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Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Month: A Playlist for Those Who Struggle

As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to an end, I want to share some artists and songs that capture the struggle and strength of coping with mental illness. A few artists that are notable for their discussion of mental health in their music are Taylor Swift, Noah Kahan, Chelsea Cutler, Alexander 23, Jeremy Zucker, Post Malone, and Lorde. They all have a pop/indie/folk vibe with lyrics that speak to the soul.

Here is the ultimate playlist for those looking for music to relate to during their mental health journey:

  1. “Devil On My Shoulder” by Chelsea Cutler

Chelsea Cutler has a variety of songs that speak to the issue of mental health, but this song is the most powerful lyrically and spiritually. With lyrics like “My friends don’t call me anymore ‘cause they know I won’t make it out the door to come over,” and “I don’t think I’m making progress, talk about a fucking process,” you will definitely be in your feels. The most profound moment of the song is the chorus, when she is begging “Help me, I’m still waiting for someone to tell me this won’t last forever but it’s hell for me.” Overall, this song describes the way mental illness can trap you, feeling as if a devil is on your shoulder. Chelsea has other songs that describe her personal struggles with mental illness, a few more notable ones being “sometimes,” “The Human Condition,” and “How To Be Human.” 

  1. “Nothing’s the Same” by Alexander 23 and Jeremy Zucker

This song discusses mental health issues such as seasonal depression and how mental illness affects friendships. If you have ever had a difficult time making plans and staying active during the winter and feel the strain it has had on your relationships, this song speaks to that experience. My favorite lyrics are in the first verse: “How do you live like that? So uncomplicated by the weather in December, I think I’ll stay in for the winter.” Other songs by Alexander 23 that discuss mental health are “Brainstorm” and “20 Something.” 

  1. Any Noah Kahan Song

When I say ANY of his songs, I mean it. This is one of my favorite artists because of the truth, emotion, and experience he includes in all of his music about his struggle with mental illness and the process that comes with coping. His songs also include an abundance of self reflection in growth and failures with mental health struggles. Some of my favorites are “Mess”, “Busyhead”, “A Troubled Mind”, “Glue Myself Shut”, “Maine”, “Please”, “Godlight”, “Fear of Water” and “Howling”. The song “Maine” is my all time favorite song as it firstly, is named after Maine- and secondly, explains the loss of innocence that mental illness has had on his life, making him feel like he can never go home or back to the places he felt safest. Like, holy shit. Just go listen. 

  1. “this is me trying” by Taylor Swift

First of all, Taylor Swift is God and there is no argument that she is not. Second of all, her music can appeal to anyone; country, pop, folk, electronic and even indie lovers. Her latest albums, folklore and evermore, capture many themes, one of which being mental illness. Lyrics like “Told me all of my cages were mental, so I got wasted like all my potential,” and “It’s hard to be anywhere these days when all I want is you,” are references to the loss mental illness has on someone’s worth and journey. It can eradicate how you view yourself and the life you are building. Anyone who has had to suffer through the process of digging yourself out of the hole mental illness has sunk you into, you will love this song. Other songs from Taylor Swift that discuss mental health are “mirrorball”, “seven”, “hoax”, “champagne problems”, “evermore” and “Clean”. 

  1. “Doris Terrace” by Quinn XCII, Jeremy Zucker, Ayokay

This song is a mixture of the intrusive thoughts that come along with mental illness juxtaposed with the highs of life. The verses explore the dangerous and negative mindset that mental illness can impose, such as “Some nights I feel like ending it, I barely ever fall asleep,” and “Some days feel like I am not me.” The chorus then has lyrics like “You could dance or you can cry, and still the sun will shine on you,” with a more upbeat melody. The vibe change aligns with one of the artists struggles with bipolar depression and the chronic back and forth of their emotions. 

There are many artists and songs that can be comforting for those with mental health issues, but these are just some of my favorites that have comforted me through many episodes and difficult transitions. As some songs do mention suicidal thoughts, this music can be triggering and should be used as a reminder you are not alone in your mental health journey. 

Always remember to reach out to people you care about, and although it is hard to ask for help, it is important that you do look for resources and loved ones to help. For me, music has always helped, but that is not the answer for everyone. 

For those struggling, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800-273-8255. Help is always waiting.

Hi! My name is Brooke (most call me Brooklyn) and I am a Staff Writer and UMaine Contributor for Her Campus, as well as the Social Media and Marketing Director. I am a third year majoring in Political Science and Economics with a minor in Climate Sciences. As a TA and tutor, I enjoy helping others. I love all things literature and GRLPWR so I am super excited to be apart of Her Campus! My instagram handle is @bccamire if you want more content!
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