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The Most Uplifting Songs From The '80s

Updated September 18, 2019 2.0k votes 265 voters 18.2k views41 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!

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  • Don't Stop Believin'1

    AlbumsEscape

    ComposerSteve Perry, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain

    Length (seconds)4:8

  • Eye of the Tiger2
    79
    29

    AlbumsEye of the Tiger

    ComposerFrankie Sullivan, Jim Peterik

    Length (seconds)4:0

  • St. Elmo's Fire3
    62
    26

    St. Elmo's Fire

    John Parr
  • Flashdance (What a Feeling)4
    61
    29

    Flashdance (What a Feeling)

    Irene Cara
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot5

    AlbumsCrimes of Passion, In the Heat of the Night / Crimes of Passion

    ComposerPat Benatar, Eddie Schwartz

    ProducerKeith Olsen

    Length (seconds)2:51

    More Hit Me With Your Best Shot 

    #16 of 20 The Best Bouquet Toss Songs#25 of 284 The Best Rock Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

  • Here I Go Again6
    51
    25

    Here I Go Again

    Whitesnake

    AlbumsSaints & Sinners

    ComposerDavid Coverdale, Bernie Marsden

    Length (seconds)4:33

  • You're The Best7
    36
    18

    You're The Best

    Joe Esposito
  • Don't Worry Be Happy8
    41
    25

    Don't Worry Be Happy

    Bobby McFerrin

    AlbumsSimple Pleasures

    ComposerBobby McFerrin

    Length (seconds)4:49

  • We Got the Beat9
    35
    20

    We Got the Beat

    The Go-Go's

    AlbumsBeauty and the Beat

    ComposerThe Go-Go's, Charlotte Caffey

    Length (seconds)2:30

  • True Colors10
    27
    15

    True Colors

    Cyndi Lauper

    Date Recorded1986

    AlbumsTrue Colors

  • (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right11

    AlbumsLicensed to Ill

    ComposerRick Rubin

    ProducerBeastie Boys, Rick Rubin

    Length (seconds)3:26

    More (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right 

    #145 of 161 The Best Songs to Sing at Karaoke#40 of 88 The Best Songs For Your New Year's Eve Party Playlist

  • Don't Dream It's Over12
    38
    30

    Don't Dream It's Over

    Crowded House
  • Up Where We Belong13
    32
    23

    Up Where We Belong

    Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
  • 14
    22
    11

    Your The Inspiration

    Chicago
  • Danger Zone15
    31
    23

    Danger Zone

    Kenny Loggins
  • Beat It16
    35
    28

    Beat It

    Michael Jackson

    AlbumsHIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1, Thriller

    ComposerMichael Jackson

    ProducerQuincy Jones, Michael Jackson

    Length (seconds)3:49

    More Beat It 

    #181 of 194 The Worst Freakin' Songs of the '80s, Ranked#11 of 133 The Best Workout Songs

  • Faith17
    25
    16

    Faith

    George Michael

    Date Recorded1987

    AlbumsFaith

  • Sweet Dreams18
    33
    27

    Sweet Dreams

    Eurythmics

    AlbumsSweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

    ComposerAnnie Lennox, David A. Stewart

    ProducerDavid A. Stewart

    Length (seconds)3:32

    More Sweet Dreams 

    #8 of 52 The Best 1980s Music Videos#64 of 122 Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals

  • The Best19
    20
    12

    The Best

    Tina Turner

    Date Recorded1989

    AlbumsForeign Affair

  • Born in the U.S.A.20
    32
    27

    Born in the U.S.A.

    Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band

    AlbumsBorn in the U.S.A.

    ComposerBruce Springsteen

    ProducerSteven Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin

    Length (seconds)4:38

    More 

    #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

  • Break My Stride21
    31
    27

    Break My Stride

    Matthew Wilder

    AlbumsI Don't Speak the Language

    ComposerMatthew Wilder, Greg Prestopino

    Length (seconds)2:58

    More Break My Stride 

    #32 of 108 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders#55 of 142 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders

  • Never Surrender22
    24
    19

    Never Surrender

    Corey Hart

    AlbumsBoy in the Box

    ComposerCorey Hart

    ProducerJon Astley, Phil Chapman

    Length (seconds)4:53

  • Jack & Diane23
    25
    23

    Jack & Diane

    John Mellencamp

    AlbumsAmerican Fool

    ComposerJohn Mellencamp

    Length (seconds)4:16

    More Jack & Diane 

    #2921 of 3,866 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked#23 of 215 The Best Songs with a Girl's Name in the Title

  • The Greatest Love of All24
    25
    24

    The Greatest Love of All

    Whitney Houston
  • I Would Die 4 U25
    15
    12

    I Would Die 4 U

    Prince & The Revolution

    Date Recorded1984

    AlbumsPurple Rain