I believe we all have a music soul — kind of like a soulmate, but in playlist form. The songs that move you and drive you to dream bigger and do better and feel feelings to your deepest core. My favorite types of songs are the ones that leave you speechless and provide you with thought-provoking insight to make you reflect on your life. These are just a few of my well-known and newfound favorites that will give you the ultimate feels in your life.
1. “Fix You” – Coldplay
What song has ever hit home more than this? I swear, you can apply the words of this one to anything going on in your life. Friend struggles. Relationships. God. Anything. Plus, hey, thinking of Chris Martin singing this to you is enough to give you straight up chills.
2. “Tiny Dancer” – Elton John
Dream wedding song right here. The opening piano plus Elton John’s iconic lyrics and voice will definitely hit you right in the soul.
3. “Chasing Cars” – Snow Patrol
This one just makes you think. Snow Patrol really slows this song down so that you can focus on every single word of every single line, which makes you stop and think about all the aspects of your life you take for granted. Wasting time, but spending it in the best way possible.
4. “Say Something” – A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera
Relationship didn’t work out? Give yourself some power, as much power as this song has. Basically it takes all the heartache of a broken relationship and turns it into the acceptance of the situation, even though it is a slow process. Christina Aguilera and A Great Big World literally cry out in heartache; it’s just beautiful. A beautiful tragedy.
5. “Tuesday’s Gone” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Yes, the song’s almost eight minutes, but who doesn’t love a good windows down, cranked volume Lynyrd Skynyrd song?! Whenever I listen to this song when I’m driving, I find myself so at peace to just think about the world around me. I don’t know; it has some sort of weird power like that. Plus, you can feel sort of philosophically cool when someone plays this song and it’s not Tuesday … “Yeah man, Tuesday is gone. It’s Wednesday.” Whoa.
6. “Landslide” – Fleetwood Mac (or Dixie Chicks … whatever your mood)
It took me at least 200 listens to this song to finally understand what Stevie Nicks was talking about when she wrote it. I’m not going to spoil the surprise for you, it’s worth the 200 listens and all the opportunities of looking at different perspectives on these lyrics. But here’s a hint: look up Stevie Nicks’s love life. Be amazed. Then you’ll understand why this song has so much power.
7. “Is There Somewhere” – Halsey
While she’s still an up and coming artist, Halsey beautifully encompasses human emotions in her music, through her voice and the buildup of the instruments in the background and the lyrics. This song pretty much apologizes for feeling more than she thought she could feel for someone while also holding back out of fear. Do those feelings sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.
8. “Rivers and Roads” – The Head and the Heart
Going to college? Leaving camp for another year? Departing from people you love? Yeah, this one will hit home hard. Whatever your case, The Head and the Heart will sure explain those feelings for you. Plus the vocals (especially live) will bring you to tears.
9. “Iris” – The Goo Goo Dolls
“Iris” is just straight up teen angst. Don’t lie — you know you have it too! This song tells it like it is; we’re scared of vulnerability because we don’t know how the world will respond. Sure, we tell ourselves we’re confident enough to be who we really are, and we really want people to know who we are deep down, but do we really always put on that unmasked self? Nah, it’s a process. “Iris” gets it spot on.
10. “100 Years” – Five For Fighting
This one will make you feel old for sure. Five For Fighting encompasses all the stages of life as related to love and makes you think about every day as it goes by. It calls out to the 15 year olds out there encouraging them to live it up, but also letting them know hey, you still have 85 more years so don’t worry about having to finding yourself just yet.
11. “Crash Into Me” – Dave Matthews Band
It’s about more than just a lover, but someone who he feels that he knows really well. Hearing this song live will do wonders on you.
12. “Poison & Wine” – The Civil Wars
Joy Williams and John Paul White have possibly the most beautifully paired voices I’ve ever heard. “Poison and Wine” is just one of their many (yet still not enough) songs that talk about love in all the right ways. Pure, raw, honest and true. The second it starts I get immediate chills every single time. This song discusses the back and forth emotions of loving and not loving, fighting between the two in your mind, but knowing all along that love is always going to be the answer.
