16 Surprising Songs That Help People With Depression


Depression is so individual to everyone who experiences it. For some, diving into a work of fiction can be the kind of therapeutic release needed to keep the black dog at bay. For others, depression steals even the motivation to do that, leaving them feeling like a shell, empty and lost.

This is also true of the relationship between depression and music. For some, happy music can be uplifting, shaking the cobwebs loose, if only for a little while. For others, happy music is the last thing they need; sad music is just what the hypothetical doctor ordered. They find comfort and understanding in the stories of another person’s struggle.

To find out what kind of music resonates with people when they’re struggling with depression, we asked our Mighty community to share a “surprising” songs they turn to. From heavy metal to Disney classics, you might not find everything listed here helpful… but we hope one or two will speak to you. The next time you’re sinking into the darkness of that quicksand, remember these songs. Give them a listen, if you find music helps. We hope a few will be the metaphorical rope for which you can reach.

Here’s what our community offered us:

1. “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World

“It always reminds me that: ‘It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on,’ and ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.’ The lyrics are truly my life’s theme song.” — Nicole L.

2. “You Will Be Found” from Dear Even Hansen

“It helps me know that I can reach out and be found, and that no one is alone.” — Bonny K.

3. “High Hopes” by Panic At The Disco

“It reminds me that the old me is looking at the current me, smiling because I don’t have any clue of what wonders will come. I just think about that whenever I feel down.” — Josky C.

4. “Diamonds Always Shine” by Beautiful South

“It says to me that no matter how down I may feel, all I need to do is dust myself down, polish up and I’ll be beautiful as a diamond again.” — Jenny B.

5. “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers

“I like the MTV Unplugged version because the singer speaks a little about the meaning of the song. And I like hearing the audience sing the chorus with the band. I can hear their hearts when they sing, and it’s a good reminder I am not alone.” — Rachel K.

6. “God Help the Outcasts” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame

“It’s a very random song and not all that uplifting, but it reminds me I am stronger than I think and there are people who need more help than me.” — Stephanie R.

7. Songs by Pantera.

“Any Pantera song. People say heavy metal is evil, but if it wasn’t for Pantera and their music, I wouldn’t be here today.” — Adam S.

8. Vivir Mi Vida” by Marc Anthony

“It’s a fast-paced salsa song and always makes me feel like the weight is coming off my shoulders and makes me want to dance. Some of the lyrics translated from Spanish to English are:

“’Sometimes rain comes / to clean wounds / Sometimes just a drop / can overcome the drought. / And why cry, for what? / If it hurts bad, forget it / And why suffer, for what? / If life is like this, you must live it / I’m gonna laugh, I’m gonna dance / live my life, la, la, la, la.’” — Phoenix G.

9. “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” by Fall Out Boy

“Strangely this at the moment. I find a lot of their music hugely comforting in times of low mood, but the uplifting melody of this one, accompanied by lyrics that really get me —  like, ‘I became such a strange shape by trying to fit in’ and ‘I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color’ — really inspires and motivates me to be myself and push past the dark periods.” — Ellie P.

10. Footloose” by Kenny Loggins

“Usually I listen to sad music to get my feelings out, but sometimes I play that and it manages to uplift my mood, even a little.” — Hollie D.

11. “Sleepwalking” by Bring Me The Horizon

“No matter how I’m feeling, I can relate to their music and it always makes me happy because I have such amazing memories linked to that band. Their music isn’t the type to ‘make you happy’ as the majority of it is about pain, depression and suicide, but it’s just something about the way it’s put together and sang by someone else that makes me realize I’m not alone in my struggle.” — Caitlin T.

12. “Here Comes A Thought” from Steven Universe

“When I am putting myself down or when I feel like I am about to panic, I sing it to myself. I know it by heart now, and it taught me mindfulness after I struggled so hard with the therapeutic teaching and meditative concept of it… it just makes me feel better. It helps me let go.” — Carolyn M.

13. “I Wanna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers

“It reminds me of a funny video of one of my favorite actors singing it, and is an instant mood adjustment.” — Angelique G.

14. “History Maker” by Dean Fujioka

“The opening to anime series ‘Yuri!!! on Ice’ because it pumps me up and makes me feel so energized and motivated.” — Jessica C.

15. “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from The Lion King

“This makes me feel like I have power over depression and anxiety when I sing along (loudly).” — Caitlin W.

16. “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors

“It’s is a song my kids and I listen to together when any of us are feeling depressed and having a hard time. This song came on the radio when my son was having a mental health crisis and it has been ‘our song’ as a family ever since.” — Jen L.

What would you add?


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