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21 Songs That Perfectly Describe These 8 Symptoms of Depression

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While music isn’t a “cure” for mental illnesses like depression, oftentimes it can perfectly describe what it’s like to live with them. To get more specific about how music can describe depression, we asked members of our Mighty community to share songs that represent their experience with some classic depression symptoms. (At the bottom, you can view this playlist on Spotify.)

Here are the songs our community shared with us:

1. Feeling Empty or Numb

Breathe Me” by Sia

“‘Help, I have done it again. I have been here many times before. Hurt myself again today. And the worst part is there’s no one else to blame’ Depression is dark. It’s like pain and feeling numb over and over again.” — Kimberly P.

“Numb” by Linkin Park

“’Numb’ by Linkin Park, fittingly enough. It’s a perfect description I think. I personally think of the lines, ‘All I want to do is be more like me and be less like you‘ to describe wanting to be myself without the depression. And also wanting to be myself without the conditioned responses I’ve learned.” — Armandina L.

“Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons 

“I’ve always felt numb to everyday life, later realizing it is called anhedonia. I’ve wanted God to awake my soul and cure me from depression, but instead I’ve learned to embrace it and take it one day at a time. I’m in the process right now of changing medications and I resonate with the lyrics, ‘My heart stumbles on things I don’t know,’ as I enter into a new set of unknown side effects.” — Maggie M.

2. Having Trouble Concentrating

Migraine” by Twenty One Pilots

“There’s a verse, ‘I do not have writer’s block, my writer just hates the clock. It will not let me sleep I guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead, and sometimes death seems better than the migraine in my head.’ It really captures the 800 places my brain jumps to, how impossible it makes sleep seem, and the guilt that comes with not being able to control my own mind.” — Brittany W.

“Sleepwalking” by Bring Me the Horizon 

“Time stands still and it’s always like I’m sleepwalking and waking up not knowing what the hell’s been going on.” — Alyx P.

3. Lack of Motivation

“Somewhere Only We Know” by Lily Allen

“I cry every time I hear this song. Reminds me of my childhood before the depression hits me. Everything seems difficult for me nowadays mainly because I face it alone. I’m trying to solve it all by myself because I don’t have anyone to rely on.” — Nur A.

“Motivation Proclamation!” by Good Charlotte

“It’s perfect. ‘Motivate me, I wanna get myself out of this bed!’” — Julie C.

4. Having Trouble Sleeping

Anathema” by Twenty One Pilots

‘You will never know what I’m thinking of, so won’t you say goodbye, so I can say goodnight?’ Anathema means something you dislike or hate. The song reminds me of all the racing thoughts when trying to sleep that wont go away. I don’t think that’s the intention of the song, but it’s what I think of. ‘Won’t you go to someone else’s dreams, won’t you torture someone else’s sleep?’” — Mackenzie J.

“Walkin’ After Midnight” by Patsy Cline

‘I’m lonesome as I can be. I go out walkin’ after midnight. Out in the moonlight, just hopin’ you may be somewhere a-walkin’ after midnight, searchin’ for me.’ It’s the perfect fit. It’s about my constant search for myself and happiness while lost in loneliness.” — Keri G.

“Sound Of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel

“The first line of this song says it all. ‘Hello darkness my old friend.’ Symbolic of my depression in of itself, but also the difficulty of sleeping at night. One of the signs I’m heading into a depression is that I stop being able to go to sleep at night and instead sleep during the day. But it’s not because I’m afraid of the night, no we’re like old friends actually. I welcome it. I dwell in its silence and solitude. Often I cry and it holds me close. Sometimes I zone out and binge on Netflix. But it’s the day that frightens me… all the expectations of what I should be doing and how I should be living. They become so difficult to face and I find myself wanting to stay in bed and avoid the world. To avoid the sadness of not being a part of the world as I’m supposed to be or want to be.” — Lindsay P.

5. Loneliness

“Sober” by Demi Lovato

“Honestly, ‘Sober’ by Demi Lovato. When you’re lonely you sometimes will do whatever just to not feel, even if it’s just for a little while, even if it’s not necessarily good for you. ‘It’s only when I’m lonely’ and ‘Just hold me, I’m lonely,’ — those two lyrics hit me so hard because yeah, I completely understand where she was when she wrote it. I can feel completely lonely in a crowded room, and even though I’ve found healthier ways to cope, I sometimes find myself longing for the feeling that drugs used to give me.” — Hope G.

“Me Myself and I” by G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha

“The lyrics of the song literally (and figuratively) say enough about how lonely I am when depression takes over, especially when I have no one else I can trust to tell about how I feel. However, listening to this song makes me feel that at the very least I am ‘enough,’ that I don’t always have to depend too much on others to cope with my down mood and that I still can overcome even if it would take a long while.” — Rhodette G.

Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who

“It’s a perfect description of my loneliness and the feeling of disconnect with other people. I especially love the line, ‘To be fated to telling only lies.’ It hits home because to most people without depression, what I say about my pain sounds like lies to them, only serving to make me feel more broken and lonely.” — Jacinta M.

6. Irritability

“One Step Closer” by Linkin Park

When I’m at my lowest, everything just irritates me. ‘Everything you say brings me one step closer to the edge and I’m about to break.‘ The emotions are so hard to deal with that I snap at my mother just saying ‘Good morning’ when I wake up.” — Aleksandra K.

“The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed

“I will listen to it several times and I can feel the stress, tension and anger release. Very satisfying.” — Elsa R.


“Always love that song when I’m feeling down.” — Cori J.

7. Apathy

Hurt” by Johnny Cash

“It speaks to me of that drive to try anything to get your feelings back.” — Heidi F.

“Million Years Ago” by Adele

“The lyrics perfectly describes the feeling of apathy: I wish I could live a little more. Look up to the sky, not just the floor. I feel like my life is flashing by. And all I can do is watch and cry.’” — Eline P.

8. Fatigue

“Head Above Water” by Avril Lavigne

“‘Head Above Water’ by Avril Lavigne. God, keep my head above water Don’t let me drown, it gets harder. I’ll meet you there at the altar as I fall down to my knees.’” — Katie S.

“Nutshell” by Alice in Chains

“The last line of the second verse hits home for me. ‘If I can’t be my own, I’d feel better dead.’” — Richard T.

Astronaut” by Simple Plan

“It more describes my entire experience with depression, but fatigue is such a huge part of it for me that this song seemed fitting.” — Jennifer S.

What song would you add?

Header image via Avril Lavigne and “Bring Me the Horizon” Facebook pages

Originally published: October 3, 2018
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