FlourishAnyway is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song, and believes there is a playlist for just about any situation.
With a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about self-reliance, you can celebrate the challenge of successful adulting.
Adulting is a skill that can be learned.
Newly minted graduates probably have a sneaking suspicion that after they walk off the stage with their diplomas in hand, their real schooling is about to begin. (Roll up your sleeves, because things are about to get a lot more interesting!) Adulting is a skill that can be learned. Between 40-plus hour work weeks and a newfound respect for adult responsibilities like bill paying and remembering to get the oil changed, a sense of self-reliance must be forged.
The path to becoming a self-sufficient, capable, and fully functional adult includes the following steps.
- maintaining self-awareness and tolerance for human flaws
- When you’re in need of assistance or advice, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
- seeking happiness from within
- acknowledging and accepting responsibility
- incorporating life lessons in order to avoid making the same mistakes over and over.
To get you started, we’ve compiled a lengthy list. Self-reliance is a never-ending journey, so as you “do you,” listen to a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs to mark your progress.
Poll of Readers
1. Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten”
Allowing others to control your life is a bad idea. Make the life you’ve always wanted a reality. This 2004 uplifting pop hit is a true testament to self-reliance, encouraging you to control your own destiny. The narrator of the song conveys the idea that life is a book of blank pages just waiting for you to fill them in with your own story. You only get one chance at this life, so why not live it up to the fullest? Don’t be afraid to let go of your inhibitions, to defy conventions, and to color outside the lines. You can do it!
2. The Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces”
The fledgling adult seeking independence foregoes the comfort and security of all that is familiar in exchange for the adventure, risks, and newness that awaits outside the door. Few of us forget how bittersweet it is to leave home as a young adult.
Along the way, the fresh-faced girl will meet new people and learn new life lessons, hopefully learning from her parents’ mistakes. It’s a high-stakes bet, and she’ll need the room to make mistakes and learn from them in order to improve as a person. She’s on her way! She’s on her own now! She bids her parents farewell before heading west in search of her own dreams. This country song from 1998 honors the youth who are about to leave home.
3. Kelly Clarkson’s “Broken & Beautiful”
She’s self-assured and incredible, and she doesn’t need you to sympathize with her or lower the bar. In this 2019 country song, the self-reliant narrator is as tired as a horse that has been ridden hard and put away wet. Underneath that tough exterior, the strong and vulnerable woman yearns for a genuine connection—someone who understands how difficult it is to stand alone in the face of adversity. And she wants you to know that she knows what she’s talking about and has had it all along.
4. Sara Bareilles’ “King of Anything”
Thank you very much, the woman in this 2010 pop song is a responsible, independent adult. She’s had it with the unsolicited advice and mansplaining up to this point. She isn’t being treated as if she is capable of making her own decisions for some reason.
We can hear the sardonic voice in her head, which helps us understand her frustration, if we only lend half an ear to the guy across the table from her:
You are not the same as me. What does it matter if you disagree? There isn’t anyone here to save you. Who ascended to the throne and crowned you king of anything? I’m sorry to break it to you, babe, but I’m not going to drown. Who gave you the title of king of anything? So you’re going to tell me who I’m supposed to be?
5. Demi Lovato’s “Confident”
In this 2015 pop song, a strong, independent woman owns her confidence as she challenges you to explain what’s wrong with it. People try to dismiss her as complicated or insane, but she responds that they are grossly underestimating her. This boss lady, on the other hand, is in charge of her own life and knows exactly what she wants.
6. Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire”
Keep an eye on her as she takes on the world! To be honest, she may be lonely because she lacks a peer, but she is a fighter and a true achiever. The feisty girl in this 2012 R&B ballad can make her dreams a reality by keeping her feet on the ground, her head in the clouds, and her eyes fixed firmly on the future.
7. Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”
Elton John celebrates his relationship resilience and ability to stand on his own after heartbreak in this classic 1983 pop song: They need to get their act together. True survivors refuse to wallow in defeat and self-pity when they are knocked down in love or in any other aspect of life.
