The best self-love songs for Valentine’s Day

Feb. 14 marks the day of love, though it doesn’t only have to be for romance. Valentine’s Day also promotes the idea of self-love, which some consider to be the greatest love of all. If students don’t have someone to buy them chocolate or flowers, they can treat themselves while skipping the love songs and listening to the self-love songs listed below this Valentine’s Day. 

Greatest Love of All” — Whitney Houston

Originally recorded by George Benson in 1977, Houston redefined “Greatest Love of All” on her self-titled debut album in 1985. The song climbed to the top of the charts, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. 

The “Greatest Love of All” Houston is referring to is self-love. In lyrics such as, “I found the greatest love of all inside of me,” and “learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all,” Houston voices an anthem motivated by the love she has for herself, rather than spite.

After Houston’s passing in 2012, the song returned to the Hot 100, proving the message of “Greatest Love of All” transcends generations.

i” — Kendrick Lamar 

Released as the first single off Lamar’s third album, “To Pimp A Butterfly,” “i” won two Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.

Using music from “That Lady” by the Isley Brothers, Lamar once said in an interview with Hot 97 that “i” is the best song he’s ever written. Having grown up around so much negativity in Compton, California, Lamar never thought he’d have the ability to make a positive song prior to the release of “i.”

“i” is a dignified self-love anthem, with repetitions of the phrase “I love myself” throughout. Lamar proves that through adversity, everyone can still find ways to love themselves.

Flowers” — Miley Cyrus

Cyrus allegedly tells her on-again, off-again ex, actor Liam Hemsworth, that she can “love me better than you can” in this current hit that’s dominating the charts

Released as a single on Hemsworth’s birthday — Jan. 13 — the song samples Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 self-love anthem “I Will Survive,” as well as acting as a response to Bruno Mars’ 2012 hit “When I Was Your Man.” It is rumored that Hemsworth dedicated Mars’ song to Cyrus in the past.

“Flowers” manifests itself as a self-love song by telling its listeners they can do all of the same things a romantic partner can do for them — and better. While Cyrus copes with the loss of her tumultuous relationship with Hemsworth through her music, she aids her fans in their healing and journey to self-love, as well.

Born This Way” — Lady Gaga

Wanting to create her own freedom song, Gaga’s 2011 hit “Born This Way” charted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks. It is known as one of her signature songs today. 

“Born This Way” was inspired by the empowering music of artists of the past such as Madonna, En Vogue, Whitney Houston and TLC. Gaga wanted to create a self-love song that lifted marginalized voices through lyrics such as, “I’m beautiful in my way, ‘cause God makes no mistakes, I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way.” 

Gaga voices the self-love song of a generation that not only follows through on its intention to lift marginalized voices, but reminds all listeners to love themselves for who they are.