Ahhhhh, September. The summer is rapidly drawing to a close, and a new school year is here again. Whether you’re a parent or a student–or a parent and a student, or you know, just looking for a little extra motivation to make it work–we’ve hand picked a few tunes to get you in the mood for total take over at school, at work, or at the polls this fall. It pays to rock out while you do what you do to make it work for you and your family. It’s also always nice to mount world domination to a beat, don’t you think? (Download us now on Spotify or keep us in rotation on YouTube!)


Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over

You can, literally, hear the sun shining through front-woman Florence Welch’s vocal chords. This is how you end the summer on a high note—and kick the back-to-school season, the election season, and every season off right.

Paula Cole – I Don’t Want To Wait

This is so much more than the “Dawson’s Creek” theme song. It’s the perfect jam to remember the high notes of the summer. What goes better with nostalgia than Paula Cole? And what goes better with our 2016 We Won’t Wait altar call?

 

Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It

This is the way to tell the school year or the work day—and all the haters therein—what you won’t do. Quick PSA: Works well with your vote, too! 😉

 

The Jackson 5 – ABC

No back-to-school playlist is complete without this song. Obvs. Whether the little person in your life is starting preschool or high school—or work for that matter—it’s always nice to bring it back to basics.  

 

Fun featuring Janelle Monáe – We Are Young

This is the ultimate summer-fall merger anthem. Whether you’re young, or simply young-at-heart, “We Are Young” can help put a bounce in your step against all odds. That includes pay gaps and unaffordable child care.

 

Tracy Chapman – New Beginning

So trying to juggle work and secure child care all summer completely wrecked you? Yeah, we feel you.? Let Tracy Chapman help with this very encouraging tune. Press the reset button on the whole shebang and get your school year or work day started right.

 

Lizzo – W.E.R.K. Pt. II

W.E.R.K. Pt. II makes the list, because Lizzo is a boss. And it’s going to take boss-bae attitude like Lizzo’s to crush the pay gap. And the semester. And all the traffic on the way to school and work from now until next summer.

 

YunaLive Your Life

This song is super inspirational. Let it serve as a reminder that you have the power to choose and change. Take a listen and, guarantee, it’ll help you find your will to make it work—for you and the world.

 

The Roots – How I Got Over

There’s no feeling quite like winning—but this song isn’t about that. Instead, it’s about the super difficult road to graduation/pay day/the end of a thesis project, and how not to lose sight when negativity, naysayers, or less-than-awesome workplace policies cloud your path. Keep it in rotation!

 

Carolyn Malachi – Nothing

Got the world on your shoulders again? Carolyn Malachi can help. Whether you’ve already packed your schedule past its brim, or you’ve just internalized the sum total of school supplies, new uniforms, and after school care for the next few months—here’s a therapeutic spin.  

 

Gossip – Heavy Cross

This tune is meant to be played in the presence of your best wingwomen. Cheers to all the pay gaps you’ll slay together, and inequality you’ll put to rest this fall. Here’s a toast to our kick-A Make It Work Ambassadors, canvassers, and staff who hold it down daily, too!

 

Laura Mvula – Phenomenal Woman

The title—an ode to Maya Angelou—really says it all, don’t you think? From the time you wake, to the time you put the books down, or your kids down, or your eyelids down again, rock out and revel in your majestic profile to this tune.

 

Beyoncé – Schoolin’ Life

No matter what age or stage you are in life, Queen Bey puts in work on this toast to those who are “schoolin’ life.” We’ll be schooling elected officials this fall–hope you will, too! Lunch hour dance break, anyone?

 

Kendrick Lamar – Alright

Pre-empt every final exam, late night, impossible professor, and unpaid sick day early. K. Dot says it best, you “gon’ be alright!”

 

Alabama Shakes – Future People

Brittany Howard gives life, and “Future People” does, too. This song holds enough hope to last—at least—a full semester. Or at least until the election is over.

 

Bomba Estéreo – Soy Yo [English translation]

This could very well be your year-long theme song. Being yourself, asserting yourself, and owning it all at school or at work is always goals. Cranking Bomba Estéreo loudly and often–on the way to class or on the way to the polls–just makes it feel that much better. Oh, and please don’t forget to watch the new video.

 

Janelle Monáe – Tightrope

If you need some motivation to rise above the petty this year, Janelle Monáe has your back. This is the perfect AM jam to get you in the mood to smash the patriarchy, rock the vote, close the pay gap, or change the world real quick.

 

The Chemical Brothers & Miguel – This Is Not A Game

If the start of school or work sometimes feels like another installment of “The Hunger Games,” you’re welcome. This track is actually part of the soundtrack for the 2014 franchise release, and it doubles as a soundtrack for your own personal revolution–it certainly triples as part of the revolution we’re brewing with We Won’t Wait 2016.  

 

Noisettes – Scratch Your Name

This song really says everything you need to know about what your mission should be this (and every) fall: “Scratch your name into the fabric of this world!” Words of wisdom to carry into class or your polling booth this fall.

 

Santigold – You’ll Find A Way

Nothing says stay committed to your purpose like this Santigold jam. Whether it’s setting your sights on honor roll or successfully selling your workplace on a pay transparency or paid leave policy that works for everyone—“you’ll find a way.”

 

Happy listening and have a very happy back-to-school season! Have any more suggestions that we totally missed? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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