Don’t you realize I’m still standing stronger than I was before? Feeling like a little kid, looking like a true survivor I’m picking up the pieces of my life without thinking about you. After all this time, I’m still standing.
If Elton John can bounce back on a consistent basis, so can you!
8. Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be”
“You have to be a badass, a boldass, and a wiserass.” Des’ree is absolutely correct.
There’s nothing you can’t do if you’re at ease in your own skin and willing to stand up and be counted. If an artist must be remembered as a one-hit wonder, then this R&B song from 1994 is the one to remember. Des’ree teaches you how to rely on yourself and own your identity with confidence.
An unfortunate footnote: it’s possible that the singer did not follow her own advice. Des’ree, on the other hand, has recently returned to music, so don’t write her off just yet. After some cringe-worthy lyrics made the “Worst Ever” polls, she struggled with health issues, and her record label didn’t renew her contract in the early 2000s, she faded from public view.
9. Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine”
That’s exactly what the independent woman in this 2008 pop song knows how to do. The self-reliant woman is calm and collected, unable to be manipulated or deceived, and looking forward to better days ahead. It’s as if she’s mainlining happiness, refusing to be broken, shaken, or owned. Allow the negative aspects of your life to roll off your back like water on a duck’s back.
Patti LaBelle’s “New Attitude” is number ten.
In this 1985 R&B/pop crossover hit, the sassy, confident gal has reassessed her outlook, and it shows. Your attitude is everything, and it will determine your success in life. She enjoys herself because she is in charge, has fresh ideas, and is completely worry-free:
From my head to my toes, I’m in a good mood. I straightened out my point of view. I’ve adopted a new mindset. I know where I’m going and what I’m going to do.
11. Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now”
In the 1980s, the reggae-infused hit was featured in commercials for Windex glass cleaner. For the optimistic narrator in Johnny Nash’s signature song, “I Can See Clearly Now,” which reached number one on the US Billboard chart in 1972, hindsight is certainly 20/20.
The rain has stopped, and the dark clouds that had previously blinded him have given way to rainbows and clear blue skies. The narrator concentrates on the previous pain, bad feelings, and challenges that have now passed. He can see the challenges ahead of him more objectively now that he has overcome personal adversity.
12. Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”
She didn’t fold like a cheap suit when her two-timing ex reappeared and demanded her return. The rejected lady in this 1978 disco hit initially felt unimportant when confronted with a lover’s betrayal. She dug deep inside herself and discovered a bold sense of self-assurance. Getting rid of him was the first step in demonstrating her independence. This is a survivor’s anthem for people who don’t have to rely on others to feel good about themselves.
Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping” is number thirteen.
“Fall down seven times, stand up eight,” says an old Japanese proverb about personal toughness, and it’s one of my favorite quotes. The writers of this infectiously inspirational 1997 rock song must have heard it because they repeat the same lyrics:
I’m knocked down, but I always get back up. You’ll never be able to keep me down.
It’s sound adulting advice; just keep moving forward. With this song, Chumbawamba was a one-hit wonder.
14. Mariah Carey’s “Hero”
This stirring pop ballad, which reached the top of the charts in 1993, says as much. Beyond each of our sorrows, the narrator sees our capacity for resilience and hope to save ourselves. We are sometimes so hungry for heroes that we look for them outside of ourselves when we should be looking for inspiration in the strong, independent person in the mirror. We can all be heroes without the need for a cape.
Leona Lewis’ “Fire Under My Feet” is number fifteen.
Leona Lewis, the 2006 winner of the British talent show The X Factor, sings about her burning desire to succeed in this upbeat 2015 pop song. The self-sufficient woman exuberantly describes her journey’s progress: You can’t keep her down now that she’s got fire under her feet. The song’s narrator has tripped and fallen before in her life, but she has learned from her mistakes.
You’re not going to be able to put out these flames. I can feel it in my heartbeat as well. I’m walking around with a fire under my feet. I have no regrets because I have what I want. Step-by-step, there’s no going back. Every tear shed will be well worth the effort.
