33 Songs From 2017 That Helped People Struggling With Their Mental Health

2017 was a tough year for many — but, if anything, we got a lot of wonderful art out of it, including songs those in our mental health community turned to to help them deal with anxiety, depression and more. Some of these songs are specifically about getting through a mental health crisis. Others may not have been written for that purpose but found their listeners at the right time anyway. We’re grateful to these artists for putting into words what so many of us struggle with.

I also thought it was worth noting a response we got from reader Chelcie R. because it’s an example of an artist who used not only her music but her platform to spread good this year. Chelcie wrote, “Listening to Pink’s speech to her daughter about being herself… it made me proud to be who I am because why should we change for society? All the pain and heartbreak I suffered this year has made me stronger. It’s made me see that I can survive even the most painful moments.”

We’re wishing all of you the best in 2018 — and if you continue to struggle, please know you are not alone.

1. “Heavy” by Linkin Park (Feat. Kiiara)

“It describes everything that I am feeling. It kept me strong, it was a song that I always go to when I feel a mood coming on. It’s uplifting because it gives me a feeling a hope, that I am not alone and I can survive the storm.” — Jessica H.

2. “1-800-273-8255” by Logic (Feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid)

“I cry every time. It’s how I feel and what I wish people would say to me.” — Devin C.

3. “Praying” by Kesha

“It’s so easy to harbor ill feelings towards the ones who have hurt or wronged you. But, to pray for them, they no longer have that hold over you. You are set free. And what a wonderful thing for my mental health, to be set free from the painful baggage that I was still holding onto needlessly.” — Tara S.

4. “World Away” by Tonight Alive

“The song is about finding yourself at your lowest ebb — to the point where you convince yourself you deserve what’s happening to you even though you don’t, pulling through it and growing into a stronger person. ‘This is not my punishment/this is my catalyst for growth/ I know I will survive this/ I’ll be the strongest person I know.’… No matter how deep a hole I’m in it reminds me I can climb out of it. — Martin H.

5. “Save Myself” by Ed Sheeran

“Really opened my eyes to how much I do for everyone else and how little I get back. Once I started putting myself above them I’ve become more relaxed and happy.” — Rachel S.

6. “Glorious” by Mackelmore (Feat. Skyler Grey)

“I’m going through a recovery journey and this song helped keep me positive.” — Melisa R.

7. “Dusk Till Dawn” by ZAYN & Sia

— Submitted by Nida H.

8. “World Gone Mad” by Bastille

“I could see how this song sounds sad, but it makes me feel like I can get through my worst days.” — Jane H.

9. “Rainbow” by Kesha

“It’s about finding yourself amidst everything that seems to be working against you — knowing that you’re damaged and accepting that being damaged doesn’t mean you’re worthless. ‘What’s left of my heart’s still made of gold.'” — Hilary E.

10. “Imperfection” by Evanesance

“Amy’s anthem to her fans to stay and her response to all the suicides that have happened this year. The video is also amazing.” — Stefni I.

11. “Around U” by MUNA

“It gives me hope that I’ll break out of feeling trapped by my demons.” — Gerard G.

12. “Almost Had Me” by Lights

“This song has only been out for a little bit, but it’s gotten me through a lot.” — Megan J.

13. “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man

“As strange as it sounds, it puts me in such a good mood and gives off a 60s music vibe. Whenever I feel like crap, I play this song and instantly I start to feel better.” — Ashley M.

14. “No Peace” by Sam Smith (Feat. YEBBA)

“While this song is mainly about a failed relationship, some of the lyrics reminded me of my mental health. One of the lyrics says, “it hits me without warning”. Much like my anxiety, I have no idea when it’s going to pop up. It just happens. And then he sings “but I know it’s only in my mind” which is something I try to remind myself whenever I have an anxiety attack.” — Alexis V.

15. “Fortress” by Queens of the Stone Age

“[This song says] it’s OK to fall sometimes because getting back up again is what counts, and there are people out there who will be supportive when you do fall. Has gotten me through some dark days; I often find myself listening to it on repeat when a mood is coming on.” — Kristian W.

