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Songs That Have Gotten Me Through Life

Updated on September 13, 2011

My Top Ten Songs to Pick Myself Up


Music has an amazing way of attaching to memories or changing your attitude about life. Different people have different musical tastes, and for that reason my list of songs that get me through rough patches of life may seem very strange, but these are the songs that work for me and keep me going.

Aside from my ten top personal songs for hard times, there are also lists of other songs that have significant personal meaning to me from different points in my life. Like many great songs, they can be hard to fit into one group or theme, but a few CDs with all of these old and new classics gives you plenty to chew on through the rough times.

It's amazing how music can carry you through, and these songs have helped me.

My Personal Top 10 Songs: The Ones That Really Carry Me Through Hard Times

  1. "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty. This song is the musical epitome of who I am, the stubbornness I need to get through life, and refusal to quit. I absolutely love the lyrics of this song: You can stand me up at the gates of Hell/But I won't back down/Gonna' Stand my ground/Won't be turned around/in a world that keeps on pushing me around/But I'll stand my ground, and I won't back down.
  2. "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen. One line sticks out above the others is "I'm sick of sitting around trying to write this book," in part because I'm a writer, but the entire song is great, and everyone's hit that time in their lives where everything seems stale.
  3. "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. This might be one for younger kids, but the fired up song is a winner for getting fired up and tempering that into effort.
  4. "Wherever I May Roam" by Metallica. One of my all time favorite songs from the Black Album, I definitely understand the line "Wherever I lay my head is home."
  5. "Lost in Hollywood" by System of a Down. This is a depressing song, and an odd choice for getting through hard times, but for some reason, it just strengthens me to keep going.
  6. "Turn the Page" by Bob Seger. This has long been one of my favorite songs. The message, the tone, the haunting voice, all of this comes together in an absolutely incredible song, and one that holds a great story and a philosophical message
  7. "Seize the Day" by Avenged Sevenfold. I refer to this as my "even out" song. No matter how terrible I feel, this song might not make me happy, but it stablizes me out.
  8. "Heard the World" by O.A.R. This is another of those songs that just hit me to the core, and I can listen to it over and over again to pick me up any time.
  9. "So Far Away" by Staind. The lyrics explain it all: "Now that we're here, it's so far away-all the struggle we thought was in vain. And all the mistakes one life contained, they all finally start to go away. And now that we're here it's so far away and I feel like I can face the day. I can forgive, and I'm not ashamed to be the person that I am today."
  10. "Loving the Alien" by Velvet Revolver. I don't know why this song works so much for me, but it does. Every time.

Songs to Get Fired Up

The "Fired Up" & "Fight On" Songs


The Fired Up & Fight On Songs

"The Boxer" Simon & Garfunkel

"Keep the Faith" Bon Jovi

"Simple Man" Lynyrd Skynyrd

"Another Bag of Bricks" Flogging Molly

"Devil's Dance Floor"

"What's Left of the Flag"

"My Hero" Foo Fighters

"In the End" Linkin Park

Just a Couple Travel Songs

The Travel & Break Free Songs


The Travel & "Break Free" Songs

"Running Down a Dream" Tom Petty

"Free Bird" Lynyrd Skynyrd

"Ramblin' Man" Allman Brothers

"I Feel Free" Eric Clapton

Blusey & Reflective Songs to Pick You Up


"Old Friend" The Allman Brothers

"Against the Wind" Bob Seger

"Turn" The Byrds

"Can't Find My Way Home" Blind Faith

"Touch of Grey" The Grateful Dead

"Old Friend" The Allman Brothers

"You Keep Me Hangin' On" Rod Stewart

"House of the Rising Sun" The Animals

"Lonely Road" Everlast

"Grace of God Goes I" Flogging Molly

"Run" Snow Patrol

"Dani California" Red Hot Chili Peppers

"Gangster's Paradise" Coolio

Sometimes a Little Angry Music Can Help

The "Good Angry" or "Screw You" Inspirational Songs


The "Good Angry" or "Screw You" Songs

"Already Gone" Eagles

"Anything Right" P.O.D.

"Far Behind" Candlebox

"You" Candlebox

"Float On" Modest Mouse

Songs That Just Work for Me in Life


Songs That Just Work for Me

"Dream On" Aerosmith - yes, Aerosmith, the sell outs. This is my dirty little secret, but I can't not love this one song

"Forget It" Breaking Benjamin

"Ripple" The Grateful Dead

"Gabriel's Mother's Highway Ballad #16 Blues" Arlo Guthrie

"Operator" Jim Croce

"One Thing" Finger Eleven

"Burning Bridges" Collective Soul

"Make You Feel Better" Red Hot Chili Peppers


"Dani California"

"Desert Rose" Sting

Meant to Live (for so much more) Video

One Thing Music Video

One More Great Song to Add

The song in the following video is one that has really helped me in the past couple years, when it seemed like everything was falling apart and there was no light at the end of the tunnel or silver lining or anything like that on the horizon. It is a Christian Rock song, so it's not for everyone, but I think the lyrics are absolutely beautiful regardless of belief. The song in the video is Jeremy Camp's "There Will Be a Day."

Jeremy Camp "There Will Be a Day"

What Are Your Songs to Get Thru Rough Patches of Life?

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    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

      Hi Jerry,

      Thank God for songs. If it wasn't for the song "Who Knew" by Pink I don't know how I would have ever made it through losing my friend to cancer but I did, ok so I have tears, but its cool, have a great day, I know I will.

    • Jerry G2 profile image

      Jerry G2 8 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Hi Dottie, thanks for the comment. It is amazing how sometimes just one or two songs can pull you through. "Seize the Day" by Avenged Sevenfold was huge for me, especially during the hardest time of my life. It wouldn't make me happy, but it "evened me out" when I was getting really unbalanced. Thanks for commenting!

    • profile image

      edward 8 years ago

      really helped me a lot!!

      more powers!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      each of us has his own soundtarck in our lives that helps us sometimes cope with our everyday struggle. by the way, I love the music links....

    • erin boote profile image

      erin boote 7 years ago from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

      Hi Jerry, I really liked the entire idea here, and share your love of music. I wholeheartedly agree with you that there are just certain songs or albulms, cds that can pull you through the rough patches and windy roads of life. I know I have my own list, and so this really hit home with me. Some great stuff listed there, especially the Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down. I'm new to this and published my first song/poem today if you'd like to check it out.. it's called And I Love You.. my name is Erin Boote, keep up these great music hubs and I'll be back!

    • profile image

      Val 6 years ago

      Thank you thank you thank you for you're hard times songs. The small joy of a hard time is you actually begin to see all the meaning in the lyrics behind these songs.

    • music messenger profile image

      music messenger 6 years ago

      Great hub and lots of good music. I also have a list of go-to songs that I have listened to off and on for many years. Great stuff. I have music reviews and info you might like. Stop by. I voted.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

      "it's my life" by billy joel and "another lullaby" sung by art garfunkel rev me up and calm me down respectively.

    • Love Life 888 profile image

      Love Life 888 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great insight into the power of music I have published a similar hub and feel that what you listen to has such a profound impact on your mood that it cant be overlooked.

      My favourite song that has got me through tough times is dont worry be happy.

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