There are tons of things that can happen at the office that make you wish you were anywhere but at your job. Annoying coworkers, making a mistake, feeling overwhelmed, and being so exhausted you fall asleep at your desk can all get under your skin. Some of us are grouchy because we’re anything but morning people, others hit a slump mid-day, and others start to feel whiny towards the end of the shift. No matter when you hit your wall, you need something to motivate you at work!
One of the most universal ways to help pull you out of your funk is to put on your favorite tunes. How can you feel lazy or upset when your jam is pulsing through your headphones? If you’re feeling less than enthusiastic, put on this killer playlist that’s guaranteed to make your work day better!
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1. “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor
Let’s be honest.
Even if you’ve never seen a Rocky movie in your life (I haven’t), “Eye of the Tiger” is the ultimate pump-up song. Whether you need it to motivate you at work or to help you clean your house, it’s sure to give you a boost! With lines like “Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet/Just a man and his will to survive” it is perfect for those days when you just CAN’T with work.
Allowing yourself to listen to this and be a little dramatic will make you instantly empowered for whatever you have to do. From a dreaded teleconference to finishing up a huge project, nothing will be able to hold you back! When completing your work feels as tough as defeating a huge, tough boxing opponent, this is your song.
2. “Work B**ch” by Britney Spears
In this smash hit from a few years ago, Britney tells it like it is! “Work B**ch” lets you know that no one, not even one of the most successful pop queens of our generation, gets things for free. As Britney explains “You wanna live fancy? Live in a big mansion? Party in France? You better work, b**ch!”
This track is ideal for when you’re feeling whiny and need to tell yourself to “woman up” if you want to succeed. Like they say, nothing worth doing is ever easy! There is no better song that I’ve found to motivate you at work. In fact, it was my go-to when I was feeling overwhelmed in grad school!
Get even more inspired to do the damn thing (whatever that is for you) by watching the “Work B**ch” music video below.
3. “Carry On” by Fun.
“Carry On,” though a bit dark at times, sends a message that you are good enough just being you. It can sound a little slow and somber, but it’s a nice break in the playlist between more energetic tunes. This song is ideal for you more zen ladies who like lyrics rather than a pumping beat to motivate you at work.
With inspirational lines like “No one’s ever gonna stop us now/’Cause we are /We are shining stars/We are invincible/We are who we are,” this tune by Fun. is a great pick for when you and your project team need to give a presentation. It’s also good for when you feel like you made a mistake and need motivation to get back into the game.
4. “Working For The Weekend” by Loverboy
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. This 80s classic is practically made for blaring on a Friday afternoon when you are trying to squeeze a few more hours of work from yourself. If you can just make it a little longer, you’re off to weekend fun!
“Working For The Weekend” is also the perfect tune to play when you start getting too comfortable in a job. The lines “Everyone’s watching, to see what you will do/Everyone’s looking at you” should motivate you to do your best to set an example for your coworkers and maybe even get a promotion! Whether you need a song to motivate you at work to get through the day or to push yourself, this song rocks, literally.
5. “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled
Yaaassss! Literally, my reaction whenever I hear this track. Whether you want to celebrate a work success or just need something to motivate you at work, “All I Do Is Win” will make you feel like a #girlboss.
With a crazy inspiring chorus of “All I do is win win win no matter what . . . And every time I step up in the buildin’/Everybody hands go up,” this banger will make you feel like a star even if you’re just an intern. And who knows, singing about being the HBIC could make it come true! Play this one when you’re feeling less than confident to get an ego boost or use it to double up on self-esteem when you’re already feelin’ yourself.
6. “She Works Hard For The Money” by Donna Summer
Let’s get real for a second.
Not everyone has their dream job with a corner office and a comfortable salary. A lot of us do some less-than-ideal jobs so we can afford to pay the bills. Are you stuck in a job where you feel unappreciated? It can happen anywhere from retail to an office.
This Donna Summer classic totally gets it with lines like “She works hard for the money/So you better treat her right.” Rather than blowing up at your coworkers or boss, blast “She Works Hard For The Money” in your headphones instead and you’ll feel better in no time.
7. “Supermodel (You Better Work)” by RuPaul
This track isn’t just for the Ru Paul’s Drag Race fans out there. Though, if you’re like me, that show’s promotion of individuality and creativity is motivation to be myself. This track is fun to listen to but has an inspiring message, too.
