7 Kelly Clarkson Songs That Inspire Strength and Resilience

It’s hard to believe that over 20 years have passed since the world first fell in love with Kelly Clarkson. The vocal powerhouse became a household name nearly overnight after being crowned the winner of American Idol‘s first season. 

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In the years that followed her reality television win, Clarkson maintained a steady presence on the pop charts. She branched out from the sound of her debut single, “A Moment Like This,” swapping out soft ballads for fiery, confident anthems.

[RELATED: Kelly Clarkson Offers Soulful Cover of Lainey Wilson’s “Heart Like a Truck”]

These seven incredible Clarkson songs will keep you moving forward, even through life’s most challenging moments.

1. “Piece By Piece”

How do you hold onto hope for a loving relationship when you’ve only experienced the pain of loss? That’s the question at the center of this 2015 single, which reminds the listener that one person’s hurtful decisions don’t have to determine the fate of future connections.

2. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)

This empowering No. 1 hit from 2012 is all about persevering through heartbreak. Clarkson’s rich, expressive vocal performance motivates the listener to push past the pain and keep moving toward a better, brighter day.

3. “Since U Been Gone

This confident kiss-off to an unworthy ex became one of the biggest songs of 2004. “Since U Been Gone” was a pop music mega-hit and still stands as one of her most commercially successful releases to date. The lead single from Clarkson’s second album, Breakaway, climbed to No. 1 in the U.S. and entered the Top 10 in over a dozen countries.

4. “Walk Away

It’s never too late to pivot toward a better path for yourself, even if that means cutting a relationship short. This infectious cut from Breakaway finds Clarkson rightfully demanding connection and commitment from a laissez-faire lover.

5. “Breakaway

The simple yet widely relatable lyrics of this 2004 hit helped skyrocket Clarkson’s already-blossoming career to new heights. “Breakaway,” originally recorded for The Princess Diaries 2 soundtrack, serves as an anthem for anyone ready to begin writing a new chapter of their own story.

6. “Heartbeat Song”

This high-energy synth-pop track from 2015 is a tribute to those whose love helps lift you out of the darkness. Penned by former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, “Little Red Wagon” writer Audra Mae, Mitch Allan, and Jason Evigan, “Heartbeat Song” earned Clarkson a No. 1 hit on Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs chart.

7. “Miss Independent”

This R&B-tinged single from 2003 was co-written by Christina Aguilera, who originally conceptualized the song for inclusion on her edgy album 2002 Stripped. Still fresh from her American Idol win, Clarkson helped finish the unreleased track and included it on her debut record, Thankful. The funky, assertive tune is about being confident enough to know when to let your guard down and let the right person in.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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