Life can be extremely tough when dealing with mental health issues, but music has always been there for me as a source of comfort and hope during those trying times.
I know firsthand how challenging it can be to live with mental illness, and it’s something I’m still learning to cope with every day. That’s why I have created a list of songs that have helped me over the years to celebrate my strength, courage, hope, and healing in the face of difficult emotions.
Here is a list of my top songs about mental illness that will inspire you on your journey!
Songs About Mental Illness
Some of the best songs include:
1. Breathe (2 Am) By Anna Nalick
This song is about an individual’s struggles with depression and anxiety. The lyrics speak to the difficulty of managing one’s mental health.
The song speaks of being unable to concentrate or sleep due to negative thoughts, feeling like “the walls are caving in,” and struggling with self-doubt.
2. The Scientist By Coldplay
This beautiful ballad speaks directly to those who have experienced sadness or despair due to mental illness. It speaks of the need for hope and healing while understanding that things take time to improve.
3. 1-800-273-8255 By Logic Feat Alessia Cara & Khalid
The title refers directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number.
It encourages individuals in distress or suicidal states to take their safety seriously, seek help from professionals if needed, talk through their feelings rather than act on them impulsively and ultimately find a path towards recovery/happiness.
4. Torn By Natalie Imbruglia
Natalie Imbruglia penned this powerful anthem that resonates deeply with anyone who has ever struggled with mental illness.
The jam speaks to those feeling emotionally empty on the inside due to everyday hardships and having to deal with mental illness.
5. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) By Kelly Clarkson
This empowering anthem reminds us that we can all be stronger than our struggles. The song reminds us that anything challenging or painful in life only makes us tougher if we choose to learn from it and keep moving forward.
6. Make It Stop (September’s Children) By Rise Against
This song was written following the alarming increase in teen suicides due to bullying in schools. The song is an incredibly powerful anthem for those who have faced similar mental health issues and other forms of social ostracization.
7. Ain’t No Sunshine By Bill Withers
Although this classic tune is not specifically about mental illness, its melancholic melody has been known to soothe individuals suffering from depression through its poetic lyrics speaking of loneliness and loss.
8. Fight Song By Rachel Platten
It doesn’t get more inspiring than this song! This powerful anthem speaks of the strength we all have inside us. It encourages us to never give up and keep striving for our dreams no matter how hard life becomes.
9. Not Afraid By Eminem
There’s no denying that Eminem has faced his fair share of hardships over the years, including mental health issues. In this track, he encourages listeners to stay strong in their battles and not let anything bring them down.
10. Stay Alive By Jose Gonzalez
A beautiful folk ballad speaking to those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or any other forms of mental illness which make it hard for them to find a will or reason to stay alive.
The lyrics offer hope and remind us that we always have something worth living for if only we look deep inside ourselves.
11. Break Free By Ariana Grande
This upbeat pop song celebrates overcoming obstacles in life and becoming the person you want to be despite what anyone else might think or say about it. It is the perfect pick-me-up song for those trying to break free from mental illness and its adverse effects on self-esteem.
12. Toxic By Britney Spears
Although this classic track doesn’t directly mention mental health issues, its lyrics speak volumes about the importance of cutting ties with toxic people or situations.
The song highlights that such people or situations prevent us from being our best selves, making it harder for us to recover emotionally when facing difficult times such as those caused by mental illness.
13. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams By Green Day
This iconic rock anthem speaks of a person’s feeling of loneliness and despair when it seems like the world is against them.
It’s a reminder that although no one can truly understand what another individual is going through, we are all still connected on some level. There will always be brighter days if we keep our heads up high.
14. Who You Are By Jessie J
‘Who you are’ is a song about loving yourself despite mental health issues and other types of personal struggles which make us feel like less than who we are inside. The lyrics remind us to never forget how special and unique each one of us is, regardless of what anyone else might say or think.
15. Skyscraper By Demi Lovato
This inspiring song speaks of how hard it is to keep standing strong when life knocks us down.
The song is a reminder that although it can seem like we are utterly alone in our battles, there is always a way out if we choose to look for it.
16. Try By Colbie Caillat
‘Try’ is a beautiful ballad about the importance of self-love to heal from mental health issues or emotional scars which threaten our peace and happiness. The lyrics remind us that even though things might seem challenging at times, anything can be achieved if we try hard enough!
17. Brave By Sara Bareilles
This is an anthem about finding the courage within ourselves no matter what kind of difficult situations life throws at us. It reminds its listeners that they have all the power needed inside them to make their dreams come true despite obstacles along the way – including mental illness!
18. Keep Holding On By Avril Lavigne
Another inspiring anthem that speaks directly to those who are struggling with depression, anxiety, or difficult times in their lives. It encourages us not to give up hope and never forget how amazing we truly are despite the negative things in life.
