Whether you are having a tough day or just need a little boost, there is arguably nothing more effective than a good fighting playlist!
Here are 20 inspirational fighting songs which feature both physical and metaphorical fighting to give you medicine for your motivation. Each song has been chosen specifically for the fire they start in the pit of your stomach and includes a variety of rock, pop, rap, and worldwide favorites, so there is something for everyone.
1. Rachel Platten – ‘Fight Song’
The motivational sound of 2015.
Rachel Platten stormed charts with her’ Fight Song’. The lyrics are about positivity and believing in yourself and how even the smallest things can make a massive impact.
“Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion.”
The music video guarantees goosebumps! Featuring people from all walks of life, showing how strong they can be.
2. Elton John – ‘Saturday nights Alright (For Fighting)’
Elton sings about a disregard for authority getting drunk, and looking for trouble. He warns adults not to discipline and correct him. This is about the excitement in rebellion enjoyed in youth and quickly became a classic!
“Oh, don’t give us one of your aggravation
We had it with your discipline
Oh, Saturday nights alright for fighting
Get a little action in”
Released in 1973, it featured as the first release of his 7th album and has been covered multiple times.
3. Kelly Clarkson – ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’
Kelly Clarkson’s answer to a broken heart, ‘Stronger’ has sold over five million copies and celebrates the strength to pick yourself up and dust yourself off after the end of a relationship.
With just the right amount of anger, she uses powerful lyrics and her incredible vocal talent to thank her ex-partner for ending the relationship and making her stronger.
“You tried to break me, but you see
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,
Stand a little taller,
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter”
The music video features fans dancing along to the catchy tune finished by a flash mob dancing with Kelly herself and brings instant joy!
4. Beastie Boys – ‘Fight For Your Right’
The song that made The Beastie Boys superstars, ‘Fight For Your Right’ was initially a satire on frat boys and their lifestyle. The lyrics detail the inconveniences of teenage life, like having to go to school and being caught smoking, in a really humorous way.
“Fight for your right to party” is the message, and while originally a lighthearted swipe at teenage life, it represents the fight against authority that is so prevalent at that age.
5. H.E.R – ‘I Can’t Breathe’
In support of one of the biggest fights for the equality of our time, ‘I Can’t Breathe’ is a political protest against police violence against the black community.
The music video is moving beyond words, naming the innocent black men and women who have been killed and features scenes from the Black Lives Matter protest.
“Starting a war, screaming “peace” at the same time
All the corruption, injustice, the same crimes
Always a problem if we do or don’t fight
And we die. we don’t have the same night”
The lyrics speak for themselves in the simplest way.
6. Linkin Park – ‘What I’ve Done’
At first, What I’ve Done’ is not an obvious choice for a song about fighting but carries a critical message about fighting yourself, overcoming your internal battles, cleaning your own slate, and ultimately, forgiveness.
“I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
And let go what I’ve done”
The official music video is just as powerful. It shows the mistakes of humanity; poverty, racism, war, climate change, and the fight to overcome them. It’s impossible not to be moved.
7. Survivor – ‘Eye Of The Tiger’
This classic Rocky’s track is an amazing remedy for lack of motivation.
Written specifically for the movie, it parallels Rocky’s physical and mental battle to train for the big fight. The song’s introduction has now become iconic.
The message of perseverance and fighting for the win has aged really well and continues to inspire today.
“It’s the eye of the tiger
Its the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival”
8. Christina Aguilera – ‘Fighter’
Christina sings about how someone leaving her life made her stronger. Although the lyrics can apply to a relationship breakdown, Christina was actually singing about her difficult and abusive childhood and how the lack of support eventually encouraged her to fight for success.
“Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter”
‘Fighter’ has been popular since its release in 2002 and continues to be an anthem for empowerment.
9. David Guetta Ft. Sia – ’Titanium’
A popular dance track, the lyrics in ‘Titanium’ give a clear message of resilience.
Using bullets as a metaphor for sharp words which ricochet from a thick titanium skin, this song isn’t just about shaking off criticism and harsh insults but about understanding the brutal power words can have.
“Machine guns, firing at the ones who run” gives a darker interpretation of those who run from this kind of criticism are the ones the attackers will shoot at.
“But I can’t hear a word you say
I’m talking loud not saying much
I’m criticized but all your bullets ricochet
You shoot me down, but I get up”
David Guetta and Sia cleverly built this message of fighting back with resilience against cruel words into the lyrics.
10. Destiny’s Child -‘ Survivor’
Released in 2001, ‘Survivor’ is about rising up and being the better person in the face of conflict. These lyrics, in particular, make it a motivational masterpiece:
“I’m not gonna give up,
I’m not gonna stop,
I’m gonna work harder”
Rumour has it that this song was written after the group was compared to the television show ‘Survivor’, because of the changes in the members.
