11 Twenty One Pilots Songs To Help With Mental Illness

11 Twenty One Pilots Songs To Help With Mental Illness

We are not alone in this world.

Twenty One Pilots has consistently called out the pop music industry for meaningless lyrics and one-track-ness with songs like "Holding Onto You" and "Lane Boy". They actively work to keep their music authentic to themselves, turning down big record deals and self-managing. They speak openly about mental illness and are advocates for recovery. Much of Twenty One Pilots' music not only touches on mental illness but accurately portrays what it is like to struggle with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, paranoia, insomnia, and suicide.

For anyone struggling with mental illness, their music is relatable. Though it's often the case that relatable does not equate helpful. However, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have made it a personal mission to uplift. Support and hope can easily be found within their angsty lyrics. Here are X Twenty One Pilots songs to help with mental illness:

1. Stressed Out

Currently tied with "Heathens" for highest ranking single, this track was their first to hit the number two spot on Billboard Top 100 - easily making it their most popular mental illness based song. "Stressed Out" touches on self doubt, the stress of adult life, and social pressures. The music video opens with front-man Tyler Joseph riding an adult big wheels tricycle and carries these childlike themes throughout the rest of the 3:45 minute video. The vivid descriptions within the song (especially verse about scent nostalgia), could take anyone back to an easier time.

2. Slowtown

3. Guns For Hands

Likely one of their darkest songs, "Guns For Hands" was written after a conversation with some fans about their struggles with suicide. The song is dedicated to all who have thought about or attempted suicide, with darkly whimsical lyrics depicting the struggle.

4. Glowing Eyes

5. Ride

While this song has been criticized for falling into common pop trends like the millennial whoop, it still touches on heavy themes of suicide and depression. The music video itself shows the struggle between the need to survive and how easy it is to fall into fantasies of suicide with rapid contrasts of dark and light - constantly over- or underexposed. However, the overall theme of the song shows that it's okay to recognize the struggle and to ask for help.

6. Forest

This piece touches on self destructive tendencies through again whimsical lyrics. The chorus illustrates the practice of finding happiness and peace through the darkness that you don't have control over.

7. Not Today

8. Kitchen Sink

This song touches on the fact that everyone experiences the struggle differently - "A kitchen sink to me is not a kitchen sink to you." It shows the value of finding a passion that can help you cope with mental illness. Even if no one around you finds that passion valuable, if it helps you, it is of the utmost value.

9. Lovely

This is yet another Twenty One Pilots song about suicide. This song is meant to provide support for those who struggle with suicidal tendencies - to show them they are not alone in the world. It is an attempt to fight against self-hate. There is someone in the world who finds you lovely, even if they are not right in front of you. There is someone out there who wants to help you survive.

10. Ode to Sleep

11. Holding On To You

This song is the culmination of all the mental health related messages in their music. It touches on suicide, depression, anxiety, worldly pressures, paranoia, and more. The music video shows Tyler Joseph fighting against people with skeletal faces, representative of these struggles. My favorite line, "twisting the kaleidoscope behind both of my eyes" artfully illustrates how paranoia alters the way you see the world.

The authenticity of Twenty One Pilots' music has allowed messages as these to be so apparent in their songs. Their music is perfect to listen to for those who struggle with these issues. It is both helpful at your lowest and relatable when you're feeling fine. Twenty One Pilots can help you feel like you are not alone.

Cover Image Credit: marta-thomas / Tumblr

Popular Right Now

To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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