16. “Survivor” by Mary J. Blige

— Submitted by Carla K.

17. “26” by Paramore

“My favorite line is, ‘Survival will not be the hardest part, it’s keeping all your hopes alive,’ and I think that’s so accurate.” — Francesca M.

18. “Young and Menace” by Fall Out Boy

“One line in particular stuck with me: ‘Woke up on the wrong side of reality, and there’s a madness that’s just coursing right through me. And as far as the time, far as the time, not sure I’m there yet but I’m searching I’ve arrived.’ I used that line in artwork. I may be ‘mad,’ but my journey is far from over. I’ll never stop, despite it all.” — Sunshine M.

19. “Liability” by Lorde

Submitted by Whitney F.

20. “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato

“Makes me feel confident when I listen, and it makes me want to be less apologetic for just being me and give the person responsible for my PTSD a big middle finger.” — Kate H.

21. “How Do You Feel?” by The Maine

“The whole song is a question to yourself, and it would keep me in check. ‘You are alive, but are you living?’ Reminding myself to keep trying.” — Amy E.

22. “Mama Said” by Cat Clyde

“It just makes me melt into my chair and forget about everything but that guitar and that voice.” — Nicole S.

23. “You Can Run” by Adam Jones

“This year was a time of intensive work towards closure after ending an abusive relationship. The song kept me motivated.” — Ewa Z.

24. “Saturnz Barz (Spirit House)” by Gorillaz

“Reminded me to keep my head down and keep working towards a better future. Despite the temporary tough circumstances and the discomfort, learn from it and use it as fuel to progress.” — Kyle F.

25. “Life’s About to Get Good” by Shania Twain

“Helps me to keep going and not give up. Not only are the lyrics motivating, but it’s a great beat that gets me singing and dancing.” — Isabelle O.

26. “Burnout” by Beartooth

“Just the one line of lyrics sends me something. ‘Live free, they won’t get the best of me’ — that line helps me realize that my mental diseases nor anyone won’t get the best of me…”  — Meghan Y.

27. “Help” by Papa Roach

“This one snuck under the radar, I think, but it really puts to words all the stuff that I can’t when I’m at my lowest.” — Allie M.

28. “One of Us” by New Politics

“It really helped me in some very rough times this year.” — Jenne F.

29. “The Joke” by Brandi Carlie

“For LGBTQ with anxiety, it definitely got me. A song I think everyone should hear.” — Joanna G.

30. “I Miss Those Days” by Bleachers

— Submitted by Anne J.

31. “Believer” by Imagine Dragons

— Submitted by Suzy J.

32. “The Village” by Wrabel

— Submitted by Chris D.

33. “Fake Happy” by Paramore

“Finally felt like a song was describing my life — Kira M.

What songs came out this year that helped you with your mental health? Let us know in the comments below.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Mental Health

cards hanging up at mclean hospital

We Asked Our Community to Send Cards to People Spending the Holidays in Psychiatric Hospitals

A little over a month ago, our editorial director of news and lifestyle, Jordan, called me with an idea we weren’t sure we could pull off with little time. She wanted to start a card drive for people spending the holidays in psychiatric hospitals. On any given day, if you scan the internet for health-related [...]

29 Things People With Mental Illness Want to Leave Behind in 2017

For people who live with a mental illness, there’s a lot of pressure to work on yourself, as if there’s a state of “perfect mental health” you can eventually reach. This pressure to be “perfect” can make choosing New Year’s resolutions overwhelming, leaving you with a “new year, new me” attitude based on strict, impossible goals. But [...]
happy new year tiara on wooden deck or floor

Why My Mental Health Means I Don't Make New Year's Resolutions

Each December, I find myself being asked what my New Year’s resolutions are, but the answer remains the same. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I have absolutely nothing against them; I actually think they can be great motivation for some people. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. If you’re anything like me [...]
hiker man overlooking vista from mountain

Starting Over: Tips for Moving to a New State With a Mental Illness

Moving out of state is a daunting task for anyone, but few can argue it’s harder on those of us with mental illness. In my case, as a man diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a panic and anxiety disorder and depression, this was especially hard for me. Here is how I coped and how I [...]