There’s no denying that the taboos of mental health are starting to slip away, and more people than ever before are getting involved in the global conversation that are helping people on their roads to recovery and ensuring they are getting the support they need.
However, while we’ve still got a long way to go, there’s no denying that even industries like the music industry are doing their part. With this in mind, today, we’re going to be exploring the top seven songs that talk about mental health and are helping to break the taboos.
1. Shine on You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd
This hit Pink Floyd song is one of the sadness. Written and produced for the bandmate Syd Barrett, who was once full of life and love but suffered an LSD-induced breakdown which led to him ‘dying before his time.’ He died years later when he was 60, but mentally he was gone long before this, and never the same again since.
2. This is a Low – Blur
Known for their pop-rock hits like Song 2 and Parklife, This is a Low is clearly a hit written from pressure. Riding high on the waves of fame, Blur had to come up with something new and exciting to keep fans entertained, and this is clearly going to cause a strain on even the hardiest person’s mental health. It’s brooding, atmospheric, and hard-hitting when you zone into what is actually being said.
3. Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
“A song written about Green Day’s lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong who’s talking about the death of his father back when he was just ten years old. While the track is autobiographical in nature (just listen to the lyrics), it’s clear that there’s a sense of loss lacing the song that everyone can relate to. The track was also tied by its release date to Hurricane Katrina and the victims who had lost so much,” shares Tina Harry, a lifestyle writer at Essay Roo and State of writing.
4. Lana Del Ray – Summertime Sadness
I think the title of this song gives away what it’s about. There’s no denying Lana Del Ray has taken the world by storm over the last ten years, especially this smash hit that talks about how beautiful summer can be (also meaning the brighter times in life, not just the season), but also how hard and empty it can leave us feeling after it’s gone.
5. Pennyroyal Tea – Nirvana
If you don’t know, Kurt Kobain, the lead singer from the hit rock group Nirvana, has his life tragically cut short by mental health issues. Just 27 years old, Kobain took his own life after living with a deep drug addiction, physical and mental health problems, and the pressures and effects of being a superstar. This track was released after his death and is all about a man who is ‘living life beyond depression,’ which really speaks for itself.
6. Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie
“The title gives it away. For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of the superstars that are Queen and David Bowie, and imagine the strain and, well, pressures, that must have come with the life they had been living. The song is all about being pushed down by the weight of life, but ultimately, love conquers all,” explains Frank Butcher, an art blogger at Boom Essays and Lia Help.
7. Stan – Eminem
Easily one of Eminem’s most harrowing tales and tracks, Stan is all about the obsession of a fan who is clearly going through some issues that stem back to his childhood. Seeing inside the mind of such a psychotic individual is chilling, and seeing the tumble into deeper darkness can only bring out the empathy inside all of us.
As you can see, there are so many hit songs that talk about mental health in all its different forms, and it’s crazy to see how many of them are so personal and so raw. Whether you’re feeling down or want to feel less alone in your own struggles, there’s so much music out there to connect with.
- Photo Credit: Madison Inouye via Pexels
About Elizabeth Hines:
Elizabeth Hines is an entertainment blogger at UK Writings and Academized. She loves talking about up-and-coming artists and helping her readers see the music industry from different angles. She also writes for online magazines and blogs, such as OX Essays, and others.