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12 Songs You Were Probably Obsessed With If You Were a Millennial With Undiagnosed Depression

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

Growing up, there were certain songs that I had on repeat because they helped me feel seen. I wasn’t diagnosed with depression until my 20s, but looking back, I can see how song of the songs I was obsessed with went beyond the typical teenage feelings of being misunderstood — they spoke to something I couldn’t yet describe myself. Realizing this, I knew I couldn’t have been alone.

That’s why I asked my colleagues in the content and community team here at The Mighty for the songs that they were obsessed with in the 00s and beyond. I’ve included a few of my own, and you can find our matching Spotify playlist embedded at the end.

Without further ado, here are the songs we were obsessed with as millennials with undiagnosed depression. Were they on your playlist too?

1. “Crawling” by Linkin’ Park

“I can’t seem / To find myself again / My walls are closing in

(Without a sense of confidence, I’m convinced / That there’s just too much pressure to take)

I’ve felt this way before / So insecure.”

“If there’s a single album I was obsessed with as a lonely, depressed teenager, it was 2000’s debut “Hybrid Theory” from Linkin’ Park. It was one of those albums that introduced me to heavier music and started a lifelong love of rock genres. I could deeply relate to those themes of insecurity, bullying, abuse, and loneliness, even though I didn’t fully understand why until over a decade later. Also, I’d be remiss for neglecting to say: Rest In Peace, Chester Bennington. You are so deeply missed.” — Alexander Lockwood

2. “Last Resort” by Papa Roach

“’Cause I’m losing my sight, losing my mind / Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine /

I never realized I was spread too thin / ’Til it was too late, and I was empty within.”

“I remember people I knew would publicly mock this song so much that I hid my love of it for fear of bulling, like a guilty pleasure. Though I wasn’t engaging in self-harm, I could relate to the adjacent feelings of feeling lost and struggling. Looking back on it now, I’m amazed at how honest and unflinching the lyrics are in the face of suicidal ideation. The band have since confirmed that it was written about a friend who had attempted suicide.” — Alexander Lockwood

3. “Famous Last Words” by My Chemical Romance

“So many bright lights that cast a shadow. But can I speak? / Well is it hard understanding I’m incomplete? / A life that’s so demanding I get so weak. / A love that’s so demanding I can’t speak.”

“Growing up I felt really silenced — my opinion was often discredited or made to feel guilty upon despite just being a kid trying to understand the world. Speaking is something I still have difficulties with to this day. This song really echoes that feeling for me.” — Ashley Kristoff

4. “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence

“Wake me up inside (save me) / Call my name and save me from the dark (wake me up) /

Bid my blood to run (I can’t wake up) / Before I come undone (save me) /

Save me from the nothing I’ve become.”

“That loneliness I felt growing up was just crying out for somebody to come and save me — for somebody to see me like the song’s opening lyrics (“How can you see into my eyes like open doors?”) when I was hiding the way I really felt. In a similar vein, Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee describes the song as being about an abusive relationship, and her now-husband recognizing her hidden struggle.” — Alexander Lockwood

5. “Call It Off” by Tegan and Sara

“I won’t be sad / But in case I go there / everyday, to make myself feel bad /

There’s a chance I’ll start to wonder if this was the thing to do.”

“I feel like there’s a special sub-genre for folks who were depressed teenagers who were also closeted, and while every Tegan and Sara song could probably fit this specific niche, ‘Call It Off,’ the final track on their 2007 album, ‘The Con,’ holds a special place in my heart. The song is so earnest and even a bit hopeful through the heartbreak.” — Skye Gailing

6. “Fences” by Paramore

“You’re always on display for everyone to watch and learn from /

Don’t you know by now? / you can’t turn back / Because this road is all you’ll ever have /

It’s obvious that you’re dying, dying / Just living proof that the camera’s lying.”

“No matter what I did whether it was a team I joined or activities I dove into, I always felt like the odd one out. My brain seemed to work differently. While I realize now I’m neurodiverse, I didn’t at the time and that contributed to a lot of self-hate about who I was because I didn’t find connection with others. This song really symbolized the walls I put up to keep that person locked away while sharing a passable version of myself people would accept.” — Ashley Kristoff

7. “Blue in the Face” by Alkaline Trio

“It’s about time that I came clean with you / I’m no longer fine, I’m no longer running smooth /

I thought that I’d found myself onto something new / Just one more line I repeat over and over again /

‘Til I’m blue in the face with a choking regret.”

“This song comes from a time when my depression and self-loathing reached its peak and I was struggling with heartbreak. Though I didn’t discover it until years after its release, it became an anthem of my mid-00s as I was trying to just… keep it together.” — Alexander Lockwood

8. “Just Like a Pill” by P!nk

“I haven’t moved from the spot where you left me / This must be a bad trip /

All of the other pills, they were different. Maybe I should get some help.”

“I didn’t realize it at the time, but this song was my I-think-I-need-help anthem when I was in middle school. I remember the sobs that wracked through me while I played the song over and over one night, screaming the lyrics while stomping my feet until my lungs burned. Fresh out of tears, I confessed to my parents that I needed help. I started therapy — my first round — soon after.” — Kat Harrison

9. “The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is in the Dose” by Circa Survive

“I can’t be honest with even myself / Do you ever wish you were somebody else?”

“As someone who has struggled with figuring out who they were and fitting in, this line in particular in this song by Circa Survive always stuck out to me. I distinctly remember being on my college campus listening to this song while being Very Much Alone as other students passed me by. I always longed to be someone who could make friends easily, who was confident, who was sure of their identity.” — Monique Vitche

10. “Through Glass” by Stone Sour

“’Cause I’m looking at you through the glass / Don’t know how much time has passed /

All I know is that it feels like forever / When no one ever tells you that forever feels like home /Sitting all alone inside your head”

“Isolation? Check. Loneliness? Check. From depression to dissociation, there are so many ways one can relate to this fantastic song by Stone Sour. I confess that I forgot it existed until a few years ago when it appeared on shuffle, and I was immediately taken back to the lonely gloom of my bedroom in the house I grew up in.” — Alexander Lockwood

11. “The Story” by Brandi Carlile

“All of our friends who think that I’m blessed / They don’t know my head is a mess.”

“Speaking of iconic songs for depressed queer teens, I would be remiss if I did not mention ‘The Story’ by the one and only Brandi Carlile. This powerhouse of a song reminds us that we each have our own journey and while it may not always be pretty, it’s our own and made us who we are today. It’s also a great reminder that there are people out there who want to hear our story. Besides, who doesn’t love to belt this out in the shower? I get emotional every time I hear it.” — Skye Gailing

12. “Starving Your Friends” by Envy On The Coast

“I’m but a boy, just like the rest of these thieves / And I borrow phrases from dusty, faded record sleeves / The story is the same / I’ve just personalized the name / But if it’s all you need I’ll be more than happy to confess my shame.”

“This is perhaps one of the more relatable songs I have listened to when in the throes of a depressive episode. Although the song itself is about struggling to make it big in the music industry, the way I’ve always interpreted it in my own life is how I’ve had difficulties living out my dreams or having things go according to plan.” — Monique Vitche

What would you add? Let us know in the comments below, and follow our Spotify playlist!

Image via YouTube

Originally published: September 12, 2022
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