Last Updated on April 11, 2023
If you’re looking for music to accompany your self-reflection journey, there are many great songs on self-reflection that can help you explore your inner self.
Taking a step back to look inwards and examine our thoughts, feelings, and actions is a very crucial task that helps us become more self-aware, as it can lead to positive changes in our lives.
During those moments of self-reflection, music can be a medium to create a space of introspection and to take stock of your feelings, where you are, and where you want to go. That is why I have compiled some of the best songs on self-reflection for times when you just want to sit with your feelings.
1. “Fifteen” By Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift looks to her youth with a reflection and wisdom with this beautiful melody about decisions she made at fifteen.
Singing from the point of view of a much older woman, she talks about the fleeting love and dedication she gave to her first love when she was young and naive but tries to send her younger self a message about the great life she has ahead of her.
2. “These Are Days” By Natalie Merchant
When you look inwards at certain times in your life, you’ll find yourself celebrating certain good moments with fondness. This is a fun rock song that will fill you with a deep sense of nostalgia as the singer reminds you to cherish those moments in the past.
It is a great song to jam along to when you’re looking back, examining decisions and memories from your past, and hoping to re-examine them with a deep sense of appreciation.
3. “The Summer Of 69” By Bryan Adam
In many cases, self-reflection can entail contemplating memories of love from the past.
Bryan Adam’s upbeat rock track about love and life at a time when you are young and reckless is a great choice if you’re looking for a song that celebrates love and youth while looking inward for a past version of yourself.
4. “Jack And Diane” By John Mellencamp
This beautiful song became an instant hit upon its release, and it was likely because its message of self-evaluation was relatable to many fans.
The singer reflects on the love story of two lovers in high school who evaluate their actions now they are much older. They re-examine their choices and accept their failed expectations of life going the way they expected.
5. “Glory Days” By Bruce Springsteen
Most of us, when we look back on our actions, they often stem from moments when we were younger. This is a great song that guides you toward that journey of analyzing the person you were when you were younger.
The singer here looks back at his high school days and how he interacted with the people in his life during his youth.
6. “Kodachrome” By Paul Simon
This is a unique song where the singer reflects on the innocence of looking at life through a rose-colored lens.
He references his mistakes, examines his actions as a young man, and wishes he could see the rosy-colored version of his memories instead of the dull and moody black-and-white version.
7. “In My Life” By The Beatles
Evaluating our past relationships with people is important when looking inwards, as it lets us better understand how we have evolved over time.
This is a great song that expresses that feeling of remembrance and reflection. The singer looks back at memories with friends and lovers and the ways in which things have changed.
8. “Photograph” By Nickelback
This song takes a unique approach towards introspection, and it is a delightful track you’ll find yourself returning to whenever you’re looking back at memories.
The singer looks at photographs from different moments in their life and uses them to contemplate their actions and mistakes. They use the photographs to learn about how to grow as a person and say goodbye to their past self.
9. “100 Years” By Five For Fighting
This is a deeply emotional and introspective song about the journey of life and the choices we make at every stage.
The singer evaluates his life from when he was young all the way to the end of his days and looks back at the love, family, and mistakes he made during his lifetime. It is a very relatable song we can all use to contemplate our decisions no matter how old or young we are.
10. ‘’Human’’ By Daughter
This is an intriguing and deeply entertaining song about the value of humanity and learning to be self-aware despite having a tendency to make destructive decisions.
The singer uses a monstrous and animalistic desire to represent his habit of doing things that may be hurtful to himself. Still, by looking inwards, he is able to see how negative his desires are and reminds himself of his humanity.
11. ‘’Ten Thousand Hours’’ By Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Self-reflection often does not have to be some complicated and deep process. Sometimes, it can be as simple as looking back at your journey to success to learn how you have changed and celebrate your dedication and hard work.
This song about an artist’s rise to fame and success is a great song on self-reflection. It details the singer’s road to fame and also lets them evaluate moments of fear and self-doubt with a deeper appreciation for their talent.
