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Over a year ago Sara Barreilles release Brave, a song that was inspired by watching her friend struggle with coming out as gay. The song has had great success on the radio, and it’s no surprise: it’s catchy, feel-good, positive and uplifting. In case you have been living under a rock, you should check it out:

“Say what you want to say. And let the words fall out. Honestly, I want to see you be brave”

Brave, is a song explicitly about empowerment, encouraging others to be speak up for themselves and be what they want to be. It’s an empowerment “anthem” (because you have to call it an anthem, apparently) that actually acknowledges that empowerment is a process that requires courage.

Brave is not the first ‘empowerment’ song Sara Barreilles has written by any means. It’s just that Sara’s songs are not usually written so explicitly about empowerment. Usually, they are written with empowerment woven seamlessly into them.

Sara writes about life from the perspective of an empowered woman in a world that does not expect her to be empowered. She doesn’t tell us what empowerment is, she actually shows us what it looks like. She models empowerment.

So without further ado, here are 9 songs from Sara Barreilles, that model what it is to be empowered:

1) Bottle It Up – Understand the importance of staying true to yourself

“As soon as you start to make room for the parts that aren’t you it gets harder to bloom in a garden of love”

2) Machine Gun– The best way to look at haters is with amusement, pity and even a little compassion

“What a skill baby, aiming to kill me with words you don’t mean. Maybe nobody loved you when you were young, maybe boy when you cry nobody ever comes. Will you try it once? Give up the machine gun?”

3) Little Black Dress – If someone does manage to drag you down, you can always pick yourself up

“Just remember that I am more than just somebody’s puppet. I can find the cord and then I’ll cut it. I’ll stand a pretty good chance to dust myself off and dance”

4) Gonna Get Over You– Have faith in yourself, and believe you will make it through the rough times

“Oooh How’m I gonna get over you? I’ll be alright. Just not tonight”

5)  Hercules  Rely on your own inner strength

“This is not the end though… cause I have sent for a warrior. From on my knees, make me a Hercules. I was meant to be a warrior. Please, make me a Hercules.”

6) Say You’re Sorry – Recognize when something is not actually your fault, and you are owed an apology 

“I’m not the one who went and made a mistake, I want to walk away too. But I want you to say you’re sorry.”

7) Love Song – Those who want you to be something you’re not, can hit the road

“If you’re on your way, I’m not gonna write you to stay. If all you have is leaving, Im’a need a better reason to write you a love song today”

8) King of Anything- Never let anyone tell you how to live your life

“Who cares if you disagree? You’re not me. Who made you King of anything? You dare tell me who to be? Who died and made you king of anything?”

9) Chasing the Sun- And always strive to live life to the fullest

“You said, remember that life is, not meant to be wasted, we can always be chasing the sun. So fill up your lungs and just run. But always be chasing the sun”