37 Songs About Depression & Suicide – Sad Songs About Loss & Feeling Hopelessness

Important: If you’re feeling anxious, depressed or suicidal right now, we urge you to seek out professional help immediately.

Here are a few resources you can take advantage now depending on the severity of your condition and where you live:

US: National suicide and crisis hotlines

UK: National links

Canada: List of national hotlines and other resources

Please don't hesitate in taking advantage of these resources.

With that disclaimer out of the way, we can begin to explore the great musical works that have come out of darkness.

The reality is that we all go through tough times.

In time, you can always find an answer or maybe an interpretation of events that leaves you feeling better.

And at times, psychiatric help is good and even necessary.

But when you’re going through the thick of it, it can be difficult to come to terms with your situation.

The good news is there is always music, which has gotten a lot people through a lot of tough times.

So, let’s explore songs about depression and suicide.


“Unwell” by Matchbox Twenty

Song year: 2002

Matchbox Twenty’s “Unwell” accurately describes what it’s like to be experiencing anxiety and/or depression.

The narrator questions whether he’s lost his sanity and even says he’s “Feeling like I’m headed for a breakdown.”

Still, he declares, “I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell.”

The bridge has you questioning that statement a little bit as it references being taken away.

Still, this is a relatively upbeat song about depression even if it isn’t fun to be going through it.

“Away From The Sun” by 3 Doors Down

Song year: 2002

“Away From The Sun” is another song from the early 2000s that nails depression on the head.

It’s summed up nicely in these words: “I miss the life/I miss the colors of the world/Can anyone tell where I am.”

We all go through challenges and difficulties.

But some events can leave us feeling down for months and sometimes even years on end – it’s easy to lose track of time.

That’s what this song is about, so if you’re feeling like you need to figure something out, have a listen to this tune.

“King Of Pain” by The Police

Song year: 1983

When you’re depressed, the world is colorless, and you lose track of time.

And, I’ve once heard that the definition of “hell” is having to live the same day over and over without change.

The Police’s “King Of Pain” is about all that and more.

This song’s chorus couldn’t have said it better: “I have stood here before inside the pouring rain/With the world turning circles running ‘round my brain/I guess I’m always hoping that you’ll end this reign/But it’s my destiny to be the king of pain.”

When you’re depressed, it’s easy to feel like the entire world is against you.

This is a great song to put on when you’re feeling that way.

“Adam’s Song” by blink-182

Song year: 1999

From the opening note, the tone of “Adam’s Song” is a little different from what blink-182 is best known for – sophomoric and immature songs about life in college, concerts and girls.

“Adam’s Song” is clearly about depression and the verses even hint at suicide: “I’m too depressed to go on/You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.”

When we’re feeling depressed, it’s hard to think of others or how they would deal with us being gone.

And, while that may not offer much by way of comfort, it’s virtually assured that people will be impacted, and I’m speaking from experience.

Maybe “Adam’s Song” will trigger something in you that will cause you to keep going.

“Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.

Song year: 1992

If you listened to the radio and watched movies in the 90s, it was hard to get away from R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” (but I don’t mean that in a bad way).

The gentle ballad is somewhat reminiscent of the 60s and even if you don’t have depression, you can easily relate to the cry of “And everybody hurts sometimes”.

These lyrics are especially uplifting: “Sometimes everything is wrong/Now it’s time to sing along/When your day is night alone (hold on)/(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)/If you think you’ve had too much/Of this life/Well, hang on.”

It’s true – everybody hurts – you’re not alone.

When you feel alone, put this song on.

“Basket Case” by Green Day

Song year: 1994

Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong has gone on record to say “Basket Case” is about his panic disorder.

This seems evident from the chorus: “Sometimes I give myself the creeps/Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me/It all keeps adding up/I think I’m cracking up/Am I just paranoid?/Or am I just stoned?”

It’s somewhat hard to take this high-octane punk rock song seriously, but if it was cathartic for Armstrong, why can’t it be for listeners as well?

And, you can’t possibly feel alone after hearing this number.

“Mad World” by Tears For Fears

Song year: 1983

If you’re a fan of the movie Donnie Darko, then you’ll remember this somber number.

This song has the narrator looking out into the world, observing how meaningless it all is.

He doesn’t wish for a new day, as evidenced by these lines: “Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow/No tomorrow, no tomorrow.”

He has no choice but to conclude it’s all just a “mad world” that doesn’t care about his existence.

When we’re depressed, it’s easy to feel this way.

More than likely there are people who genuinely care about you, and although this may not bring any comfort in the moment, know that you’re not alone.

“Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones

Song year: 1966

This classic rock song is certainly open to interpretation, but we know for sure the narrator has just gone through a situation that has left him feeling like it’s the end of the world.

Most likely, “Paint It Black” is a song about lost love as evidenced by this line: “With flowers and my love both never to come back.”

Whatever it’s about, we know the songwriter is trapped in some dark thoughts and can’t even face the world around him.

At the height of emotionally charged situations, it’s so easy to feel this way.

There may not be any comfort in painting it all black, but this tune will have you examine how you’re looking at your situation right now.

“Save Myself” by Ed Sheeran

Song year: 2017

This song doesn’t beat around the bush.

The chorus is: “Life can get you down so I just numb the way it feels/I drown it with a drink and out-of-date prescription pills/And all the ones that love me they just left me on a shelf/No farewell/So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself.”

But Sheeran does make a good point here.

Oftentimes, we go through life trying to help others without taking care of ourselves.

If you’re feeling depressed right now, it’s time you started taking care of yourself before worrying about anyone else.

Sad songs that affirm the importance of life

“Nobody’s Home” by Avril Lavigne, A Song About Depression

Song year: 2004

In “Nobody’s Home”, the narrator appears to be talking about herself in the third person.

She’s been trying to help herself, but she has no idea how: “And I couldn’t help her/I just watched her make/The same mistakes again.”

This is a simple song about not knowing where you belong in the world.

You have nowhere to go, no one to turn to in your time of need.

Sometimes, depression seems inescapable and this song speaks beautifully (but hauntingly) to that.

“Lullaby” by Nickelback

Song year: 2011

An encouraging song for those who are going through rough times.

As the narrator explains: “I know the feeling/Of finding yourself stuck on the ledge/And there ain’t no healing/From cuttin’ yourself with the jagged edge.”

Make no mistake – though not everyone will experience depression on a chemical level, we all experience circumstantial depression.

When you’re going through a tough moment, it’s easy to feel like you’re stuck, and you’ll never get out of it.

We know that Nickelback isn’t for everybody, but if you like their music, you’ll find this song uplifting in your moment of difficulty.

“Crawling” by Linkin Park

Song year: 2000

Those who’ve suffered from anxiety will relate to “Crawling.”

Unfortunately, we know now that singer Chester Bennington was likely singing autobiographically in many of Linkin Park’s songs.

Still, it can be cathartic to hear someone singing these lyrics with such passion and fury: “Crawling in my skin/These wounds, they will not heal/Fear is how I fall/Confusing what is real.”

No matter how anxious you may be feeling, there are people out there that can relate to your situation.

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