I Believe,” written by Demi Lovato, Brittany Coney, and Blu June (performed by Demi Lovato)

Listen as your day unfolds / Challenge what the future holds
— “You Gotta Be,” written by Des’ree and Ashley Ingram (performed by Des’ree)

The moment, you own it, you better never let it go
— “Lose Yourself,” written by Eminem, Luis Resto, and Jeff Bass
(performed by Eminem)

‘Cause no one knows me underneath these clothes / But I can fly
— “Superwoman,” written by Alicia Keys, Linda Perry, and Steve Mostyn (performed by Alicia Keys)

And I won’t let you get me down / I’ll keep gettin’ up when I hit the ground
— “Never Give Up,” written by Sia Furler and Greg Kurstin (performed by Sia)