13. “Drops of Jupiter” – Train
This is literally a song of dreams. It’s the triumphant return of a lover who has been lost looking for herself who returns back to the one she loves. He wants to know everything about her. It’s just such a happy, loving song. Train does this incredible live, too. This song is definitely one for the list! (Also, Taylor Swift does an amazing cover of this. No surprise there!).
14. “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” – John Mayer
Without a doubt any of John Mayer’s songs will move you. His voice alone does the trick. “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” fully encompasses a dying love with sadness, grace and acceptance.
15. “Samson” – Regina Spektor
Some of my favorite types of songs are the ones with already built stories behind them; this adds so much meaning to what the songwriter wants to say. “Samson” tells the tragic love story from the Old Testament of Samson, whose hair had crazy powers, and Delilah, the woman he loved who ultimately betrayed him. The song tells the story from her perspective, almost an apology, but also a reflection of unconditional love that people of the time just brushed off because there were more important things going on in the world. Pretty cool testimony of faith and love.
16. “Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley (among other good versions)
What a classic. “Hallelujah” contains many Biblical references to stories of love and heartbreak among prominent figures discussing deep, yet broken, relationships. It remembers the times of the metaphorical “hallelujah,” the good times in the relationship. This leads to the questioning of the good in the world to describe the hallelujah times as cold and broken. Although pretty much each version has different lyrics to the last verse, they all have such depth and meaning to move listeners no matter what they’re going through.
17. “Breathe Me” – Sia
I think the most beautiful part of this song is the piano. Honestly, the instrumental version still speaks volumes, and I can’t even explain exactly why (I mean, no offense Sia). She longs for something more, something she feels she can’t get back but wants so desperately. She says it all, and so does her background music. Definitely, one I can put on repeat and just sit and reflect on for hours.
18. “Bloom” – The Paper Kites
“Bloom” is actually my favorite song in the entire world. Like so many good songs, you really can apply the lyrics to any situation. The Paper Kites provide a sort of lullaby of longing, a repeated verse of “can I be close to you?” that listeners can tie into their own lives. This song is best listened to either driving around at night or with your eyes closed and headphones in, helping you focus on each and every word sung. The band, out of Australia, is not super well-known, but is one you’ll quickly become addicted to. Their songs are simple, sweet and calm, but filled with so much powerful meaning.
19. “Boston” – Augustana
I love this song because it’s all about opportunity, the chance to start all over. It definitely has lots of aspects of some good ole teen angst (“you don’t know me; you don’t even care”) but hey, we all feel that to some degree! Augustana eases listeners into thinking about their own situations and how they really do have the opportunity to do life exactly as they want to do. The world is full of endless possibilities; you just have to find them.
20. “All Too Well” – Taylor Swift
Really any Taylor Swift song will give you the feels. Collectively, her lyrics are more powerful than any artist’s. She knows the way to a girl’s soul and pinpoints every step of love and every step of heartbreak in such a beautiful, raw way. This song is one my favorites because it talks of a breakup in the most honest way possible. She paints a picture of all her feelings and her misconceptions and leaves her audience speechless.
21. “Hello My Old Heart” – The Oh Hello’s
The Oh Hello’s is such an underrated band, having opened for Needtobreathe last year, though, they’ve gained much deserved fans. “Hello My Old Heart” fully encompasses the familiar feeling of being emotionally unavailable, not knowing why your heart is so closed off to love. This band’s clever, creative lyrics give you a clear new perspective on life and love that help teach you more about yourself.
All of these songs (among many others, of course) really depict the depths of human relationships, heartbreak and utter soul searching. They move you and give you all the feels every single time you listen to them. Ultimately, the songs are there for you to tell you that hey, you’re not alone; it’s comforting to know that people go through the same things you do, and that’s what makes life just so beautiful.