Today is a good day to be a girl.
Female friendships trump celebrity couples (see: Taylor Swift and friends), the expression “like a girl” is changing, Hillary Clinton may become the first woman to run our country, and we even have some inspiring newcomers.
To continue this girl power streak, we decided to round up some musical role models that are changing the mindset of women, one power ballad at a time. We hope these songs help you start off your week on a positive note — pun absolutely intended.
1. “Shake It Out” | Florence + the Machine
“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”
Florence + the Machine has the ability to capture emotion perfectly, which you can really feel as this song escalates. You’ll start listening while lounging on the couch and by the time you get to the chorus, you’re jumping up with a fist in the air.
2. “Dancing on My Own” | Robyn
“I’m just gonna dance all night.”
I first heard this song on an episode of Girls. At the end of the episode, after having an awful day, Hannah plays this song to decompress and ends up dancing around her room alone, and loving it. And not gonna lie, I’ve done this by myself once or twice … Sometimes you just need to let it go and dance on your own.
3. “Fight Song” | Rachel Platten
“But I can make an explosion.”
How could this one not be included in the mix? It’s basically our woman national anthem.
4. “Miss Independent” | Kelly Clarkson
“Miss unafraid, miss out of my way, miss don’t let a man interfere, no.”
Flashback to Kelly Clarkson, pre-babies. It’s called “Miss Independent” … enough said.
5. “Try” | Colbie Caillat
“You don’t have to change a single thing.”
Love the message of this song, and I think it’s a great touch to have different girls sing Colbie’s lyrics in the video. Remember to just BE YOU.
6. “Blank Space” | Taylor Swift
“So it’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames.”
Made as a mockery of everyone’s perception of her, Taylor wrote “Blank Space,” which highlights our “human instinct to try and defend yourself when people have the wrong impression of you,” as she expressed on The View. The perfect reason to just keep doing you.
7. “Crimson Wave” | Tacocat
“It’s that time, that time of the month. Well I woke up early and I got a hunch.”
Never thought you’d want to sing and dance to a song about menstruation? Well, think again. The upbeat rhythm of this pro-period tune will stick with you long past your time of the month.
8. “I Am Woman” | Helen Reddy
“I am woman, hear me roar.”
An oldie, but goodie. This 1971 classic is the epitome of women empowerment. While originally released during the Women’s Liberation Movement, many of its points are still relevant today (and also make a great catchphrase).
9. “All About That Bass” | Meghan Trainor
“You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll. So if that what you’re into, then go ‘head and move along.”
I love that this song about body image spent eight consecutive weeks as No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and you are all BEAUTIFUL!
10. “Love Myself” | Hailee Steinfeld
“Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else.”
While some of you may know her as Emily from Pitch Perfect 2, 18-year-old Hailee Steinfeld released her first solo album this month. It’s fabulous and has girl power written all over it.
11. “Love Me” | Katy Perry
“I found I had to love myself, the way I wanted you too …”
Who needs men, anyway? If you’ve been feeling put down lately, you can relate to this song and hopefully find the strength to feel confident in your own skin. The always-inspiring Katy Perry touches us again with her heartfelt ode to herself.
12. “Fighter” | Christina Aguilera
“’Cause it makes me that much stronger. Makes me work a little bit harder.”
If you need to get pumped up for something, this is definitely the way to do it. I actually listen to this song while running on the treadmill. Christina helped me “fight on” for a whole 30 minutes of cardio!
13. “Brave” | Sara Bareilles
“Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out.”
Being brave isn’t always easy, but hopefully this song will give you the courage to do just that. I frequently blast this on my way to a job interview. Walking down the street with a cup of coffee and Sara Bareilles in my head — I was unstoppable!