Music For Women By Women: Songs Every Woman Should Own

Sure, there is tons of music out there that makes us feel good, bad, sad, mad, etc. Then there are songs that are tailor-made for women, songs that express what we feel when we can’t put it into our own words. Songs that help us walk a little taller, comfort us when love has kicked us in the ribs and help put life into perspective.

This playlist is so much more than just a playlist, it’s a collection of stories of love, empowerment, heartbreak and foolishness – subjects all women can relate to. This is a list of songs that every woman should have in her music collection because after all, we can’t be expected to share everything with men.

The Pretenders – ‘Brass in Pocket’
Noteworthy lyric: “‘Cause I’m gonna make you see / There’s nobody else here / No one like me”

Fiona Apple – ‘Not About Love’
Noteworthy lyric: “Take all the things that I’ve said that he stole / Put ’em in a sack / Swing ’em over my shoulder / Turn on my heels / Step out of this sight / Try to live in a lovelier light”

Bjork: ‘Declare Independence’
Noteworthy lyric: “Don’t let them do that to you”

Blondie: ‘The Tide Is High’
Noteworthy lyric: “I’m not the kind of girl who gives up just like that / Oh no”

Camera Obscura:  ‘Tears For Affairs’
Noteworthy lyric: “I can tell you this for nothing / You won’t win”

The Cardigans: ‘Losing My Favorite Game’
Noteworthy lyric: “I had a vision I could turn you right / A stupid mission and a lethal fight / I should have seen it when my hope was new / My heart is black and my body is blue”

Cat Power: ‘The Greatest’
Noteworthy lyric: “Once I wanted to be the greatest / No wind or water fall could stall me”

The Cranberries: ‘Dreams’
Noteworthy lyric: “Talk to me amazing mind / So understanding and so kind / You’re everything to me”

Duffy: ‘Distant Dreamer’
Noteworthy lyric: “Even when you see me frown / My heart won’t let me down because I know there’s better things to come”

Garbage: ‘Cup Of Coffee’
Noteworthy lyric: “So no of course we can’t be friends / Not while I’m still this obsessed / I guess I always knew the score / This is how our story ends”

Natalie Imbruglia: ‘Leave Me Alone’
Noteworthy lyric: “You say don’t be blue / Is that the best you can do? / I’ve lost my patience now”

Nelly Furtado: ‘Powerless’
Noteworthy lyric: “Cause this life is too short to live it just for you / But when you feel so powerless what are you gonna do? / So say what you want”

Poe: ‘Walk The Walk’
Noteworthy lyric: “I wanna walk to the beat of my own drum / I wanna live to the beat of my own drum / I wanna take to the beat of my own drum”

She & Him: ‘Gonna Get Along With Out You Now’
Noteworthy lyric: “Got along without you before I met you / Gonna get along without you now / Gonna find somebody that’s twice as cute / Cause I didn’t like you anyhow”

Sia: ‘Clap Your Hands’
Noteworthy lyric: “Come on dance / Take a chance on romance / We only get one shot at love”

Featured image by:

  • MJ Rojas


  • Beverley Thompson

    what about iam woman ?

  • Lara Wagner

    What about some Tristan Prettyman?

  • Jenny Lonussen

    Great list! I’d add Me And You by She & Him though.. “You gotta be kind to yourself..” <3

  • Sonya Smith

    anything by pat benetar or cyndi lauper too

  • Bekah Freeman

    Im kinda disappointed in a few of the ‘noteworthy lyrics’ but there are sooo many more artists I wish were on here!

    • Myrna Valadez

      Yes, lots as left out which leads me to believe there should be a part 2.

  • Amber Copeland

    How about “Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley?

    “I never felt so wicked
    As when I willed our love to die
    And I was your silver lining, as the story goes
    I was your sliver lining, but now I’m gold”

  • Michelle Carpenter

    Jenny, was about to say the same thing! Every time I am feeling insecure, those lyrics pop in my head. Good list though! I especially like that your list has “cup of coffee” and “not about love”. Kudos.

    • Myrna Valadez

      ‘Cup of Coffee’ is so haunting, I can’t get enough of it!

  • Nycole Cardia

    “Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple is awesome too :B

    • Myrna Valadez

      I’ve been obsessed with that song for so long!

  • Stephanie Farrell

    What about Jenny Lewis? No Jenny?

    • Myrna Valadez

      Part 2 to come! I don’t know too much RK, what would you suggest I listen to?

  • Courtney Riedmann

    How about “Ladykillers” by Lush. Here’s a few lines for you: “I’m as human as the next girl/
    I like a bit of flattery/ But I don’t need your practised lines/ your school of charm mentality/ so
    save your breath for someone else/ and credit me with something more”

  • Cyndi Lopez

    No Rilo Kiley? No mention of Amy Winehouse’s first masterpiece, Frank? Nothing about the ULTIMATE modern woman’s anthem, “Video” by India.Arie? No Erikh Badu? (come to think of it, no women of color at all…). Nothing from the great Neko Case or her heartbreak predecessor Emmylou Harris? No Gillian Welch?

    • Myrna Valadez

      I couldn’t include a lot but I do believe there will be more lists to come. Reading feedback always helps me branch out and listen to more talented women. Thanks for the suggestions! Oh, and Nelly Furtado is Latina :)

  • Agnes Nutter

    I know you have a lot of choices, but I think the list could have been a little longer to include Ani DiFranco, as well as others mentioned by other posters.

    • Myrna Valadez

      Yes, a lot was left out! I guess in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, there will be more installments. Who do you suggest besides the ladies listed above? Thanks for commenting!

  • Lauren Cummings

    Come on guys she can’t list every artist and every song. We all think we know the perfect song, write your own article.

    • Pedro Diaz

      Agree! We cant expect her to like everything under the sun.

  • Josue Emmanuel Villagrana

    The Greatest does not belong to women!!!

  • Lorien Crow

    Thanks for this! Some great stuff here…would love to see some Ani DiFranco on the list though! Some great examples: “’cause someone you don’t know is someone you don’t know, get a firm grip girl before you let go,for every hand extended, another lies in wait,keep your eye on that one; anticipate.” And, “it’s a long long road, it’s a big big world, we are wise wise women, we are giggling girls, we both carry a smile to show when we’re pleased, we both carry a switchblade in our sleeves.”

  • Kim Damman

    santigold – i’m a lady

    being a confident lady is what we should all pursue.

    • Wendy McCardle

      Good suggestion. I’d personally add “Unstoppable” to the list.

  • Courtney Jimmie

    Deb Talan’s Rocks & Water is genius: “Don’t forget the time I wooed him with red wine. The devil, he wore such a fine, fine shirt and it stayed so clean while he dragged me through the dirt. Now, honey, don’t trust anyone who looks you in the eye. Don’t take any kindness it’s a demand in disguise.” –

    Her song How Will He Find Me? is great, too: “If I don’t stand out like a star among the moons. If I am always late & he always backs away too soon. … If I am too wide open for this place, but not enough for him to recognize my face.” –

  • Brittani Aftin Combs

    this list is amazing :)

  • Carleen Guffey Abercrombie

    Meredith Brooks–Bitch- should be included. “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a mother, I’m a sinner, I’m a saint and I do not feel ashamed”. Cher–Save Up All Your Tears.

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