Change is a part of life, but it isn’t easy to deal with in many instances. Music is a great way to deal with our feelings, and it can help us get in touch with how we truly feel.
When you are going through change and having trouble, play these songs about change for inspiration!
1. Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel wrote this song when he was experiencing a rut in his professional career. He decided that he needed to change his life. He understood that even if he would make the journey himself and strike out independently, he had to try. His career required a new direction, and his song reminds people that if you’re struggling to make hard decisions, you can make it through. Change may be challenging, but we have to keep trying. As a result of his effort, many people listened to his music again, and his career had a revival.
2. 100 Years – Five For Fighting
The lyrics in this song show that life is temporary, and we should enjoy the time. Don’t stay in the past, but instead move on to the next phase of your life, embrace change and move on. The song has inspired many people to create a bucket list and experience as much of life as possible. Because of this song, people have begun to live their lives to the fullest and embrace their time here. Others have been inspired to create memories with loved ones and be more present overall.
Consider next: Best songs about missing loved ones
3. Change – Taylor Swift
Taylor is more known for her songs about breakups, revenge, and taking the world by storm with her catchy music. She does, however, have compelling pieces with meaningful lyrics that inspire truth and love while never abandoning who you are and what you believe.
There have been many interpretations about this song, but Taylor has said she was inspired to write this song when she signed to the minor label in Nashville. She didn’t know if it would have a fighting chance. However, she completed the piece the day after she won the Horizon Award, and the song is considered proof that you should embrace it when you need a change. Even if something doesn’t seem possible, it doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance.
Consider next: Great songs about betrayal to listen to
4. Change – Christina Aguilera
Christina’s music has never failed to inspire people or go after challenging issues. Her song “Change” reminds us that we still aren’t free and that we need to embrace change and deal with the fact that whether people want it or not, it’s coming, and all we can do is handle the situation presented to us. Freedom is something that many take for granted, and in this song, she sings that it hasn’t been achieved like people think it has.
Next: Best songs about freedom
5. That’s How You Change The World – Newsboys
Everyone dreams of change at some point in their life. We see things that break our hearts. The minor actions, however, can cause a significant difference in people’s lives. This song shows that you can help people change the world no matter how small the gesture is. By embracing change, you can inspire others to want to change the world as well.
The song shows various things that need to be addressed, with people looking at it as if they are seeing poverty for the first time. Slowly the video shows people beginning to understand what is going on and wanting to provide the change that needs to take place. If everyone were willing to give a slight change, the world would improve astronomically as a result, and the good in people would shine through from within.
Next up: Best songs about dreams and dreaming
6. What About Now – Daughtry
A popular choice from the last couple of decades, Daughtry has soulful crooning and great messages in their songs. Does anyone remember “Home“? The band was charming, but they had an excellent message for people and “What About Now” was no exception.
Another song that can be interpreted a few ways, most think this is about saving a relationship. Others believe that it’s about needing to change the world. Either way, the song screams that change is coming and asks the question, what about today?
Repeating the question, he sings, what about now? The song repeats the message that things need to change and that people need to be open to receiving it instead of being frightened. It pushes, and while the song never feels like it’s going too far, it does let you know that times are changing, and quickly at that.
7. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
Sometimes we never know what is coming and people can push and take from us. Everyone can deal with issues that hurt, and you might experience trouble when embracing change. This song can help you stand up and embrace the change you are trying to adopt. Just because you face difficulty when realizing things need to change doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. Instead of giving up and letting the situation defeat you, take the strength from inside yourself to continue fighting as hard as they can to change the case for the better.
8. Closing Time – Semisonic
Everyone knows this song. With its catchy tune and meaningful lyrics, we have all hummed it at one point or another. No matter what you are facing, when you have decided to leave the situation and embrace that change, it can be scary, painful, and sometimes present a huge emotional upheaval. But, only by moving past the pain can the new dreams you have for your life make themselves evident. This song pairs well with the best songs about pain.
