There is no denying the power of music. When artists and bands take their time to create music that's universally relatable, everyone feels less alone. It takes courage to speak of the lowest points of life, even though we all have dark times. Whether the artists themselves have experienced the situations and/or emotions described throughout the song, they invested their time into making the song authentic. Using a large platform for the greater good is so admirable.
1. "1-800-273-8255" by Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid
Logic says, "In [this song] we hear a person at the end of their rope. We then hear words from the perspective of the Lifeline counselor who in turn gives them many reasons to keep fighting for their life.... Finally, we hear the caller express their new lease on life and outlook on a life that they thought was over but had actually been far from it all along."
2. "Praying" by Kesha
Kesha writes in her accompanying essay, "In the past couple of years, I have grown into a strong, independent woman. I have realized through this long journey of ups and downs that if I'm lucky enough to have a voice that people listen to, then I should use it for good and for truth. I've battled intense anxiety and depression, a relentless eating disorder, and all the other basic bullshit that comes with being human. I know I'm not alone in that battle. Finding the strength to come forward about these things is not easy, but I want to help others who are going through tough times."
3. "Hard Love" by NEEDTOBREATHE ft. Andra Day
Keyboardist Josh Lovelace shares, "It's an autobiographical song. It's a fight song for the long journey between trials and redemption. It's about appreciating the wisdom and maturity that comes from hardship... We've been through situations we didn't think we'd make it out of, and this song is an encouraging message about what's ahead for us."
4. "Believer" by Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons frontman who also battles Ankylosing Spondylitis and depression, Dan Reynolds, explains “The meaning of the song is really reflecting on specific things in my life that were painful, whether it was anxiety and dealing with crowds, feeling overwhelmed by that or the success of the band, disease, going through depression—anything that was a source of pain in my life. And just rising above that, finding a place of perspective where I could be appreciative of the pain in my life and make it my greatest strength.”
5. "Gravity" by Leo Stannard ft. Frances
This song describes the fast pace of life, loneliness, and the need to be grounded to the earth. "Gravity", hence the title, shares the message that sometimes such a force can derive from another human. A friend or loved one can hold us, comfort us, and distract us from the chaos of big world.
6. "Inner Demons" by Julia Brennan
Brennan shares the inspiration for her song, " I had a friend who… I kind of became her therapist, I guess you could say. I really wanted to help her. Every time she’d come to me for some sort of help or advice, I could only tell her that I’m going to be there for her and tell her that she was strong enough to get through it. I felt like most of it was just words.
It felt like I couldn’t really do anything for her. I couldn’t fix the issues she had with her family or the struggle that she fought with herself. I thought about the things that she was going through and how hard they really were. I just decided to put these feelings into a song."
7. "Hold On" by Chord Overstreet
Overstreet shares, “I was going through a lot in a tumultuous relationship at the time and had lost somebody close to me. And I thought, 'What would happen if that happened to the person I was not in a relationship with anymore but still really loved?' I wrote the song from that perspective. Even if the worst thing happened, I would still do anything to be back with that person.”
This song has grown to touch millions of people, sharing the truth that more than those close to you will miss you. You are loved. There are many people who want to help you, even if it's been a long time since speaking to each other last.
8. "Carry You Home" by Ward Thomas
Ward Thomas shouts out to a friend in need throughout the lyrics, saying whenever you need something I will be in reach. All good friends should be willing to listen, comfort, and be present through the highs AND lows of their friends' lives. So if you need someone, don't hesitate to reach out for help. Someone will answer. Someone will come and pick you up. Someone will hold you. You're not alone.
9. "Most Girls" by Hailee Steinfeld
Steinfeld ensures with this song that every girl is a queen no matter how they look, dress, eat, act, etc. Girl power is needed now more than ever. Defy misconceptions and stereotypes. Be yourself and uplift other girls and women for being themselves.
10. "Million Reasons" by Lady Gaga
Gaga explains, "I just really want women to be heard. I've dated a lot of cowboys and I just really want women to be heard... Not in a way that 'men are bad,' but I think it's time for us to heal from those wounds that divide us. In this country we are so divided. I just hope this album provides some healing."