12 Female Empowerment Songs to Motivate You Today and Every Day

Updated 02/01/18
Denise Vasi DESIGN: Haobin Ye

In celebration of Women's Equality Day, we've put together a playlist of the female empowerment songs we're playing on repeat. Take it back to the '60s with classic anthems, and travel through the early aughts with the inspiring songs that made up the soundtrack of our formative years, and bring it back to today with the newest generation of strong, confident songstresses—this lineup channels the energy of Women's Equality Day on any day of the year. So as you take the day to commemorate the adoption of the 19th amendment, recognize what's been accomplished since, and keep moving forward—let these hit singles fuel your fight for gender equality, women's rights, and a better future for all.

Head below to find 12 female empowerment songs to add to your playlist.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

"I'm Every Woman"— Chaka Khan

This empowering single from Chaka Khan's debut solo album quickly became a dance hit that's had staying power through to this day. 

"Run the World"— Beyoncé

Beyoncé consistently serves up songs that unapologetically promote female empowerment. "Run the World" is no exception, with its declaration of strength and assertiveness.

"Girl on Fire"— Alicia Keys

A departure from the softer piano ballads for which Keys is known, this booming anthem celebrates strong, accomplished women who refuse to lay low.

"Respect"— Aretha Franklin

This 1967 hit hasn't lost any moment today with its timeless and universal message of respect—for yourself and for one another.

"Suddenly I See"— KT Tunstall

This blues-country-pop hybrid is a tribute to female power and was inspired by Patti Smith.

"You Gotta Be"— Des'ree

This empowering anthem bolsters self-confidence and serves as an affirmation to be your truest, strongest self.

"I'm Coming Out"— Diana Ross

Ross's coming-of-age anthem is a story of self-acceptance and unapologetically showing the world who you are and what you're capable of.

"Independent Women, Pt. I"— Destiny's Child

At the turn of the century, Destiny's Child released this #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 that appeared on the soundtrack to the 2000 film adaptation of Charlie's Angels and became the girl-power anthem of a new generation.

"Roar"— Katy Perry

This song celebrates the fact that it's okay to be assertive and strong.

"Glory and Gore"— Lorde

A fight song that calls to action in chillwave, Lorde's "Glory and Gore" has been described by PopMatters as "the dark flipside" of Perry's "Roar."

"Bad Girls"— M.I.A

What stronger call to solidarity than an inimitably catchy dancehall track that lauds sexual prowess and female empowerment?

"I Will Survive"— Gloria Gaynor

Though the Equal Rights Amendment wasn't passed in 1978—and we continue to fight for it today—this anthem of survival and resilience was released, and it hasn't stopped igniting fires in hearts since.

Have a favorite female empowerment anthem that didn't make the list? Share your song with us in the comments.

Related Stories