Continue Celebrating Women with These 10 Empowering Songs

Women’s History Month might be over, but does that mean we stop celebrating women? Absolutely not. 

One way to carry that energy throughout the year is by empowering yourself and the women around you with an amped up playlist. From Beyonce to Dolly Parton, these 10 songs break barriers by maintaining the same goal: redefining and empowering womanhood. 

“Like a Girl” by Lizzo

The only way to start this list off is with Lizzo, a cultural icon and the queen of self-love. Lizzo rose to fame in 2019 with her first number one hit “Truth Hurts.” But that’s not all… a short scroll through her discography reveals a long list of girl power anthems: “Good As Hell,” “Juice,” and “Soulmate” among many others. Being told that you do something “like a girl” has often been connotated with weakness, but Lizzo reminds us that femininity is powerful, and frankly, whatever you want it to be.

Empowering Lyrics: “So if you fight like a girl, cry like a girl / Do your thing, run the whole damn world / If you feel like a girl then you real like a girl / Do your thing, run the whole damn world”

“The Man” by Taylor Swift

In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Taylor Swift described her motive for “The Man” and the double standard she has faced in the music industry: “Having dealt with a few of them, narcissists basically subscribe to a belief system that they should be able to do and say whatever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want to. And if we—as anyone else in the world, but specifically women—react to that, well, we’re not allowed to. We’re not allowed to have a reaction to their actions.” 

Empowering Lyrics: "Wondering if I'd get there quicker / If I was a man / And I'm so sick of them coming at me again / 'Cause if I was a man / Then I'd be the man"

“WAP” by Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion

“WAP” was a cultural reset, earning its number one place on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and becoming the first female rap collaboration to debut at number one. While it’s certainly not PG, it allows women everywhere to reclaim their sexuality.

“WAP” sparked national criticism, most of which was rooted in misogyny, racism, and sexism. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson criticized the song on his show. “It’s aimed at young American girls — maybe your girls, your granddaughters — and what is it doing to them?” he said. 

It urges a conversation: why is sexually empowering women demonized? Some might argue that the more autonomy and choice a woman has, the less control a man does. Tucker Carlson certainly wouldn’t like that. 

Empowering Lyrics: “I don't cook, I don't clean / But let me tell you how I got this ring”

“Confident” by Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato asks the question that women everywhere have been thinking for decades: what’s wrong with being confident? In a patriarchy where confident men are “self-assured” and confident women are “bossy,” Lovato reminds listeners that confidence breaks barriers, and urges them to be unapologetically themselves.

Empowering Lyrics: “It's time for me to take it / I'm the boss right now / Not gonna fake it / Not when you go down / 'Cause this is my game / And you better come to play”

“Respect” by Aretha Franklin

The Queen of Soul gave quite the spelling lesson when she released her rendition of “Respect” in 1967. It reigned number one on Billboard charts for 12 weeks, and instantly became an anthem for the civil rights and women’s rights movements. 

Empowering Lyrics: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T / Find out what it means to me / R-E-S-P-E-C-T / Take care, TCB”

“Just Because I'm a Woman” by Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton explored double standards in her 1968 song, when reflecting on an argument with her husband: “When I was first married, Carl and I were very happy. Then eight months in he suddenly asked me whether I’d been with anyone else before we got together. I told him I had and he was so upset, he had a hard time getting over it. That’s why I wrote it: ‘My mistakes are no worse than yours, just because I’m a woman.’ Carl hates for me to tell the story, but I say to him, ‘I’ve got to tell the truth, don’t I?'” Parton believes the song didn’t receive much radio airplay because it was too focused on women’s liberation for her Country audience’s taste.

Empowering Lyrics: “Yes, I’ve made my mistakes / But listen and understand / My mistakes are no worse than yours / Just because I’m a woman”

“Nameless, Faceless” by Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett addresses her internet trolls in a dark realization of the dangers of being a woman. Barnett loosely quotes Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid’s Tale, "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them; women are afraid that men will kill them." While dealing with a heavier topic than some other choices on this list, Barnett’s tone yearns for a global realization of the deeply ingrained wounds of a patriarchal society. 

Empowering Lyrics: “I wanna walk through the park in the dark / Men are scared that women will laugh at them / I wanna walk through the park in the dark / Women are scared that men will kill them”

“The Pill” by Loretta Lynn

It is not common for Country singers to sing about injustice, but when they do, they are experts at messages that are sweet on the outside but tart when you bite! Loretta Lynn joins Dolly Parton in making it known that she is sick of her husband, and thus sick of having babies. Naturally, to appease her audience, she packages it in funny rhymes and metaphors, but her deeper message is bold. She proudly endorses birth control, which was still extremely taboo in 1975, especially for her predominantly-conservative listeners. “The Pill” was ultimately banned from Country radio airplay, but still reached Top Five, becoming her biggest Pop hit. 

Empowering Lyrics: “All these years I’ve stayed at home / While you had all your fun / And every year that’s gone by / Another baby’s come / There’s a gonna be some changes made / Right here on nursery hill / You’ve set this chicken your last time / ‘Cause now I’ve got the pill”

“God Is a Woman” by Ariana Grande

The power of women is unmatched- even godly, some might claim. Ariana Grande certainly made that claim in this seductive tribute, earning her “big dick energy” as fans have tweeted. She unapologetically reminds women that partners should be grateful to be in our presence, confidently singing "See if you deserve what comes next.”

Empowering Lyrics: “And I can be all the things you told me not to be (Yeah) / When you try to come for me, I keep on flourishing (Yeah) / And he see the universe when I'm the company / It's all in me”

“Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce

It’s hard to believe that there was ever a world in which Beyonce’s iconic 2011 chart topper didn’t exist. I mean, who hasn’t blasted this song on full volume at a middle school slumber party? With its unique rhythmic beats and equally innovative music video, “Run the World (Girls)” transcends time. Beyonce came through with the ultimate girl power anthem, empowering women everywhere that they do, in fact, run the world. 

Empowering lyrics: “This goes out to all the women getting it in, you on your grind….. / How we're smart enough to make these millions / Strong enough to bear the children (children) / Then get back to business”