We all face adversity.
And sometimes the odds seem insurmountable.
But we can always fight back and push through.
Of course, it is not easy.
It helps to have someone or something to get you pumped up.
For me, music always does the trick. But it has to be the right music. These 15 songs about fighting back will help you do just that: Fight back.
Songs About Fighting Back
I tried to include songs about never giving up and fighting back in as many different genres as possible. That way, there should be at least a few songs here that work for you. And if you do manage to fight back and succeed, I also have a list of songs to celebrate winning.
Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Rachel Platten was an unknown artist when this empowerment song was first released in 2014. She later mentioned in an interview that the song was based on her own experience, where she had worked hard for 12 years without gaining recognition.
She had asked herself if she wanted to give up or whether she should fight back. The answer came to her in the form of this song.
Fight Song went on to get a lot of attention after it was used in ABC’s Pretty Little Liars in its 2014 December episode. The song was also used in the TV series Supergirl. Hillary Clinton also played it in one of her campaigns. It has become an anthem for strong females.
Platten performed Fight Song live on ABC’s Good Morning America in May 2015, which won her the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Talk Show/Morning Program.
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You is one of those songs that you want to listen to when you’re having a bad day. It just inspires you to get up, fight back, take back control, and move mountains. The track is from her 2011 album Stronger.
Clarkson has given us many great songs based on the empowerment theme, and this is one of her most popular ones. It combines different genres like pop, rock, and dance.
Nietzsche’s quote, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’ inspired Kelly to pen this song. It went on to become a drag anthem and also inspired people with cancer and those in abusive relationships to fight and take back control.
Fighter by Christina Aguilera
Fighter is a track taken from Christina Aguilera’s 2002 album Stripped. The song gives a strong message about keeping up one’s fight in tough times.
Christina wrote the song based on her own traumatic experiences, like her abusive childhood and being bullied in school. The lyrics encourage listeners to keep fighting back and not give up.
The song’s central message is to not let hardships define you but to use them to rise above them. It is also about finding inner power and fighting back against anything that tries to hold you down.
Never Say Never by Justin Bieber
Never Say Never by Justin Bieber is from his 2010 album Karate Kid and features Jaden Smith, son of Will Smith, as a co-writer. It was part of the Karate Kid movie, starring Jaden Smith.
The song motivates listeners to fight against the odds and never give up. The track hit the top charts, including the Hot 100, where it spent several weeks.
Never Say Never is about believing in yourself, staying strong, and pushing through challenges. The song’s upbeat dance vibe resonated with many youngsters.
Till I Collapse by Eminem
Eminem’s Till I Collapse is a powerful anthem that has lifted warriors out of dark, lonely places. The rapper says that there are times we all feel tired and just want to give up
But that is the time when we have to search for that inner strength and get the motivation to not give up. He encourages his listeners to never quit and to keep fighting, no matter what. The track is from Eminem’s 2002 album The Eminem Show.
Bounce Back by Big Sean
Big Sean’s Bounce Back is an encouraging track about fighting back and bouncing back into the game harder than before. The singer encourages listeners to learn from their mistakes and rise above the setbacks they have experienced.
Sean penned this song based on his own experiences and ability to handle losses. The track was included in Sean’s 2016 album, I Decided. In an interview, Sean stated that he wanted to dedicate this song to all the “underdogs” (including football teams and people who had lost money in gambling, etc.) and to encourage them to come back stronger.
Never Give Up by Sia
Sia’s Never Give Up is a track from the movie Lion. The singer talks about battling demons that don’t let her sleep, but despite all the darkness, she won’t give up.
She also tells her naysayers and the people who bring her down that she won’t let them get to her and that she will fight back and come up strong each time she hits the ground. The powerful song has motivated many people, no matter what situation they are in.
Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is from their 2012 album The Heist. The song is about triumph after breaking barriers. It is an uplifting anthem that encourages listeners to overcome obstacles and keep fighting.
The song also celebrates success against all odds and encourages us to keep pushing forward. Can’t Hold Us has an energetic dance beat that motivates and inspires listeners to go after their goals. The lyrics also inspire listeners to grab opportunities and not let anything hold them back.