16. India’s “Beautiful Flower.” Arie is a young man who has a
Girls who do not feel valued or special, as well as those who have experienced hardships that threaten to overwhelm them, are her target audience. India is a Grammy Award-winning R&B artist. In this thoughtful 2009 song, Arie gives a pep talk to the ladies. Arie recognizes herself in them and encourages them, telling them they are beautiful, brilliant, powerful, and resilient, and that they can move from darkness to light.
17. Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself”
The track has become a popular female empowerment anthem because the singer and songwriters left the meaning ambiguous. In this catchy 2015 pop song, the protagonist has chosen to go it alone. She is putting herself first and practicing self-love, whether physical or emotional, without a man in her life. (You choose the meaning that is most meaningful to you.)
18. Carrie Underwood’s “Unstoppable” (featuring Ludacris)
This country song from 2018 pays homage to athletes and others in our daily lives who excel in their fields. It honors them for working hard to earn the title of strongest, invincible, and unbreakable. The song was written for the Superbowl LII telecast on NBC Sports. To keep going, champions rely on themselves. It recognizes their tenacity in the face of adversity and dedication to being the best.
Pink’s “Just Like Fire” is number 19 on the list.
She relies on her own resources to prove haters and naysayers wrong, knowing that “no one can be exactly like me anyway.” This woman is a one-woman army. They’ve completely underestimated the fiery lady. This energetic pop song from 2016 features a protagonist who forges her own path forward despite the imposition of undue restrictions by others in order to hold her back.
Cher’s “We All Sleep Alone” is number 20.
In this 1988 pop song, a woman spits out a hard truth like a loogie stuck in her throat. She warns that when you’re out on your own, you must be strong, because whether you’re young or old, have had many lovers or have been faithfully married for decades, we all sleep alone at some point. It’s likely that it’s a lesson learned through experience.
More Songs About Self-Sufficiency
Do you have a suggestion for a song for this Self-Reliance playlist? Submit a suggestion in the section below.
|Break My Stride (number 21)||Matthew Wilder (Matthew Wilder) is||The year was 1983.|
|Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) is number 22.||Kelly Clarkson is an American singer-songwriter.||the year 2012|
|Follow Your Arrow (number 23)||Kacey Musgraves is an American singer-songwriter.||the year 2013|
|It’s My Life, No. 24||Bon Jovi is a rock band from New Jersey.||the year 2000|
|25. Born To Be Free||Kid Rock is a musician who is well-known||the year 2010|
|26. I’ll give it a shot on my own||Whitney Houston is an American singer and songwriter.||the year 2003|
|27. Full-Fledged Woman||Beyoncé is an American singer and songwriter.||the year 2013|
|Fight Song (#28)||Rachel Platten is a model and actress.||the year 2014|
|The Power of 29.||a lovely spirit||the year 2015|
|30. Invincible||Sia is a character in the film Sia||the year 2016|
|I Create My Own Sunlight thirty-first.||Alyssa Bonagura is a model and actress.||the year 2012|
|31. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.||Dolly Parton is a country music legend.||The year was 1980.|
|33. Courageous||Sara Bareilles is an American singer-songwriter.||the year 2013|
|34. Don’t Give Up Hope||The journey||In the year 1981,|
|35. Maintain a Positive Attitude||Andy Grammer is a well-known actor.||The year 2011|
|36. I’d Like to Be Free||The Queen||The year was 1984.|
|37. Stand Up and Take a Breath||Gloria Estefan is a popular singer in the United States.||In 1989,|
|My Life, No. 38||Billy Joel is a well-known musician.||The year was 1978.|
|Fireworks (#38)||Katy Perry is a pop star from the United States.||the year 2010|
|39. I Believe I Am Capable Of Flying||Yolanda Adams is a model and actress.||In the year 2001,|
|40. Be respectful||Aretha Franklin is one of the most famous singers in the world||the year 1967|
|41. I Am Unstoppable||Pope Cassadee||the year 2015|
|42. I’m Getting There||Axwell Ingrosso Axwell Ingrosso Axwell Ingrosso Axwell||the year 2015|
|43. Ascender||Bentley, Dierks||the year 2015|
|44. Girl Who Isn’t Going Anywhere||McBryde, Ashley||the year 2018|
|45. Take off||Christina Aguilera is a singer from the United States.||the year 2002|
|46. Myself, Myself, and I||Bebe Rexha and G-Eazy||the year 2015|
|47. Here I Go Once More||Snake, whitesnake||the year 1987|
On June 02, 2021, Devika Primi from Dubrovnik, Croatia:
In any case, you are completely correct! Thank you for emphasizing the importance of self-reliance. Add some color to your life.