19. You’re Not Alone By Saosin
This a powerful rock song about never giving up hope and reaching out for help when things seem too hard to handle.
It is a reminder that although we may feel completely isolated in our struggles, there is always someone to turn to who will be willing to listen and understand us.
20. Hallelujah By Jeff Buckley
This classic ballad speaks of the importance of faith in times of desperation or sadness. The song is a true testimony that no matter how hard life may seem, hope can always be found if only you look deep inside yourself. This is a strong and relevant message for anyone dealing with mental illness.
RELATED: 45 Uplifting Songs For Social Change
21. Keep Breathing By Ingrid Michaelson
‘Keep breathing’ is a beautiful folk tune speaking directly to those struggling with depression or any other form of mental illness.
The song encourages us to keep breathing through our darkest moments, even when everything seems impossible.
22. Fighter By Christina Aguilera
An empowering anthem about facing whatever life throws at us head-on and never let anything bring us down. The song is an important message for those suffering from mental health issues that make them feel like nothing matters anymore.
23. Head Over Heels By Tears For Fears
This classic rock song speaks of the need to keep our heads up high and never give in to despair. It’s a reminder that we can overcome mental illness if we choose to stay strong and fight through it, and reach out for help when needed.
24. Unwell By Matchbox 20
‘Unwell’ is a powerful anthem about dealing with depression or other mental health issues. The song reminds its listeners that even though they may feel “unwell” inside, they can still achieve anything their hearts desire if only they believe in themselves enough!
25. Break My Stride By Matthew Wilder
A feel-good pop song speaking of the need to keep going and never letting anything get in the way of achieving our dreams. This is an important message for anyone struggling with mental health issues that threaten to bring them down!
26. Just Like Heaven By The Cure
‘Just like heaven’ is not specifically songs about mental illness, but its dreamy melody can help individuals suffering from depression or any other kind of emotional pain.
The powerful lyrics will soothe their minds and hearts.
27. Chasing Pavements By Adele
This classic soul ballad speaks directly to those who have experienced sadness or despair due to a problematic situation.
The song reminds us to work hard and keep chasing our dreams.
28. The Reason By Hoobastank
This powerful rock anthem is all about finding strength within ourselves despite the different struggles in life.
The song encourages listeners facing depression or anxiety (or any other type of hardship) to never forget how truly amazing they are on the inside – no matter what others think or say.
29. What’s Up By 4 Non-Blondes
This classic rock song speaks directly to those struggling with depression. Although life is challenging, we can always find our way out of darkness and find things worth living for.
30. Haunted By Taylor Swift
This hauntingly beautiful ballad speaks of an individual’s struggles with depression and anxiety and the difficulty of coping with such situations.
It’s a reminder that although we may feel alone in our battles; eventually, better days will come if we choose not to give up hope!
RELATED: 45 Songs About Loving Yourself That Will Have You Treating You Best
31. Feel Again By OneRepublic
An inspiring pop anthem of never losing sight of what truly matters in life is an important message for anyone dealing with mental health issues. We need to dust ourselves, feel again and keep pushing.
32. Invisible By Hunter Hayes
A powerful country song about being invisible, especially when you feel like no one understands you or your journey through mental illness.
The song reminds anyone feeling invisible due to depression or any other form of emotional pain that there is always someone who cares, even if it may not seem like it most of the time.
33. Unstoppable By Sia
An empowering anthem about how strong we all can be when facing difficult situations in life, including mental health issues.
The song reminds us that we are unstoppable even when things become challenging. You can still achieve anything your heart desires if you believe in yourself enough!
34. The Climb By Miley Cyrus
This classic pop song speaks of never giving up on what you truly want, no matter how hard the journey gets.
It’s a reminder that although depression and mental illness can make it easy for you to forget the importance of life, better days are coming as long as we choose to keep climbing toward our dreams.
35. Just Give Me A Reason By Pink Feat Nate Ruess
A beautiful ballad speaks directly to those struggling with emotional pain due to difficult personal struggles. This song is an ode to understanding and coping with mental illness, encouraging people to be strong through tough times.
Pink’s powerful lyrics drive home the message that it’s okay not to be okay, and you can still find a reason for hope.
36. Try Everything By Shakira
‘Try everything’ is an inspiring anthem about never giving up on achieving our dreams. The song encourages us to stay positive by believing in ourselves even when facing mental health issues that make it hard to find a will or reason to keep going.
37. A Change Is Gonna Come By Sam Cooke
Although not specifically songs about mental illness, this classic soul tune speaks of the importance of never giving up on hope, even when everything else seems too hard to handle.
The song provides the hope that better things are on the way if we choose to stay strong and fight through it.
