20 Songs About Finding Yourself

Discovering who you really are as a person is like a lightbulb moment in your mind. It’s about understanding what you truly desire in life, and this varies for each person.

Figuring yourself out can be noisy with your inner thoughts, but life experiences, whether good or bad, help you uncover your true self.

For more insights on self-discovery, check out our collection today. And remember, songwriters often have the perfect tunes for such moments. Here are 20 great songs about finding yourself.

20 Songs About Finding Yourself

1. “This Is Me” By Keala Settle

The song “This Is Me,” mainly performed by Keala Settle, is a powerful anthem from the 2017 film “The Greatest Showman.” Keala Settle’s character in the movie, the Bearded Lady, represents someone who has spent her life hiding from society due to her differences. 

In the song, the lyrics depict a journey of overcoming shame and fear of judgment from others. The character defiantly sings, “I won’t let them break me down to dust,” refusing to let society define her worth. Instead, she proudly declares her identity and refuses to apologize for who she is.

The chorus is an uplifting declaration of self-worth and bravery, with the character boldly asserting, “I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me.” She embraces her flaws and imperfections, understanding that they are part of what makes her a unique and valuable person.

2. “Born This Way” By Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” was released in 2011 as the title track of her second studio album. It quickly became an anthem for the LGBTQ community, but its message of self-acceptance and being true to oneself is universal and not limited to any specific group.

In the song, Lady Gaga sings about how it doesn’t matter whom you love; you should embrace who you are. She reflects on her own upbringing, where her mother encouraged her to be confident and love herself because everyone is born a superstar in their own way.

The repeated chorus “I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way” reinforces the idea that we should be proud of our true selves and not try to conform to others’ expectations.

3. “thank u, next” By Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s song “thank u, next,” released in 2018, is a self-empowerment anthem born out of her personal experiences and relationships. During the time she was engaged to actor and comedian Pete Davidson, Grande faced challenges in their relationship, which ultimately led to their breakup.

In the song, Ariana Grande reflects on her past relationships, mentioning her exes Sean, Ricky, and Pete, as well as paying tribute to the late rapper Mac Miller (Malcolm). 

The chorus of the song, “Thank you, next,” expresses her appreciation for the past and her readiness to move forward. Instead of bitterness or regret, Grande chooses to focus on the positives and acknowledges that the ups and downs in life contribute to personal growth.

4. “A Place In This World” By Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s song “A Place in This World,” featured on her self-titled debut album released in 2006, captures the universal feeling of uncertainty and self-discovery that many people experience during their teenage years. As she sings, “I don’t know what I want, so don’t ask me,” she expresses the challenge of figuring things out during this period of her life.

At the age of 13, Taylor Swift wrote this song after moving to Nashville, where she was pursuing her dream of becoming a country music artist. The lyrics express the confusion and searching that often accompany the process of finding one’s identity and place in the world.

Despite that, she’s determined to be strong and acknowledges that making mistakes is a part of life. The line “Maybe I’m just a girl on a mission, but I’m ready to fly” expresses the idea that she’s prepared to take on life’s challenges and discover her path.

5. “Express Yourself” By Madonna

Madonna’s song “Express Yourself,” released in 1989 as part of her “Like a Prayer” album, is celebrated for its message of female empowerment and self-worth.

In the song, Madonna encourages women not to settle for less than they deserve in love and relationships. She sings about the importance of demanding honesty and true feelings from a partner, as shown in the lyrics: “Don’t go for second best, baby, put your love to the test. You know you’ve got to make him express how he feels, and maybe then you’ll know your love is real.”

6. “Lose You To Love Me” By Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez’s song “Lose You To Love Me,” released in 2019 as part of her “Rare” album, is a poignant ballad that reflects on the end of a significant relationship, widely believed to be her relationship with Justin Bieber. The song is a powerful expression of self-discovery and self-love.

In the lyrics, Gomez recounts a past relationship where she had put the other person first, even when it led to pain and destruction. She describes how she saw signs of trouble but chose to ignore them, wearing “rose-colored glasses” that distorted her view. The relationship became destructive, like a fire burning her purpose and identity. 

The singer realises that sometimes you need to go through the pain of losing someone to rediscover and love yourself. The experience was necessary for her personal growth, and it gave her the strength to say goodbye to what was toxic for her. She sings, “I needed to lose you to love me.”

7. “My Way” By Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra’s iconic song “My Way,” which became his signature tune, was written by Paul Anka and originally had a French melody. Sinatra recorded it as the title track of his 1969 album, and it quickly resonated with audiences, becoming one of his most famous songs.