It is challenging to learn because moving past pain isn’t easy, and it is an emotionally draining process. However, when you manage to do it, you take a step for yourself in the right direction and ensure that you have a better future.
9. Stronger – Britney Spears
If you have watched the video for this song, it begins with Britney walking up to the guy she’s seeing who has another girl draped all over him. Instead of freaking out, she says “whatever” and walks right by him. Throughout the song, she belts that she is more substantial and better for leaving. A breakup can be a significant life change, and if you find yourself in that situation, it can be scary, but by dealing with the change, you can move on and be a better person as a result.
A powerful anthem for women, the video has Britney kicking chairs, driving through the rain, and dancing like there is no tomorrow. It inspired many women to be more assertive in their convictions and become better at leaving and knowing what they want and need for themselves and their future.
10. Wide Awake – Katy Perry
If you have gone through pain in your life and need a song about moving on, add this track to your playlist. Katy wrote this song at a challenging point in her life, and it illustrates how we can go through happiness and unbearable pain, but we have to let go and move on. Throughout the song, she speaks about having a life so sweet and then falling back down to Earth and hitting the concrete. Feeling low and choosing not to stay there, she finds her inner strength and sings that she is now awake and understands everything.
Following her example, you should rise above the pain and let go. It will take time, and you will need to heal. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be done right away, but your heart will be able to mend over time. By doing that, you embrace your future, and you can experience true joy.
11. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson
In life, we can get stuck in ruts and never change. We may be afraid of it, not wanting to rock that boat or take risks. But the truth is, if we do that, we become stagnant, living the same dull day over and over. Over time that can make you sad with your life, and feelings of sadness may overtake you. You should never let that happen to you.
Breakaway is about changing your life and making a significant move. That can be the terrifying thing you have never done, but if you do nothing, nothing happens. If you try something, the best thing in your life could happen. It may not, but at least you know you had the heart to try.
12. This Is Me – Keala Settle
It can be not very comforting to show the world who you are. More so if you feel everyone is against you. This is me is a song that shows us that we should embrace who we are and, as the music continues, those afraid of change and speaking out their truth.
In perfect unison, they cry out that the crowd is witnessing who they are, and instead of changing into what the public wants, they will continue to be who they are while embracing the change of loving themselves. When they embrace themselves and finally show the world who they are, they understand that they have each other no matter what. That is a beautiful lesson for people to learn.
13. Castle On The Hill – Ed Sheeran
“Castle On The Hill” is a song about a man becoming a famous star and then going back home to see how his loved ones have changed and how people have grown apart as they have gotten older. The song resonates with people because people change and grow apart as life goes on, and we have to accept it for what it is. The music has inspired many, but it also shows people that just because you get older doesn’t mean that you have to lose friendships if you don’t want to. It just takes a little effort to try and keep old friends. Though as the song shows, it’s alright if you drift apart naturally as well.
Next read: Best songs about home all time
14. Grow As We Go – Ben Platt
Ben Platt has sung a truly saddening piece of music. It’s about someone begging their love to stay, and they plead that the other person just let the change happen. Pleading for the relationship and fighting against growing apart and embracing changing together, the song will tug at your heart as the music gets more intense. He has moments where he stares the camera down, and his jaw twitches, letting you know that he’s begging. The video fades with Ben blinking back tears and leaves you feeling like you have just gone through the relationship yourself and wanting to hug him for being so raw.
15. Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
“Landslide” is a song about how people change as they grow older, and it will be frightening at first, but the plethora of changes we go through are a part of life. As we grow and change, the experiences that we go through will make sense as we get older—singing that by the end, everything will be okay offers inspiration to those that feel lost.
When we grow up, there are many times when we feel lost, hurt, and alone. This song can help you feel as if everything will be alright and show you that while change is necessary, it can make things easier and positively change your life.