38. The Voice Within By Christina Aguilera
‘The Voice’ is an empowering pop anthem about finding strength within oneself. The song addresses those undergoing mental issues to never give up – after all, there is always something better and worth fighting for!
39. My Immortal By Evanescence
Although ‘My immortal’ is not specifically about mental illness, this beautiful rock ballad speaks volumes against giving up due to personal struggles such as depression or anxiety.
It’s a reminder that there is still hope for brighter days ahead if only we choose not to give up!
40. Brave Honest Beautiful By Fifth Harmony Feat Meghan Trainor
This beautiful pop anthem encourages individuals suffering from the emotional pain (due to mental health issues or anything else) to never forget that life is beautiful.
Life can be challenging, but we should always find joy and encouragement in the little things in life!
RELATED: 45 Overcoming Challenging Situations : Songs About Healing
41. Smile By Uncle Kracker
This feel-good country track is an instant mood booster and a reminder that although things can get tough at times, it’s important to remember that there are still beautiful moments in life worth smiling about.
The song is a great message for anyone struggling with mental illness.
42. Don’t Stop Believin By Journey
This classic rock anthem is all about never giving up on your dreams. Our dreams can, at times, seem like a fairy tale, but we should never stop believing in ourselves as well as our goals. Better days are on the horizon!
43. Keep Your Head Up By Andy Grammer
An inspiring pop song speaks directly to those who have faced emotional hardship due to a difficult life situation.
It encourages them not to give up hope and never forget how amazing they truly are despite challenges.
44. Rise Up By Andra Day
This is a truly inspiring anthem about finding strength within yourself in life. It is an important message for anyone struggling with mental health issues that make it hard to find a will or reason to keep going.
45. In My Blood By Shawn Mendes
Written by Shawn Mendes, ‘In My Blood’ is an emotional and powerful anthem about overcoming depression. The song speaks to the struggles of mental illness and how it can sometimes feel like there’s no way out.
Despite this, the chorus encourages listeners to keep going, with Mendes singing: “Sometimes I feel like giving up/But I just can’t/It isn’t in my blood.”
46. Breathin By Ariana Grande
‘Breathin’’ is an empowering song from Ariana Grande that speaks to those struggling with mental illness. The lyrics, “Just keep breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’, and oh I got so much love”, provides a sense of hope during hard times.
This catchy tune encourages listeners to take control of their emotions by focusing on the present.
47. Sober By Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato’s heartfelt ballad ‘Sober’ exudes the struggles of addiction and mental health issues.
The raw lyrics provide an honest look into her personal experience, allowing listeners to connect with their feelings of vulnerability. This song is a powerful reminder that we are never alone in our struggles, no matter how hard it gets.
48. Save Myself By Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran’s “Save Myself” is a song of strength and resilience. The lyrics encourage listeners to take charge of their lives, even when it feels like no one else can help them. This powerful message resonates with anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by the challenges in life.
49. Perfect To Me By Anne-Marie
This upbeat, empowering song by Anne-Marie is a great way to embrace the idea of being “perfectly imperfect” and accepting yourself just the way you are.
The lyrics speak of her struggles with mental health but ultimately come from a place of strength and resilience. It’s both cathartic and inspiring, making it an excellent anthem for anyone struggling with mental illness
50. Fix You By Coldplay
Coldplay’s uplifting song is all about providing support to someone you love who is going through a tough time.
The lyrics reach out and promise to “try [their] best to fix you”, even when it feels like there isn’t any hope left. It serves as a reminder that we are not alone in our struggles and that we can rely on the people around us for comfort and strength.
RELATED: 45 Songs About Knowing Your Worth That Will Empower You And Get You Feeling Valuable And Confident Again
51. Human By Christina Perri
Christina Perri’s bittersweet ballad urges us to remember that it’s okay not to be perfect. The heartfelt lyrics talk about the importance of showing ourselves and others compassion, no matter how hard life gets.
It reminds us that we are all “just human” and illustrates a powerful message of hope in times of distress.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Common Themes In Songs About Mental Illness?
Common themes of songs about mental illness include self-love, hope for recovery, understanding, acceptance of one’s struggles, and empowerment to keep fighting in the face of adversity.
What Genres Are Typically Used For Mental Illness Songs?
Songs about mental illness span all music genres – from pop and rock to folk and country. Some styles, such as rap or hip-hop, often adopt more aggressive tones that may not be suitable for sensitive topics such as this one.
Are There Famous Artists Who Have Released Songs About Mental Illness?
Yes! Many popular artists such as Coldplay, Eminem, Adele, and Christina Aguilera have released powerful tracks speaking directly to those suffering from depression or any other type of emotional pain due to mental illness.