It’s totally natural to feel unsure of yourself at work, especially when starting a new job or getting a promotion. But remember that out of tons of applicants, your employers chose you! They thought you could do the job, so you should believe in yourself, too. Still feeling like an imposter? RuPaul’s “Supermodel (You Better Work)” is fun, silly, and will give you the confidence boost you need. Just “work/work it, girl/do your thing”!
8. “Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba
Running into a set-back on the job can make your stomach drop. From a negative performance review to losing hours of work due to a computer error, some days you feel like you want to drop everything and quit. Instead, play “Tubthumping.”
With a catchy chorus of “I get knocked down, but I get up again/You are never gonna keep me down,” this inspiring 90s one-hit wonder will help you dust yourself off and continue to be your amazing self! Play this one on repeat on those days when nothing is going right. You’ll feel better in a snap!
9. “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyonce
You can’t have a motivational songs playlist without Queen Bey! In addition to its fun and feminist chorus, “Run the World (Girls)” has lots of lyrics about women making money for themselves. My favorite lyric is “I work my 9 to 5 and I cut my check/This goes out to all the women getting it in/Get on your grind.”
Listening to this song will motivate you to be the strong, independent career woman you are! When you’re in that “I don’t need no man” type mood, get this tune pumping through your headphones. This is also a great one to send to your fellow female coworkers when the guys in the office are acting like a-holes.
10. “Work” by Iggy Azalea
Iggy tells the story of how she rose to the top and how hard she had to work to get there. Lines like “You can hate it or love it/Hustle and the struggle is the only thing I’m trusting” are sure to motivate you at work to do your best so you can achieve your dreams! This song is the perfect reminder that you should always put in 110%. Even if no one notices at first, you will be rewarded in the end!
How Does Music Keep Us Motivated?
I find that what motivates me at work, in the gym, and anytime I need a boost is always fun music. But did you ever wonder why that is? According to Psychology Today, the music we listen to actually affects biologically process in our brains, leading to changes in our perception of the world.
Why does this matter?
Psychologists have discovered that if you listen to a happy song, you’ll feel in a good mood but sad music can make you feel down in the dumps. In one study, test subjects listened to either happy or sad music, then were asked to identify happy and sad emojis. Even when an icon with a neutral expression was shown, people were more likely to claim they saw an emoji with a mood that matched their music. That’s how strongly music can affect our mood!
While some aspects of music are objectively happy or sad (like minor vs. major key and fast vs. slow tempo), the tunes that improve our moods are super individual. Maybe there’s a song that’s kind of depressing but reminds you of a happy time in your life. Or perhaps a popular club banger makes you upset because it makes you think of someone you’re no longer friends with.
The playlist I’ve created has songs that make me feel more motivated at work but yours might be different! It just takes a bit of trial and error (and the occasional shake-up of songs) to create your ideal list of jams. Once you find your perfect playlist, you’ll be unstoppable at the office and everywhere!
Why Listen To Music At Work?
It’s simple . . . for fun! But there’s so much more to it than that. As I mentioned above, motivating tunes can help improve your mood so you feel happier at work. A happier worker is a more productive worker! The better you feel, the more you will want to actually accomplish things. Not to mention that blasting catchy songs can help drown out your chatty cubicle neighbor and other distractions.
Fun music can also give you a boost of energy. No need for that 5th cup of coffee! Higher productivity and a better mood mean you’ll do better at your job overall, which your boss will definitely notice. It could even lead to a promotion! I’d say that’s a good reason to play some tunes in the background while you type away.
Put on those headphones and get jamming!
From inspiring lyrics to fun melodies, at least one of these songs is going to become your signature jam. I can almost guarantee it! Whether you want a boost of bad-ass feelings from a rap track, a chill song with words you will want to put on post-its for yourself to read later, or an energizing pop tune, I’ve got you covered, girl!
Nothing gives you a boost of inspiration like a good playlist. Rather than listening to keyboard clicks and distracting conversations in the office around you, try these hits instead. These 10 songs will definitely motivate you at work so you can be one step closer to your dreams!
What do you think of my work motivation playlist? What’s your favorite track on this list? What are your go-to songs to keep you from falling asleep at your desk? Let us know in the comments below!