Music has the power to completely change our mood. We’ve all had our mood drop when that song that was playing on the radio during our last personal crisis comes on, cried at songs that bring back bittersweet memories, and been uplifted when a fun song came on. Many of us listen to music while we write fiction, paint, or create other art forms, and musicians are often inspired by other musicians.
The following songs are my recommendations for those times when you need a boost of confidence. Use these to build a “confidence boost” playlist on whichever streaming service you prefer…or collect CDs.
Unknown Brain: (featuring Heather Sommer): Perfect 10
Apologies to all my fellow Jeffree Star fans for mentioning this one. He used it in a tribute video to his beloved white Pomeranian, Diamond, who passed away last year. The song will make you sad along with confident for a while. But there was a reason this song made a good tribute to a beautiful and loved little dog. The lyrics are all about being your own “perfect 10.”
Panic!At the Disco: High Hopes
Club/ pop is normally not what I think of when I want something inspirational, but the beat of this, combined with lyrics encouraging the listener to always have high hopes, no matter what else they lack in life, can’t help but boost your mood. It doesn’t hurt that unlike a lot of club music, which sounds like the vocals are being done by a robot, Panic! At the Disco’s lead vocalist Brendan Urie has a good singing voice.
Cannonball Adderley: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Cannonball Adderley was a Jazz alto saxophonist who lived from 1928 to 1975. This song does not have a vocal track. It’s included on this list because the only way to move in time to the music is to strut.
Diana Krall: Wonderful
Diana Krall is one of my absolute favorite singers. She’ll probably be on every recommended song list. And most of my confidence boost from listening to her comes from singing along and pretending I can actually sing as well as she can. I can’t. Not even close. In my dreams. But you can’t help but feel more confident thinking about whatever is “wonderful” in your life, and the people who love you.
Ella Fitzgerald: When I Get Low I Get High
Last Jazz song, I promise. I just happen to like Jazz a lot, and Ella is another favorite. The title says it all on this song, but the combination of the lyrics, the tempo and her vocals on this track make it impossible to think of anything but overcoming anything that might make you feel low.
Panic!At the Disco: Hey Look Ma, I Made It
And this is the last club/pop song. A lot of people don’t care for club music, and I am normally one of them, but I have found about four or five songs from that genre that I like, and this is number three. As you might guess from the title, it’s all about reaching your goals.
Mary J.Blige: Family Affair
Sometimes music boosts our confidence because we can’t help but get up and dance to it. This includes those of us who can’t dance very well. I would be one of those people. This would be one of those songs. Add this to your confidence playlist, but skip it until it’s time to take a work break, because you can’t sit still while listening to this song.
Bruce Springsteen, Tougher Than the Rest
Springsteen’s songs always contain a full story within their lyrics, and I have always interpreted this one as being about a man who is actually a bit low on the confidence scale, but hopes that a woman he loves will take a chance on him anyway. I included it anyway, for those times when you’re down on yourself overall, but need to remember that you have strengths after all….like being tough.
Shawn Mendes: In My Blood
A song that begins with the words “Help me,” and talks about giving up may seem like a weird choice for a confidence playlist, but the song goes on to say that giving up isn’t in the narrator’s blood. They might need help, but they are are not about to give up. They can’t. Overcoming obstacles can be a great boost to our confidence, and this song will remind you of everything you have overcome.
Eric Clapton, Wonderful Tonight
We all like to think we’re good looking, however we define that. And we would all like others, at least some others, to think so too. This song will remind you of every time you ever felt beautiful and loved. It’s written from the point of view of straight man admiring the woman he adores, but we can all relate to feeling like someone thinks we look wonderful.
Links or embedded videos, lyric sheets, and long quotes from the lyrics were left out of this article purposely to avoid any copyright issues. Please obtain all of this music legally by purchasing it from itunes, building a playlist on Spotify, watching official YouTube videos, or purchasing CDs or vinyl. This article is not sponsored or endorsed by anyone mentioned in it. All opinions and observations are my own.