11. Rihanna – ‘Breakin’ Dishes’
One of Rihanna’s more hidden gems, this song about an adulterous partner, is oozing with rage.
The lyrics are about throwing things in an angry temper. The song was never officially released as a single but in 2008, Breakin’ Dishes’ still reach number 4 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs.
“I’m breakin’ dishes up in here
I ain’t gonna stop
Until I see police lights
I’m a fight a man tonight”
Despite the implied violence, the song is really catchy and an effective motivational tune!
12. Limp Bizkit – ‘Break Stuff
Limp Bizkit released Break Stuff’ in 2000, and it contains some angry (and explicit) lyrics. It describes one of those days when you are just in a bad mood.
“I don’t really know why
but I want to justify
Ripping someone’s head off”
The theme of physically fighting and general violence continues through the song, and it’s a good song to blast if you need to blow off some adrenaline. The music video is a star-studded affair, with cameos from Eminem. Snoop Dog. Dr. Dre and Korn’s frontman, Jonathan Davis.
13. Eminem – ‘Till I Collapse’
Eminem has so many songs about fighting, and ‘Till I Collapse’ is a sublime example of a song about motivation, dedication, internal struggle, and fighting against yourself to succeed.
Eminem has been very outspoken about his hardships in life, and much of his music is dedicated to inspiring others, and this is no exception.
“Get the motivation to not give up and not be a quitter,
No matter how bad you wanna fall on your face and collapse”
This song was featured on the 2002 album, The Eminem Show. And despite never being released as a single, it has been streamed over a massive one billion times.
14. Carl Douglas – ‘Kung Fu Fighting’
‘Kung Fu Fighting’ is a famous 1998 song about martial arts. It was covered in 2019 by Cee Lo Green for the movie Kung Fu Panda, with adjusted and more politically correct lyrics.
Cee Lo’s version sings not just about kung fu fighting but the link between martial arts training and the wider effect it has on your life.
“Everybody is Kung-Fu fighting
Your mind becomes fast as lightning
Although the future is a little bit frightening
It’s the book of life you’re writing”
This version is about believing in yourself and caters to a younger audience.
15. Bring Me The Horizon – ‘Throne’
For lovers of the rock genre, this is a must-listen. The lyrics sing about being beaten down and using this to build yourself back up.
Written about bullying, this sends an inspirational message of strength to victims.
“So you can throw me to the wolves
Tomorrow I will come back
Leader of the whole pack “
16. Public Enemy – ‘Fight The Power’
As the name suggests, this is about fighting against power and oppression, delivered in a hip-hop style rap.
‘Fight The Power” was used in the soundtrack of the 1989 comedic drama ‘Do The Right Thing,’ about underlying racial tensions ending in violence.
“Fight the power
We’ve got to fight the powers that be.”
17. Florence and The Machine – ‘Kiss With a Fist’
While many suggest that this is a song about domestic violence, Florence maintains that the physical blows are metaphors for words and insults.
Short and vicious, this is an amazing song to blow off steam to.
“I broke your jaw once before
I spilled your blood upon the floor
You broke my leg in return
So sit back and watch the bed burn”
18. Disturbed – ‘A Reason To Fight’
David Draiman’s stunning vocals give this beautiful song about fighting addiction an emotional element. It tugs on the heartstrings of anyone who has witnessed someone suffer from a drug or drink addiction, and the lyrics so eloquently rouse a fighting spirit for sufferers while making the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
“Don’t let it take your soul
Look at me. take control
When knowing to fight this war
This is nothing worth dying for
Are you ready to begin?
This is a battle that we are gonna win”
The music video has someone trapped inside a glass bottle, finally escaping smashing the bottle, and going home. It’s a powerful message about fighting your demons and seeking support.
19. Joe Esposito – ‘You’re The Best Around’
No fighting playlist would be complete without homage to The Karate Kid! This song was used for the fight scene in the first movie, which had everyone on their feet.
About self-belief and being strong enough to chase your dreams, ‘You’re The Best Around’ remains an inspirational favorite.
“Fight ’til you drop
Never stop, can’t give up
‘Til you reach the top (FIGHT!)
You’re the best in town (FIGHT!)
Listen to that sound
A little bit of all you got,
can never bring you down”
20. Pat Benatar – ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’
Pat Benatar sings about someone trying to break her heart. This empowering song is about resilience and getting back up again, but also with a nod to the brutality of love and heartbreak.
“You come on with it, come on
You don’t fight fair
But that’s okay, see if I care
Knock me down, it’s all in vain
I get right back on my feet again”
Selling over one million copies, this was Benatar’s first top-10 hit and used in multiple films and television series, such as Shrek Forever After 1, John Tucker Must Die, The Vampire Diaries, and Miami Vice.
So there you have it.
Twenty songs about fighting that would fit right into an inspirational fighting playlist next time you feel a little low, angry, or need a motivational pick-up!