Editors' Notes Inspirational songs come in all shapes, sizes, and genres. You’ll encounter celebratory hard rock mingling with defiant hip-hop, peak-hour EDM rubbing shoulders with bubbly pop. There are even plenty of ballads as fragile as fine china. What’s more, the songs we find inspiring have many different purposes. More than a few are like rocket fuel powering us through sweaty workouts or late nights on the town; others have more personal aims, like pulling folks out of heartache or self-doubt. Some possess political dimensions, serving as soundtracks for social movements or pleas for peace and love in a world racked with strife. Yet all of them share a few vital traits. In addition to lyrics focused on perseverance and overcoming obstacles, each one boasts a riff, rhythm, or lead vocal that sounds as though it’s capable of physically elevating listeners to higher planes of existence.

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