Never Give Up: A Playlist on Strength, Courage, and Bravery

From the ICA vault.

Four months ago my best friend was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. This came as a shock given that she is the picture of perfect health. As she mentally prepared herself for the challenges to come over the remainder of the year, I searched for ways to help. I set up a mealtrain, making sure she didn’t have to lift a finger the days after treatment. I sent Etsy links of cute chemo caps, and lent all my favorite scarves to ensure she has a head wrap that matched any outfit. I’ve accompanied her to chemo sessions and blood transfusions. And while I know these things were helpful and she was beyond grateful, it still didn’t feel like enough.

I struggled with what to say—always wanting to be positive but knowing that, well, let’s be honest, the situation royally sucked. I needed to find a way to express the flood of emotions I was feeling, and I knew she was feeling, too. So I did what I do best and found my voice in music. That night I spent 5 hours working on a cancer playlist, staying up way past my bedtime, and titled it, “I’m so hot, I’m radioactive.” Luckily, my girl has a sense of humor and could appreciate the double entendres I stuffed into this dedication of love, strength, courage, and inspiration. 

Songs on this playlist range from powerful and inspirational as expected (“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten), to sad (“Fix You” by Coldplay), to truthful and poignant (“This Year” by the Mountain Goats). It’s also loaded with lots of tongue-in-cheek references (“None of Your Business” by Salt-N-Pepa, “Scream & Shout” by and Britney Spears, and “Five More Hours” (of chemo) by Deorro and Chris Brown) because let’s face it, sometimes laughter is truly the best medicine. 

With breast cancer awareness month right around the corner, we thought it was a perfect time to share these songs with you, so you can tailor your own support ride for those students fighting battles of their own. Maybe even it pair it with this inspirational pep talk from Kid President. And remember, “Fight cancer. Like a BOSS!”

Spotify: Never Give Up

We’d love to know what songs you’ve used for your inspirational rides. Feel free to comment and we’ll make sure to add them to the list!


  1. Thank you for sharing this!! 🙂

    Here are a few I use:
    Dreams (Lost Kings Remix) Life of Dillon
    Adventure of a Lifetime Coldplay
    I Lived OneRepublic
    Eye On It TobyMac
    Brave Moriah Peters
    Champion Beckah Shae
    On Top of the World Tim McMorris
    Roar Katy Perry
    Firework Katy Perry
    Feel Invincible Skillet
    Unstoppable TobyMac
    Strong Ones Armin van Buuren
    Fire Gavin DeGraw
    Stronger Mandisa
    We are Brave Shawn McDonald
    Undefeated Daughtry
    Bring Me to Life Chris Daughtry
    Move (Keep Walkin’) TobyMac
    Don’t Give Up Kevin Rudolf
    Move Audio Adrenaline
    Impossible Building 429
    My Body Young the Giant
    Love Don’t Die The Fray
    I Will Not Be Moved Natalie Grant
    Stay Strong Newsboys
    Shine Manafest (ft. Trevor McNevan)

    Hope these are helpful! Thank you for all the awesome music you shared!! 🙂


    1. Author

      These are FANTASTIC suggestions that we’ll make sure to add. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Is there a profile that goes along with the songs? These all look great!!

    1. Author

      Thanks Jennifer! Currently there is not a profile to accompany this, but check back with us in early 2017. My girlfriend will be returning back to cycle then (she’s on the up-and-up!!) and I plan to put a profile together to celebrate!

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