21 Songs About Progress (2023)

As we proceed and go forward in our everyday life, whether we take big strides, baby steps, or even as we crawl as this is all we can do, we are moving towards our personal progress. During the times we feel defeated, we need to remember to keep going on. That’s the only way to survive. Here are the 21 Best Songs About Progress that can inspire us to put our foot forward once again.

21. Through the Rain by Mariah Carey 

Mariah is one talented artist. Her enthralling voice and soulful style can surely touch your soul. From her album Charmbracelet, which was released in 2002, Through the Rain speaks about the times when we are at our lowest and there is absolutely no one there to help us. Mariah reminds us to hold on to our faith and live our lives one day at a time. She assures us that we’re strong enough and that we will prevail.

20. Fight Song by Rachel Platten

Rachel Platten wrote this song at the time of her life when things were pretty rough for her. She wrote it as a way to uplift and remind herself to be strong and that she still had “a lot of fight left” in her to keep striving. She wrote this to inspire herself and thankfully, she shared this Pop rock song with the world. She included this in her album Wildfire back in 2014.

19. Give Your Heart a Break 

To achieve progress, there will be times when we need to ask for help and learn to accept it. In this song Give Your Heart a Break, Demi Lovato offers her help and tries to convince her beloved to trust her after his previous relationship went downhill. This Pop song is included in Demi Lovato’s album entitled Unbroken, which was released in 2011.  

18. Brave by Sara Bareilles 

This song has resonated with so many people. From Sara Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest album which was released last 2013, this power pop song was written by Sara Bareilles with Jack Antonoff. This song has inspired people from LGBT, cancer warriors, and everyday fighters. Sara Bareilles knows how far this song has reached as her fans shared with her their own brave stories that progressed their lives.

17. Beautiful by Christina Aguilera 

This is a raw and heartfelt song that is a reflection of the progress that one can achieve by holding on to your own truth. This is one of Christina Aguilera’s best and most powerful songs. She recalled her own dark past of abuse from her father as she performed this song. It is an R&B ballad that is part of her album Stripped, which was released in 2002.

The lyrics of this song was written by Linda Perry who was very involved in the overall creation of the song. When thrown into the depths of depression, crawl towards progress and believe “You are beautiful no matter what they say…”

16. Save Myself by Ed Sheeran

This is one of Ed Sheeran’s lesser known songs. It is part of his ÷ album that was released in 2017. This orchestral pop song was written by Ed Sheeran himself with Amy Wadge. It has a straightforward message of recognizing abuse and finally ensuring your own progress by prioritizing oneself for a change.

15. Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys loved being called “Girl  on Fire.” She wrote and produced this song with Jeff Bhasker and Salaam Remi. The song became so popular that Alicia Keys decided to name her fifth album with the same name. The song’s message to the world is to let go of what is holding you down to achieve progress and be a Girl on Fire!

14. We Can by Leann Rhymes

Anyone who has watched Legally Blond would appreciate the progress that Elle Woods has achieved. From looking silly and totally out of place in Harvard Law, she worked extremely hard and even became a lawyer. She didn’t lose her own flavor though. She is still adorable and loves a lot of pink. The song We Can by Leann Rhymes is included in the soundtrack of Legally Blonde’s sequel, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. This pop rock song that was written by Dianne Warren was released in 2003.

13. Unstoppable by Sia 

Sia has penned a lot of powerful songs, one of which is Unstoppable. She co-wrote this song with Christopher Braide and was released in 2016 under her album This Is Acting. This Pop Electronic song sounds as ominous as its message.

Sometimes people wear figurative armors and show the world that they are doing great despite deeply suffering inside. Everyone has different coping mechanisms and for Sia, this works just as well for the meantime until she heals towards her progress.

12. Lovely by Billie Eilish 

Some songs that tackle depression give a hopeful stance somewhere in their message. Lovely by Billie Eilish and Khalid is dark and hauntingly beautiful. It shows another facet of depression where one feels stuck but is hopeful that there will be an escape someday. This chamber pop ballad is found in Billie Eilish’s album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and was released in 2018.

11. Titanium by David Guetta ft. Sia

Titanium is such an upbeat, powerful song. It is written byDavid Guetta, Sia, Giorgio Tuinfort and Afrojack. Released in 2011, this pop song is part of David Guetta’s album Nothing but the Beat. It conveys an honest take on life that there will always be those who want to shoot, attack, and destroy you. It’s almost a permanent theme in life. How do you conquer these? Know that you are bulletproof and made of titanium. Rise and progress! 

