Empowerment Anthems

I was reading an interesting article in the New Yorker the other day about the prevalence of headphones. The article, called “Headphones Everywhere,” talked about how headphones affect sound mixing, our interactions with other people, and even the types of music we chose to listen to.

I could probably go on at length about the way people tune out the world with their headphones or how much it bugs me when people miss instructions or traffic because they’re not paying attention. But I found that last piece to be a very original notion and I want to talk about it. The article said:

“…empowerment anthems—like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” Katy Perry’s “Roar,” Kanye West’s “Stronger,” and (no joke) the “Chariots of Fire” theme—are especially popular among headphone devotees. People like to stomp around to jams that instantly position them as scrappy and determined underdogs, overcoming tremendous odds….These days, people seem to be perpetually gearing themselves up for the epic battle of merely existing.”

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been listening to Owl City’s “Verge” on repeat lately, but for me that statement definitely rings true.

“Out on the verge of the rest of our lives tonight, top of the world and were’ dressed to the nines tonight. Edge of the earth and we’re touching the sky tonight, out on the verge of the rest of our lives.”

More than break up songs or passionate songs about love and betrayal (the classic sources of musical inspiration), the songs that seem to get me and my friends going are the ones that inspire us to live life to its fullest. Empowerment anthems are the beats that drive us and make us want to dance, they build us up from the opening notes, raising us higher and higher until we can’t help but give in to the crescendo.

And the article is right: they gear us up for the everyday, make us feel good when maybe we’re not feeling much of anything at all. Who doesn’t love it when their favorite song comes on the radio? When you’re stuck in traffic on your way to work in the morning, a good jam is exactly what you need to get going. Even if it’s to somewhere you’re dreading, the right beat can change your attitude.

So here’s a list of empowerment anthems that I’ve been listening to lately. Leave me some of  your favorites in the comments down below!

  1. Verge – Owl City
  2. Geronimo – Sheppard
  3. Fight Song – Rachel Platten
  4. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
  5. Battle Scars – Paradise Fears
  6. C’Mon – Kesha
  7. We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus
  8. Raise Your Glass – P!nk
  9. Hello – Martin Solveig
  10. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
  11. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
  12. I Love It – Icona Pop
  13. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
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