27 Good Songs That Talk About Mental Health Issues

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Mental health awareness is the major theme for the month of May in the US.

We’ve made good progress when it comes to discussing mental health struggles publicly.

These days, there are a lot of celebrities, artists, and other influential people opening up and sharing their experiences with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

The stories we hear in interviews, see in art, and hear through songs are wonderful reminders that we’re not alone in experiencing these issues. Their vulnerability empowers us to open up, as well.

Today, in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re sharing a collection of songs about mental health issues.

These tracks break the stigma surrounding mental health and are a testament to the struggles, strength, and resilience of those who are living with mental disorders.

Enjoy this collection of introspective songs—and remember to seek professional support when necessary.

1. 1-800-273-8255, Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Pain don't hurt the same, I know. The lane I travel feels alone but I'm moving 'til my legs give out. And I see my tears melt in the snow. But I don't wanna cry, I don't wanna cry anymore. I wanna feel alive, I don't even wanna die anymore.

The title of this song is the previous phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. (It has since been changed to 988). Part of the reason the song was written was to encourage those who need help to reach out to the hotline.

2. Now I’m in It, Haim

Locking all the doors to my house, I'm alone in my head. But I wish you were in my bed. Can't get a read on myself. Gotta change this situation.

Thought by many to be about a breakup, this song is actually about depression. It describes a depressed person’s inability to connect with other people and the constant despair they experience brought on by their isolation.

3. God Damn the Sun, Swans

But then you grew old, and I lost my ambition. So I gained an addiction, to drink and depression. They are mine, my only true friends. And I'll keep them with me until the very end.

This melancholic song is about a depressed alcoholic. He reflects on his life, as the people he loves leave him.

In the end, only alcohol and his depression keep him company.

4. Fake Happy, Paramore

I love makin' you believe what you get is what you see. But I'm so fake happy, I feel so fake happy. And I bet everybody here is just as insincere. We're all so fake happy and I know fake happy.

Have you ever pretended to be okay when you actually felt unhappy inside?

That is what this song is about. Many people with mental issues pretend to be all right. They often don’t want to become a burden to the people around them, so they keep their despair hidden behind smiles and laughter.

5. PTSD, G Herbo ft. Juice WRLD, Chance the Rapper, & Lil Uzi Vert

I got a war zone on inside of my head. I made it on my own. They said I'd be in jail or dead. I've seen my brothers fall over and over again. Don't stand too close to me, I got PTSD.

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It develops in some people who have gone through dangerous or shocking experiences.

In this song, a former military serviceman comes home from the front with PTSD. He feels like people are blaming him for the visions he has of his former comrades falling.

He begs others not to get too close to him, which further isolates him and leaves him in despair.

6. Surface Pressure (Encanto OST), Jessica Darrow

Just pressure like a grip, grip, grip, and it won't let go, whoa. Pressure like a tick, tick, tick 'til it's ready to blow, whoa, oh, oh. Give it to your sister and never wonder if the same pressure would've pulled you under. Who am I if I don't have what it takes? No cracks, no breaks. No mistakes, no pressure.

In this song, a daughter expresses her anxiety because of her family’s expectations of her. She is almost at the breaking point because of all the pressure. How long will it be before she finally cracks?

7. Good Grief, Bastille

You might have to excuse me. I've lost control of all of my senses. And you might have to excuse me. I've lost control of all of my words. So get drunk, call me a fool. Put me in my place, put me in my place. Pick me up, up off the floor. Put me in my place, put me in my place.

We all grieve when we lose someone or something that we hold dear. While some people can easily cope with their grief and find healthy ways of channeling it, there are others who have a hard time letting go and moving on.

This song illustrates the different stages of grief we go through. When we suffer a loss, everything in life can be confusing. Some people lose their senses and can become violent. Others turn to drugs and alcohol to deaden the pain and forget—momentarily—about their loss.

8. Anxiety, Julia Michaels ft. Selena Gomez

But all my friends, they don't know what it's like, what it's like. They don't understand why I can't sleep through the night. I've been told that I could take something to fix it. Damn, I wish it, I wish it was that simple. All my friends they don't know what it's like, what it's like.

Each person experiences mental health issues differently. This song is about someone who has anxiety and thinks her friends don’t know what it’s like to be in her shoes.

9. Til It Happens to You, Lady Gaga

‘Til it happens to you, you don't know.

In the aftermath of a harrowing event, survivors must find a way to cope with the trauma and other mental issues brought on by their experiences.

This song is a reminder that, unless we’ve endured the same thing as a survivor, we cannot truly know their pain. We shouldn’t just offer shallow advice dripping with toxic positivity.

10. Dancing With the Devil, Demi Lovato

I was dancing with the devil. Out of control. Almost made it to heaven. It was closer than you know.

Alcoholism is a disorder that has negative effects not only on the body, but also on one’s mental faculties.

This song is about an alcoholic who’s way out of control. She almost died because of her habit. However, she has a hard time overcoming her addiction.

11. 911, Lady Gaga

Turning up emotional faders. Keep repeating self-hating phrases. I have heard enough of these voices. Almost like I have no choice. This is biological stasis. My mood's shifting to manic places. Wish I laughed and kept the good friendships. Watch life, here I go again.

Lady Gaga takes inspiration from her own mental health journey to create this song. The title 911 refers to an antipsychotic medication she was prescribed with.

The music video is based on her experience with the medication, as well as her mental health struggles.

