21 Songs To Help You Through Anxiety And Or Depression
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21 Songs To Help You Through Anxiety And Or Depression

For those strugguling in the dark and reaching out, hopefully these songs can help you like they've helped me. #StayStrong

21 Songs To Help You Through Anxiety And Or Depression

As someone who’s suffered depression and anxiety for a few years now, I’ve had to find different ways to cope, and music is one of the best ways to deal with those dark days. You know the days I mean: those when you feel sad, alone, empty, hopeless, frustrated – the darkness takes over and you simply stay in this darkness. In those days when I don’t even want to leave my room, these songs really help pull me through. Hopefully these amazing songs can help you all too.

1. Flares – The Script
Key phrase: “You are not alone / Someone’s out there sending out flares”
I’ll admit that when I first stumbled upon this song, there was a time I could not listen to this song with crying every time! The song narrates the tale of feeling alone, as if no one cares, and you are left to suffer alone in your own darkness. The true beauty of this song is the message that regardless of your situation, there’s always going to be someone there rooting for you and helping you through the darkness. Whether it’s your friends, your family, your favorite book, a song, or a higher power – this song lifts me up by reminding me that out there somewhere, someone’s sending me hope.

2. Army Of One – Bon Jovi
Key phrase: “Never give up / you’re an army of one”
This song really captures the struggle of depression or anxiety as a war that no one sees, but that we go through every day. The song starts by saying “I’m in this war but got no gun,” which really resonates with how these conditions can feel sometimes when we feel unable to defend ourselves and are left at the mercy of our own minds. It also talks about how we’re “still fighting for our lives,” which we do every day, and it’s really uplifting to be reminded that we are an Army of One, and we can handle whatever comes our way because we are strong and badass even in our worst moments. This is definitely a mantra I live by and a song to start off those bad days.

3. Light Behind Your Eyes – My Chemical Romance
Key phrase: “Just remember you will always burn as bright”
Here’s another song that made me cry the first time I heard it and also made me really mad that My Chemical Romance broke up because they are masters at really getting the struggle and overcoming it. Even though the song is a little darker than the previous one as it narrates the loss of friends to “tragic ends,” the message Gerard Way wishes to share with his friends if they were there with him is gorgeous. There are 3 key points in this song that are beautiful and uplifting. 1) “Never let them take the light behind your eyes” – not only the title of the song and what drew me to it but a beautiful reminder that come what may, we can’t allow people or situations to dim our light. 2) “Just remember you will always burn as bright” – even in our darkest hour, our lowest point, our worst days, we still have this beauty, this strength, this light inside us that will always burn brightly and lead us home. 3) “Sometimes we must grow stronger, and we can’t grow stronger in the dark” – this not only reminds us that we need to pull ourselves from the darkness in order to grow stronger, but also that we won’t be able to grow stronger if we cling to things that hurt us like bad relationships or friendships, or jobs, or anything that takes away our joy and our light. Just listen to this song on repeat – it’s perfect!

4. Missing You – All Time Low
Key phrase: “Don’t lose your fight kid / it only takes a little push to pull on through"
Anyone who’s ever been suicidal or a survivor of a suicide attempt needs to listen to this song ASAP! This song makes you feel like your friends are reaching out to you and asking you to stick around because not only will you be cheating yourself out of all the amazing things that await you, but also your loved ones will miss you. The song captures the dangers of self-medicating and cutting in a way beautiful light – it doesn’t romanticize it, but it highlights the fact that “the day will come when you can’t cover up what you’ve done” to remind us to reach out before it’s too late. The song also reminds us to push through those dark days because better days will come. Not only does the song remind us that there’s much ahead of us, but that there are other people who struggle so we are not alone in this fight. Pay attention to the bridge because it’s awesome; just take my word for it!

5. Nightingale – Demi Lovato
Key phrase: “I never see the forest for the trees"
This song really got to me because the phrase “I never see the forest for the trees” really reminded me of something my counselor said to me, which was very similar. This line really gets how when we are in our bad days, everything seems horrible, and we see it as something dark and gloomy and much bigger than us instead of seeing the problem piece by piece, which is much less overwhelming. It’s a great song to listen to just to feel that someone gets it, especially since it is by an artist who also struggles with mental health issues. It’s also a good song to ground us and remind us that we’re not as alone as we might think, and somewhere out there, we all have our own nightingales.

6. S.I.N.G. – My Chemical Romance
Key phrase: “Every time that you lose it sing it for the world"
Yes, MCR again because, like I said, they’re masters at this. This song reminds us to speak out every time we feel worthless because we have worth and we matter. It also reminds us about better days to come. I love the lyric “every time that you lose it, sing it for the world” because personally, I love to sing along to these songs every time I’m overwhelmed, and I let my frustrations out that way. It also talks about singing it out for “the ones that’ll hate your guts” which can help pull you through the harsh words of bullies and negative influences in your life. Also, the lyric “wrote it for the ones who want to get away” really makes it feel like this song was written just for us, because we need to be reminded that what we have to say and what we feel matters too.

