Monday mornings got you down? Take a listen to our top ten motivational tunes and allow yourself to be inspired! David Dawson & Maxim Mower
10. One Man Can Change the World - Big Sean ft. Kanye West & John Legend
In accepting his MTV Video Music Award for this song, Sean made it clear that ‘man’ here means ‘man or woman’, and the whole track just has such a moving and motivating message. Big Sean details the rousing life story of his grandma, who’d recently passed away when he wrote the song, and it ends on a tear-jerking voicemail from her. Considering this song is on the same album as ‘IDFWU’, ‘One Man Can Change the World’ represented a welcome display of vulnerability and sensitivity from Big Sean, and served as the catalyst for a new, more mature era of songwriting and lyricism from the rapper.
9. Juicy – The Notorious B.I.G.
This song doesn’t really sound motivational, if anything it comes across as more of a chilled-out vibe probably due to Biggie’s iconic voice. What makes this song motivational is the sentiment. Biggie tells us all about his childhood and young adulthood struggling to make ends meet and having to sell drugs to feed his daughter before filling us in on his new lavish lifestyle. Whilst to some it may seem like something of a flex it is more intended to show you that you can turn your life around no matter how bad that you feel it may be. This is supported by the chorus which includes the lyrics ‘Don’t let ‘em hold you down, reach for the stars’, underpinning that message of aiming high no matter where it is that you’re starting from.
8. Reload - Ingrosso, Tommy Trash & John Martin
‘Reload’ burst onto the scene when EDM was starting to stretch its legs and become more than just club-fuel. It’s clear from the other songs in this Top Ten that when it comes to motivation, hooks are key - and boy, does ‘Reload’ have an electric hook. Sometimes with dance songs, the chorus is good, but the musical riff is a little disappointing, and sometimes the musical riff is awesome, but the chorus lets it down. ‘Reload’, however, fires on all cylinders, and plays like musical caffeine - beware of combining it with actual caffeine, though, for fear of a serious energy overload and potential dancing-in-your-living-room-related injuries…
7. Glorious Domination (Bobby Roode) – WWE, CFO$
Ok, so this may be a bit out of left field. Those who don’t watch the WWE will have no idea about this one and those who do may even be surprised by its inclusion. Let’s forget though for one second that this song was written for the entrance and gimmick of a wrestler and instead take it on face value. This piece of music is triumphant, it just sounds colossal. The heavy guitars and the choir combination although unexpected sounds so powerful, the start of the song hits you like a train. On top of that the lyrics ‘I won’t give in until I’m victorious’ only add to the sentiment. It’s hard not to be fired up in some way after hearing this song through.
6. Written in the Stars - Tinie Tempah ft. Eric Turner
The throwback anthem to eclipse all others, I still remember when this song came out and everyone at school was obsessed with it for weeks. It’s jam-packed with inspiring lyrics from Tinie Tempah about how he overcame adversity to achieve success, and Eric Turner’s emphatic chorus is the glue that holds it all together. The fact that you can hear Eric gasping for air in-between each line only adds to the drama of it all.
5. Move on Up – Curtis Mayfield
This song for me is a timeless classic and thanks to its use in Kanye’s Touch The Sky is recognisable to lovers of music new and old. Even without the lyrics this song could get me motivated; the riff of the horns, the little string sequences, the frantic bongos in the background making the whole thing feel like it's shifting at 200mph, it’s impossible to listen to this song and not want to get up and move around or conquer the world. Then on top of that to have lyrics where in every line is a separate message of motivation. The song is jam-packed with sentiments of just do it, don’t give up, don’t settle for second best and keep on aiming high. If you’re ever feeling like you’re lacking some direction then give this one a listen.
4. When It Rains It Pours - Luke Combs
One of my favourite songs, this is a tongue-in-cheek twist on the phrase ‘When it rains it pours’, which usually means when things are bad, they just get worse. Luke tells the light-hearted tale of a break-up that leads to him suddenly becoming the luckiest person on the planet. After winning a beach vacation in a radio contest, £100 from a scratch-off ticket, a used 4-wheeler and a round of golf from the Moose Club raffle, he simply shrugs his shoulders - 'It’s got me thinking that her leaving is the only logical reason'. It’s fun and frivolous, and I challenge anyone to not feel the urge to get up and dance once the first chorus hits.
3. You Can Get It If You Really Want – Jimmy Cliff
So, this song might not be the quickest moving, or pack the hardest punch, but I love it. The chilled out and easy-going vibe offers motivation in a different way and sometimes it’s this way that you need. Not every morning do I want to be sucker punched by someone telling me to get a shift on, sometimes it’s nice to be gently reassured by Jimmy Cliff that I can accomplish my goals and that if I put in the effort, I’m sure to succeed. This song doesn’t only motivate you to get up and get moving but it also motivates you to persevere when things get tough, to always try your best and to work for your own success.
2. Champions - Kanye West & G.O.O.D Music Artists
This is the song that made me fall in love with Travis Scott’s voice - it erupts into Quavo’s opening verse as a cavernous, seismic roar. The dialed up Auto-Tune and vocal effects make it sound inhuman, and its intensity surges through your headphones so you can’t help but feel energised. ‘Champions’ was billed as the first song of a botched sophomore project from Kanye’s G.O.O.D Music label, and features a seemingly endless list of rappers. Some verses are admittedly a little forgettable, but this song is worth listening to for Travis’ hook alone.
1. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
This song is just so uplifting. It’s so difficult to hear it and not want to sing along to the chorus and it never fails to cheer me up. The positive vibes just ooze out of it and these extend into the lyrics, that sentiment of riding the highway of life, getting behind the wheel and taking charge, it's harder to not get fired up when listening to this one. For me this is the ideal pick-me-up for those mornings where you’ve just woken up and don’t feel ready to face the challenges of the day ahead. Allow your spirits to be raised by this banger and move forward!