A wide range of artists often give their fans a sense of hope through inspirational country songs. This trend dates back to the earliest radio stars, most of whom closed out their programs with a gospel song. Many of the most inspirational songs in recent memory, by artists ranging from George Strait to Carrie Underwood, kept these spiritual themes in country music. Not all inspirational songs point to Heaven, though, as some equally memorable songs look to earthly joys to overcome life's pitfalls.
Whether the main topic is faith, family or good, clean fun, these 10 songs exemplify the sort of uplifting tunes designed to give a pick-me-up to country music fans.
"Choices" by George Jones
Both good and bad experiences come into play for every potentially great life. George Jones' famous take on this unavoidable truth isn't exactly synonymous with inspirational tunes. Still, knowing that someone as successful as Jones could sing it with such conviction is strangely uplifting on a gloomy morning.
"Love Without End, Amen" by George Strait
Although it's less obvious an inspirational tune as "I Saw God Today," "Love Withouht End, Amen" packs as powerful a statement as any hit from King George's storied career. Its message inspires both parents and children with old-fashioned values to seek and uplift unconditional love.
"This One's For the Girls" by Martina McBride
Martina McBride sends shout outs to women in all walks of life in one of her most infectiously fun songs. Although McBride mentions some bad predicaments faced by women of different ages, this song ultimately implores listeners to cast those cares aside for a few minutes and dance.
"It's a Great Day to Be Alive" by Travis Tritt
Not all inspirational country songs need a sad or spiritual theme. Travis Tritt pumped sunshine, in a good day, with this hit from 2000. One of this century's better party anthems, this live-and-let-live sing-along brings carefree fun to weary drives home.
"Dealing with the Devil" by Merle Haggard
Sometimes, finding the right romantic partner puts some needed inner-personal changes in motion. Instead of playing the remorseless drunk, Merle Haggard opts instead of sing of the positive changes brought about by having the right support system next to him in bed every night.
"Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw
What would you do with your final days on Earth if a doctor gave you just a short time to live? One of Tim McGraw's most touching songs explores this difficult question. The lyrics encourage listeners to live "like tomorrow was a gift," making the most of each moment with loved ones.
"If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows" by Rodney Atkins
It's easy to lose the course fast, going from a secure life to being a sole misstep away from losing it all. Rodney Atkins best sums up a modernized take on this Prodigal Son circumstance with this memorable hit. It's named after a Winston Churchill quote and an old Irish toast.
"Jesus, Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood
For many people, religion lifts them up from the deepest valleys to the highest mountains. In Carrie Underwood's beloved statement of personal faith, the narrator cherishes a second chance at walking the straight and narrow.
"Believe" by Brooks & Dunn
One of the most powerful voices of his generation, Ronnie Dunn, drives home all the emotion from this powerful statement of faith. A young man learns about strength through faith from his elderly friend, Mr. Wrigley, in this tender-hearted story.
"I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
Lee Ann Womack's career-defining song remains the greatest musical love letter, of sorts, from a mother to her children. In it, Womack hopes her daughters take the right chances, when it comes time to sit it out or dance. It's especially poignant now that Womack's daughter Aubrie Sellers, who's featured in the video, dances to her own beat as a solo artist.