The future of music

30 Best Songs About Hope

December 12, 2023
Songs about hope

I’ve curated a selection of the best songs about hope, each piece a beacon of light offering comfort and inspiration during challenging times.

This article explores the power of music to uplift spirits and renew a sense of hope in our hearts.

Top songs about hope

  • Curtis Mayfield – “Move on Up”
  • Aloe Blacc – “Green Lights”
  • Bon Jovi – “Keep the Faith”
  • Des’Ree – “You Gotta Be”
  • Natasha Bedingfield – “Hope”
  • John Lennon – “Imagine”
  • Arlo Parks – “Hope”
  • The Killers – “All These Things That I’ve Done”
  • London Grammar – “Big Picture”
  • Harry Styles – “Fine Line”

1. Curtis Mayfield – “Move on Up

Let’s start with an absolute boost of positivity and one of the best songs about hope.

This timeless hit by Curtis Mayfield was released on his debut album 1970, and it became one of his signature songs.

In Move on Up, the singer is referring to a child and giving advice on how to deal with tough situations. He suggests that everything will turn out fine in the end and that it’s important to just keep going.

As the lyrics suggest:

“Just move on up
To a greater day
With just a little faith, if you put your mind to it
You can surely do it

2. Aloe Blacc – “Green Lights

In his 2011 track, the American Grammy Award winner Aloe Blacc talks about „having green lights all the way“.

It’s one of those feel-good songs that will immediately make you feel hopeful and positive.

Sometimes you just need to turn around and notice all the good things around you.

“Something special happened today
I got green lights all the way
With no big red sign to stop me
No traffic jam delay

3. Bon Jovi – “Keep the Faith

We continue with the songs of hope that will keep you motivated.

Released in 1992, the whole “Keep the Faith” album marked a new era for Bon Jovi.

Accordingly, the song “Keep the Faith” has this fresh, hopeful energy, along with the lyrics that convey a universal message: keep the faith.

Everyone will find their own personal meaning in those words.

“Faith: you know you’re gonna live thru the rain
Lord you got to keep the faith
Now you know is not too late
Oh you got to keep the faith

4. Des’Ree – “You Gotta Be

“You Gotta Be” by Des’Ree is such a simple song, yet it feels so universal.

After all, the truth usually is simple, and you have to keep your head up and release your fears, as the song suggests.

Released in 1994, this R&B hit spent 30 weeks in the US Top 40, and it still remains popular around the world.

“You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day.”

5. Natasha Bedingfield – “Hope

„Remember morning always comes
As night surrenders to the sun
No matter how dark it may become
Don’t stop your light from shining on

This inspirational pop song of hope talks about how important it is to believe in yourself and keep going no matter what.

In fact, Natasha Bedingfield recorded Hope to help raise funds for community mental health organizations.

With this song, the singer wanted to emphasize the importance of mental health, but also express that no one has to be alone.

6. John Lennon – “Imagine

This is undeniably one of the most popular songs about hope.

When John Lennon wrote Imagine, he probably didn’t imagine what an impact this song will have.

Besides having an important political message, Imagine became a musical symbol of peace and unity.

And although John Lennon’s vision of the potential future might be a bit too optimistic, the only way for the world to change is to keep dreaming, hoping, and imagining.

„You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

7. Arlo Parks – “Hope

This easy-going indie tune was released at the beginning of 2021.

Accordingly, the track is called Hope, and the young British singer Arlo Parks managed to capture the feelings of both being stuck and hopeful.

Even when the world is going through unpredictable and hard times, we have to keep reminding ourselves we’re not alone in this.

“You’re not alone like you think you are
We all have scars, I know it’s hard
You’re not alone, you’re not alone.”

8. The Killers – “All These Things That I’ve Done

This is one of those songs of hope that will make you think about your life but also feel hopeful and motivated.

Although the song is about growing up and moving on from certain things in life, it will leave you with a feeling that everything will be alright in the end.

Also, the verse “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” became a powerful sing-along moment on The Killers concerts, and that’s why it’s often a closer for their gigs.

9. London Grammar – “Big Picture

Another song that will leave you feeling inspired and hopeful after listening to it is “Big Picture” by the indie-pop band London Grammar.

The song starts as an easy tune and develops into a powerful, uplifting beat.

And along with the singer Hannah Reid’s dreamy vocals and genuine lyrics, this song sounds just like the message the band wants to convey.

It’s a reminder of how important it is to look at the big picture, at least according to the song’s title and energy.

“Love, what did you do to me?
My only hope is to let life stretch out before me
And break me on this lonely road
I’m made of many things, but I’m not what you are made of

10. Harry Styles – “Fine Line

“Test of my patience
There’s things that we’ll never know
You sunshine, you temptress
My hand’s at risk, I fold

The young One Direction star developed into an authentic individual expressing meaningful, creative thoughts in his music.

