“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson
It can be extremely irritating to be told “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” when you're in the throes of something you are sure might be the death of you — a bad breakup, getting fired, leg days at the gym, etc. Kelly’s song turns the expression into a rock anthem that everyone can appreciate.
“Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys
Ah, there’s nothing quite so angsty as unrequited love. And there’s nothing like angst to get the blood pumping. After the first few chords of this song by The Black Keys, you’ll be rocking out… and possibly sending immature texts to your ex.
“We are Young” by Fun. ft. Janelle Monáe
"Tonight, we are young/let’s set the world on fire/we can burn brighter than the sun." With lyrics like that, this song gives you the sense that you can conquer the world in the way only a 17-year-old thinks he can. It just makes you feel, well… young.
“Where Have You Been” by Rihanna
One of last year’s hottest dance anthems, “Where Have You Been” beckons your body to move to the beat. The lyrics? Well, they prove that only Rihanna can make uttering the same syllables over and over again worth listening to over and over again.
“Shake It Out” by Florence + The Machine
Although somewhat morose, the lyrics to “Shake It Out” are surprisingly liberating. You just gotta shake the devil off your back! We, like Florence, are ready to suffer and to hope. Okay, not so much suffer. But hope, yes, we’re on board with the hope.
“Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO
This song isn’t just for reruns of Jersey Shore or M&M commercials — it’s dynamite to work out to. We refer to exhibit A, the lyrics: “I work out, I work out.” Plus, it’s oddly impossible not to feel a strange combination of silly and sexy when listening to it.
“Levels” by Avicii
True, you have to sit through a good minute or two of instrumental before the lyrics kick in, but who cares? This song has clapping. Who doesn’t love a song with clapping? It’s subtitled “Good Feeling,” and that’s exactly what it gives you.
“Bangarang” by Skrillex ft. Sirah
For a song that largely makes no sense, “Bangarang” sure is motivating. Here’s what we know: Skrillex must have been a fan of the Robin Williams movie Hook, because “bangarang” was what Lost Boy leader Rufio yelled to rile up the gang. Hmm, it gets us all rowdy too. Who knew?
“N****s in Paris” by Jay-Z & Kanye West
Nary a song in history lends itself to pre-workout/pre-game adrenaline pumping than “N****s in Paris.” Obvious references to Michael Jordan and other sports superstars aside, half the lyrics are about balling “so hard.” When they hit the “don’t let me get in my zone” stride? We’re ready to lace up our shoes and go toe-to-toe with Kobe.
“Wild Ones” by Flo Rida ft. Sia
Flo Rida is famous for churning out club music and “Wild Ones” is no exception. The DJ spins this song and every clubgoer within a 10-mile radius finds their way to the dance floor. We’re right there with them, getting crazy, foolish and stupid. That’s just how we doo’z it.
More on the Grammy Awards
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How Michelle Obama landed a Grammy nomination
Grammys 2013: Bruce Springsteen and other oldies are still relevant
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