The Daily Gamecock

Playlist pick-me-up: music to motivate

<p>Courtesy of RCA Records Press</p>
Courtesy of RCA Records Press

Have you ever been overwhelmed with study and work and found yourself in need of a motivational pick me up? Here are eight songs that’ll pick you up and give you the motivation to carry on. Don’t worry — you won't find "Eye of the Tiger" on this list!

"Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)," Kelly Clarkson

This is one of the new millennium’s motivational songs. Kelly Clarkson’s powerful voice supplements the excitingly high-energy electronic dance music for an enticing combination. This conjoined with inspirational and empowering lyrics makes for the perfect motivational song for the stressed-out college student.

"What a Wonderful World," Louis Armstrong 

An oldie but a goodie, this song is perfect for those times you need both relaxation and motivation. The smooth jazz accompanying Louis Armstrong’s gravelly voice sets a mesmerizing tone. Unlike many of the other songs on this list, this song isn’t necessarily high-energy. Instead, this song gives you the courage to face the world and its hardships.

"Don’t Worry, Be Happy," Bobby McFerrin 

I could argue that this is the predecessor to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” (which also probably deserves a spot on this list), but this song takes on a different approach to the happiness angle. The song itself is whimsical but manages to go above and beyond in its music video featuring Robin Williams. And who doesn’t love Robin Williams?

"Stronger," Kanye West ft. Daft Punk 

“Stronger” is the 2007 hip-hop remix of Daft Punk’s “Better, Faster, Stronger” (which is also a fantastic song). I ultimately, however, feel Kanye West’s remix is arguably more motivational. He takes some of the best parts of the original song and adds a unique hip-hop flair, increasing the energy of the original song.

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Israel (IZ) Kamakawiwo’ole

This is not the original song sung by Judy Garland (which is also amazing). I may have just put this on the list because I’m from Hawaii and love IZ, but this man’s voice is haunting. His soothing vocals and rhythmic ukulele will bring you straight to the shores of the islands. The song is both uplifting and beautifully performed.

"Walking On Sunshine," Katrina and the Waves 

Try to not to smile while listening to this song — I dare you. With a quick and snappy beat, simple but catchy lyrics and uplifting use of brass instruments, this song is intrinsically designed to give you motivational joy. This is one of those songs that makes you want to dance when no one else is looking.

"Girl On Fire," Alicia Keys 

Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” is a song about personal strength, a message that resonates with the busy college student. The song presents an inspirational mix of new age vocals and electronic dance music and provides uplifting lyrics for the 21st century woman (and man). Finish everything like you’re on fire!

"We Are the Champions," Queen 

Choosing a Queen song for this list was hard (seriously, just listen to anything from Queen for quick motivation). Freddie Mercury was arguably one of the best vocalists of all time, and his lyrics make ample use of his range and skill. “We Are the Champions” is the most obviously inspirational song they wrote, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of their stellar performance. Seriously, the YouTube video for this song has 52 million views.