“Fine Line” is the best proof – it’s a soulful indie ballad that will take you on an emotional journey throughout its 6 minutes.

And most importantly, it sends the message that things will be alright.

11. Noah and the Whale – “Blue Skies

Nothing speaks about hope like the verse: “Blue skies are coming.

The beginning of the song refers to everyone with a broken heart, so it’s essentially a comforting song with heartfelt lyrics and a hopeful melody.

Blue Skies was released in 2009 on the album “The First Days of Spring” by the indie band Noah and the Whale.

“This is a song for anyone with a broken heart
This is a song for anyone who can’t get out of bed
I’ll do anything to be happy
Oh, ’cause blue skies are coming
But I know that it’s hard

12. Laura Marling – “Hope in The Air

Perhaps this track is not as uplifting and hopeful as other songs on this list, but it’s a beautiful interpretation of life and all its uncertainties by the talented Laura Marling.

Poetic lyrics and gentle indie-folk melody that turns into a powerful, rich sound make this song a gem from Marling’s album “I Speak Because I Can”.

“But I won’t give up that quick
My life is a candle and a wick
You can’t put it out but you can’t break it down
In the end, we are waiting to be lit

13. Queen and David Bowie – “Under Pressure

If asked to name songs about hope, you probably wouldn’t point to this one right away.

However, Under Pressure is perhaps one of the most motivational songs ever made.

The iconic beginning of the song, Freddie’s and Bowie’s incredible talent, and unique lyrics make “Under Pressure” a timeless hit.

“It’s the terror of knowing what the world is about
Watching some good friends screaming
“Let me out!”
Pray tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people, people on streets

14. The Temper Trap – “Sweet Disposition

Sweet Disposition” by the Australian indie rock band The Temper Trap is a song about living in a moment and the innocence of youth.

It’s a beautiful, inspirational tune that was featured in the movie “500 Days of Summer” but also received multiple music awards.

„Just stay there
‘Cause I’ll be coming over
While our blood’s still young
It’s so young, it runs
Won’t stop ’til it’s over
Won’t stop to surrender

15. Sam Cooke – “A Change is Gonna Come

Sam Cooke’s message from his 1964 soul classic is exactly what we need right now: a change is gonna come.

Whether you’re in a bad place in your life or you’re simply thinking about what’s happening in the world around you, the hope that things will change for the better is essential.

And this song will help you really believe that!

In the end, that’s just how life works – “this too shall pass.”

“It’s been a long
A long time coming
But I know, a change gonna come
Oh, yes it will.”

16.  Norah Jones – “Carry On

Another beautiful, gentle song about hope is “Carry On” by Norah Jones.

Released in 2016 on the singer’s album “Day Breaks”, the song also has a suitable music video of an older couple stopping their routine to dance in the kitchen.

And the song’s lyrics are a sweet reminder of what you need to do sometimes:

“Let’s just forget
Leave it behind
And carry on

17. Kendrick Lamar – “Alright

Now we’re moving on to a slightly different genre.

Kendrick Lamar released “Alright” in 2015 and received Grammy Award for Best Rap Song.

“Alright” is actually a song about civil rights, but it also conveys a strong message of hope.

After all, it’s important to actively fight for a better society and believe in a better future. Sometimes to hope means to act.

18. Michael Kiwanuka – “Home Again

In this beautiful, soothing song, Michael Kiwanuka talks about home, a place of comfort and peace.

And as he explained in one of the interviews: “The song is about getting back to that place – not literally a house or place but just that feeling, you know?”

Hoping that you’ll be at that kind of place again is sometimes all you need.

“Home again

One day I know

I’ll feel home again.

19. Alanis Morissette – “You Learn

For the 90s kid who liked pop and rock, Alanis Morissette provided a real musical (or spiritual?) guidance.

In her song “You Learn”, she talks about the importance of learning from your experiences.

The notion of “you live, you learn” when things seem bad is a great way of keeping your hopes up.

“You live, you learn
You love, you learn
You cry, you learn
You lose, you learn
You bleed, you learn
You scream, you learn.”

20. Tom Petty – “I Won’t Back Down

“I Won’t Back Down” is one of the classic rock songs about hope that’s easy to listen to.

The truth is, it’s one of Tom Petty’s most personal songs.

He wrote it after someone burned his house down, so it’s really a message of strength and hope after a scary moment of his life.

“Well I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground

21. Matisyahu – “One Day

When it comes to songs about hope and change, we can’t skip “One Day” by the Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu.