The song’s lyrics convey a sense of reflection and self-assurance as Sinatra faces the end of his life’s journey. He declares that he has lived life on his own terms and has made his choices with confidence. He states, “I’ve lived a life that’s full, I traveled each and every highway, and more, much more, I did it, I did it my way.”

Sinatra acknowledges that, like anyone, he has had regrets in life, but he believes they are too few to dwell upon. He emphasizes his determination to do what he deemed necessary and to see his choices through to the end.

8. “Within You Without You” By The Beatles

“Within You Without You” is a song by George Harrison from The Beatles’ iconic album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” released in 1967. This track stands out as the only one on the album not written by John Lennon or Paul McCartney. It reflects George Harrison’s growing interest in Hindu spirituality and philosophy, particularly his exploration of the concept of self-discovery.

The lyrics begin with a discussion about the emotional and spiritual distance that separates people and the barriers they construct, which prevent them from finding themselves. Harrison sings, “We were talking about the space between us all/And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion/Never glimpse the truth.”

In the lines “Try to realise it’s all within yourself/No one else can make you change,” Harrison suggests that people should look within themselves to find love, understanding, and peace. He emphasizes that no one else can make you change, and true realization comes when one recognizes their own smallness in the grand scheme of life.

9. “Englishman In New York” By Sting

In Sting’s song “Englishman in New York,” inspired by the real-life persona of Quentin Crisp, the lyrics paint a vivid picture of an Englishman navigating the vibrant chaos of New York City. The song reflects Crisp’s distinctive character, known for his manners, unique style, and unwavering authenticity.

The Englishman prefers tea to coffee, enjoys his toast lightly done on one side, and maintains his British accent even while living in a foreign land. As he walks down Fifth Avenue with a walking cane by his side, he stands out amidst the diverse crowd of New Yorkers. 

The repeated line “I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien” highlights the idea of feeling like an outsider in a foreign place while being fully accepted and legitimate. The song celebrates the Englishman’s commitment to being himself, regardless of societal norms or expectations.

10. “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” By Billy Joel

In Billy Joel’s song “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” from his 1977 album “The Stranger,” the lyrics tell the story of several blue-collar workers, including the central character, Anthony. Anthony works at a grocery store, diligently saving his money for a better future, as is often expected in society. However, the song questions the conventional pursuit of success and the toll it can take on one’s well-being.

“Mama Leone left a note on the door,” advising Anthony to consider leaving the city for a quieter life in the countryside. The song suggests that the relentless pursuit of material wealth and working too hard can lead to stress and even health problems.

The song’s message is about choosing personal fulfillment over societal pressures. The repeated refrain, “I’m movin’ out,” signifies Anthony’s decision to reject the rat race and find happiness in being himself.

11. “Brave” By Sara Bareilles

In her 2013 hit song “Brave” from the album “The Blessed Unrest,” Sara Bareilles encourages honesty and bravery in expressing one’s innermost thoughts and desires, as she sings, “Honestly I wanna see you be brave.”

The song acknowledges that we might face moments of fear and self-doubt, but it encourages us not to run or hide, singing, “Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live Maybe one of these days you can let the light in.”

Sara advises us to stop holding our tongue and find a way to break free from our constraints, allowing the light in and demonstrating the magnitude of our bravery.

12. “WE ARE” By Jon Batiste

Jon Batiste’s Grammy-winning 2021 album “We Are” was primarily created in his dressing room while he served as the bandleader for Stephen Colbert’s late-night talk show. The album features a song titled “WE ARE,” which celebrates the essence of self.

In the song, Batiste acknowledges the challenges in the world but also highlights the positive influences that shape our identity, as he sings, “The ghetto is full of stars, Bless them, shine from afar.” 

He mentions the ghetto and a grandmother in the lyrics, signifying that our identity is influenced by those who care for us and our origins. The song’s lyrics include lines like, “Nana knows how to sing And soothe the soul, From summer to fall, and always,” which underline the significance of these influences.

13. “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” by Chicago

“Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” by Chicago is a song that initially appears to be about the end of a marriage, with the narrator acknowledging that the relationship has come to an end, singing, “I do believe in you, And I know you believe in me.”

However, as the song progresses, it becomes clear that the breakup has brought about a sense of self-discovery and personal growth.

In the lyrics, the narrator expresses their belief in their partner and the mutual understanding that the relationship was not fulfilling its intended purpose, as they sing, “Knowing that you would have wanted it this way.”

They recognize that love alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. The realization dawns that both parties are better off moving forward separately.

14. “Hell On Heels” By Pistol Annies

In the song “Hell on Heels” by Pistol Annies, the lyrics depict a trio of women who are unapologetically confident and empowered in their own way. These women have a knack for using and manipulating men to their advantage, as they sing, “I’m hell on heels, baby, I’m comin’ for you.”

