Songs about depression can help you feel like you’re not alone as you battle the toxic thoughts in your head. The depression songs on this list can sometimes be filled with tons of misery and other times respark the hope within you to keep moving forward. If you’re looking for depressing songs to cry to you’ve come to the right place. So, let’s dive into our favorite depressing lyrics.
23 Songs About Depression
1. Hurt – Johnny Cash
Arguably, one of the most moving covers of a song of all time, Johnny Cash’s Hurt reflects on depression on a deep level. The starting lyrics, “I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel, I focus on the pain, the only thing that’s real” accurately describes what depression feels like. It also highlights what our mind focuses on: pain. The song may also be relatable for those suffering from grief depression. The lyrics talk about how he loses everyone in the end. This can be a relatable song about depression for those who have lost loved ones to illness or suddenly. But the depression lyrics could also reflect on a breakup. Ultimately, the listener can decide on how they interpret these emotional lyrics.
2. Unsteady – X Ambassadors
Songs about depression are often about a big life change. Unsteady is a song about a parent’s rocky relationship and its impact on the family. We often think of home being a safe haven, but for some people that’s just not a reality. Sometimes, the reason why we’re so depressed is because our home environment isn’t stable, causing us to feel unsteady. There’s a desperation of wanting your parents to work it out in this song with lyrics, “If you love me, don’t let go.” But sometimes, it’s the separation which will ultimately bring peace and happiness into the home again.
3. Never Let Me Go – Florence and the Machine
Depression songs like Never Let Me Go can be quite powerful. The emotions throughout the song take you on a rollercoaster of negative emotions. The lyrics, “And it’s over, And I’m going under, But I’m not giving up, I’m just giving in” is about accepting the ending of a heartbreaking relationship. Even though you’ve finally given yourself permission to accept that a relationship has ended doesn’t make it emotionally easy. This power ballad may get you to shed a few hard tears if you’ve recently been through the end of a relationship.
4. Breathe Me – Sia
One of Sia’s first hits, Breathe Me is a song about coping with depression. Often, when we’re struggling through life, all we really want is a friend. There’s an almost desperation of wanting anyone in the world to be by our side as we struggle with horrible emotions and wandering toxic thoughts. The lyrics “I think I might break, lost myself again, and I feel unsafe” can also describe the emotional state of trauma. Sometimes a trauma can lead to feelings of depression that are hard to cope with. While listening to Sia’s words, you might find a bit of comfort knowing that you aren’t alone in your journey.
5. How to Save A Life – The Fray
Not all songs about depression talk about the perspective of the friend of the person battling their demons. The powerful song is about trying to be there for your friend who’s feeling suicidal. Most of us aren’t trained therapists who know how to treat people who are dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts. This depression song talks about the challenge of breaking through with a person who’s suffering. The lyrics, “And pray to God he hears you” shares a desperation of trying to get through to someone whose thoughts are spiralling downward.
6. Lose You To Love Me – Selena Gomez
Sometimes we experience depression during a breakup. Fortunately, Selena Gomez sings about the hurt she feels after a breakup in a positive way. The lyrics, “You replaced us, like it was easy, made me think I deserved it, in the thick of healing.” The emotions behind being replaced by someone else and then being treated like that’s how you deserve to be treated can be overwhelming. But Gomez repeatedly sings in the chorus, “I needed to lose you to love me.” Thus, turning a song about depression into one about taking the hurt, sadness, and pain you feel and looking at it through a hopeful lens. Sometimes things fall apart so you can rebuild yourself to the point where you love yourself again.
7. Skyscraper – Demi Lovato
It’s possible that Selena Gomez took some notes from Demi Lovato as this song about depression is all about rising up like a skyscraper even if you “take everything I have” and “break everything I am.” The first line of the song is “skies are crying” and we all know how it sometimes feels like the universe is just as miserable as we are when we’re depressed. It always seems to be raining when we’re having a horrible day. These powerful depression lyrics will strengthen your hope as you slowly pick yourself back up. You’re a skyscraper, don’t forget it.
8. Mad World – Gary Jules Michael Andrews
Mad World is one of the most depressing songs you can listen to. It’s ultimately about how lifeless we become working the 9 to 5. We race to work but we never really make progress. We have these little moments as children celebrating our birthdays. However, aside from those happy childhood memories, it seems like we’re all going nowhere. People run in circles and miss out on the experience and wonder of life. It also talks about how the education system fails us. We’re taught from a young age to be workers, instead of humans.
9. The Night We Met – Lord Huron
Lord Huron’s The Night We Met is a song about depression that focuses on the element of reliving the past. Often, when we’re battling depression, we think back to happier memories. The lyrics “take me back to the night we met” focuses on the moment where you were happiest before you lost the love of your life. The line, “I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you” talks about how the slipping away of a relationship is done slowly. But there’s this desperation to go back to the beginning when things were at its best.
10. Fix You – Coldplay
It’s physically impossible to not cry to Coldplay’s Fix you when you’re going through depression. The line “tears stream down your face when you lose something you cannot replace” following the guitar solo can lead to a huge release of emotions. This song about depression tends to be positive as it’s about someone trying to fix you – or your hurt really.
11. All We Are – One Republic
One Republic’s song about depression contains stunning lyrics like “We won’t break, we won’t die, it’s just a moment of change.” These words could uplift you when you’re battling your demons. If you focus on the fact that life might be changing and the suffering is temporary we can eventually heal from the hurt. The song is about a couple who don’t fit into each other’s lives. “I walked a minute in your shoes, they never would’ve fit.” This depression song has a level of honesty that sometimes you need to hear to finally heal from your pain.
12. Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi
This depression song starts off with “I’m going under and this time I fear there’s no one to save me” which describes how depression feels quite accurately. There’s often a sense of hopelessness that a depressed person experiences. The line “I guess I kinda liked the way you numbed all the pain” talks about how sometimes we use people as a crutch as we face our demons. And while that may be comforting temporarily, ultimately we have no choice but to face our demons on our own.
13. Chandelier – Sia
Sia truly captures a depressive state in her depressing song Chandelier. The line “I push it down” highlights how we often try to repress our negative emotions and thoughts and yet they always come bubbling back up. The line “But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes, keep my glass full until morning light” often describes that people experiencing difficult emotions like depression often self medicate with alcohol to numb the pain they’re experiencing. But it doesn’t treat the issue and often prevents recovery from it. But you can still belt out Sia’s words when you’re feeling down.
14. Just A Dream – Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood’s Just A Dream is a song about depression that focuses on the sadness of losing a loved one in the military service. This song can be difficult to listen to for military husbands or wives who lose their partners before their time. It vividly describes the emotional state of panic and a blur of the funeral as your brain just can’t process everything that’s happening so fast. There’s a lot of heart and sadness felt in this song, especially for those who are grieving a loss.
15. Let It All Go – Birdy
Birdy and Rhode’s Let It All Go is a depressing song about a breakup. The song can feel relatable even if you aren’t going through a breakup right now too though. The line “I’ve been sleepless at night, cause I don’t know how I feel, I’ve been waiting on you, just to say something real” can describe the emotional state of feeling like our whole world has lost meaning. Often, when we experience depression, we can’t sleep, we lose meaning, and we feel a bit numb. This song touches on the fact that sometimes we break hard, but we’re strong enough to let it all go. And by that we mean the pain.
16. Already Gone – Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson’s Already Gone is a depressing song about a breakup which can be interpreted in other ways too. The line “we were never meant to say goodbye” talks about how hard it is to lose someone in our life and how sometimes our mind can’t let go of them. The line “you couldn’t have loved me better” reflects on how they see so much value from the love shown throughout the relationship. And even though this relationship ends, it ends on a positive note.
17. Whataya Want From Me – P!nk
P!nk is a powerhouse when it comes to writing songs about depression. With blunt lyrics she sings, “Just don’t give up, I’m working it out, please don’t give in, I won’t let you down, it messed me up, need a second to breathe, just keep coming around” talks about how important we need a good support system when facing depression. Sometimes you just need to let your partner know that you’re trying your best and working through some stuff but you still need them to stay by your side as you sort through your mental health challenges.
18. Numb – Linkin Park
Numb is probably the most descriptive song about depression. The line “I’m tired of being what you want me to be” talks about how hard it is to live up to other people’s expectations of us. We often feel depressed when we lose control of our own lives. If a parent, spouse, or friend is expecting us to be someone we’re not that can add a huge burden on our lives as we aren’t being true to who we are and what we want out of life.
19. Welcome to the Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
One of the most positive songs about depression is Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. The line “Will you defeat them? Your demons, and all the non believers the plans that they have made” asks you an encouraging question trying to support you by putting in your head that you can defeat your demons and nonbelievers. But the best part of the depression song is “Do or die, you’ll never make me, because the world will never take heart.” And that’s exactly the kind of attitude you’ll need to beat depression once and for all.
20. Let You Down – NF
NF’s Let You Down talks about the challenge of dealing with depression. The lyrics “All these voices in my head get loud, I wish that I could shut them out, I’m sorry that I let you down” talks about how people often struggle with the negative thoughts that cycle through their minds that lead them to experience depression in the first place. The hardest part of depression is the thoughts we have that always make us feel worse, but don’t worry, you haven’t let anyone down and you will get through this.
21. Move Along – The All American Rejects
Move Along is a song about depression’s darkest side: suicide. The song was written to help people who are feeling suicidal. This was a song that I had on repeat the day my cousin died and it helped me cope with his loss. Even though he die of suicide. The line “When all you’ve got to keep is strong, move along, move along, like I know you do” inspires you to keep going forward even when hardships and unpleasant moments take place.
22. By The Grace of God – Katy Perry
Songs about depression don’t always highlight suicidal feelings the way Katy Perry does in By The Grace Of God. The lyrics are about how she was struggling with burnout and depression and ultimately needed a long vacation. Often, like Perry, we cry on the bathroom floor as we struggle with our demons. In this song she sings about how believing in a higher power helped her pick herself back up and slowly rebuild herself by putting one foot in front of another. The lyrics, “Looked in the mirror, and decided to stay, wasn’t going to let love take me out that way” can help people regain hope when feeling hopeless in their situation. Sometimes, all you need to do is give yourself a pep talk to talk you out of doing the unthinkable.
23. Champagne Problems – Taylor Swift
Champagne problems talks about the challenge of a failed engagement. The song tells the story of a couple who weren’t on the same page. One person was ready to propose while the other person wanted to leave the relationship. Sometimes, we plan ahead for our future imagining us with a specific person and it all falls apart. We become embarrassed and saddened by this loss. But the hope of the song is that this person who gets rejected eventually does find love again but with someone new.
Now that you’ve gotten some of the tears out of your system, it’s time to move to the next stage, rebuilding yourself back up. You can and will overcome your depression with time. In the meantime, here are some positive songs to listen to. You can also follow along to a guided meditation for depression to help you learn to better manage your wandering thoughts.