16. Good Riddance – Green Day
Also known as the “Time Of Your Life”, this song has made its way into movies, graduations, and podcasts. The song is about moving on and accepting that every experience will end at some point. But looking back on the knowledge and having fond memories while moving on is how you will embrace the future.
A great example is a high school. It doesn’t last forever, though; to many, it feels like it will. Eventually, it ends, and it’s time for you to move on and be ready for the next chapter in your life. When you move on and embrace the next adventure of your life, you will see that the experiences, in the beginning, serve as a stepping stone for you to begin the necessary steps to growing up.
Instead of thinking back on it negatively, look back with fond memories of friendships, learning, and letting yourself grow. Because of these trials, you are now the person you are, and they help you become the person you are meant to be.
17. Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve
The Verve had many hits, but this was their most significant. The music is impressive, the lyrics are meaningful, and you sing along every time. While most will remember this song from the movies that it’s been in, it remains in their minds because the lyrics are about people’s ability to change and benefit them. Appearing in videos, media, and other areas resonate with people because it inspires change and deals with it effectively. Though change is scary, it isn’t always a bad thing that has to affect you significantly. Change can be small as well and affect you on a tinier scale.
18. The Scientist – Coldplay
A popular staple at graduations everywhere, it is a song about not being able to change. The man realizes that he lost the love of his life because of his attention to the changes going on in his life, and she leaves. When he realizes he wants her back, he attempts to tell he how he feels through song. Another great lesson for people to learn. In our lives, if we get so wrapped up with things like fighting change, we can lose sight of what matters.
19. New York Minute – Don Henley
Life is short but precious. In “New York Minute”, the song clarifies that we need to take life and enjoy everything we can while appreciating it at the same time. Singing that we must love the people we love before we lose our chance is a song that makes you think about what matters in life. Because we have so much going on day by day, it is easier than we think to lose sight of our family and friends. Some go through life thinking there is always more time. Instead of putting things off, spending time with loved ones and seeing life as a gift is more important.
20. Burning Gold – Christina Perri
Christina Perri is another singer who has great talent and songs that truly mean something. In “Burning Gold”, the music is centered around understanding that each of us has the power to change our lives for the better.
Sometimes, however, we can forget that and get trapped in a negative cycle. We need to be able to understand and recognize our ability to rise and embrace it. It can be hard to do that when we get stuck in negativity and want to stay where we are, but we need to rise beyond it and continue to do our best for ourselves.
“Burning Gold” is a song that has inspired many people with depression and anxiety to continue to try their best and keep trying no matter how challenging the situation seems. We experience many painful things in our lives, but we cannot let those situations steal our lives and our joy. We must fight not to stay down.
21. I Am Changing – Jennifer Hudson
When you can see the result of change before it happens, it will be much easier to know why you’re attempting to be different. The song is about power and taking it back. Instead of hating yourself, this song is about love and acceptance, but for yourself. Many times in life, we abuse ourselves with negative words and actions, and it does nothing except harm our spirit. Though it is painful to work through the emotions that make us feel down about ourselves, in doing so, you will experience what it is like to be happy.
The song inspires people who have been through disappointments, but it was also a shining light for those that have been too hard on themselves for too long, letting them know that they should love themselves instead.
22. Interlude: Moving On – Paramore
Sometimes people hurt us, and we have to make a change and move on. Interlude is a song about knowing when you get hurt and understanding that when we get hurt, we can act out in ways that we usually wouldn’t. Instead of damaging ourselves, this song tells us to ignore the person causing us pain and move on instead. It inspires people to move on instead of drowning in negative emotions. That isn’t an easy task, but it can be accomplished. When you succeed, you are a stronger person at the end of it.
23. Hold On – Wilson Phillips
“Hold On” is another song that has inspired many not to give up and to keep pushing through. Sometimes we are stuck in situations, and we don’t have the skill or the power to change and get better. The song says that we should wait for a moment, and the change will occur on its own. There are many times in life that we can’t control the outcome of something, and waiting and letting it happen naturally teaches us that sometimes the smartest thing to do is wait and trust yourself. Change can help us grow and leave the negative behind, and in many cases, it is well worth waiting for.
