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What’s the Best Playlist for the Month of September This Year?

best playlist September 2021

Wondering what to listen to if you want to feel a jolt of autumn energy during the month of September this year? We think songs of determination, encouragement, strength and joy feel right for this moment. Dandelion Chandelier correspondent and resident DJ Julie Chang Murphy has created a perfect playlist of music for the month of September 2021. Find it on Spotify here. Stand up. Set your goals. Press play. And be strong in September, all month long.

What’s the best playlist for the month of September this year?

We know January is the traditional time to think about aspirations for the year and to set new goals for ourselves. But the depths of winter hardly facilitate the determined and earnest energy required to do so. Bundling yourself up at 6:30A to go to the gym while it’s still dark out? Hard pass.

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After being in school for half of our lives, September naturally feels like the time for reinvention and self-improvement.

Our take on the best music playlist perfect for September 2021

Our take on the best music playlist perfect for September 2021.

Who doesn’t remember telling their 13-year old self that this is the year they would make new friends, do better in math or make the soccer team? We all had a rosy, idealistic picture of what the academic year could be if only . . .

the perfect playlist of music for September

We don’t have to tell you that those languid, carefree Summer days are now officially behind us. It’s time to emerge from those beach weekends renewed, refreshed and ready to kick it into high gear!

We’ve come up with a playlist, spanning the genres, to help motivate and inspire you to reach for those goals– whether it’s speaking up more at work, starting to lift weights. Or in my case, making the kids’ school lunches the night before! 

We’ve come up with a playlist, spanning the genres, to help motivate and inspire you to reach for those goals – whether it’s handing in assignments on time, or completing the epic journey from the couch to running a 5K.

Our take on the best music playlist perfect for September 2021.

Here is the perfect soundtrack for those bright crisp September mornings and golden afternoons. For those nights when you’re burning the midnight oil and getting stuff done. When it’s all ahead of you, and you’re getting into the zone. And then you’re on your way.

1. hamilton: an american musical – my shot

We trust you’ve all seen Hamilton by now. This song is the perfect introduction to set a tone of plucky determination and purpose. Told from the point of view of Alexander Hamilton and a few other Founding Fathers, it’s a mini-history lesson too. Rise up, it’s time to take a shot!

2. pitbull – greenlight

That YOLO sentiment is alive and well in this Pitbull hit featuring LunchMoney Lewis and Flo Rida. If you’re starting off that run with a hill, this jam will put some gas in your tank to plow through – like all the lights are green.

3. florence + the machine – the dog days are over

This exhilarating anthem about a woman’s survival and discovery of happiness is always on repeat when we’re struggling. The slow build, the hand claps and of course, Florence Welch’s warm, ethereal voice singing “Run fast for your mother run fast for your father/Run for your children for your sisters and brothers” makes us feel like we’ve got all our loved ones rooting for us.

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4. tears for fears – everybody wants to rule the world

The sound and subject of this Tears for Fears hit is quintessentially ’80’s with its new wave synth and references to the Cold War and corruption. Still, its irrepressible beat and message serve as a gut-check. Are we working hard for the right reasons?

Our take on the best music playlist perfect for September 2021

5. the rolling stones – start me up

Channeling that young Mick Jagger swagger– heck, even the 70-something Mick Jagger swagger, is always a good idea when you need a pick-me-up.

6. beyoncé run the world (girls)

Queen B reminding everyone that girls run the world: “Boy you know you love it/ How we’re smart enough to make these millions/ Strong enough to bear the children/Then get back to business.”

7. david bowie – heroes

Bowie wrote this classic in 1977 in the war-torn city of West Berlin, after escaping the hedonism of Los Angeles. He pushes his voice to a heightened anguish, “we can be heroes just for one day” and it’s a clarion call to the everyday courage of normal people.

8. kanye west – stronger

No matter how you feel about the controversial Kanye these days, this song which samples Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ is The. Best. Song. To kick it up a notch when you’re struggling through jump squats or holding a plank.

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9. earth, wind & fire – september

It’s a September playlist, so this joyful classic homage to the joys of early autumn has to have a spot. Do you remember the 21st night of September? We challenge you not to dance when this comes on.

Our take on the best music playlist perfect for September 2021

Our take on the best music playlist perfect for September 2021.

10. jill scott – run run run

Working moms, this one is for you. It’s retro soul, combined with the frenetic pace of modern life. “Mama’s workin’ and know mama’s able/ I’ll be right back when I’m done/ I gotta run run run run.” We feel you, Jill!

11. david guetta featuring ne-yo and akon — play hard

Work hard, play hard. It’s a motto that has served us well- “the only thing we know how to do.” Even if playing hard these days might mean signing on for Zoom karaoke, it still gets us through the working hours.

12. michael jackson – wanna be startin’ something

This is another great workout/running song with a brisk 122 BPM and a rebellious energy delivered by the King of Pop. At 6 minutes long, you just might be able to hit a mile during the span of this infectious song.

13. dubvision & afrojack – new memories

This uplifting dance track makes us feel young and invincible again with a satisfying build and empowering message.

14. sia – the greatest

If you read the lyrics of The Greatest, it almost reads like a chant from a cheering squad. Which isn’t exactly our thing. “Don’t give up, I won’t give up/ Don’t give up, no no no.” But Sia, with help from Kendrick Lamar, makes it transcendent.

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15. lizzo – good as hell

You can’t help but feel good about yourself and believe in yourself after listening to Lizzo’s celebratory anthem to black girl magic.

16. imagine dragons – whatever it takes

“Whatever it takes/ ‘Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins/ I do whatever it takes/ ‘Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains.” A good reminder of how good it can feel when we exceed our own expectations.

17. elton john – I’m still standing

 You know when your legs feel like jelly and you’re wobbling around like a newborn fawn after doing a million squats? Well, this song is for times like that!

18. ciara – level up

 This is it. The fail-safe song for sticking to whatever task is at hand. Learning the accompanying moves is also the best dance break (and workout). Just saying.

19. U2 – beautiful day

Sure, maybe the sentiment behind U2’s dawn-of-the-new-millennium hit are a bit Pollyanna-ish. But Bono delivers and makes you believe it can be a beautiful day, even when it seems to be anything but.

Our playlist of perfect music for September: U2 Beautiful Day.

20. survivor – eye of the tiger

If this song and images of Rocky Balboa running through the streets of Philadelphia and training at the gym don’t motivate you, then we’re not sure what will. Those instantly recognizable five chords should get you up and at ‘em.

Dandelion Chandelier’s “Strong in September” Playlist

There you have it: 20 motivational songs to make the unofficial start of the year a success. And don’t forget – that means playing hard, as well as working hard. Now get out there and make something happen. Ready, set, go! You got this, dear reader.

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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