Music

The Most Uplifting Songs From The '80s 

Ranker Music
Updated September 18, 2019 1.2k votes 214 voters 13.4k views 41 items

What is it about '80s songs that makes them so inherently uplifting? Many '80s songs are extremely upbeat, so it's no surprise they usually put you in a good mood.  Let's rank the most motivational '80s songs from the best decade of music, featuring songs with uplifting lyrics that are sure to put a smile on your face.

Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" is easily one of the most motivational '80s songs. The title of the song was actually inspried by keyboard player Jonathan Cain's father, who delivered the message whenever Cain felt like giving up on his musical dreams. Another great uplifting '80s song is Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," which was used as the main theme song for Rocky III. Fun fact: Sylvester Stallone originally wanted to use "Another One Bites The Dust" as the theme, but requested that Survivor record something orignial after getting rejected by Queen. Other great '80s songs that will put you in a good mood are classics like John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire" and Joe Esposito's "You're The Best."

Vote up your favorite inspirational songs from the '80s below, and add your own selections if you don't see them here already!

list ordered by
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Journey

Albums: Escape

Composer: Steve Perry, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain

Length (seconds): 4:8

More Don't Stop Believin' 

#21 of 132 The Best Workout Songs #5 of 161 The Best Songs to Sing at Karaoke #11 of 88 The Best Songs For Your New Year's Eve Party Playlist

2
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Survivor

Albums: Eye of the Tiger

Composer: Frankie Sullivan, Jim Peterik

Length (seconds): 4:0

More Eye of the Tiger 

#34 of 142 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders #3,828 of 3,866 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked #2 of 132 The Best Workout Songs

3
Flashdance (What a Feeli... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Uplifting Songs From The '80s
Scott Merritt added Flashdance (What a Feeling) Irene Cara
4
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St. Elmo's Fire John Parr
5
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Pat Benatar

Albums: Crimes of Passion, In the Heat of the Night / Crimes of Passion

Composer: Pat Benatar, Eddie Schwartz

Producer: Keith Olsen

Length (seconds): 2:51

6
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Whitesnake

Albums: Saints & Sinners

Composer: David Coverdale, Bernie Marsden

Length (seconds): 4:33

More Here I Go Again 

#3,001 of 3,866 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked #4 of 42 You Quit Your Job: What Song Do You Play as You Leave? #22 of 52 The Best 1980s Music Videos

7
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The Go-Go's

Albums: Beauty and the Beat

Composer: The Go-Go's, Charlotte Caffey

Length (seconds): 2:30

8
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Bobby McFerrin

Albums: Simple Pleasures

Composer: Bobby McFerrin

Length (seconds): 4:49

More Don't Worry Be Happy 

#16 of 195 The Worst Freakin' Songs of the '80s, Ranked #41 of 109 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders #16 of 97 The Best Songs About Happiness

9
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Michael Jackson

Albums: HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1, Thriller

Composer: Michael Jackson

Producer: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson

Length (seconds): 3:49

10
Don't Dream It's Over is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Uplifting Songs From The '80s
Scott Merritt added Don't Dream It's Over Crowded House
11
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Beastie Boys

Albums: Licensed to Ill

Composer: Rick Rubin

Producer: Beastie Boys, Rick Rubin

Length (seconds): 3:26

More (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right 

#144 of 161 The Best Songs to Sing at Karaoke #19 of 52 The Best 1980s Music Videos #29 of 88 The Best Songs For Your New Year's Eve Party Playlist

12
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Born in the U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Albums: Born in the U.S.A.

Composer: Bruce Springsteen

Producer: Steven Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin

Length (seconds): 4:38

More Born in the U.S.A. 

#3,176 of 3,866 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked #17 of 25 25 Depressing Stories Behind Some Of The Most Popular Songs In Modern History #1 of 12 All-American Songs That Are Secretly Hating On All Things American

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reynolds.levaron added True Colors Cyndi Lauper

Date Recorded: 1986

Albums: True Colors

14
Up Where We Belong is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Uplifting Songs From The '80s
Scott Merritt added Up Where We Belong Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
15
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Danger Zone Kenny Loggins
16
Your The Inspiration is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Uplifting Songs From The '80s
reynolds.levaron added Your The Inspiration Chicago
17
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You're The Best Joe Esposito
18
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Matthew Wilder

Albums: I Don't Speak the Language

Composer: Matthew Wilder, Greg Prestopino

Length (seconds): 2:58

19
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reynolds.levaron added Faith George Michael

Date Recorded: 1987

Albums: Faith

20
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John Mellencamp

Albums: American Fool

Composer: John Mellencamp

Length (seconds): 4:16

21
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Eurythmics

Albums: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Composer: Annie Lennox, David A. Stewart

Producer: David A. Stewart

Length (seconds): 3:32

More Sweet Dreams 

#2,896 of 3,866 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked #84 of 122 Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals #8 of 36 The Best & Most Memorable Songs From Scary Movies

22
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The Greatest Love of All Whitney Houston
23
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Never Surrender Corey Hart

Albums: Boy in the Box

Composer: Corey Hart

Producer: Jon Astley, Phil Chapman

Length (seconds): 4:53

24
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reynolds.levaron added The Best Tina Turner

Date Recorded: 1989

Albums: Foreign Affair

25
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reynolds.levaron added Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler

Date Recorded: 1988

Albums: Beaches