Artists That Sing About Mental Health and Other Issues

Music helps me heal in so many ways. It has gotten me through some of my worst times. It has been there for me when I’ve felt alone. Below is a list of songs about mental illness and other issues.

1. Demi Lovato

One of the things Demi Lovato is known for is speaking and singing about mental health issues. Below are some of those songs.

Believe In Me

This is a song from her first CD, which came out a few years before rehab and became vocal about her issues. This song is about having a hard time believing in yourself and trying to compete with everyone else.

The mirror can lie doesn’t show you what’s inside
And it can tell you your full of life
It’s amazing what you can hide
Just by putting on a smile
I don’t want to be afraid I want to wake up feeling beautiful today
And know that I’m okay cause everyone’s perfect in an usual way
So see I just want to believe in me

Fix a Heart

This is a song from Unbroken, her first CD after rehab. It’s one of those songs where it can be about anything. To me, it’s about having emotional wounds too big that it can never fully heal.

I tried to sever ties and I ended up with wounds to bind
Like you’re pouring salt in my cuts
And I just ran out of band-aids
I don’t even know where to start
‘Cause you can bandage the damage
You never really can fix a heart

Skyscraper

This is another song off of Unbroken. Demi has gone through a lot in her past; she told Ryan Seacrest on his show in 2011, “[“Skyscraper”] is about rising above those issues. That it’s going to be OK. No matter how hard your rock bottom is, you can rise above it and you can come back.” You can watch them talk about it here.

Skies are crying, I am watching
Catching teardrops in my hands
Only silence, as it’s ending
Like we never had a chance
Do you have to make me feel like
There’s nothing left of me?
You can take everything I have
You can break everything I am
Like I’m made of glass
Like I’m made of paper
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper

Give Your Heart A Break

Another song off of Unbroken. To me, this song is about being there for someone you love (romantic relationship or friendship), especially after them being hurt in the past. It’s one of the many songs that remind me of my best friend and how she’s always there for me, especially when I’m hurting.

The day I first met you, you told me you never fall in love
But now that I get you, I know fear is what it really was
Now here we are
So close, yet so far
Haven’t I passed the test?
When will you realize, baby, I’m not like the rest?
Don’t wanna break your heart
I wanna give your heart a break
I know you’re scared it’s wrong
Like you might make a mistake
There’s just one life to live
And there’s no time to wait, to waste
So let me give your heart a break

Warrior

This is a song about struggles and being hurt by someone or something, and about becoming stronger as time goes by.

All the pain and the truth
I wear like a battle wound
So ashamed, so confused
I was broken and bruised
Now I’m a warrior
Now I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior
I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior
And you can never hurt me again

Old Ways

This is a song about not looking back, and not going back to your old, destructive behaviours.

I just keep changin’
These colors, colors, colors, colors
I’m not in the same place
That I was, I was, I was, I was
But if somebody tells me
‘I’ll go back to my old ways’
I’m gonna say no way
I’m out of the doorway
I’m hearin’ them all say
‘I’ll go back to my old ways’
Not goin’ back to my old ways

You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore

This is a song off of Demi’s new CD. Although this song sounds like it’s about a ex, Demi revealed it’s about her old self: How her old self doesn’t do it for her anymore and that she could never go back. “I think about it as breaking up with my old self and breaking up with my addiction and alcoholism, and saying that old lifestyle doesn’t work for me anymore,” she said in a recent interview with Vevo.

I see the future without you
The hell was I doing in the past
Now that I’ve learned all about you
A love just like ours wouldn’t last
I won’t fall for your games
So don’t hate me when I say
That you don’t do it for me anymore
No, you don’t do it for me anymore

2. USS – Shipwreck

This song is about the lead singer’s struggle with addiction and mental illness.

Shipwreck
Useless as a lighthouse on the moon
Deflect
Avoidance holds the lighter to the spoon
Call me
When you need someone to listen to you
Call me
When you’re flirting with the edge

3. Logic – 1-800-273-8255

This is a song about suicide. Billboard Magazine dubbed the song as an “anthem for suicide prevention”. The lyrics are about some of the thoughts that go through a person’s mind when they’re contemplating suicide.

