Inspirational and Motivational R&B Songs

Get up & Get to It ...

Sometimes when we're feeling down, or things aren't going our way, or we need a little extra motivation, inspiration can be hard to find. And that's where these songs come in. Some are inspirational anthems to help you cope mentally, others are motivational tunes to get you amped up physically. But all are excellent when it comes to helping you cope when you really need to.

'A Change is Gonna Come' - Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke

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Year released: 2008.

Key lyrics: "There were times I thought I wouldn't last for long, now I think I'm able to carry on. It's been a long time comin' but I know a change is gon' come."

"A Change is Gonna Come" was originally recorded by the late, great Sam Cooke in the 1960s. Despite it being re-recorded by various artists over the years, including Aretha Franklin, Seal, Patti Labelle, and Otis Redding, Sam's stirring rendition of this civil rights-era masterpiece is still the best known.

'Just Fine' - Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige

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Year released: 2007. 

Key lyrics: "No time for mopin' around, are you kiddin'? And no time for negative vibes 'cause I'm winnin.'"

"Just Fine" is a sunny, optimistic and upbeat song that's the exact opposite of the drama-soaked music that Mary recorded earlier in her career. It's perfect listening for a workout or other high energy activity that requires extra motivation.

'Magic' - Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke

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Year released: 2008. ​

Key lyrics: "I can make the days disappear and I can erase the past, I can make the future shine so bright and I can make right now alright. I got it, you got it, we got that magic."

This upbeat, motivational song's positive reinforcement-filled words will have you feeling like you can do anything.

'On the Ocean' - K'Jon


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Year released: 2009. 

Key lyrics: "Out there on the ocean I know my ship is comin' in. Just past the horizon and right where the sky ends it's out there on the ocean, I know my ship is comin' in. So don't leave me hangin', I've been waiting too long."

This song is about having faith that success is right around the corner, even if things aren't going so great right now.

'Sign of a Victory' - R. Kelly

R. Kelly

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Year released: 2010. ​

Key lyrics: "If we believe, we can achieve anything, including the impossible."

R. Kelly recorded this inspirational sports anthem with the South African group Soweto Spiritual Singers for the 2010 World Cup. The song's part of the Listen Up! The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album compilation.

'(I've Got to Use My) Imagination' - Lizz Wright

Lizz Wright

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Year released: 2010. ​

Key lyrics: "I've really got to use my imagination, think of good reasons to keep on keepin' on. Got to make the best of a bad situation, ever since that day I woke up and found that you were gone."

"(I've Got to Use My) Imagination" is an uplifting and motivational song about making the best of a situation and rising above the darkness.

'I'm a Fighter' - Ruben Studdard

Ruben Studdard

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Year released: 2009. ​

Key lyrics: "I am a fighter, I won't give up, won't give in 'cause I know that I will win."

"I'm A Fighter" is sung from the perspective of someone with sickle cell disease, a sometimes very painful condition where the red blood cells in a person's body are C-shaped, instead of the normal round, oval shape. Ruben recorded this inspirational anthem on behalf of the Be Sickle Smart campaign, which he's a spokesman for.

'Soldier of Love' - Sade


Gary Miller/Getty Images

Year released: 2009. 

Key lyrics: "I'm at the borderline of my faith, I'm at the hinterland of my devotion, I'm in the front line of this battle of mine, but I'm still alive. I'm a soldier of love every day and night, I'm a soldier of love all the days of my life."

This song's about staying mentally and emotionally strong.