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The 2 Linkin Park Songs That Helped Me Through Depression

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When I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed and saw that Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, had died, I was shocked. I thought that this had to be a hoax. How could someone whose music got me through the most difficult times in my life end his own?

In 2000, Linkin Park’s debut album, “Hybrid Theory,” was released. I was in my freshman year of college. High school had not been easy for me. I was teased, ridiculed and rejected. I had one good friend. I felt out of place and alone. College was a big change for me. I met people who seemed to really get me. I had a couple of very good friends within a few months of being there. But I was still hurting. That pain doesn’t just go away.

Where did I turn when I was in pain? I didn’t think anyone would understand. No one had before. So I turned on the radio. I listened to a CD that I had. I downloaded music as that was the new big thing back then. What did I hear?

“There’s something inside me that pulls beneath the surface

Consuming, confusing…I can’t seem to find myself again

My walls are closing in

Without a sense of confidence

I’ve felt this way before

So insecure”

— “Crawling” by Linkin Park

Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park, were singing about me. This was how I had felt for years. I was being pulled down. I couldn’t define it. I felt so insecure. I could never put it into words, but here it was.

A couple of years passed. Things were getting better for me. I had very good friends. I had the love of my life, though distance separated us. My grades were great and I felt like I was getting prepared for a career that I would love. But those walls started closing in again. What was going on with me? I didn’t understand it. I remember listening to “In the End” over and over again. I was starting to wonder. Did it really matter? Was I really going to be able to do anything worth mention? My heart was heavy. I didn’t know why.

I had depression. I was sinking. I was lucky enough to have someone notice I needed help and express that to me. I got the help I needed, but I still had a long way to go to recover.

It was March 2002. Linkin Park’s second album, “Meteora,” wouldn’t be released for another year. Anyone who has been through it knows that depression isn’t that easy to overcome. A year later, I was in a better place for sure, but I was still hurting. “Meteora” was really the album that got me through the years of depression, self-doubt and struggle. It still does today.

The one song I turn to over and over again, even years later when the depression seems to be rearing its ugly head, is the song, “Somewhere I Belong.”

This song describes what I want for myself and what I need to do to get there so perfectly. I encourage anyone who is struggling to listen to this song and remind yourself that you can heal. You can find that somewhere. If you are hurting, reach out. It may not be easy to talk to someone in your life. That’s OK. Call a hotline. Talk to someone. You don’t have to be in your pain alone.

When this began,

I had nothing to say and

And I’d get lost in the nothingness inside of me

(I was confused)

And I let it all out to find/that I’m

Not the only person with these things in mind (inside of me)

But all the vacancy the words revealed

Is the only real thing that I got left to feel (nothing to lose)

Just stuck, hollow and alone

And the fault is my own,

And the fault is my own.

I want to heal,

I want to feel,

What I thought was never real

I want to let go of the pain I felt so long (Erase all the pain ’til it’s gone)

I want to heal,

I want to feel,

Like I’m close to something real

I want to find something I’ve wanted all along

Somewhere I belong

And I’ve got nothing to say

I can’t believe I didn’t fall right down on my face

(I was confused)

Looking everywhere only to find That it’s

Not the way I had imagined it all in my mind

(So what am I?)

What do I have but negativity?

‘Cause I can’t justify the way everyone is looking at me.

(Nothing to lose)

Nothing to gain, hollow and alone

And the fault is my own

And the fault is my own

I will never know

myself until I do this on my own

And I will never feel,

Anything else until my wounds are healed

I will never be

Anything ’til I break away from me

And I will break away,

And find myself today.”

— “Somewhere I Belong” by Linkin Park

Rest in Peace, Chester Bennington. Your music touched more lives than you will ever know. In the end, it did matter. Your life mattered to millions.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Lead photo via Linkin Park’s Facebook page

Originally published: July 22, 2017
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