12. “Famous Last Words’’ By My Chemical Romance
This sad and emotional song by emo rock band, My Chemical Romance may be the musical guide you need to reflect upon your sadness and pain in dark times.
It is about a person contemplating everything they wish they had said and done for a dying lover. They look back on their missed opportunity with a sense of regret and urge the lover to hold on and state with them.
13. “Soul Meets Body’’ By Death Cab For Cutie
This song’s somber yet beautiful melody alone makes it a great tune for sitting down and simply looking inwards, but it also carries a message of regret and self-contemplation.
For the singer, he looks towards a past relationship with dissatisfaction and yearns for a reconnection with his lost love to better understand how much their souls were connected.
14. “Out Of Sight” By Jonwayne
Ever look internally at who you have become and shrink away in disappointment? Well, Jonwayne has been there and knows the feeling. That is why he was able to deliver this amazing introspective rap number with lyrics that analyze his selfish actions on his path toward success.
He talks about friends he hurt in the process and how hard it is to make it right when he is plagued by his demons whenever he looks in the mirror.
15. “Book Of Life” By Common
When we are wiser and older, self-reflection is perhaps one of the most common past times many of us practice. In this rap track, Common gives serious thought to his journey through life as he narrates the inner thoughts of a young man who grows up dealing with a hard life.
He talks about depression, poor choices, and a lack of direction that often plague such a person but finishes it off with an appreciation for the lessons learned as the young man eventually steps into manhood.
16. “U” By Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar gives us a glimpse into the darkest parts of his inner self with this deeply introspective track. Rapping about his inner thoughts from the viewpoint of an observer looking in, he talks about his fear, insecurities, and regrets from different moments in his life.
It is a very somber song that will have you look into the deepest parts of yourself to learn new things you may have never noticed.
17. “Breathe Me” By Sia
This is a song about someone looking at their mental state and judging their actions in order to see how badly they have messed up.
It is a great song that encourages you deeply think about the consequences of your actions while reminding you of the importance of calling out for help when you’re in a bad place.
18. “Happier” By Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran shares his regret and desires with us in this self-reflective love song. He contemplates all the pain he caused a lost lover, and as he sees that she is happier in a new relationship, he starts to understand the pain that comes with losing someone you deeply care about.
If you’re thinking back and analyzing your mistakes after a breakup, this is a beautiful song you’ll want to have on your playlist.
19. “You Learn” By Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette encourages you to live life to the fullest in this song, but underneath it, she also sends a promise that doing so comes with moments of self-reflection.
Singing about the consequences that arise from people’s choices and decisions, she emphasizes that we all learn from them and grow to understand ourselves better.
However, she delivers the message with fun lyrics that tell you to live, love, take chances, run wild, make mistakes, and enjoy all that life has to offer.
20. “Reflection” From Mulan (Soundtrack)
This song is a cherished Disney classic that relays the inner thoughts of a woman who feels disconnected from her true self when she looks at how she presents to the world.
It represents the main character, Mulan’s despair at feeling like she is a fraud who is simply playing the part society requires.
In this version, Christina Aguilera’s powerful vocals drive the message of self-contemplation and despair across so well you’ll feel bad for ever hiding your true identity.
21. “ Who Am I?” By Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz & Quvenzhane Walis
This soundtrack from the movie Annie is an amazingly introspective track for moments where you may be questioning who you really are.
The lyrics let you self-analyze and think about the poor choices you may have made at different points in your life.
With the combined vocals of the movie’s main cast, they are able to deliver a heartfelt self-aware question that lets every listener think about who they are becoming and contemplate if they are changing for the better or the worst.
22. “Unbreakable Smile” By Tori Kelly
Tori Kelly reflects on her way of life and the influence of fame in this heartfelt song. She talks about using her fame for good and living a well-balanced, glamorous, and well-grounded life as she analyzes her decisions and reminds herself not to let people’s criticisms get in her way.