12. In My Blood, Shawn Mendes

I'm looking through my phone again, feeling anxious. Afraid to be alone again, I hate this. I'm tryna find a way to chill, can't breathe, oh. Is there somebody who could help me?

Here is another song that was inspired by the artist’s personal experience with mental health issues—specifically anxiety.

13. Perfect to Me, Anne-Marie

I’m okay with not being perfect. That’s perfect to me.

This song is focused on self-acceptance. It’s about being comfortable with one’s own body, even if it doesn’t fit the standards of what’s beautiful, according to the movie, fashion, and makeup industries.

Overcoming insecurities begins with self-love, which is a powerful antidote to a lot of mental health issues.

songs about mental health | mental health song | mental health

14. Heavy, Linkin Park ft. Kiiara

I don't like my mind right now, stacking up problems that are so unnecessary. Wish that I could slow things down. I wanna let go, but there's comfort in the panic.

Overthinking things can be an indicator of mental issues. In this song, the narrator suffers from overthinking. It’s been a pattern for so long that it has become a source of toxic comfort.

15. Vincent, Don McLean

Now, I understand what you tried to say to me and how you suffered for your sanity and how you tried to set them free. They would not listen, they did not know how. Perhaps they'll listen now.

This song is about Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. Some of his most notable paintings include The Starry Night and Café Terrace at Night.

When he was alive, Vincent Van Gogh suffered from mental health issues. This song is dedicated to his great talent, as well as the unfortunate way his life unfolded.

16. The Doctor Said, Chloe Adams

I'll be lost inside my head, bad thoughts 'til 4 a.m. Then I'll try to sleep.

Getting help is essential for those who have severe mental health issues. However, this song is about someone who has consulted numerous doctors for a proper diagnosis of their mental disorder,  but can’t find the help they need.

The doctors tell them there’s nothing wrong.

Mental health issues need to be addressed properly. Perhaps, in this case, the diagnosis can only come after a thorough evaluation.

17. Fell on Black Days, Soundgarden

‘Cause I fell on black days. I fell on black days.

This song is a reminder that, sometimes, we can’t just shake off depression. Things that used to be good start looking bleak, and there’s no way out of despair.

For these people, a strong support system is really important.

18. Manic Depression, Jimi Hendrix

Manic depression is a frustrating mess.

Manic depression was an old term for what is now clinically known as bipolar disorder. In this song, the narrator describes how frustrating it is to experience the ups and downs of this mental health issue.

19. She’s Lost Control, Joy Division

She’s lost control again.

This song is about someone losing control, perhaps over their ability to make the right decisions, or over their thoughts, bodily movements, etc.

Losing control is something to look out for when struggling with mental disorders.

20. Head Above Water, Avril Lavigne

Yeah, my life is what I'm fighting for. Can't part the sea, can't reach the shore. And my voice becomes the driving force. I won't let this pull me overboard.

Despair can drive people to hopelessness. This song is a cry for help during a moment of crisis.

21. Mad World, Tears for Fears

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad. The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had.

Mental health issues can cause those struggling with it to become isolated from others. The sufferer feels that no one understands what they’re going through.

This type of isolation is described in this song.

22. Why, Rascal Flatts

You must've a been in a place so dark, couldn't feel the light. Reachin' for you through that stormy cloud. Now here we are gathered in our little hometown. This can't be the way you meant to draw a crowd.

This song is dedicated to those who have lost the battle against mental health issues.

Mental health issues need to be addressed swiftly and with great sensitivity, so that situations such as the one described in the song can be prevented.

23. House on the Hill, Kevin Coyne

Well I'm going to the house upon the hill, the place where they give you pills. The rooms are always chilled. They're never cozy.

This song describes what life looks like inside of a psychiatric institution. It is narrated by a guy who’s a patient there.

24. Twisted, Annie Ross

My analyst told me that I was right out of my head. But I said ‘Dear doctor, I think that it's you instead. ‘Cause I have got a thing that's unique and new. It proves that I'll have the last laugh on you. ‘Cause instead of one head, I got two. And you know two heads are better than one’.

In this song, a psychiatric patient believes she can outwit her psychiatrist (called an “analyst” in this song). She tries to reason things out, even declaring that, with her psychosis, “two heads are better than one.”

25. Lithium, Nirvana

I'm so happy 'cause today I found my friends. They're in my head.

One possible symptom of mental illness is hearing voices. In this song, a person who has mental illness hears imaginary friends talking to him in his head.

26. A Better Son/Daughter, Rilo Kiley

Sometimes in the morning I am petrified and can’t move. Awake but cannot open my eyes. And the weight is crushing down on my lungs. I know I can’t breathe.

A person diagnosed with mental health issues can sometimes experience several disorders at once. This song is likely about someone who has both anxiety and bipolar disorder.

27.  Basket Case, Green Day

Sometimes I give myself the creeps. Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me.

Sometimes, songs about mental disorders can be a cry for help.

This song is about someone who asks to be heard, revealing their neurosis.

Final Thoughts on Songs About Mental Issues

Songs about mental health issues are a reassurance that people are not alone in their struggles.

They also serve as a reminder to reach out when one needs help. In addition, these songs can be a wonderful testament to the resilience and strength of individuals who have to battle the demons in their heads on a daily basis, but who are determined to win.

If you liked this collection, feel free to check out the following posts featuring songs rounded up for specific topics:

songs about mental health | mental health songs | mental health
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