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| © Frank Micelotta/REX/Shutterstock

11 Powerful Songs That Will Make You See the World Differently

Picture of Ann Lee
Music Editor
Updated: 22 September 2017

There are some songs that just get into your head, seep into your bones and refuse to leave you alone.

They’re your go-to tracks when you need to feel inspired, when you need comfort and when you want to feel that life – however crappy – is more beautiful than you can ever imagine.

We’ve rounded up the top songs that are so powerful they’ll give you chills.

Beyoncé – ‘Run the World (Girls)’

Queen Bey slayed with this fierce feminist anthem dedicated to all the strong and independent ladies out there. Flawless.

Arcade Fire – ‘Wake Up’

Taken from their debut 2004 album, Funeral, ‘Wake Up’ is a powerful rallying cry against slipping into apathy. Are you listening, world?

Elliott Smith – ‘Between The Bars’

Tragic singer Elliott Smith, who committed suicide at the age of 34, left behind a strong legacy. None more so than the quietly devastating track ‘Between The Bars’.

Whitney Houston – ‘I Will Always Love You’

Whitney Houston covered Dolly Parton’s song for her hit 1992 movie The Bodyguard. From the haunting a cappella opening to the dramatic crescendo, this is guaranteed to give you goosebumps.

Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

Grunge anthem ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ struck a chord with disaffected youths and became Nirvana’s biggest hit.

Johnny Cash – ‘Hurt’

Impossible to listen to Johnny Cash’s Nine Inch Nails cover and not become a blubbering mess. That rich, gravelly voice so full of regret and yearning as he sings: ‘I will let you down. I will make you hurt.’

John Lennon – ‘Imagine’

The late Beatles star’s most famous solo song is a moving and idealistic meditation on hope and the possibility of achieving world peace.

Adele – ‘Hello’

Adele, queen of the break-up songs, crafted the perfect maelstrom of sadness, regret and longing in her hit single ‘Hello’. We’re still feeling emotionally bereft.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – ‘Purple Haze’

Jimi Hendrix took guitar playing to a whole new level with his revolutionary track ‘Purple Haze’. It became linked to the psychedelic drug scene in the ’60s, but he claimed it was actually inspired by a dream he had.

Public Enemy – ‘Fight The Power’

Featured on the soundtrack to director Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do The Right Thing, Public Enemy’s ‘Fight The Power’ was a ferocious call to arms about the importance of equality and standing up for what you believe in.

Bjork – ‘Army of Me’

The Icelandic singer turns into a fearless warrior on ‘Army of Me’, a savage and menacing song that advocates the power of independence, self-sufficiency and basically not f**king around with Bjork.