24. Tonight, Tonight – Smashing Pumpkins
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and hard work. “Tonight, Tonight” inspires people to understand that while they may feel that change can be difficult, they should still strive to create positive changes. Even when it feels too daunting, each person should still try. People don’t want to wait, and in many cases, they change, and they want it now.
While some change is instant, some aren’t, and you have to try. However, as the song goes on, it explains that there is another type of change as well. That type of change is the time that can happen within a single night and can completely alter your entire life.
25. My Life – Billy Joel
This is a tune we know well. Billy Joel was such a driving force when this song came into play that people paid attention. The song tells us that there are times that you want to change your life positively, but that only comes after you have understood that you can’t live the way others want you to. When it comes to songs about change, this is an excellent option because it tells us to forget others’ expectations of you and instead live up to your own. Give up someone else’s dream for you and follow your heart and where it leads you.
26. Peace Train – Cat Stevens
The 60s were an exciting time, and they were strongly embodied with a theme that could be beneficial—no hate, just love. After those years, Cat Stevens released this song, helping continue the message that society could change. The hope was that the music would inspire people to be better and that the future could be just as peaceful as the past. The song encourages people to remember that we are all different with a soothing melody, but that doesn’t make anyone less deserving. By coming together and embracing change, the world would be a sweeter place to live in.
27. One Man Can Change The World – Big Sean
When you know the inspiration behind this song, it becomes so much more inspirational and sweet. Big Sean’s grandmother was his biggest inspiration, and she proved time and again to be his biggest fan, always supporting him no matter what. The song is a tribute to a woman who was not only great, but she was one of the very first black female captains during World War Two, and she came home from the war with a master’s degree. After that, she decided to become a Detroit police captain until she retired. The song inspires other people to reach for the stars no matter what. It wasn’t easy for his grandmother to fight and get her way, but she did and with dignity. No matter your dreams or where your passion lies, embrace the changes in your own life and let them take you somewhere genuinely remarkable.
28. Waiting On The World To Change – John Mayer
Most people associate John’s music with crooning and, in most cases, not expecting him to have a serious song. This tune was released in 2006, and it was meant as a wake-up call. The song laments that we have a world that is in terrible shape, but no one stands for anything. Frustrated at the generation for doing nothing, he sings that the world is only getting worse and we should stand up and do something.
The song slowly gets more severe as he sings, and the song pleads for people to stand up and make changes to the world instead of doing nothing. The tune asserts that the world is unfair and that the system is wrong too. The best thing that we can hope to achieve is to come together and change the world we see into something better.
29. We Are The World – USA For Africa
We are the world reminds listeners across different cultures that we are all responsible for changing the world around us and that we need to deal with change. It is not a hope that people need to strive for; it’s a responsibility. The song is inspiring because many people see what is around them, but they don’t care. The music reminds everyone quite subtly that you should care because you are responsible for helping to create change as well. Imagine for a moment if everyone stood up and began fighting for a difference in the world. It would be a much better place. As far as songs about change go, this one is something that everyone should hear.
30. Changes – 2Pac
Inspiring and still relevant today, 2Pac rapped about the issues that still cause harm and sadness in the world. Released in 1999 after his death, he sang about racism, brutality, and how unstable the world is. Urging people to change and look past their old ways so that the world can find peace, his lyrics are still quoted by many daily and inspire people to stand up and make a change. Peace is something that many singers aspire to inspire in our hearts, but 2Pac has such heart and soul in his lyrics that he managed to stand apart from the others.
31. Break Away – The Beach Boys
Change can be more accessible when we know why we are trying and what we are fighting for. For many, leaping is scary because it’s unknown, and because of that, we stay in the same place. When we take a chance and try to make a change, we can understand how to leave the pain of the past experiences behind and move on from it to gain the opportunity to have a better life for the future.
