Songs about depression are heard widely across all genres of music. Some offer some glimmer of hope, while others offer a look at the cold reality of how depression can be. We’ve combed through dozens of these songs and compiled a list of the top songs about depression.
Adam’s Song by Blink-182
Blink-182 has been known for fun, upbeat punk rock songs, often with antic-like lyrics. Adam’s Song, however, takes a different, darker tone. This song was written about a teen named Adam who took his own life. This song has been popular among youth as the words portray a familiar feeling of sadness and depression, particularly in the teen years.
Last Hope by Paramore
Not all songs about depression have a tragic ending, such as the case with Last Hope. This song by the rock band Paramore speaks of struggles and pain but also speaks to the fact that there is hope beyond all suffering. Starting mellow and then gradually becoming more intense, this pop-punk tune is an excellent jam to listen to when feeling down.
Anxiety by Julia Michaels Feat. Selena Gomez
Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand, as described in this angsty song by Julia Michaels with the help of Selena Gomez. The lyrics of this pop-rock song refer to overthinking and thoughts of inadequacy, feelings that the singer thinks no one around her understands. Sung by two powerful female voices, this song is especially popular with the younger generation.
1-800-273-8255 by Logic Feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid
One of the best songs of our time to raise awareness of mental health and related issues is Logic’s 2017 hit called 1-800-273-8255. And if you’re wondering, the title of this song is the actual phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
U by Kendrick Lamar
In U, Kendrick Lamar appears to be addressing himself with his lyrics, speaking of disappointment and feelings of failure. As the song continues, Lamar’s voice and lyrics become more intense, with an almost strained and desperate tone by the end. This raw and emotional piece highlights guilt and the struggles that many feel at some time or another, especially in their youth and teenage years when mental health is particularly fragile.
Grief by Earl Sweatshirt
In Grief, Earl Sweatshirt uses his distinctive lyrical style to discuss depression, anger, and personal struggles. The song features a slow rhythm and dark lyrics, adding to the depressing tone of the piece. More importantly, this powerful song gives a look at how mental illness can distort a person’s way of thinking and make them feel powerless and helpless, as though nothing can make things better.
Hurt by Johnny Cash
Originally written by Trent Reznor from the rock band Nine Inch Nails, country legend Johnny Cash sings a contemplative and even remorseful version of Hurt, with a music video adding to the sad and melancholy vibe of the song. In the music video, Cash reflects on his life and expresses regret and sadness for things he did and didn’t do.
Like the rock version, this song begins as a soft and calm tune, then gradually hits harder with a stronger beat and a slightly louder tune for an intense and dramatic climb from beginning to end.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day
Known for fun punk rock songs, Green Day turns down a dark path with this song about depression. With lyrics such as “My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me” and “I walk alone,” this song tells of the sadness of feeling alone in the world. Most people, both young and old, can identify with the sadness of these isolated feelings and resonate highly with this song. Boulevard of Broken Dreams is a catchy, easy-to-sing ballad that many add to the playlist when feeling a little blue.
Lithium by Evanescence
In this emotional song about depression, Amy Lee of Evanescence belts out lyrics telling of personal struggles, inner turmoil, and the desire to feel relief that is familiar to so many. However, the lyrics mention a familiarity with these feelings and not knowing how to live any other way, hinting that perhaps she even likes to feel this way in fear of feeling nothing at all. Even the title points to the topic of mental health, with Lithium being the name of a psychiatric drug used to treat bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.
Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Ray
Lana Del Ray provides a catchy, almost upbeat tone in this melancholy song. Summertime Sadness sings of longing and, of course, sadness, with lyrics about love and loss and how summertime isn’t as fantastic as it should be.
Summertime Sadness is a little lighter of a hit compared to the rest of this list, with the words seeming to refer to a temporary depression associated with the season.
Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance is known for dark emo music, and Welcome to the Black Parade is no exception. This intense song blends emo and punk-rock vibes to sing about life and death. The melody starts slow and rhythmic, then grows into a rocking tune with periods of a marching drum beat. Throughout the song, the beat and lyrics go hand in hand to create a rhythmic vibe with deep undertones of depression, sadness, and reflection on the past.
Suicide Is Painless by Manic Street Preachers
Used as the theme song for both the MASH film and subsequent TV Series of the 1970s-1980s, this somber ballad about pain and internal suffering highlights the dark side of how suicidal thoughts feel. As the title states, “Suicide is Painless” leaves a person feeling that ending it all may be easier than living with the seemingly unending pain.
Other Songs About Depression
- Numb by Linkin Park
- Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson
- Loser by Beck
- Dark Times by Ed Sheeran
- Unwell by Matchbox Twenty
- How to Save a Life by The Fray
- Skyscraper by Demi Lovato
- Creep by Radiohead
- I Feel Like Dying by Lil Wayne
- Just A Dream by Carrie Underwood
- Lullaby by Nickelback
- Lovely by Billie Eilish, Khalid
- Fell on Black Days by Soundgarden
- Every Night by Paul McCartney
- Mad World by Gary Jules
- Hurt by Nine Inch Nails
- People = Shit by Slipknot
- An Illustration Of Loneliness by Courtney Barne
- Age of Loneliness by Enigma
- How to Fight Loneliness by Wilco