23. “Sorry” By Justin Bieber
No one what have thought a breakup song about a man evaluating his mistakes while trying to apologize to his lover would take the world by storm, but that is the power of Justin Bieber.
With his track, he had to whole world dancing and moving to the fun beat, but the cheesy lyrics were also a relatable message of self-reflection for moments we regret.
24. “Beautiful” By Christina Aguilera
This is another flawless musical delivery of self-reflection by Christina Aguilera’s undeniably flawless vocals. The singer evaluates her insecurities and fear while also standing up against the hurtful words of people who try to bring her down.
She reminds herself to stay firm and acknowledges her beauty. It is an empowering song about the power of words and self-affirmation.
25. “Firework” By Katy Perry
This is an encouraging and empowering song on self-reflection. It is perfect for moments when you look inwards and find nothing but self-doubt and insecurities.
Katy Perry reminds you to look deeper, and you’ll see how fearless you are. She also encourages you to let your light burn bright to show the world who you really are.
26. “Who Am I” By Bazzi
There are times in life when you evaluate your state of mind and find that you barely recognize yourself anymore. However, it is understandable, as we grow older, we make choices and decisions that change us, and sometimes they are not always for the better.
In this song, Bazzi shares his inner thought with us as he sings about the numbness he feels after years of living a materialistic life. He expresses a deep sense of reflection as he looks back at how much he has changed since his youth, and that is a feeling we can all certainly relate to.
27. “Human” By Jon Bellion
If you’re trying to analyze your thoughts and actions, you may often be led down the road of contemplating the human condition itself. The pain, joys, restlessness, and mistakes that come with the human experience are what Jon Bellion expresses in this song.
He talks about being tired of being human as he explains how lost and afraid he feels. The messages resonate so well that you’ll want to keep playing the song over and over.
28. “Unwell” By Matchbox Twenty
This great song shows the artist reflecting on his mental state. He talks about the voices in his head and is self-aware enough to realize that he is perhaps not in the best state of mind but refuses to let the world label him as crazy.
It is an incredible song about looking deep into our consciousness and learning to accept whatever we see.
29. “Look Within” By Soja
This is perhaps one of the most direct songs on self-reflection. As the name suggests, the singer urges us all to look within and analyze our own reflections, as that is the only way to effect a change in the world.
30. “Ship To Wreck’ By Florence+ The Machine
This beautiful song can probably be interpreted in several ways depending on who is listening, but I see it as a musical journey of self-reflection.
One in which Florence Welch’s nearly angelic vocals carry you through different stages as she processes her destructive actions. She directs her questions to her loved one with the lyrics, “ And ah, My love remind me, what was it that I said…Did I build a ship to wreck”?
However, you can tell when you listen that it is self-reflective questions she ponders internally as she looks back on her mistakes.
31. “Beautiful” By Eminem
This rap song is about the darkness and depression legendary rapper Eminem feels internally. He talks about the cloud of doom that seems to be hanging around his life, but through it all, he still reminds us all to never let the world and its criticisms get to us.
32. “Live Like You Were Dying” By Tim McGraw
One of the most crucial moments of self-reflection is usually when we come close to death. That may not be something everyone has experienced, but many of us have had moments where we see our life flash right before our eyes.
For times like that, Tim McGraw delivered this heartfelt emotional song about a man who finds out he is dying and decides to re-evaluate his whole life.
33. “Who You Are” By Jessie J
Who You Are is an encouraging and introspective song that urges us to look at our reflection to ensure we do not lose our real selves.
It is a message to everyone that amidst the struggles, joys, and adventures of life, it is always important to look inwards and take some time to make sure the real you is still in there.
34. “Changes” By Tupac Shakur
Tupac goes somber and melancholy on this track, reflecting on the state of the world and its relation to his growth as an individual. He ponders the politics of race and class and remains dejected at the knowledge that things will never change.
35. “Keep Breathing” By Ingrid Michaelson
This is a song about staying strong when you’re depressed, but it is also a song that lets you reflect and become self-aware of how bad your mental state is.
