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

Songs About Depression And Suicide

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.

“Suicide” by Disciple

Song year: 2006

The Tennessee hard rock outfit Disciple has never been one to mince words.

Their lyrics are rife with references to fighting, war, rebellion and so on.

But it’s always with a positive twist because they’re a Christian band.

This song, literally titled “Suicide”, though open to some interpretation, is quite possibly the most encouraging song on the topic.

The opening line to the song is, “Why is your face down/left stuck in the ground?”

And, the chorus offers: “I’ll lay you down/Lift your hands/You’ve got a reason to live/This is not your time/Even though it’s dark now (the sun will shine again).”

So, if things are difficult for you right now, I’d encourage you to have a listen to this song.

“Goodbye I’m Sorry” by Jamestown Story Is A Song About Loss

Song year: 2007

Oftentimes, we tell ourselves stories about how people must see us.

Wrapped up in a world of subjectivity and make believe, it’s easy to feel depressed.

We also think endlessly about how life is supposed to be and ought to be without realizing how that’s coloring our view of the world.

This acoustic ballad by Jamestown Story captures all these thoughts and feelings: “And I’m sorry/But this is my fate/Everything is worthless/Nobody wants me to stay.”

Many people have felt this way at one point or another and that’s how depression can leave you feeling.

Don’t get lost in your own thoughts – seek help if this is the way you’re feeling about your world right now.

We have more goodbye songs here if that will help.

“This Song Saved My Life” by Simple Plan

Song year: 2011

It’s not uncommon to hear the words, “music has saved my life.”

Music gets people through tough times – it’s one of the so many reasons people gravitate towards music in tough times.

Simple Plan’s “This Song Saved My Life” is about being down and depressed but then hearing the right song at the right time.

Loneliness and isolation can oftentimes accompany depression but that doesn’t mean you need to keep everything locked inside.

You can turn to others, and if you can’t do that you can turn to this song – it might just save your life.

“Never Too Late” by Three Days Grace

Song year: 2006

Do you feel like your life is over?

Sometimes events and circumstances can feel like everything we’ve worked for is meaningless.

People come alongside us and encourage us, but we can’t even hear them.

As the narrator in this song shares: “Even if I say/It’ll be alright/Still I hear you say/You want to end your life.”

Sometimes no one can tell you anything that will change your mind – but maybe this song will.

“How To Disappear Completely” by Radiohead

Song year: 2000

Have you ever felt like you wanted to disappear or like life isn’t real?

This haunting number by Radiohead hits this nail on the head.

This song is hinting at being lost in your own thoughts and imagination.

It could even be interpreted that the narrator is slowly dying and is commenting on it as he’s fading.

There’s plenty of tension in this song so don’t expect it to lighten your mood.

“555” by Jimmy Eat World

Song year: 2019

Jimmy Eat World’s new single is a simple pop song about loneliness.

The first verse sets the tone nicely: “I keep my focus on the simple things/Try to find some peace along the way/Wish I knew how long I’m supposed to wait/Holding on/But just barely.”

And, based on the rather surprising music video, you could even say “555” is about feeling lonely in a crowded room.

555, by the way, refers to major positive change and in this case, it may reference all the signs the narrator is seeing.

But the more signs he sees, and the longer he waits, the less convinced he is that any change is coming.

“Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails

Song year: 1994

Whether it’s the Johnny Cash version or the Nine Inch Nails original, you can’t help but be moved by this chilling number.

We all feel sorry for ourselves at times.

And, we can end up going in circles.

“Everything is bad” is the theme of “Hurt.”

The narrator is even willing to trade everything he’s got: “And you could have it all/My empire of dirt/I will let you down/I will make you hurt.”

Everything isn’t bad but sometimes that’s how the world shows up for us.

That’s an important realization this song can leave you with.

“Headfirst For Halos” by My Chemical Romance

Song year: 2002

Musically, this is a classic punk rock song with a lot of attitude.

The lyrics, however, are nothing if not graphic in nature: “And I think I’ll blow my brains against the ceiling/And as the fragments of my skull begin to fall/Fall on your tongue like pixie dust/Just think happy thoughts and we’ll fly home.”

The song also hints at prescription drugs, which clearly aren’t helping the situation: “And now the red ones make me fly/And the blue ones help me fall.” Not quite the most positive songs about colors.

The song is rich with irony, which might make you smile or even laugh if you’re present to it.

“Bullet” by Hollywood Undead Is A Graphic Song About Suicide

Song year: 2011

Don’t be fooled by the happy sounding music – the lyrical content in “Bullet” is anything but apologetic.

