Twenty One Pilots, comprised of band members Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, is a band that's recently rocketed into the spotlight. Their last album, Blurryface, shook the music world with its unapologetically anti-neurotypical lyrics. Lead singer and songwriter, Tyler Joseph, has always been open with his fans about his own struggles with mental health. From TOP's first album to the most current single, they continue to help fans overcome their own mental shortcomings by reminding them that they aren't alone. Twenty One Pilots is so important, not only to my life but to the lives of many others. It's earth shattering to see them live. Their shows are a liberating experience because there you realize that this duo is real. They exist. Their struggles are real. Their stories are the same as yours, and they use their fame to bring awareness to the decaying mental landscape of many young people. They use their voice to help bring peace to those struggling to find control in their lives. Here are a few examples of how they've done that for me.

"But I know a thing or two about pain and darkness
If it wasn't for this music, I don't know how I would've fought this"

"Lane Boy" - Blurryface

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This was the lyric that sold me on Blurryface. It hit me in the face like a sack of potatoes. TOP may not have been solely responsible for getting me through some tough times, but ever since I started college, they've given me so much strength to keep plugging away and keep my head up. Music is such an important part of my soul. It's forged friendships, given me strength, and helped me survive. Tyler hit the nail on the head with this lyric.

"We used to play pretend, give each other different names,
We would build a rocket ship and then we'd fly it far away,
Used to dream of outer space but now they're laughing at our face,
Saying, "Wake up, you need to make money." "

-Stressed Out; Blurryface

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When this song came out, it was just in time for the good old summer job scramble. I feel, for a lot of my generation, this song is our anthem. None of us want to grow up. We don't feel ready. Our collective anxiety and stress levels are some of the highest. We struggle so hard to try to fit into societies expectations. It was really comforting for me to know that TOP gets it.

"And I'll fall down
And I'll break down
And I'll fake you out ."

-Fake You Out; Vessel

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Both the lyrics above in bold and the gif hit so close to home. "Fake You Out" was the song that described me to a "t." I'm very good at hiding my anxiety and depression, so when I'm honest about it, it shocks people. I spent so many years feeling alone and afraid, despite that my friends and family were always around. It wasn't until recently that I've started to see how I'm not as alone as I have felt. There's still a chance, though, that I will still fall, break, and fake myself out.

"I'll tell the moon, take this weapon forged in darkness,
Some see a pen, I see a harpoon.
I'll stay awake,
'Cause the dark's not taking prisoners tonight. "

-Ode To Sleep; Vessel

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There was a period in high school where I refused myself sleep. I didn't like the way I felt when I woke up, often very groggy and on edge (from not getting decent sleep). This was also around the same time that I realized I had a passion for writing (which I'm turning into a degree in creative writing). I spent many nights up until 3 or 4am writing any ideas I had a running with them. When I heard this song (post sleepless year) I almost started crying. While, for me, a pen was a means of escape, this line struck a cord in me and has stuck ever since. Pens can do so much. In a few strokes, you can change your characters whole world, making it a powerful weapon.

"Won't you stay alive
I'll take you on a ride
I will make you believe you are lovely ."

-Lovely; Regional at Best

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If you haven't figured it out by now, I cry for almost every TOP song. (I get really emotional. They just mean so much). Anyway, "Lovely" was one of those songs where I realized how much TOP cares about their fans. They care about us and love us so much. They recognize how hard life is for some of us, but are still here to inspire and encourage. Even from a psych student's perspective, these guys are going to save a lot of young lives with their music, just from talking about mental health issues and being so honest about it.

"We've turned our hands to guns, trade in our thumbs for ammunition,
I must forewarn you, of my disorder, or my condition,
'Cause when the sun sets, it upsets what's left of my invested interest,
Interested in putting my fingers to my head,
The solution is, I see a whole room of these mutant kids,
Fused at the wrist, I simply tell them they should shoot at this,
Simply suggest my chest and this confused music,
It's obviously best for them to turn their guns to a fist. "

-Guns For Hands; Vessel

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This was the other song that made me break down into tears once the lyrics finally set in. Despite it's upbeat tempo, this song is actually pretty dark. It talks mostly about suicidal tendencies that a startling number of young people have. The lyrics evolve into something darker to the band offering themselves as a target, essentially. Instead of making a gun with your hand and wanting to take your life, they're telling you to turn it into a fist and jump. I started crying when this finally hit me because again it shows how much they care. They care so deeply about their fan base, and they don't care that its "taboo" to talk about suicide. They openly address it and encourage their fans down a brighter path.

"While you're doing fine, there's some people and I
Who have a really tough time getting through this life
So excuse us while we sing to the sky. "

-Screen; Vessel

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While I could go on for hours and pages about how much I love this band and pulling out different lyrics and such, this seems like a good place to end. There are way more songs that deserve love, but I want to stop here because the above lyric is something not everyone grasps. Not everyone can glide through life with ease or confidence. Not everyone can fake it until we make it. A good chunk of us struggle to get through life, but we have an outlet in song and music. Music gives us the wings we need to fly. Writing and singing lyrics gives us the ventilation we need to just keep moving.

In short, thank you, Tyler and Josh, for everything you've given me. Twenty One Pilots means the world to me, and I will be forever greatful to you and your music.