Popular Songs About Mental Health – Part 2

In recent years, many popular artists have openly expressed their mental health struggles in chart-topping hits. They write/sing about their personal experiences, their relationships, fictitious events/stories, and their struggles, while some make motivational/inspirational music that assures us that we aren’t alone in our battle with our mental illnesses.

For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ve compiled some popular songs about mental health, from ‘Anti-Hero’ by Taylor Swift to ‘Anxiety’ by Megan Thee Stallion, and more!

Billie Eilish – lovely (with Khalid)

Pop sensation Billie Eilish teamed up with Khalid to record ‘lovely’ for Netflix’s popular series ‘13 Reasons Why.’ With more than 2.2 billion streams on Spotify, ‘lovely’ talks about depression, highlighting a struggle that is internal and isolating.

“We called it that because the song is sorta like really frickin’ depressing, so then it’s like, ‘Oh, how lovely!’ Just taking everything horrible and [being like], ‘You know what? This is so great! I’m so happy being miserable,’ you know?” Billie Eilish said to Zane Lowe about the title of the track. 

The pop ballad is about trying to overcome depression; hoping that things get better, whether it takes a short while or a really long time. Toward the end of the song, both Eilish and Khalid sing together, “But I know someday I’ll make it out of here Even if it takes all night or a hundred years,” confirming their belief in the hope that they can win this battle against depression.

Billie Eilish – ‘idontwanttobeyouanymore’ 

Many of Billie Eilish’s songs paint the picture of struggling with mental issues, and ‘idontwannabeyouanymore’ in particular talks about the insecurities we feel. Eilish digs deep into the human tendencies to often compare ourselves with those around us; be it someone else’s talent, success or beauty.

Billie sings the titular line “I don’t wanna be you anymore” many times in the song. “I’ve never said anything that I meant more than that. You are always you. Forever. That’s terrifying,” the singer said about this lyric. She added: “That line is actually my favorite line I’ve ever written in my life.”

“Hands getting cold
Losing feeling is getting old
Was I made from a broken mold?”

“That line is basically like, there’s all these perfect people. Nobody is perfect, but ‘perfect’ people around me. It’s like, ‘Well what’s wrong with me?’” explained Billie.

Adele – ‘Easy On Me’ 

Looking after ourselves and our mental health is as important as caring for others. In our attempt to prevent a relationship or friendship from breaking down or getting worse, we often overlook the irreparable damage, or the simple truth that the relationship has run its course.

Some relationships or people may not always make us happy, compelling us to put an end to them in order to find ourselves and be happy. Pop star Adele, too, had to make a decision like that, which is reflected in her recent hit song ‘Easy On Me.’

Featuring Adele’s signature pop ballad sounds, ‘Easy On Me’ explains her decision to part ways with her former husband to her young son. “I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness,” she said in an interview.

Taylor Swift – ‘Anti-Hero’ 

Taylor Swift opens up about her anxieties and depression in her hit single ‘Anti-Hero.’ Swift is known to write about her experiences in the most relatable way, and this song and its video seem to fit our life’s soundtracks too. The very first verse of the song –

“I have this thing where I get older but just never wiser
Midnights become my afternoons
When my depression works the graveyard shift
All of the people I’ve ghosted stand there in the room”

– points to the fact that her depression, like a graveyard shift, affects her every night, keeping her wide awake as though it is afternoon.

In the song, Taylor admits that she’d rather do something as painful as staring directly at the sun but won’t look in the mirror – that is, confront her own issues and problems. She also feels anxious about people getting tired of her and leaving. In the song’s video, Taylor is seen checking her weight on her bathroom’s weighing scale, and another version of herself shakes her head in disapproval upon seeing its results.

Taylor revealed in a Netflix documentary titled ‘Miss Americana’ that she has seen pictures of herself where she felt “like I looked like my tummy was too big, or… someone said that I looked pregnant … and that’ll just trigger me to just starve a little bit — just stop eating.”


“I didn’t know if I was going to feel comfortable with talking about body image and talking about the stuff I’ve gone through in terms of how unhealthy that’s been for me — my relationship with food and all that over the years,” she told Variety.

“I thought that I was supposed to feel like I was going to pass out at the end of a show, or in the middle of it,” the star stated in the documentary. “Now I realize, no, if you eat food, have energy, get stronger, you can do all these shows and not feel (enervated).” 

Keala Settle, The Greatest Showman Ensemble – ‘This is Me’ 

‘This Is Me’ from the movie ‘The Greatest Showman’ is a powerful anthem reminding us that we can fight whatever challenge life throws at us. It gives us an inspirational message to be resilient and to accept ourselves for who we are, no matter how hard the world and people around us try to bring us down. This track urges us to not pay attention to those trying to hurt us with their harsh words, but to stay focused on our paths instead.

Demi Lovato – ‘Sober’ 

This piano ballad is an open confession about Demi Lovato’s struggle with addiction. They opened up about their addiction and bipolar disorder in their 2017 documentary, ‘Simply Complicated.’ Lovato has publicly spoken about mental illnesses, eating disorders, and substance/drug abuse, helping spread awareness among fans and all those who look up to them.

In ‘Sober,’ they apologize to their parents and to all their loved ones for not being sober anymore.