They’ve accumulated material possessions like a diamond ring, a GTO car, a piece of land in Mexico, a pink guitar, a high-rise flat in Hollywood, and even a yacht, all from their various romantic conquests.

The lyrics reflect a sense of cunning and cleverness, as the singers acknowledge that they’ve made deals with the devil, figuratively speaking, to become intelligent and beautiful, singing, “He made me pretty, He made me smart.”

It’s a song that challenges traditional gender roles and expectations, depicting women who are in control of their own destinies and aren’t afraid to make the most of their circumstances.

15. “We Are Finding Who We Are” by King’s X

“We Are Finding Who We Are” by King’s X, released in 1990 on their album “Faith Hope Love,” is a song that reflects the band’s exploration of self-examination and personal growth, as they sing, “We are finding who we are, we can see forever.”

The song speaks to the idea that life is like a mountain that has yet to be climbed, and tears are a part of the process of leaving behind what no longer serves us, as the lyrics state, “Forever is a mountain we’ve yet to climb, Tears are a part of what is yet to leave behind.”

16. “’Heroes’” By David Bowie

David Bowie’s song “‘Heroes'” from 1977 is a complex and deeply symbolic piece. At its surface, it tells the story of two lovers, one from East Berlin and the other from West Berlin, who are facing the threat of separation due to the Berlin Wall.

However, beneath the surface, the song carries themes of self-discovery, resilience, and the appreciation of life’s fleeting moments, as Bowie sings, “We can be heroes, just for one day.”

The lyrics convey the idea that in the face of adversity and the looming threat of separation, the lovers can choose to be heroes, even if it’s just for one day. This emphasizes the transformative power of love and the courage to defy external forces.

17. “All You Need Is Now” By Duran Dura

Duran Duran’s song “All You Need Is Now” from their 13th album of the same name reflects a return to their iconic 1980s sound while offering a message of self-discovery and living in the moment.

The song’s lyrics convey the idea that finding oneself is all about being present in the moment. It encourages listeners to go directly into the “voodoo,” signifying a sense of mystique and enchantment that can be found when fully engaged in the here and now. 

Throughout the song, there is an emphasis on the greatness and vibrancy of the current moment. The imagery of shining like a “diamond in the mine” and being the “greatest thing alive” highlights the idea that embracing the present can lead to a sense of fulfillment and self-discovery. 

18. “Extraordinary Machine” By Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple’s song “Extraordinary Machine,” from her album of the same name, is a declaration of self-awareness and individuality, as she sings, “I certainly haven’t been shopping for any new shoes, And I certainly haven’t been spreading myself around.”

In the lyrics, Fiona Apple acknowledges that she hasn’t been conforming to societal expectations, and she values the slow and deliberate path she’s chosen for herself, singing, “I still only travel by foot, and by foot it’s a slow climb, But I’m good at being uncomfortable, So I can’t stop changing all the time.” 

Rather than boasting about her greatness, the song emphasizes Fiona’s willingness to embrace discomfort and change as integral parts of who she is. 

19. “Breaking Hearts (Ain’t What It Used To Be)” By Elton John

Elton John’s song “Breaking Hearts (Ain’t What It Used To Be)” from his 1984 album “Breaking Hearts” explores the idea of self-examination. In the song, he tells how he comes to realize his own shortcomings and loneliness, as he sings, “They used to say that boys are tough as nails, In every way he keeps his heart as guarded as a jail.”

Elton John reflects on his past behavior, where he admits to toying with the hearts and emotions of those around him, particularly women, singing, “I was always there in the thick of things, I always had the heart of every woman on a string.”

As he grows older, he begins to question why he is now experiencing loneliness and why he feels left behind, and he expresses this with the lines, “And now I know what lonely means, I used to give so little and gain everything.” Through self-reflection, he comes to the painful realization that his own actions and behavior have led him to this point.

20. “Find Yourself” By Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Realm

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real’s song “Find Yourself,” from their fourth album, is a song that talks about the singer’s own realization of self-worth and the decision to no longer accept mistreatment.

The lyrics convey a sense of frustration and disappointment in a relationship where one partner has been mistreated. The singer makes it clear that they are no longer willing to tolerate the mistreatment and games, and they are ready to move on if their partner doesn’t change their behavior. This sentiment is reflected in lines like, “I don’t mind sleeping alone if it means I don’t have to play your crazy games no more.”

The chorus of the song repeatedly expresses the hope that the partner who has caused the hurt will “find yourself” before the singer finds somebody else to be their love.

This implies that the singer recognizes the importance of self-discovery and personal growth for their partner, but they are also setting boundaries and demanding respect in the relationship.

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