The song talks about not giving up when life becomes challenging. It’s a song about hope for a better world.

Although it was originally released in 2009, Matisyahu re-recorded the single with Akon later in 2010.

“All my life I’ve been waitin’ for
I’ve been prayin’ for
For the people to say
That we don’t wanna fight no more
There’ll be no more war
And our children will play

22. Marvin Gaye – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Well, this is one of the most popular songs about hope and belief that nothing can stop you.

Although it’s a universal hit covered by many artists, you might also know it from the “Awesome Mix Vol.1” from the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

Either way, it’s an unforgettable, catchy tune with a clear and hopeful message that there are no obstacles in life you can’t overcome.

“‘Cause baby, there ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you, baby.”

23. Jain – “Alright

Alright” by the young French singer Jain will make you move but also fill you with hope.

In fact, the song talks about the aftermath of a breakup, and suggests that you shouldn’t give in to the depressing thoughts, because “things gonna be alright”.

It’s important to have a positive outlook even if things fall apart, and this talented songwriter managed to express it through a catchy indie tune.

24. Imagine Dragons – “It’s OK

Imagine Dragons continue to write inspirational, uplifting songs.

“It’s OK” was released on the band’s fifth studio album “Mercury – Act 1” in September 2021.

The song says that’s it’s fine not to be fine, which is the statement that we all need to hear from time to time.

And they’re performing it in their signature style that will surely make you feel hopeful and optimistic.

It’s okay to be not okay
It’s just fine to be out of your mind
Breathe in deep, just a day at a time
‘Cause it’s okay to be out of your mind.”

25. Lana del Rey – “Hope is a Dangerous Thing…

In the creatively titled “Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it”, Lana del Rey once again showed her authenticity and charm.

Sincere, poetic lyrics and melancholic piano-driven melody make this song of hope a true piece of art.

The song was released in 2019 on Lana’s critically acclaimed album “Norman Fucking Rockwell”.

“Cause the ink in my pen don’t look good in my pad
They write that I’m happy, they know that I’m not
But, at best, you can see I’m not sad
But hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have.”

26. The Chemical Brothers – “Dream On

The duo Chemical Brothers is known for its specific electronic sound.

Unlike most of their biggest hits, “Dream On” is a gentle, guitar-driven tune that will instantly give you a boost of positivity and hope.

The song was released on their third album “Surrender”, and although it remains a somewhat hidden gem, it’s a beautiful, calming tune that deserves a spot on this list.

27. K’NAAN – “Wavin’ Flag

We’re sure you know the intro of “Wavin’ Flag” by the Somali-Canadian artist K’naan.

Although originally released on the K’naan’s album “Troubadour”, the remix of the song became an official song of FIFA 2010 World Cup.

Inspired by the Somalis’ aspiration and wish for freedom, “Wavin’ Flag” is a true expression of hope.

It’s also one of the songs about humanity that shows people’s strengths despite the troubles they have to endure.

“Out of the darkness, I came the farthest
Among the hardest survival
Learn from these streets, it can be bleak
Accept no defeat, surrender, retreat

28. Peter Gabriel – “Don’t Give Up

Songs with the theme of hope often entail the idea of not giving up.

After all, hope is the only thing that can sometimes push us forward, and this beautiful ballad performed by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush portrays that message beautifully.

Peter Gabriel was allegedly going through hard times in 1985 so he wrote “Don’t Give Up” as a thank you to his family for being there for him.

It’s indeed a memorable, touching song with genuine lyrics.

“Rest your head
You worry too much
It’s going to be alright
When times get rough
You can fall back on us
Don’t give up

29. Kodaline – “High Hopes

This beautiful, indie tune by the Irish band Kodaline suggests that you need to think positive regardless of the circumstances.

The song’s emotional music video features a famous actor Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) and perfectly depicts the song’s message.

“But I’ve got high hopes, it takes me back to when we started
High hopes, when you let it go, go out and start again
High hopes, when it all comes to an end
But the world keeps spinning around

30. Eric Idle – “Always Look on The Bright Side of Life

We’re rounding up this list of best songs about hope with this iconic hit by Eric Idle.

Featured at the end of the film “Life of Brian”, “Always Look on The Bright Side of Life” sends a clear message of optimism and hope.

Because things are sometimes very simple.

“Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best

Songs About Hope – Final Thoughts

Music can be a great source of comfort and help you keep your hopes up.

All of the songs above are focused on hope, perseverance, and strength. And sometimes just listening to relatable and encouraging music can help us see things differently.

It’s incredible how much impact music can have on people, especially when it comes to making you feel more confident and positive.

So, we hope this article made you feel hopeful and motivated!

If you liked it, check out our similar articles.

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Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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