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20 Songs From the '90s That Help People With Depression

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We often turn to music during difficult times.

When I’m in the midst of depression, song lyrics often describe the feelings I can’t put into words, and melodies can ignite a sense of humanness into a body that feels completely numb. And sometimes, a single song can momentarily lift me out of the deep sadness that clouds my depressed mind.

As someone who grew up in the ’90s, ’90s music brings me back to a younger, more carefree version of myself. Whether it’s the lyrics I relate to now more than ever, or the memory of sitting in the backseat of a car on a sunny summer day jamming to a certain tune on the radio — ’90s music can give me temporary relief during periods of depression.

That’s why we asked our Mighty mental health community to tell us one song from the ’90s that helped them get through a period of depression.


Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Lithium” by Nirvana

“Kurt was diagnosed with bipolar. So I could totally relate with him.” — Sarah G.

2. “Drive” by Incubus

“It reminds me that although fear is present in my life, I can still make the choice to take control. Although nothing is guaranteed to work out, I will keep trying.“ — Meaghan T.

3. “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

— Marc A.

4. “Don’t Look Back In Anger” by Oasis

“I was always so angry that I felt the way I did when I didn’t really have a reason. This song made me realize looking back on myself with anger wasn’t going to change my current situation.” — Megan E.

5. “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt

— Nathan C.

6. “Last Goodbye” by Jeff Buckley

“I used to play it on repeat and blast it to drown out the thoughts in my head, but also so I could belt the last part of the song out with him. “ — Sam F.

7. “Freshman” by The Verve Pipe

— Jenna N.

8. “Drowning” by Hootie and the Blowfish

“I honestly would not have made it through high school in the ’90s without the music of Hootie and the Blowfish. They were my escape.” — Amy L.

9. “Seemann” by Rammstein

“This song reminds me of all the times I needed to dissociate to get through bad thoughts. I felt a bit transported, away from reality.” — Amandine S.

10. “Creep” by Radiohead

“It helps me love myself even though I do feel different and it helps knowing there are others that feel the same way.” — Sean B.


11. “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy feat. Faith Evans

“I lost my mom, so when I’m missing her and feeling down, it helps me to listen to [this song] because it’s about loss and how I’m feeling. It actually came out a couple months before I was born. They also used parts of The Police’s song, “Every Breath You Take,” which also helps since Sting was my mom’s favorite and it reminds me that she is always watching over me through the tough times.” — Joanna M.

12. “No Rain” by Blind Melon

“It had a relatable tone to it. I could get lost in the song and it just made me smile because it was quirky, yet so real.” — Lindsay P.

13. “Scar Tissue” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

“The meaning hits so deep and it’s so relatable for so many people out there.” — Caroline G.

14. “All Apologies” by Nirvana

“I used to listen to a lot of Nirvana when I was first experiencing depression.” — Erica D.

15. “Inside Out” by Eve 6

“This was a song I always heard on the radio. I felt as if it described me, what I would do for others, how I would just shove all my emotions and pride down, how I would hurt and how it wouldn’t help. I could truly jam out and sing along to this song. It also helped me in a sense — I’ve heard this song even since my depression started and it helped me go to music to help myself relate. Over time, this song has related to multiple events in my life, but whenever it comes on the radio, you bet I’m singing along at the top of my lungs.” — Isaac P.

16. “Nutshell” by Alice in Chains

“It’s a song that just spoke to me. The lyrics made me feel like I wasn’t alone. That others have been through what I go through.” — Matthew Z.

17. “The World I Know” by Collective Soul

“Whether it was intended to or not, it felt like [the song] acknowledged depression but made a point that things could get better.” — Alton V.

18. “A Place to Call Home” by Joey Tempest

“One of the course lines says, ‘We all need a place to call home.’ It reminded me that everyone has problems and everyone needs to belong. Thinking this way made me feel better because I didn’t feel so alone.” —Tammy Z.

19. “The Downward Spiral” by Nine Inch Nails

“Played all on repeat so many times I had to keep replacing the CD. It’s truly all that got me through most days.” — Jasmine S.

20. “Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls

“It made me feel like I was understood, especially the words, ‘Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive.’ I was a cutter and hid it for three years. Throughout those years this song got me by.” — Katie H.

What would you add?

20 Songs From the '90s That Help People With Depression
Originally published: July 3, 2017
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