No one enjoys being mocked or bullied, but if there’s one thing that will make you want to dish out equal retribution, it’s a hater. Haters are everywhere—they’re in school, at work, on Facebook. Of course, not all haters are created equal; some are simply jealous of another’s success while others spew vitriol for no good reason at all. It can be hard to deal with haters, but their words don’t have to bring you down. In fact, some of the greatest songs tell of those who stood up to their tormentors and slayed them on their own turf.
Here are the 20 best songs about haters and dealing with haters.
F**k You – Lily Allen
Seventeen-year-old Lily Allen released her debut album, Alright, Still in 2006. She was an instant hit and the song “F**k You,” a response to her very ex-boyfriend and all other haters, became the standout track on the album. Between its addictive rhymes and catchy chorus that includes oh so many uses of the title phrase, it’s hard not to like this song.
Lily enjoyed chart success with this track, and the accompanying music video is definitely one of the best she’s ever produced. We wish more people would speak their minds to the haters like Miss Allen – here’s hoping she inspires you to stand up to those bullies with this great song.
Born this Way – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga has been a topic of discussion ever since she burst onto the scene in 2008, and while some people love her look, others aren’t so fond. However, if you can get over the meat dress (and who doesn’t love a good meat dress?) then this song is sure to win you over. It’s an empowering tune that tells the haters where to go!
It’s inspirational and motivational, and we love it. Just like all of Lady Gaga’s work, this song is one that takes pop to a whole other level and reminds us why Lady Gaga is such an inspiration to those fighting against the haters to be their true selves.
Mean Taylor Swift
Though not the only song Taylor Swift has written about bullies, “Mean” is by far her most well known. Released in 2010 on the album Speak Now , this track features lyrics that show Swift’s thoughts about being bullied at school and how she probably would have been a better singer than all of her tormentors combined.
With such a catchy melody it’s no wonder this song became so popular. Taylor Swift may be one of the biggest stars in the music industry now, but she can surely sympathize with those who deal with bullies everyday. And hey, if they have a voice as great as hers they might just be able to handle their haters themselves one day…
Haters – Hillary Duff
If you’re a fan of classic pop this song is probably closer to your comfort zone than the rest on our list. Released in 2003, “Haters” was the last single from Hilary Duff’s debut album Metamorphosis . It tells of those who hate and yet seek fame for themselves.
Though Duff was only 15 when she wrote the song, it certainly doesn’t sound that way. It’s full of pop culture references dating back to the 90s that are sure to make you chuckle. “Haters” is a clever take on jealousy and shows how Duff rose above it all with her catchy tune.
Buzzkill – Luke Bryan
If you’re a fan of country, Luke Bryan’s hit song “Buzzkill” is sure to have you tapping your feet and humming its melody. It talks about all the times that a bad situation was made even worse by a critic or a hater. Isn’t that always the way?
Between its catchy beat and fun production, it’s impossible not to like this song. It will make you laugh and leave you feeling pretty good about yourself as it encourages those who face haters every day to keep fighting against them and living their dreams, no matter what others think!
Bad Day – Daniel Powter
Just like that girl in your English class whose chair squeaks every time she sits down, this song will get stuck in your head. Partly because it’s about a bad day and partly because of its catchy melody. Released in 2005, “Bad Day” was the title track from Daniel Powter’s second album.
The song is about being brought down by someone else’s bad day, and that in the end only you have the power to change your mood. Sure, it might be a little cheesy – but if you’re fighting haters this anthem will surely inspire you through your hard times.
Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson has come so far since winning American Idol in 2002. She’s overcome personal hurdles and become a great role model for young girls looking to break into the pop industry. However, this song was not written about overcoming haters – it was just coincidence that Kelly is one of the biggest stars in the world when she recorded it.
“Stronger” was released in 2004 and became Clarkson’s second single to make it into the Billboard Hot 100. The song is about fighting for your relationship (but could easily be applied to any other situation) and deals with people who say you’ll never make it. While Kelly herself has said she thinks this song is more about her life today than the experiences she had while writing it, we can all still relate to how important confidence is in standing up for ourselves.
Shake them Haters Off – Kelly Rowland
During the peak of Destiny’s Child’s fame, Kelly Rowland released this track in 2001. It is one of her most successful tracks to date and reminds us all about how it feels to be at the top of your game. The song was written by Pharrell Williams specifically for Rowland and represents an upbeat motivational tune that will make you want to dance.
“Shake Them Haters Off” is so full of life and energy, and was meant to inspire women to be strong and confident no matter what other people say about them. All the haters out there won’t know what hit ’em!
Fight Song – Rachel Platten
Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” is a track that was made for the underdog in all of us. Released in January 2015, this empowering song tells followers to stand up to their fears and do what they know is right even when no one else supports them.
This tune hit the top 20 on the Billboard 100, making it to number six, and has since been used as an anthem for those standing up against bullies everywhere. Not only is it the tune to Katy Perry’s wildly successful “Roar” campaign , but it even helped a woman win a landmark case in court .
When you’re fighting haters remember that all of these stars were once there with you, and now they’re all the more successful for it.
She Hates Me – Puddle of Mudd
Another song about a bad relationship, “She Hates Me” was released in 2002 on the album Come Clean . However, you don’t have to be in a bad relationship to understand this tune. It’s about dealing with a manipulative person and realizing all the things they do to you are because they don’t get along with themselves.
“She Hates Me” was Puddle of Mudd’s biggest hit, spending three weeks at number one on Billboards modern rock chart. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2003 for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
At first it sounds like there are two different songs being sung at once, but eventually they come together and the lyrics turn out to be pretty important. It’s about how stuck in a rut you can get when someone gets under your skin, though it also has deeper meaning with references to substance abuse and self destruction.