7. Therapy – All Time Low
Key phrase: Not so much a lyric but what Alex Gaskarth has said about this song being for those kids who don’t need therapy but just a hug and a good friend (cover photo for reference)
They are one of my favorite bands because their songs are awesome, but they also have messages they share live with their fans that help pull us through. While therapy can be great, unfortunately some have had bad experiences with it or don’t really need to be medicated. They just need a friend who listens and who can hold them until the darkness passes. This song is very ironic and plays on the idea of a bad therapy experience and how it doesn’t always help to speak to a professional. The song also captures the struggle of pretending to be happy and okay when inside we’re falling apart. It’s a nice reminder that it’s okay to not be okay, and we are allowed to have bad days and let it out instead of keeping everything bottled up. It also plays on the theme of suicide being a “selfish” action with the lyric “arrogant boy, love yourself so no one has to; they’re better off without you.” I think many of us have had this thought, but the lyric packs a punch by mocking those who think suicide is about being selfish and getting everyone’s attention when it’s really just a last resort that no one should have to reach for.

8. Riser – Dierks Bentley
Key phrase: “The hard times put the shine into the diamond”
This song is perfect! Every word of this song is something we all need to hear. It reminds us that we’re all fighters, that we can’t give up – that every time we get beat up by life, we have to get back up and carry on. It also reminds us that every bad experience we have is preparing us for something better and that we are all precious “diamonds” with a lot of worth. The words "when darkness comes to town, I’m a lighter” are so powerful because it reminds us that we can be our own light in the darkness and that we also have other lighters in our lives, who will help us through. It also reflects on how every struggle makes us a survivor and prepares us to face the next struggle with a brave face because we are strong. We can make it through, because we’re all risers.

9. Thank U – Alanis Morissette
Key phrase: “How about not equating death with stopping”
This song really captures the emotional reactions we sometimes have to our conditions and our problems. It talks about self-medicating, emotional eating, overthinking, dwelling on the past, and the general frustration that comes with our pain. The song, however, also reflects on how all the time we spend alone and all the things that break us down teach us more about ourselves and help us get better. It also reminds us of how part of getting better is letting go, forgiving, grieving properly and living in the moment. This song is a great reminder about letting go in order to advance and how things sometimes have to get worse before getting better. My favorite lyric, however, is “how about not equating death with stopping” because I think we all need to be reminded that there are other ways to stop the pain that are not dying. Let go of those toxic relationships, that job you don’t like, that degree you’re pursing that is not your dream – these are all part of stopping without dying.

10. Famous Last Words – My Chemical Romance
Key phrase: “I am not afraid to keep on living / I am not afraid to walk this world alone"

Yes, again! While the title might make it seem like this song will take a dark turn, it’s actually a great song to listen to on those bad days. The song opens up with the notion of not being able to force someone to stay, which is true, but also reflects on the struggle of people walking away from our friendship only because they can’t handle our conditions. However, Way counters this loneliness brought on by all the people who walk away by remind us that we can still survive when we feel alone and have people turning their backs on us. It also reminds us to not be afraid to live – to leave our rooms, to go out with friends, to talk to people – because we deserve to live as well. Also the lyric “awake and unafraid” is a great motto to live by one those days we wake up and feel like we can’t carry on – we can’t be afraid to live and even when we’re alone we can and will still survive.

11. When It Rains – Paramore
Key phrase: “You can take your time / take my time”
This song just gets it! Anyone with a friend going through depression needs to listen to this song. The song reflects on having a friend going through depression and isolating themselves while pretending to be okay. The chorus appears to tell of a friend who has hurt themselves and perhaps taken their own life, yet no one saw the signs because they didn’t speak up. This is the reminder we need to speak up when things are getting bad before they end up in tragedy. The words remind us to not run away from our loved ones and open up. Listen to this song when you need to be reminded that you can turn it around and that our friends will stay with us no matter how much time we need to heal.

12. Edge of Tonight – All Time Low
Key phrase: “But the road is long / and I am tired / but with you on my horizon / I will drive until it all breaks down”
I just really love this song and this band! This song talks of how long the journey of life seems when we’re alone, and boy, do I get it! My issues with depression probably stared around the 8th grade, and I denied it until my sophomore year of college. I’ve had anxiety since the 3rd grade, so I get how long the road seems when you’re young and dealing with depression/anxiety, and you feel like there’s no way you can live a whole life feeling that way. Cue this song which reminds us that someone or something is out there “keeping us alive on the edge of tonight.” Whether it’s a loved one, a song, or a stranger, we all need someone to keep us “sane, safe and alive.”

