11 Powerful Songs That Will Make You See the World Differently

| © Frank Micelotta/REX/Shutterstock
| © Frank Micelotta/REX/Shutterstock
Photo of Ann Lee
Music Editor22 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.

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