Bully – Shinedown
Shinedown have been around since 2001 and have been known for their great guitar riffs ever since. Their first single to make it on the Billboard Hot 100 was “Bully”, a song about fighting back against those who try to bring you down. It was released in 2003 as part of Shinedown’s second album Leave a Whisper .
“Bully” was written by vocalist Brent Smith after he became the victim of verbal abuse while performing on stage. He wanted to write a song that would motivate people who found themselves in similar situations. The message is clear – you’re better than someone else if they feel the need to put other people down just because they can’t handle their own lives.
The Real Slim Shady – Eminem
Eminem is one of the most controversial rap stars ever, but that works to his advantage because it just makes people more interested in what he has to say. While this song isn’t so much about fighting back against your haters as it is about letting your haters know who you are, it’s still a good song to list in this article.
Released in 2000 on Eminem’s second album The Marshall Mathers LP , this hit quickly became the rapper’s biggest commercial success – and that was mostly thanks to his tongue-in-cheek public persona. It was even nominated for a Grammy Award back in 2001 for Best Rap Solo Performance.
“This song is dedicated to anyone who’s ever been told they’re not good enough – and proved everybody wrong,” said Eminem in a behind the scenes video that was released with the single. “It’s just about knowing that you can be anything you want if you work hard.”
Freak on a Leash – Korn
In 1998 Korn came out with their third album Follow the Leader , which quickly became a huge hit. It was certified as gold just six weeks after it shipped, and eventually went platinum. Their first single from that album was “Freak on a Leash” – a song about being swallowed up by your enemies and overcoming them anyway.
“Freak on a Leash” topped out at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it had more success than that. It won two Grammy Awards in 1999 – Best Metal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video. It was also nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Rock Video. Despite all that attention however, Follow the Leader was the only Korn album not to go platinum. It peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, behind All That You Can’t Leave Behind by U2 and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill , which topped the charts that year.
Check Yo Self – Ice Cube
Ice Cube is probably one of the most popular rappers to come out of California, and his success has carried over into movies as well. His first big hit was “Check Yo Self”, which was released in 1993 on his album The Predator . It’s about dealing with the haters by not letting them get through to you, and not trying to do the same in return.
“I’m into mind expansion,” Ice Cube says in a behind the scenes video that was released when he released his second album The Predator. “Chickity check yo self before you wreck yo self!”
Fighter – Christina Aguilera
Like Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera has also dealt with her haters over the years – often through song. “Fighter” is one of her more recent songs on this subject, released in 2009 as the lead single from the album Keeps Getting Better . The song was written by David Hodges and Ben Moody, who were members of the band Evanescence at the time.
The song is about staying strong in spite of your struggles, and not letting haters try to pull you down. “Fighter” was certified double platinum by the RIAA in 2010, meaning it sold more than two million copies. The song has received warm reviews from critics who say Aguilera’s powerful voice is able to overcome the occasional flaws of being over-produced.
Survivor – Destiny’s Child
“Survivor” was Destiny’s Child’s second single off of their third album, Survivor . The group has always been close to Beyoncé Knowles, the only member who doesn’t share a birthday with another one in the band. For example, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams share a birthday – March 27th.
“Survivor” is about when people try to bring you down because they don’t understand your vision. The song was co-written by Beyoncé, alongside Michelle Williams. It features lyrics that are sure to motivate anyone who finds their friends or family putting them down for trying something different in life.
Jeremy – Pearl Jam
“Jeremy” was released in 1992 as part of the EP Ten . Pearljam is known for being a grunge band from Seattle, but they also happened to take home two Grammys at the 1996 MTV Music Video Awards.
The song is about a boy named Jeremy who shot himself in front of his classmates because he “didn’t want to be a part of this world.” The song provoked some controversy when it came out, with many parents thinking the lyrics were too explicit for teenagers.
It’s not about haters per se , but if you’re trying to do something unique, you know how Jeremy felt. He was tired of being made fun of and wanted his story told…
Dem Haters – Rihanna
“Dem Haters” is a cut off Rihanna’s sixth studio album, Unapologetic . Written by Clarance “Razah” Smith and Monica Martin, the song contains lyrics about standing up for yourself and not caring what other people think.
The music video was released on December 12th, 2013 and features an interesting mix of cultures. It was directed by Shona Thorburn at the New York City based production company, Little Minx.
Rihanna is known for being one of the biggest trendsetters in pop today, so it’s no surprise she wrote a song about her “haters.” It
H.A.T.E.U – Mariah Carey
“H.A.T.E.U” was written by Carey along with Bryan-Michael Cox, Jermaine Dupri and Johntá Austin for her eleventh studio album The Emancipation of Mimi . The song is about a breakup and what you do when it’s over: pretend like it never happened and move on.
The song was criticized by some who thought Carey wasn’t being serious about the message she wanted to send. They felt as though her vocals were too upbeat and it didn’t match the lyrics, which can leave a listener feeling confused overall. For example, in one part of the song she sings “I really hate you” instead of “I really hate you.”
Still, the song was able to break music charts worldwide. It peaked at number four on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, making it one of her highest ranked songs in her career.
Hate Me – Blue October
By the time this song came out in 2003, Blue October had already released three albums. However, “Hate Me” was by far the most popular of them all. It’s a great tune that tells someone just how much their words can affect you if you let them sink in too deep.
The lyrics are sure to get stuck in your head and help you remember not to let haters get the best of you. Even if they think they’ve won, just remember that their words won’t leave a scar if you don’t let them.
At the end of the day, you’re going to be okay.