Top 10 BTS songs you should listen to, that advocate self-love

A still of the K-pop boy band BTS (Image via @bts.bighitofficial/Instagram)
A still of the K-pop boy band BTS (Image via @bts.bighitofficial/Instagram)

The South Korean boy band BTS has gained much praise for their meaningful song lyrics, most of which are often drawn from their own life experiences. Be it the ever-popular Magic Shop or the peppy, upbeat Idol, several of their songs advocate self-love in all its different ways.

Owing to the impact that they have had on listeners all around the world, they have often taken center stage on important platforms in order to address social issues and spread their message of optimism around the world.

In September, 2021 the septet spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, where they were in attendance as the special presidential envoy for future generations. More recently, the K-pop group had an opportunity to interact with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris, during an invitation to the White House, to mark the end of AANHPI Heritage month.

Here, we take a look at some of the boy band's releases over the years, all of which are subtle reminders to love oneself.

Disclaimer: This list is based on the author's opinion only, and is arranged in no particular order.

Some of the best BTS songs which talk about self-love

1) Answer: Love Myself


Answer: Love Myself was released on August 24, 2022, as part of the Love Yourself: Answer repackaged album.

As the name suggests, this song unravels the importance of practising unconditional self-love, while pointing out the differences between loving oneself, as opposed to loving others.

It about how the standards we set for ourselves are far stricter than those we set for people around us, thereby making it difficult to forgive ourselves. It urges listeners to start loving all versions of themselves, be it the past, present, or future.

2) Idol


Idol was released in 2018 as part of BTS' third compilation album, Love Yourself: Answer. A fast-paced, rhythmic number, the powerful lyrics of the song, hit home with listeners:

“I know what I am, I know what I want, I never gonna change, I never gonna trade.”

The track reinforces the idea of having faith in oneself, going on to talk about having the confidence to define who you are and not changing yourself to suit others.

3) Epiphany


Epiphany was released by BTS member Jin, as part of the Love Yourself: Answer album in 2018.

The refrain for the song, “I'm the one I should love” encourages listeners to not hide their real selves, and instead be gentle with themselves, no matter where life takes them.

4) I’m Fine


BTS released this track on August 24, 2018, as part of their third compilation album, Love Yourself: Answer.

This song talks about the kind of reassurance that comes with accepting oneself, going on to say that no matter what the situation is, one should always attempt to be self-reliant.

5) Magic Shop


This track was released on May 18, 2018, as part of BTS' second compilation album Love Yourself: Tear.

It drew inspiration from James R. Doty's memoir, Into The Magic Shop. The lyrics of the song goes as follows:

“You gave me the best of me, so you'll give you the best of you”,

The song is a reminder to fans that if they can support BTS at their worst, then they are also capable of supporting themselves, with that same ease. Owing to its smooth melody and gentle lyrics, Magic Shop makes for a comforting track, reassuring listeners that everything is going to be okay.

6) So what


The cheerful track was released on May 18, 2018, and appears in the Love Yourself: Tear album.

The epitome of not caring what others have to say, this song encourages listeners to direct their life on their own terms. It talks about how the majority of things we worry about, are only a figment of our imagination.

7) Paradise


This track was released as part of Love Yourself: Tear on May 18, 2018. It draws attention to identifying one’s happiness and not comparing it with others, since every individual’s happiness stems from different sources.

It also talks about how running and chasing goals that are not your own is a fruitless endeavour, and emphasises on the importance of slowing down.

8) Outro: Wings


Outro: Wings was released on February 13, 2017, as part of their repackaged album You Never Walk Alone.

It is significant in its understanding of the human tendency to regret decisions or actions already taken. The song insists that one should look past these decisions and choose to move on.

9) ON


This track was released on February 21, 2020, as part of BTS' Map of the Soul:7 album.

While it is not exactly a song about self-love, On makes it to the list because of its fundamental message - never give up. The undying spirit that pervades this song is captured in lyrics like:

“Can’t hold me down ‘cause you know I’m a fighter.”

The lyrics insists upon the importance of looking ahead and moving forward in life. An upbeat, inspirational number, it has been a fan-favorite ever since its release.

10) BTS Cypher 4


Cypher 4 that was released in 2016, as part of the band's second studio album, Wings.

The song talks about having faith in oneself and being comfortable with one’s own personality, irrespective of the comments of other people. The hook line of the track, “I love, I love, I love myself,” is a direct push to the message of self-love that BTS is well-known for advocating.

Which of these BTS songs do you love listening to? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal
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