The singer urges herself to keep breathing despite the world falling apart around her, and it acts as a kind of wake-up call to anyone who is not doing well mentally but does not see it.
It urges you to look inward and see that if all you’re trying to do is just breathe without caring for much else, you’re probably not doing as well as you think.
36. “Fighter” By Christina Aguilera
When you’ve been hurt by someone who makes you question your self-worth and self-esteem, it may take an angsty empowering song like this one to help you think about who you really are.
It is a great song on self-reflection where the singer learns to understand herself and her own strength and resilience despite being hurt by a person she once cared for.
37. “Tears In Heaven” By Eric Clapton
This is a deeply melancholy and emotional song about a man who looks forward to meeting a lost loved one in heaven, but in doing so, he also contemplates his worth and questions if he’s good enough to fit in heaven.
38. “Maybe Idk” By Jon Bellion
When it comes to music on self-reflection, I will venture to say no one does it flawlessly like Jon Bellion. This is another great one that will have you thinking deeply about your actions while letting you know it’s okay to be unsure about your decisions.
The singer questions his motivation for doing certain things even though they do not seem to be the best choices, but he reassures himself that he does not have to have the answers to all these questions; not knowing is perfectly fine.
39. “Conversations With Myself” By Bazzi
This song is a great track about soul searching and looking inwards to find your real source of happiness. The singer guides you through an inner musical conversation as he talks about how he is still alone and sad beyond words despite his fame and wealth.
40. “Love Hate Letter To Alcohol” By Post Malone
It often takes self-reflection to see much havoc addiction wreaks on our lives and that of our loved ones, and this track is an ode to anyone struggling with alcohol addiction.
The singer describes his love-hate relationship with alcohol, and as he talks about the thrill of having a drink, he also evaluates the destructive choices it leads him to make.
41. “My Life” By Imagine Dragons
This is a deeply moving song about the self-reflections of someone struggling with addiction.
The lyrics talk about the person questioning his actions and way of life as he expresses disappointment at what his life has become. It is a very sad yet beautiful song that I often have on repeat whenever I want to contemplate my thoughts.
42. “Still Learning” By Halsey
This beautiful song talks about the importance of self-reflection and its ability to help us with personal growth.
The singer reexamines all her life choices and the pain she has causes other people and starts to understand that it is all tied to her lack of self-love. So, she urges the people she has hurt to give her time as she learns to love herself.
43. “Looking 4 Myself” By Usher
If you’re in a situation that requires soul searching and evaluation of who you are, this is probably a song you’ll relate to. The singer expresses despair and confusion and describes a journey to finding his true identity.
44. “ Disappointment” By Wasted Away
This song is a dark and haunting piece that relays a feeling of disappointment and self-loathing of someone who looks back at his life and sees he has done nothing but evil.
As he thinks about his actions with regret, he also pleads to God to pull him away from such a disappointing fate to give him room to regrow and become a better man.
45. “That’s Life” By Frank Sinatra
This song is a classic number I always have on my playlist whenever I just want to think about life and the state of my emotions. It is catchy and somewhat upbeat, but it is still deeply emotional.
Frank Sinatra reflects on the ups and downs of life and all it takes to exist as a person in this world. Listening to it will have you thinking deeply about your own life and enjoying every minute of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Good Self-Reflective Song?
When it comes to songs on self-reflection, there are many choices out there, but some good ones anyone can relate to include “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera and “Human” by John Bellion.
What Is A Song For Reflecting On Life?
“100 Years” by Five For Fighting, “ Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw, “Photograph” by Nickelback, and “7 Years” by Lukas Graham are some of the best songs for reflecting on life.
How Does Music Help With Self-Reflection?
Music of different genres helps you look inwards and evaluate your thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Whether it’s a sad breakup song, a fun power anthem about self-love, or a catchy rock song about anger, the message expressed in music mirrors our human emotions that we can all relate to, which is why it helps us contemplate our own life.
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