10. Stronger by Kelly Clarkson 

Pop songs usually have a fun beat. It’s amazing that they can also project helpful tidings for its listeners. A line from the song Stronger says “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It is a cliché of some sorts but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Towards the end, Kelly Clarkson even thanks her former beloved because she progressed after he left. This Dance Pop song is one of the best songs of 2011. It belongs to Kelly Clarkson’s Album entitled like the song, Stronger

9. What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction 

This catchy pop song has captured the hearts of so many young women. It resonates with so many who do not see their beauty and worth. Sometimes having someone tell us how beautiful we are, is such a morale booster.

This song debuted in 2011 from One Direction’s album Up All Night. This hit song was written by One Direction, Savan Kotecha, Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk, Jim Jacobs, and Warren Casey.

8. Fighter by Christina Aguilera 

Christina Aguilera has been very vocal about how her father caused so much trauma in her life. She was also bullied in school. These eras in her life are painful but instrumental in making her into the Fighter that she is now. This song is part of her Stripped album which was released in 2002. From being weak to being strong is an epic progress.

7. Because of You Kelly Clarkson 

Talk about toxic fathers. Kelly Clarkson has shared about her less than ideal relationship with her dad. He abandoned them when she was young and this experience proved very damaging for her. She tried to fix her relationship with him as she grew older but that never came to fruition.

Because of You is one of Kelly Clarkson’s most popular songs and was written out of her feelings for her dad. So many of us can relate to having someone treat us poorly. Hopefully, we also learn to heal and help our lives progress after the painful parts. This painful Pop song is included in Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 album, Breakaway.

6. Thunder by Imagine Dragons 

This catchy Arena Rock song already has more than a billion views on YouTube. It was a collaboration by songwriters Alexander Grant, Dan Reynolds, Daniel Platzman, Jayson Dezuzio, Wayne Sermon, and Ben Mckee. The song was released in 2017 under Imagine Dragon’s album, Evolve. A recurring theme in this list is being unfairly treated in the past. Our singers use their music to express how they rose above the haters and the doubters. They always find a way to progress.

5. Believer by Imagine Dragons 

Still from their 2017 album Evolve, Believer is one unique Arena Rock song. If 1B views are impressive, this song has 2.3B views on YouTube. Imagine Dragons shout “Pain!” several times in this song. Pain is what made them into a believer. Believer of what? God, destiny? We can only guess. Dan Reynolds said that sometimes he believes in God and there are times when he doesn’t. What’s important is the message of the song that pain is inevitably a part of one’s progress.

4. Counting Stars by OneRepublic 

From their 2013 album entitled Native, OneRepublic whips up this hit Pop Rock, Dance Pop song. It’s a song you’d want to dance to and shout the lyrics as you sing along. The realization in the song is that there are things in this world that are fun but do not give you lasting happiness. The irony of material things is that they make you momentarily happy but they drown and kill you in the end. Progress lies in deep realizations too and what you would do about them.

3. Hero by Mariah 

This song is already a classic. Released in the 90s, from her album Music Box, Mariah Carey belts out her powerful voice and convinces you that in your darkest times, you have to remember to look inside yourself. You are your own hero all along. From someone who is afraid and hopeless, you progress to being a hero. You can save yourself!

2. Just Give Me a Reason by Pink ft. Nate Ruess 

Written by Alecia Moore, Jeff Bhasker, and featured artist, Nate Ruess, this song tells a phase in almost every love story when one partner starts to drift away. Even when things seem ideal, suddenly there will be changes. Pink sings about this limbo in the relationship but has a hopeful line about bending that is better than breaking. She is willing to work things out with her partner to fix the relationship. Progress is also achieved when one is honest about his/her observations and have an action plan to fix the spotted problem.

1. I Dare You to Move by Switchfoot 

This gospel song was released in 2000 in Switchfoot’s Learning to Breathe album. It was also featured in the movie, A Walk to Remember featuring Mandy Moore. This is a song about progress as it talks about that disparity of how a man is versus how a man should be. The world is imperfect but at the very end there is salvation. You have to “dare to move” to lift yourself up to progress and be better.

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