6 Inspirational Rock Songs That Will Instantly Lift Your Spirits

Though rock music is known for thrashing guitars and loud melodies, that doesn’t mean the lyrics falter. In fact, there have been many rock songs released throughout the decades that offer inspirational messages. From the riotous nature of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” to The Beatles’ tender-hearted “Hey Jude,” here are six inspirational rock songs that will lift your spirits.

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1. “We Are the Champions”

It’s hard to think of inspirational rock songs and not have “We Are the Champions” come to mind. With the sound of Freddie Mercury’s voice singing about a down-and-out man that leads into the iconic chorus, this Queen classic is nothing short of empowering. We are the champions, my friends/And we’ll keep on fighting till the end/We are the champions/We are the champions/No time for losers/’Cause we are the champions of the World, Mercury sings triumphantly in one of rock’s most inspirational songs.

2. “Don’t Stop Believin'”

It’s hard to imagine a world where Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” doesn’t exist. From karaoke bars to car rides, this song has been heard around the world, thanks in large part to its inspiring lyrics. The song’s meaning is spelled out in its title, yet the lyrics harbor some darkness. There’s a deep sense of struggle weaved in throughout the words, as people are searching for self-identity and their place in the world. But the song ends on an inspirational note as Steve Perry sings the famous words, Don’t stop believin’ / Hold on to that feelin.’

3. “Eye of the Tiger”

Survivor’s hit “Eye of the Tiger” is a classic and for good reason. The song pulls you in from the instantly identifiable opening guitar riff. The fiery lyrics find a man and his will to survive ready and willing to take on the intensities of life, backed by such resilient lyrics as, Rising up straight to the top/Had the guts, got the glory/Went the distance, now/I’m not going to stop/Just a man and his will to survive. “Eye of the Tiger” is easily one of rock music’s best hype songs.

4. “Livin’ on a Prayer”

Bon Jovi made an uplifting statement when they released their legendary hit, “Livin’ on a Prayer,” in 1986. It’s since become a classic across all genres of music, opening with the famous first verse about Tommy and Gina, a couple struggling to make ends meet. But they power through the struggle with the inspirational chorus, Whoa, we’re halfway there / Whoa oh, livin’ on a prayer / Take my hand, we’ll make it, I swear / Whoa oh, livin’ on a prayer.

5. “Hey Jude”

One of The Beatles’ biggest hits started off as a message of comfort. Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, McCartney intended for it to be an encouraging song for Lennon’s son Julian in the midst of his parent’s separation. That sense of comfort comes through in such poignant lyrics as Hey Jude, don’t make it bad / Take a sad song and make it better and Anytime you feel the pain / Hey Jude, refrain / Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders. This gentle song certainly qualifies as one of rock music’s inspiring numbers.

6. “I Won’t Back Down”

Tom Petty stands his ground on one of his signature hits, “I Won’t Back Down.” In the lyrics, Petty asserts that no matter what challenges he’s faced with, he’ll never succumb to them. You can stand me up at the gates of hell / But I won’t back down, Petty vows. “I Won’t Back Down” is a sound message to apply to life, making for an undeniably inspirational rock song.

Photo by Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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