13. Oceans – Evanescence
Key phrase: “Heaven help me find a way to dream within this nightmare”
This song is awesome and Evanescence is tied with All Time Low for my favorite band. This song reflects on being before this mental/emotional ocean (i.e. all our problems) and having the ability to finally let go and “cross the ocean” in order to get better. It gets the concept of being lost, pretending everything’s okay, and feeling overwhelmed. However, the line that carries me through is “heaven help me find a way to dream within this nightmare” because we all need an escape, a sign that there is hope inside all the negativity, the darkness, and the loneliness.

14. Stand By You – Rachel Platten
Key phrase: “Tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes”
This song is precious! It’s a great pick me up to be reminded that you’re not alone and that although maybe your friends can’t make the darkness go away, they can ride the darkness with you until a better day comes. The lyrics “tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes” great because it reminds us that even in our pain there is beauty and possibility. This song doesn’t need more explanation; just listen to it and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

15. Lullaby – Nickelback
Key phrase: “Stop thinking about the easy way out / there’s no need to go and blow the candle out / because you’re not done / you’re far too young / and the best is yet to come”

Okay, I’ve never understood why everyone seems to hate Nickelback, yet somehow they’re still famous...but regardless of how you might feel about them – this song is everything! The song is literally about listening to this song on your dark days to help make it through. Chad Kroeger croons about understanding the struggles of loneliness and feeling suicidal, but also asks us to give it one more chance. The phrase I highlighted before is great because it reminds us that there is so much more we have to do. Even though right now everything might seem hopeless, there are other ways out. Just listen to this song, forget the stigma of listening to Nickelback and just really listen.

16. Dear Agony – Breaking Benjamin
Key phrase: “I will fight for one last breath / I will fight until the end”
Okay, so I don’t a lot about this band, but from what I’ve heard, this record was inspired by the lead singer’s struggles with alcoholism--but this song perfectly captures life with depression and/or anxiety. This song talks about fighting a “faceless enemy” which wants to “bury us.” This song really gets feeling drained and still fighting it every day in order to survive. While it’s not the most uplifting of songs, it’s the perfect song to really express what these conditions feel like.

17. These Times – SafetySuit
Key phrase: “These times will try hard to define me / but I will hold my head up high”
This song! It starts out by reminding us that even though bad times will define us one way and our conditions become a label, at the end of the day, we get to define ourselves however we want. Like “Dear Agony,” this song just gets the struggle, but has the uplifting touch of reminding us that even those bad times that feel eternal will all eventually pass. It also comments on how even though some people do have it worse than us, that doesn’t give anyone the right to minimize our problems because they are real and overwhelming to us. This is a mantra to live by; listen to it every day!

18. Kids In The Dark – All Time Low
Key phrase: “Beautiful scars on critical veins”
This song reaches out to anyone who is struggling and feels like the world has turned their back on them. This song really brings together all those who are suffering alone and serves as a reminder that we are not alone. A lot of us are going through this, and we need each other’s support to make it through. The phrase I picked was because I feel that it’s one of the few songs that really remind us that we’re all beautiful, even with our scars.

19. Skyscraper – Demi Lovato
Key phrase: “Go on and try to tear me down / I will be rising from the ground / like a skyscraper"
I had to include this song because Lovato wrote it about her own mental struggles, but it just applies to us all. The song reminds us of our strength to get back up even after people or situations reduce us to nothing. Much like “Stand by You,” this song is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a great song to listen to in the middle of the storm to remind us that once it’s all over and we look back, we will rejoice in our triumph.

20. What I’ve Done – Linkin Park
Key phrase: “And whatever pain may come / today this ends / I’m forgiving what I’ve done”

Whereas “Thank U” talked about forgiving others, this song speaks of forgiving ourselves. There are many times when we blame ourselves for everything and even when others are at fault, we always turn the situation in a way that makes us the bad guy. Whether we have been at fault or not, part of getting better is letting go of the past and really forgiving ourselves.

21. Fix You –Coldplay
Key phrase: “When you feel so tired / but you can’t sleep”
This song is gorgeous! I think we’ve all had nights where we’re emotionally drained and exhausted, but our mind keeps racing and we can’t sleep. We’ve all lost someone who we love and feel giving our all is never good enough when everyone just leaves. Chris Martin beautifully captures all that in this song. This song makes it feel like there really is someone out there who will be patient enough to help us through it all. Also, the line “if you never try, you’ll never know just what you’re worth” is so important because sometimes it’s really difficult to see our own worth in the darkness.
Hopefully this list can help you as much as it's helped me! Which songs help you get through dark times? Feel free to leave links/titles in the comments. Stay strong everyone - we got this.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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