I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die today
I just wanna die
I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die
And let me tell you why
All this other shit I’m talkin’ ’bout they think they know it
I’ve been praying for somebody to save me, no one’s heroic
And my life don’t even matter
I know it I know it I know I’m hurting deep down but can’t show it
I never had a place to call my own
I never had a home
Ain’t nobody callin’ my phone
‘Where you been? Where you at? What’s on your mind?’
They say every life precious but nobody care about mine

4. Rachel Platten

Fight Song

This is a song about fighting through whatever struggles you face. Rachel describes the song as “Empowering, anthemic, honest, raw and emotional.”

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Stand by You

This is a song about always being there for those you love, even when they’re breaking down. This song reminds people that they’re never alone. It’s another song that remind me of my best friend and how we’re always there for each other.

Hands, put your empty hands in mine
And scars—show me all the scars you hide
And hey, if your wings are broken
Please take mine so yours can open, too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you
Oh, tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes
And hurt, I know you’re hurting, but so am I
And, love, if your wings are broken
Borrow mine ’til yours can open, too
‘Cause I’m gonna stand by you
Even if we’re breaking down, we can find a way to break through
Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you
Love, you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna stand by you

5. Lecrae and Tori Kelly – I’ll Find You

This song is about being there for somebody struggling with mental health and health issues. It’s a song that provides hope to those who are fighting a battle.

 Don’t let the fear
Make you feel like you can’t fight this on your own
You know I, I’ll be there for you no matter where you go
You’ll never be alone, no
Just fight a little longer, my friend
It’s all worth it in the end
But,when you’ve got nobody to turn to
Just hold on, and I’ll find you
Just fight a little longer, my friend
It’s all worth it in the end
But when you’ve got nobody to turn to
Just hold on, and I’ll find you

6. Shawn Mendes – A Little Too Much

This song is about how sometimes things get a little too much for a person to handle, and that sometimes it’s okay not to be okay. 

She would not show that she was afraid,
But being and feeling alone was too much to face,
Though everyone said that she was so strong,
What they didn’t know is that she could barely carry on,
But she knew that she would be okay,
So she didn’t let it get in her way,
Sometimes it all gets a little too much,
But you gotta realize that soon the fog will clear up,
And you don’t have to be afraid, because we’re all the same,
And we know that sometimes it all gets a little too much

7. A Little Bit Stronger – Sara Evans

This song is about a really bad heartbreak. For me though, it’s about my struggle with mental illness, and how it’s okay to have weak days sometimes.

Doesn’t happen over night, but you turn around and a months gone by, 
And you realize you haven’t cried.
I’m not giving you a hour or a second or another minute longer.
I’m busy getting stronger.
And I’m done hoping that we can work it out,
I’m done with how it feels, spinning my wheels
Letting you drag my heart around.
I’m done thinking, that you could ever change.
I know my heart will never be the same, 
but I’m telling myself I’ll be okay.
Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger.
I get a little bit stronger.

8. Kesha – Praying

This is a song about trying to forgive those who have hurt you. Kesha wrote it about her producer who sexually and verbally harrassed her. It can also be about trying to overcome mental health issues.

Well, you almost had me fooled
Told me that I was nothing without you
Oh, and after everything you’ve done
I can thank you for how strong I have become
‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I’ll just say this is I wish you farewell

9. Lady Gaga – Til It Happens To You

Lady Gaga said she wrote this song about sexual assault, but said it can be applied to any situation, like other forms of abuse, bullying, grief.

You tell me it gets better, it gets better in time
You say I’ll pull myself together, pull it together
You’ll be fine
Tell me what the hell do you know
What do you know
Tell me how the hell could you know
How could you know
‘Til it happens to you, you don’t know
How it feels

10. Christina Perri – Human

This song is about how it’s okay not to be perfect, and that it’s okay to fall down sometimes.

But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
‘Cause I’m only human

11. Brave – Sara Bareilles

This song is basically about being brave towards anything but especially about not being afraid to stand up for what you believe in. It is a civil rights anthem. Sara said the lyrics were inspired by her friend who was afraid to come out.

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

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