It encourages people to make the conscious choice to be happy and live their best life instead of being downtrodden and sad. It’s important to remember that it is okay to be unhappy; the key is not to remain miserable and let it eat you until you feel nothing but that sadness. By letting go of the pain and the negativity, you can experience happiness instead. The song inspires people to embrace change and remember that your future can change with a simple outlook.
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32. Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
We can all get stuck in a bad rut that is so bad it seems like nothing will ever change, and we have no opportunities in sight. However, we should never give up on the chance and hope that we can experience something better. That is what this song is about. It sings that if you have a life where you are waiting for something better and willing to do what you need to abandon that chaos, you will be surprised at how your life changes. The song is meant to give hope to people who feel lost and inspire you to find your inner power. This is one of the great songs to wake up to in the morning because of it’s empowerment theme.
When we can find our inner strength, there isn’t any change that we can’t face, and we come out a better person because we are more in tune with ourselves, and we get a better sense of who we indeed are inside. That is one of the best things that we could ever do for ourselves.
33. One Way Ticket – Carrie Underwood
In “One Way Ticket” Carrie sings about how, when nothing in your life is going to plan, you have the power to change things. It encourages people to see beyond the current circumstances and ensure that you are still trying to improve your life. No matter how difficult your situation will get, you should never give up and let it defeat you.
As her song continues, you hear the ultimate message that it’s alright to let go of the past while welcoming a new and brighter future and that it’s an essential part of life. No one can move on and experience happiness if they are stuck in the past.
While Underwood isn’t a Reggae singer, the song itself follows the theme of some of the best Reggae songs ever, which you should check out next!
34. The Times They Are A-Changin – Bob Dylan
No list or playlist of songs would be complete without this musical icon. In the song, Bob tells a different story with each verse; however, there is one message throughout the song’s entirety. Change is constant, and it is coming. Nothing stays the same, and you can’t expect it to. Life is short, and things will constantly change no matter what you do. The song encourages people to remember that even though things appear one way now, they will appear very different in the future.
Consider next: Best songs with great storytelling
35. A Change Would Do You Good – Sheryl Crow
The only way to avoid hearing this song would be to live under a rock because Sheryl Crow was the one to listen to in the nineties. While the song has an unconventional, inspirational method, each verse leads to something specific and speaks about how we need to change. The first verse is about her music producer, the second a worldwide famous singer.
Her third verse is a reference to herself. The song alludes quite clearly that everyone needs to change at some point in their life, and we need to reevaluate ourselves. This lets us consider how to move forward safely and without losing who we are in the process.
36. Changes – 3 Doors Down
Some believe this song is about depression; others believe it is about moving through life. Whatever you think, this is a good song about needing to change, what happens when you do and how you can handle it effectively.
Making a change isn’t easy, and it doesn’t matter if that change is a new relationship, moving, or things of that nature. It is still scary facing the unknown.
The thing to focus on is that it isn’t wrong to experience change. It’s natural and if you feel alone, remember that you aren’t. Some people love you. Embrace the feelings that you have because at the end of it, you will come out of it so much stronger than you thought you could be, and you will be better at dealing with the challenges you face. Never let yourself drown in the negative emotions, however. Rise above them and be stronger than the negative.
37. Change – Good Charlotte
Everyone remembers Good Charlotte, right? They burst onto the scene and instantly had fans everywhere belting out their music at the top of their lungs. They have been featured in web series, movies and other artists have praised them for their innovation.
Change is a song about loving someone who doesn’t love you back. That has happened to many of us in our lives. You can’t change how you feel, and many songs about unrequited love can be a part of life. The only solution you have is to remember that you are responsible for yourself, and you have to move on. If you are not able to do this, the only thing you will experience is pain.
Moving on can be challenging, but you should remember, when you embrace change and move on, that is when your life can truly begin.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.