Suicide is often seen as a controversial issue, but for those who suffer from depression and contemplate suicide having something to relate to is important. In this list, we’ll take a look at how some big names in the music industry have used their music as a platform to discuss this issue in a way that many can relate to.
From Katy Perry to The Eels, these songs are often real-life accounts and offer us a glimpse into the unseen minds of those we look up to.
So without further ado, here is my list of the best songs about suicide.
1. How to Save a Life by The Fray
The Fray have often featured in tv shows like Grey’s Anatomy, their music being used in a scene where our favorite doctors work tirelessly to save the life of a helpless patient. But the song has a much deeper meaning than originally thought and was written as more of an intervention to prevent someone from committing suicide.
Recorded in 2005 for the album of the same name, the song looks back on what could have been done and the wish that the singer had listened more to try and help their friend.
The song has a rather sad and somber tone to it but makes for a good listen. Add it to your songlist and let yourself get lost in the emotion the song provokes.
2. Adam’s Song by blink-182
Blink-182 blew fans away with their 1999 release of “Adam’s Song.” A song touching on teenage depression and suicide, “Adam’s Song,” was recorded for the album Enema of the State.
The lyrics to the song read much like a suicide note, with the author telling whoever finds him to tell his mother it is not her fault. Blink-182 tackled the issue of teen suicide in a way that many could relate to, and “Adam’s Song” became somewhat of an anthem for many teens in the late 90s.
3. Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor by The Eels
“Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor” is a real-life account of one of the Eels band members’ sister Elizabeth who committed suicide after battling mental health issues and family problems for many years.
Released in 1998, the song was recorded for the album Electro-Shock Blues, which could possibly be a reference to the electro-shock therapy Elizabeth received during treatment. Give this one a listen, and think of all you have to be grateful for in life.
4. A Day Without Me by U2
While this 1980 release has a great 80s sound to it, the meaning behind “A Day Without Me” is slightly darker than many think. Written from a depressed person’s point of view, the song touches on depression, suicidal thoughts, and wondering what life would really be like if they had to end their lives.
“A Day Without Me” is featured on the album Boy and deserves a spot on your playlist. Let Bono’s soothing voice lift your spirits and overcome the darkness of depression when you play this song on loud volume.
5. How to Disappear Completely by Radiohead
“How to Disappear Completely” by Radiohead was released in 2000 on the album Kid A. Based on a classic poem with the same name, the song has an eerie tone to it as it describes the possibility of just disappearing from your current life and reinventing yourself.
If you’ve ever felt so lost that you just want to disappear, then this song is for you. With a soft piano accompanying the chilling vocals, the song will send a shiver up your spine. Give it a listen and see what emotions it stirs for you.
6. Everybody Hurts by R.E.M
We’ve all listened to “Everybody Hurts” and found that it is related to a situation we have experienced. It is often seen as an anthem for the hurt and pain we go through, but it also serves as somewhat of a good reminder of the good in people and that we are never ever alone in how we feel.
Recorded in 1992, “Everybody Hurts” featured on the album Automatic For The People. It was initially recorded to give hope to teens who were contemplating suicide and has since become an anthem or beacon of hope and light for many.
7. Never Too Late by Three Days Grace
Three Days Grace used their music to speak out about suicide. Their song “Never Too Late” was written as an anti-suicide song and told the tale of trying to help a friend who was going through a rough patch and wanted to end their life.
The song was released in 2006 on the album One-X and is a reminder that no situation is ever so bad, and it is never too late (or too early for that matter) to get help or help someone who is in a bad place. Love, kindness, and, most importantly, understanding can go a long way in helping someone return to the light.
8. By The Grace of God by Katy Perry
Katy Perry is no stranger to heartbreak. Her 2013 release of “By The Grace of God” gave us a glimpse into the singer’s pain and heartbreak that came from the ending of her marriage to Russell Brand.
You can feel the raw emotion in her voice as she sings of her depression in the song taken from her album Prism. While the song has an overall somber tone, there is hope as she tells of finding her strength again. You can, too, when you add “By The Grace Of God” to your best songs about suicide playlist.
9. Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley (Feat. Alison Krauss)
When a soldier deploys and goes off to war, he leaves, knowing he might not come back home again. Living with that daily fear only makes coming home that much sweeter, but not when the woman you love has found love in the arms of another.
“Whiskey Lullaby,” tells the tale of a soldier who returns home from war to find his wife has moved on, and as a result, he drinks himself to death. The song reads like a suicide note and features Alison Krauss, who provides the vocals as the mourning wife in the second verse. An ominous song but definitely worth a listen.
10. Listen Before I Go by Billie Eilish
Even big stars like Billie Eilish have battles with their mental health. “Listen Before I Go” was released in 2019 on the album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and is a rather chilling account of someone who is on the verge of taking their own life.
While some leave a note, the woman in the song wants to tell her lover all of her lost thoughts. This song will leave you both speechless and in awe as Eilish sings along to a piano with her beautifully unique voice, saying goodbye.
Alexandra loves playing the piano and guitar. She has always been a music lover, but it wasn’t until she was in high school that she realized how much she loved to play. It allowed her to express herself without having to be verbally expressive, which is something she found very empowering.