Songs to raise your spirit

We hear plenty of bad news every day. What we need is something to raise our spirits, inspire us, and make us feel better.

I’ve always turned to music for an emotional boost. Part of it comes from years of performing in choirs and musicals. Most of it comes from how music makes me feel. It drives me through workouts, sets the soundtrack for my novels, and keeps me focused at work. In difficult times, music inspires me to keep pushing.

Here are some of the songs that raise my spirit. They might inspire you too.

“Keep The Fire,” Kenny Loggins

Yacht rock? Not where I was in the fall of 1979.

When I won employee of the month at Carl’s Jr., my prize was the cassette tape of my choice. I chose Keep The Fire because it kept me inspired through a difficult time in my life. The title track became my personal anthem. The lines, “I’ve made up my mind, I’ll give you more than you’ve asked for” reminded me to keep pushing and never give up no matter how hard things get. Since then, I’ve owned Keep The Fire in every format from vinyl to digital.

“Kyrie,” Mr. Mister


Another song written off as cheesy, but one I found inspirational at a time of great change. In 1985, I graduated college and got my first full-time technical writing job. The following year, my father died, and I moved to Orange County. It was a time of endings and beginnings, great fears and great possibilities, and a sense that my life was pushing forward.

“Kyrie” fit the spirit of that time for me. It was a song of resolve, a decision to head in the direction life was taking me, and a willingness to explore the world ahead. This is why I mentioned this song in my novel Amiga.

“This Is Me,” Keala Settle and the cast of The Greatest Showman

This brings us to 2018 and the sense of powerlessness and rejection many of us feel. It seems that the circle of people considered worthy to society is getting smaller and more of us are getting shut out. I also worry that my granddaughter might be rejected for who she is.

But then I crank up this song, and I believe again. It reminds us that all of us have value, and we must refuse to accept the scorn others heap on us. We don’t have to hide in the dark, and we can have our moment in the sun. “We are warriors” indeed.

What songs inspire you? Post them in the comments.