Honestly, it might be the most direct and graphic song about suicide.

I don’t recommend listening to this if you’re severely depressed.

Unfortunately, some songs go to the extreme in glorifying depression and suicide and this might be one of them.

We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about depression, but we also shouldn’t put it on a pedestal.

“My Immortal” by Evanescence

Song year: 2000

As this song suggests, overwhelm is a common symptom of depression.

The pre-chorus offers a strong case: “These wounds won’t seem to heal/This pain is just too real/There’s just too much that time cannot erase.”

In this case, the cause of the depression seems to have its root in losing a loved one.

Losing someone is rarely easy and you can’t rush the grieving process.

That doesn’t mean you can’t come out on the other end stronger though.

“Dear Agony” by Breaking Benjamin Is A Sad Song

Song year: 2009

“Dear Agony” is like an open letter to depression.

Take the chorus for example: “Dear agony/Just let go of me/Suffer slowly/Is this the way it’s gotta be?/Dear agony.”

If you’re feeling depressed, it can be worth getting your thoughts down on paper.

Sometimes it’s hard to get clarity on what you’re feeling, and it can be helpful to have your thoughts reflected.

When you feel like you’ve been left on your own and no one’s coming to save you, this is your song.

“Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato

Song year: 2011

If you feel like you’re experiencing opposition right now, this can be a powerful song to put on.

“Skyscraper” is about overcoming the odds and taking on the challenges in front of you.

It’s about realizing that you are stronger than anything that could be thrown at you, including depression.

As this song boldly proclaims: “Go on and try to tear me down/I will be rising from the ground/Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper.”

When you need a song to lift you up, this is a good one to turn to.

“Hurt” by Christina Aguilera

Song year: 2006

This is a song about losing someone close to you.

And, it’s also about the resulting impact.

When you’re depressed, you will at times feel like nobody cares – it comes with the territory.

This song may help you see all the people that care about you.

And, if you’ve recently lost a loved one, you will relate to this song.

“Last Hope” by Paramore, A Song About Fighting The Hopelessness Feeling

Song year: 2013

“Last Hope” is an optimistic song about depression, and not being ready to give into that hopelessness feeling just yet.

It’s about finding hope and holding onto it, even when it seems like there’s nothing to hope for.

I particularly like this line because I can relate to it: “Every night I try my best to dream tomorrow makes it better/And wake up to the cold reality and not a thing is changed.”

Still, the narrator declares: “Gonna let it happen, gonna let it happen.”

Even if a spark is all you’ve got it, chase after it.

Look for the hope that lies just beyond the darkness.

“Lithium” by Evanescence

Song year: 2006

Lithium is a prescription drug often used to treat manic depression.

People who are diagnosed with depression are usually prescribed drugs to cope.

And, many have experienced the ups and downs that come with drug use – it can stop working after a while, it can worsen the situation, it can lead to relapses.

Some people have even told me that it made them feel like a zombie.

“Lithium” by Evanescence seems to capture these challenges well.

As the chorus goes: “Lithium, don’t want to lock me up inside/Lithium, don’t want to forget how it feels without/Lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow/Oh, but, God, I want to let it go.”

“You Found Me” by The Fray

Song year: 2009

Unfortunately, many of us know what it’s like to be waiting for that call that never comes.

We might be waiting for our significant other, our parents, our best friends… whatever the case.

You can reach a point of desperation when you don’t hear from that special someone.

Sad Songs About Loss And Feeling Hopelessness

“You Found Me” is a song about taking desperate measures when you suspect something is up with the person that’s supposed to call you.

People can be driven mad, especially by love.

By the way, there aren’t too many songs by The Fray that aren’t in some way about depression.

You can put them on repeat if you like what they have to offer.

“Otherside” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Song year: 1999

A song about depression and suicide all wrapped into one.

The narrator says he’s ready to “Take it on the other side”, which in this case is referring to whatever is on the other side of death.

We are all mortal and contemplate what happens on the other side, which no one can know.

In this song, the narrator is losing control and doesn’t feel there’s anything left in this world for him.

If depression is causing you to slide, this may not be the song to listen to.

But if you need to remember what it’s like to go through something tough and how that can feel, “Otherside” can be a good listen.

“Why” by Rascal Flatts

Song year: 2009

It’s hard to make sense of suicide and it can leave you in shock.

“Why” by Rascal Flatts is a song that tries to understand why the departed was so tormented.