On May 31, 2021, FlourishAnyway (author) from the United States:
– Mary It can be a difficult time to learn at times. Best wishes to your friend’s niece as she navigates life. Have a fantastic week!
On May 31, 2021, Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada will:
Adulting is a difficult task. Yesterday, a friend told us about her niece, who is going through this as she decides to leave her friends and attend the school she believes is best for the course she has chosen. These songs brought back memories of my own adolescence. I’m not sure I’d like to go back to those years.
On May 28, 2021, FlourishAnyway (author) from the United States:
It’d be incredible. Despite the fact that they can completely contradict one another, people seem to rely on them to interpret the lyrics. Have a wonderful long weekend! I wish the big hair bands of the 1980s would make a comeback. It’s amusing how the song and the video can sometimes be so disjointed. That glam rock is fantastic. Thank you so much for that fantastic addition. – Heidi
On May 28, 2021, FlourishAnyway (author) from the United States:
I hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration yesterday! – Peggy Several young adults in my life are graduating from college this year or next. It’s exciting because they have so many major life changes ahead of them.
On May 27, 2021, FlourishAnyway (author) from the United States:
Devika is a woman who lives in India. Have a fantastic week! With the challenges of moving to a new country, you’re a pretty self-reliant person, so I hope you found this playlist to be particularly useful.
Heidi Thorne, Chicago, Illinois, on May 26, 2021:
Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again (On My Own)” is the only 80s hairband option that comes to mind right away, even though it appears that he has company in the car in the video–you know the one I’m talking about. 🙂 Music videos in the 1980s were not always logical.
Anyway, as usual, a fantastic list. Greetings!
On May 26, 2021, Peggy Woods of Houston, Texas:
It is true that real life begins after the first few years of schooling. In my head, the song “I Can See Clearly Now” is playing. As you mentioned, “adulting” is a continuous process. This is a great song list! Hopefully, the most crucial aspects of it are quickly acquired.
On May 26, 2021, Devika Primi from Dubrovnik, Croatia:
Anyway, your song lists are thoughtful and creative for all of us; I frequently learn of a song I hadn’t heard before and see that you are keeping up with it. Add some color to your life. Your music is meaningful, and you make us feel good. Your song list suggestions are both educational and entertaining.
On May 26, 2021, FlourishAnyway (author) from the United States:
– Linda A sliver of sunshine in your pocket could be a personal self-defense weapon against the world’s bad news and evil. Thank you for taking the time to visit.
On May 26, 2021, FlourishAnyway (author) from the United States:
– Linda I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. Those poor cancer children. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. That song is also one of my favorites.
On May 25, 2021, Linda Crampton of British Columbia, Canada:
A pocketful of sunshine appeals to me. A song list about self-reliance is a great idea. It’s a lovely thought.
On May 25, 2021, Linda Lum from Washington State, USA:
I’m happy to report that you nailed it (and I’m amazed at how many of these I recognize). I wasn’t sure where the song list was going when I first read the introduction. What a fantastic list, Flourish! I’ve enjoyed all of your compilations, but I believe this will be my favorite of all time. But by the time I got to numbers 21 through 46, I was looking forward to seeing what would appear.