Top 5 Songs About Mental Illness
Song lyrics that discuss mental health have more than doubled in the past two years, with songs about anxiety and depression featuring prominently. According to 2019 typology developed by Fokkinga37, these negative emotions could be classified into three categories: anxieties/anxious thinking; depressive thoughts; and suicidal ideation.
Some of the most popular songs about mental illness focus on finding ways to combat these emotions and provide hope and inspiration to those dealing with them.
Sia’s electro-pop tune “Don’t Hurt Yourself” is an example of how mental illness can be so captivating you might miss the lyrics. Her message encourages people to take care of themselves–mind, body and soul–rather than simply ignoring or trying to mask it with drugs.
Halsey’s hit “Are You Insane Like Me?” begins with the line, “Are you insane like me?” She goes on to list off several actions that might make her appear insane, from taking drugs without feeling any physical discomfort to pulling herself apart and acting like her life is over. Throughout the song, she questions whether others find her actions insane as well.
Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree excel at capturing the raw emotions of teenage life, but many of their songs also share more similarities to mental illness than one might expect. An example of this is Anesthetize from Anesthetize which offers a poignant perspective.
Nirvana’s lead singer suffered from bipolar disorder, and this song captures the intense mania associated with that illness. It is an incredibly effective tool for those dealing with this condition and one of the most significant songs about mental illness ever written.