These lines are incredibly relatable: “Oh why, that’s what I keep askin’/Was there anything I could have said or done/Oh, I had no clue you were masking a troubled soul, God only knows/What went wrong, and why you’d leave the stage in the middle of a song.”

This gentle ballad is uplifting and heartfelt.

“Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” by Green Day

Song year: 2004

Many of us have unfulfilled dreams and desires.

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” is an anthem for those who feel the sting of loneliness and isolation.

When everything’s gone wrong, it’s hard to imagine a future where everything’s better.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

If your heart is still beating in your chest, there is always a future.

It can be hard to see passed the darkness, and you may walk alone until someone finds you.

You can be found if you’re willing to be found.

“The Last Night” by Skillet

Song year: 2006

“The Last Night” is a song about saving someone who’s looking to end their life.

The narrator describes a friend coming to them saying they’re alright, but as he asserts: “But I know it’s a lie.”

He also offers this: “This is the last night/You’ll spend alone/Look me in the eyes/So I know you know/I’m everywhere/You want me to be.”

When we’re depressed, sometimes we just need someone to come alongside us, let us know they know how we feel, and to let us know it’s going to be okay.

It doesn’t mean it will be easy from then on.

But if you have hope, you can keep on.

“Jumper” by Third Eye Blind

Song year: 1997

At this point, this song is a bit of a self-caricature.

Still, it can be moving in the right situation.

It references someone who is about to jump off a ledge to their demise (of course, this can be taken literally or figuratively, but the song title references it too).

It’s hard to forget this chorus from the late 90s: “I wish you would step back/From that ledge my friend/You could cut ties with all the lies/That you’ve been living in/And if you do not want to see me again/I would understand/I would understand.”

This catchy tune can’t help but make you feel supported.

“Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel ft. Kate Bush

Song year: 1986

“Don’t Give Up” describes someone who’s experienced disappointment and is going through rough times.

Gabriel’s message is straightforward: “Don’t give up/’Cause you have friends/Don’t give up/You’re not beaten yet/Don’t give up/I know you can make it good.”

This is also a good song to put on when you feel embarrassed about something that’s happened to you.

Everybody experiences failure and difficulties at times, and just because you’ve gone through those things doesn’t mean it’s over for you.

“Don’t Let Me Get Me” by P!nk

Song year: 2001

P!nk certainly isn’t a stranger to controversial topics.

This song is probably one of the tamer ones.

But the narrator is unhappy with who they are, and they don’t want to be themselves anymore.

As the chorus goes: “Don’t let me get me/I’m my own worst enemy/It’s bad when you annoy yourself/So irritating/Don’t wanna be my friend no more/I wanna be somebody else.”

This is one of the upbeat songs that can leave you feeling better about your situation, however.

“The Outsider” by A Perfect Circle

Song year: 2003

This is a dark song that’s not afraid of its subject matter.

I would not suggest listening to it if you’re deeply depressed right now.

The narrator describes a self-destructive friend.

And, they’re not exactly trying to be supportive either, although they don’t want to see their friend suffer, as indicated by these lyrics: “What’ll it take to get it through to you precious/Over this, why do you wanna/Throw it away like this.”

The song is also about the pain and difficulty of being around someone who doesn’t value their life.

“The Pass” by Rush

Song year: 1989

You can count on Canadian prog rock band Rush to deliver a heady song about depression and suicide.

And, characteristically, it’s uplifting.

Honestly, if you think you’d win in an argument against songwriter and virtuoso drummer Neil Peart, you’ve got another thing coming.

But I jest.

These lyrics are a wonderful reminder to us all: “All of us get lost in the darkness/Dreamers learn to steer by the stars/All of us do time in the gutter/Dreamers turn to look at the cars/Turn around and turn around and turn around/Turn around and walk the razor’s edge/Don’t turn your back/And slam the door on me.”

And, that seems like a good note to end this post on.

Songs About Depression & Suicide, Final Thoughts On These Sad Songs About Loss & Feeling Hopelessness

Uplifting music about difficult situations Like Depression And Having Suicidal Thoughts

There are plenty of notable people and musicians who have or have had major depressive disorder.

This list includes people like Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Phil Collins, Eminem, Billie Eilish, Selena Gomez, Natalie Imbruglia, Paul McCartney (The Beatles) and many, many others.

Depression is a real thing and it needs to be discussed openly.

It isn’t understood at the level it could be as many people haven’t experienced what it’s like to be depressed.

But we shouldn’t cast judgment from either side – you can’t know what someone else is going through.

What’s important is that the conversations continue.

Similar Posts