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16 Songs That Perfectly Describe What My Depression Feels Like

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People who experience depression know how difficult it can be to face the day in the midst of a depressive episode. Among other symptoms, many experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, fatigue and ruminating thoughts. Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, it can often be hard to find others who truly understand what you’re going through.

This is when music may come in handy.

Maybe a song’s lyrics put words to what you’ve been feeling in a way you couldn’t articulate before or the instrumentals sound the way you imagine depression would. Whatever the reasons may be, we wanted to know what songs describe depression best, so we asked our mental health community to share with us what songs perfectly describe their depression experiences.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Unwell” by Matchbox Twenty

“This song really hits me to the core. My depression is a strange and scary place that isolates me and makes me feel so far from myself. [The line] ‘I know right now you can’t tell, but stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see, a different side of me,’ resonates so much with me in terms of isolating myself from the people and things I love.” Carly N.

2. “Holding onto You” by Twenty One Pilots

“Twenty One Pilots’ entire second album, ‘Vessel,’ is a godsend for people [with] mental illness. That album helped me through the lowest of the lows because it reminded me I am not alone. But also serves as motivation to overcome your mental illness, to fight through and come out on top. To never allow your mind to take control of your life. My favorite song on the album is called ‘Holding Onto You.’” Tiffany P.

3. “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men

“Of Monsters and Men perfectly captures what’s it’s like to carry depression around with you all the time. Not being able to trust yourself, living in the past, but ultimately knowing you’ll get through it. It captures the essence of depression in a way few other songs can.” — Clara B.

4. “Car Radio” by Twenty One Pilots.

“The first time I listened to it, it hit me how perfectly it describes the fact I hate being alone with myself [and how] I’d rather fill my attention with nonsense rather than focus on the silence.” — Alicja M.

5. “Save Myself” by Ed Sheeran

“Talking about needing to save yourself before anyone else is extremely important to me because I struggle with that, which always ends up in me getting hurt. It reminds me to help care for myself too.” — Adriana R.

6. “Breaking Down” by Florence and the Machine

“So many of her songs help me when I’m feeling down and this song just puts into exact words the way I feel a lot of the time, as if depression is a shadow lingering on the edge of my life and haunting everything that happens.” — Sarah N.

7. “Move along” by The All American Rejects

“That song has gotten me through a lot of ups and downs throughout the years, and still does to this day. It reminds me no matter how hard it may seem or no matter how bad you feel, you just have to keep going and not let anything make you less strong of a person. Its motivated me and has helped me see light in what seems to be the darkest of situations. It’s a lot easier said than done, but I wouldn’t be the person I am now if it weren’t for this song. Shout out to Tyson Ritter.” — Samantha N.

8. “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots

“It reminds me of the times I would play with my friends in the garden in the summer, pretending to be anything from teachers to zombie killers, to running from dinosaurs, and how we were just so innocent and happy, and how now it’s all stress and worrying about getting by, especially with depression.” — Rachel W.

9. “I Miss the Mountains” and “You Don’t Know” by Alice Ripley

“Both [are] from the broadway musical ‘Next to Normal.’ The whole soundtrack is amazing and something I identified with during tough times.” Amy L.

10. “Sleep” by My Chemical Romance

“I have post-traumatic stress disorder as well as depression, and this song describes my feelings so well. I get emotional every single time I listen to it.” — Casey R.

11. “Welcome to My Life” by Simple Plan

“I knew I wasn’t the only one going through this life, but it felt like no one understood me or my feelings. This song perfectly described the feelings I had during my depression.”Eline P.

12. “Shake Me Down” by Cage the Elephant

“The lyrics talk about him becoming isolated, which is what happened to me as things became worse. It is the one song that has sort of pushed me through my bad times.”Erin B.

13. “Boston” by Augustana

“[This song] helped me understand my own bipolar depression as it manifested as constant restlessness and discontent with the ups or the downs. [It describes] just how isolated I felt through the whole eight years before I found the right help.” — Marielle E.

14. “Say Something” by A Great Big World (Feat. Christina Aguilera)

“‘Say Something,’ for me. My depression coupled with other issues and past experiences makes me feel sometimes like I can’t love properly and like I’m driving everyone I love out of my life.” — Park A.

15. “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones.

Most people might not know this song is about depression, but when you really listen to the lyrics, it becomes undeniable.”Amber B.

16. “Isolation” by Alter Bridge

“[It] is the song I’ve connected to since I was a teenager. It describes exactly how I feel, but in the end, it gives me hope. If you give the lyrics a read, you’ll understand why.” — Jackie E.

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Photo via Ed Sheeran and Twenty One Pilots Facebook Pages.

Originally published: April 27, 2017
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