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Self-Empowerment Anthem

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You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow
— "Firework", Katy Perry

Let's face it, being a teenager is hard. With all of the pressure on you to succeed, plus the fact that you might be ugly, fat, closeted, transgender, a nerd, the child of Abusive Parents, someone with a dark past or different in any other way could completely destroy any ounce of confidence that you have.

And then, your favorite musicians come to the rescue, and put out optimistic feel-good-about-yourself songs that tell them that nothing can hold you back. They tell the listeners that they are beautiful, that they were born this way, You Are Better Than You Think You Are, and that it doesn't matter if they're not popular because Freaky Is Cool.

Can sometimes overlap with Pep-Talk Song and Female Empowerment Song.


  • Beyoncé: She's Queen Bey for a reason. One notable example is from her song "***Flawless", which contains excerpts of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's audio adaptation of "We Should All Be Feminists"
  • P!nk:
    • Pink's song "Raise Your Glass" is an anthemic song about how Freaky Is Cool.
    • Pink does a lot of these; "Perfect" and "Stupid Girls" are pretty good examples. The former doubles as a Pep-Talk Song, as she's not the only one being empowered.
  • Katy Perry:
    • "Firework"; the video makes it especially apparent. Throughout it, a group of people become confident about themselves (symbolized by lighting up like fireworks). Shown are a young girl with cancer, siblings with abusive parents, a gay couple, a pudgy girl, and a street magician.
    • "Rise" is a similar song with the same message of getting yourself on your feet no matter what.
  • Lady Gaga's "Born This Way". While it can be applied to almost any minority, including the disabled and homely, it's obvious target is those who are in sexual minorities.
  • "Mean" by Taylor Swift. The song's lyrics are basically a Take That! against a critic who claims that she can't sing, but in the video it shows several other people bullied because they're different, and the message essentially becomes "we're going to be famous even though you look down on us, but you're going nowhere because you're a jerkass".
  • "Dreams" by Van Halen. The song is empowering enough, but the music video sets it to some pretty incredible footage of the Blue Angels flying.
  • Glee not only covered several of these songs, but also had an original entitled "Loser Like Me".
  • An earlier example than those listed above, TLC's "Unpretty" is solely focussed on girls who have issues with their looks.
  • Christina Aguilera has "Beautiful", another one for people who don't like the way they look.
  • "More Beautiful You" by Johnny Diaz is Christian-oriented, but the message is basically "you're already beautiful".
  • "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Kelly Clarkson.
  • "We R Who We R" by Kesha celebrates being yourself despite haters.
  • "Born To Try" by Delta Goodrem celebrates taking choices in your life
  • "Brave New Girl" by Britney Spears celebrates taking control of your life.
  • "Fly" by Hilary Duff is a self empowerment song to the ninth degree.
  • Several examples from the Heavy Metal genre:
    • "Stand Up And Shout" and "We Rock" by Dio.
    • "Rock Hard, Ride Free" and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" by Judas Priest.
    • "Shout It Out" by Warlock.
    • "Break the Curse", "Heavy Metal Never Dies" and "H. M. Powered Man" by Iron Savior. Yes, the "H. M." stands for Heavy Metal.
    • "Stay Hungry" and "S. M. F." by Twisted Sister.
    • "Hellion" by W.A.S.P. (that is, if you are aspiring to be a hard-partying motorcycle-driving badass).
    • "Hold Onto Your Dream" by Stratovarius
    • "Breaking the Chains" by Dokken
    • The Disturbed album Immortalized has a few of these, including What Are You Waiting For? and The Light. What Are You Waiting For? also doubles as You Are Better Than You Think You Are.
    • "Jade" and "Hero" by X Japan are both this, directed at a person engaging in some form of self-harm (whom many believe to be both hide in a post-mortem "How Dare You Die on Me!" sense, and at people in general as well). The leaked lyrics of "Angel" and "LA Venus" seem to be similar, and this seems to be the general direction X Japan has taken as a band since 2010. "Born to be Free" is this about leaving a cult/repressive organization, referencing the singer's own experience in such.
  • "Innocent" by Voltaire, a song written for victims of bullying.
  • "Heard It All" by Emilie Autumn. It becomes Harsher in Hindsight when you find out what EA was going through when she wrote that song. Apparently, she didn't truly believe the message of that song applied to herself.
    • Emilie also has "What If".
  • "Top of the World" by Greek Fire.
  • "Skyscraper", "Warrior" and "Me, Myself & Time" by Demi Lovato.
  • "Can't Be Tamed," "The Climb," and "Flowers" by Miley Cyrus.
  • Imagine Dragons has "It's Time", "Radioactive", and a number of others.
  • Multiple songs off of Lostprophets' second album encourage the listener to stand up for themselves and take action in life, most notably "Make a Move" and "Start Something."
  • Fifth Harmony's "Bo$$" and "That's My Girl" are these, empowering the modern woman.
  • "Who Says" by Selena Gomez.
  • "Black Gold" by Esperanza Spalding.
  • Erasure did "Chains of Love" in 1988 as a call-to-arms for those in proscribed romances. Presumably Andy Bell was thinking mostly of gays.
  • The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song "Put Yourself First" is a Deconstructive Parody of this.
    Put yourself first, girl,
    Worry 'bout yourself.
    Wear fake eyelids, just for yourself.
    So when dudes see you
    Put yourself first.
    They'll be like damn, you're hot
    Let's buy a house in Portland.
  • "Odd One" by Sick Puppies is about an empowerment song about an "odd" youth who doesn't fit in.
  • Lizzo loves these. "My Skin" is a notable one from her early music, but "Boys" is also notable for being one for, well, boys.
  • Spanish band Taxi was essentially created for those. Among the best examples are "Grita" and "Tu oportunidad".
  • Álex Ubago encourages the viewer to leave behind those who obstruct him in "No te rindas".
  • "U Know What's Up" from Turning Red encourages the listener to reach their financial goals independently.


Video Example(s):


This is Me

The "freaks" of Barnum's show respond to society's rejection with a song of empowerment.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / GainingConfidenceSong

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