“I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know why
I do it every, every, every time
It’s only when I’m lonely
Sometimes I just wanna cave and I don’t wanna fight
I try and I try and I try and I try and I try
Just hold me, I’m lonely,” Demi sings.

They end the song with, “I’m sorry that I’m here again, I promise I’ll get help // It wasn’t my intention, I’m sorry to myself.”

P!nk – ‘F**kin’ Perfect’ 

In P!nk’s hit record ‘F**kin’ Perfect,’ she talks about the demeaning way we talk to ourselves, urging listeners to believe that they’re perfect the way they are. She croons –

“Change the voices (Change the voice) in your head (In your head)
Make them like you instead.”

The voices in our heads could often lead to us second-guessing ourselves constantly. ‘F**kin’ Perfect’ acts as a conversation between the singer and the listeners as she moves beyond her struggles with accepting herself. 

“It’s enough I’ve done all I can think of,
Chased down all my demons, 
I’ve seen you do the same.”

Libianca – ‘People’ 

Many of us are fighting a battle with mental illnesses like depression, PTSD, and anxiety each day. We try to hide it, put on a facade, and tell people, “I’m okay!” but sometimes, like in Libianca’s song ‘People,’ it’s clear we’re drowning in our sorrows amidst the loneliness, lack of support and mental instability.

The Cameroonian-American singer also sings about how paranoia can make things worse for those struggling with their mental health as the lyrics go –

“Nobody wey know di paranoia, oh
‘Cause I put a smile on my face
A facade you can never face (hoo)
And if you don’t know me well, well, oh
You won’t see how buried I am inside my grave
Inside my grave.”

Alabama Shakes – ‘This Feeling’

Alabama Shakes’ ‘This Feeling’ is about feeling good about yourself after you’ve fought your way through life. Even through the darkest days, it is important to keep hoping for things to get better. There’s no better evidence than nature itself – how even after the darkest night, the sun always shines bright the next morning.

Paramore – ‘Last Hope’ 

Although the beginning of Paramore’s ‘Last Hope’ gives a bleak message, it gets optimistic, and the singer finds positivity and hope in the tiniest things towards the end of the song. Hayley Williams opens the song with –

“I don’t even know myself at all
I thought I would be happy but now
The more I try to push it I realize gonna let go of control.”

“Every night I try my best to dream tomorrow makes it better
And wake up to the cold reality and not a thing is changed.”

Things get worse even though she looks for hope, but nothing changes. She undergoes so much pain that she doesn’t feel afraid of it anymore. However, with time, she begins to find a spark in her life that pushes her to keep going, to keep fighting. 

“And the blood of these veins isn’t pumping any less than it ever has
And that’s the hope I have the only thing I know that’s keeping me alive.”

Bea Miller – ‘I Can’t Breathe’

‘I Can’t Breathe’ is about going through a really rough phase when you think of the time things were better and happier. 

“Somebody get me a hammer
Wanna break all the clocks and the mirrors
And go back to a time that was different
A time when I
Didn’t feel like there was something missing,” Bea sings of her despair.

It traces the human need to want to escape to a better period in life. Thinking about the problems in your life or what’s going on in your mind can often be overwhelming. Sometimes, you can even feel like you can’t breathe anymore. It’s like your mind and body won’t cooperate with one another. Bea sings “I can’t breathe,” throughout the song.

Fletcher – ‘Healing’ 

In her song ‘Healing,’ Fletcher emphasizes that one can’t heal overnight and that the process of feeling better is not easy, but with time everything will be alright. 

“I’ve been feeling
Inside out in my feelings
Upside down, on the ceiling
I’m finally breathing
The smoke ain’t gone, but it’s clearing
I ain’t there yet, but I’m healing,” she sings.

“Tryna piece the broken pieces
But that’s the shit I’m working on
The journey is a work of art” 

She elucidates her journey of working on herself; explaining the strength, effort, and time it takes in multiple stages when you’re healing.

Megan Thee Stallion – ‘Anxiety’ 

‘Anxiety’ is a track on Megan Thee Stallion’s 2022 album ‘Traumazine.’ The rapper highlights how a person suffering from a mental illness doesn’t know what to do when someone tells them to seek help.

“Friday, Saturday, Sunday, bounce back
How a bad bitch always do
All I really wanna hear is “it’ll be okay”
Bounce back ’cause a bad bitch can have bad days,” Megan raps.

Women are often expected to be positive, be happy, and put on a smile, pretending everything is okay when it’s not, but bottling things up only makes it worse. Megan, like most of us, needs someone to talk to, someone who will understand her. People ask her to speak her truth, and when she opens up, they don’t always believe her.

Metallica – ‘Screaming Suicide’

‘Screaming Suidcide,’ a track off Metallica’s latest album ‘72 Seasons’ “addresses” the “taboo word of suicide,” wrote the heavy metal band’s vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield in a statement, as per Billboard. 

“The intention is to communicate about the darkness we feel inside. It’s ridiculous to think we should deny that we have these thoughts. At one point or another I believe most people have thought about it,” Hetfield says. He added: “To face it is to speak the unspoken. If it’s a human experience, we should be able to talk about it. You are not alone.”

Check out TFword’s playlist featuring these songs about Mental Health and more –

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