The Matchbox Twenty Song That Perfectly Describes Life With Mental Illness


The first time I heard the song “Unwell” by Matchbox 20 was a few years ago on the radio as I was driving to school. At first I enjoyed the overall song because it was catchy, but then I started to listen to the lyrics, and that is where I found meaning to the song. There are various interpretations and opinions regarding the true meaning of this song, but my personal interpretation of this song is it’s about mental illness and the struggles that come along with it, and the way people with mental illness are perceived by others.

“Feeling like I’m headed for a breakdown

And I don’t know why.

But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell,

I know right now you can’t tell,

But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see,

A different side of me.”

I wasn’t really paying attention to the song until I heard these lyrics specifically. I then turned up the volume and continued to listen to the rest of the song. I got this weird feeling in my stomach. I thought to myself, “That’s it.” This song describes how I feel as someone living with mental illness. There is a negative stigma surrounding mental illness and mental health in general. Certain aspects of society often make me feel outcasted and ashamed for having a mental illness, but if I could, I’d send everyone who doesn’t understand me this song, in hopes that they would have greater insight into the struggles I face daily. I told myself that nobody understood my struggles and what I was going through, but the writer of this song does. The lyric, “stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see, a different side of me,” is what I would like to tell people. There is more to me than my mental illness. I have so much for to offer in this world. I don’t feel as isolated and alone after I listen to this song. This song tells me that having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed about. These lyrics made me feel better about myself overall. Just because I have a mental illness, it doesn’t mean I’m “crazy.” I’m just a little “unwell,” and that’s perfectly OK.

Header image via Matchbox Twenty Facebook page


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