The track was used in the advertising campaign for Miller Genuine Draft, which helped Macklemore and Ryan Lewis gain popularity in Europe.
Fight The Power by Public Enemy
Fight the Power by Public Enemy is a track from their album Fear of a Black Planet, released in 1989.
The song is a powerful anthem celebrating black pride and urging black people to stand up against oppression. It criticizes white singers like Elvis Presley, perhaps to highlight the disparity in the music industry between black and white artists.
In a sense, the song is a call for change, demanding equality and justice. It was also featured in movies like Jarhead and Do the Right Thing, mainly to represent racial inequality. Fight the Power especially advocates fighting those in power, mainly against social injustices.
Survivor by Destiny’s Child
Beyonce has explained in an interview that she penned down the song Survivor to silence her critics who had written her off. The lyrics talk about the singer surviving all kinds of situations. She states that she will work harder, fight back, and emerge stronger.
Beyonce also wrote the song as a tribute to every fan since each of us has survived something and fought back against things that pull us down. The anthem is empowering, makes you fight back and feel strong, and gives you hope that you can survive anything.
Roar by Katy Perry
Katy Perry wrote Roar in 2013 as part of her album Prism, after she divorced Russell Brand. The song is an empowering anthem about the singer fighting back after years of staying quiet to avoid a mess and to “keep the boat from rocking”.
Now she wants to roar like a tiger and fight back like a champion, even if it means dancing through fire. The singer also talks about fighting people who held her down for years and states that now it is her time to shake the ground like the thunder she is.
Conqueror by Estelle
Conqueror is from Estelle’s album True Romance, which she released in 2015. The song is a powerful anthem for women’s empowerment.
Its lyrics talk about the singer facing challenges and falling, but having the strength to rise and fight back. It highlights her strength and determination, saying that despite all of her difficulties, she knows she has to keep pushing forward and be the conqueror of her life.
The song’s message is about inner strength, reminding everyone, especially women, of their ability to overcome struggles, stand tall, and triumph over obstacles they face.
Fighting My Way Back by Thin Lizzy
Fighting My Way Back by Thin Lizzy is from their album Fighting, released in 1975. The song is like an anthem for fighters who keep going even when things are tough, unsure, and shaky.
Its lyrics talk about the singer being beaten down, but he won’t let anyone label him as he is fighting to get back up and keep moving forward. It showcases the singer’s inner strength and determination, despite feeling uncertain.
Fans embraced the song for its raw and honest portrayal of overcoming hardships and getting back up after falling.
I Get Knocked Down (Tubthumping) by Chumbawamba
Tubthumping by Chumbawamba is a song about fighting back against political setbacks. The lyrics talk about getting “knocked down but standing up again and again”.
“Pissing the night away” refers to drinking alcohol in UK slang. The song highlights determination and talks about bouncing back as a “Tubthumper,” which means a politician. The title tubthumping refers to political campaigning.
The song didn’t win major awards and was Chumbawamba’s only single in the US Top 40. However, it remains memorable due to its catchy dance beat.
Fight The Good Fight by Triumph
Triumph was a three-member band from Canada active in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, it remains one of the most underrated bands of all time. The lead singer of the band, Rik Emmet, was inspired to write Fight the Good Fight by his aunt, who was dying of cancer.
The experience made him wonder, “What can we as a band tell our fans who are going through similar struggles and hardships?” Every individual has a fight in their life. As a band, Triumph wanted their songs’ lyrics to inspire people to fight the good fight, whatever that means to each individual person.
All of Triumph’s songs are about resilience and perseverance. Unfortunately, the band fell apart in the late 1980s, after which Emmet launched his solo career.
Songs About Never Giving Up: Final Thoughts
As mentioned, I wanted to make sure I include as many different genres as possible in this list. Of course, some genres will always be underrepresented. And some, sadly, are missing altogether. But you can help.
If you know of any other great songs about fighting back, please let me know in the comments below. I am happy for suggestions in any genre, but especially ones missing from my list. And if you’re not quite ready to fight back, check out these songs about defeat.