Music is a powerful tool. The raw power of emotion it can convey is unmistakable and has been used as a method of expressing ourselves for as long as we can tell. Some songs explore feelings of joy, and others profound sadness. Some genres of music have even been created to accommodate the latter emotion.
While it may be a sad topic to cover, many songs also explore suicide in all manner of different lights. I’ve collected 10 songs on the topic here, and they’re all quite different from one another musically.
Remember, if you’re feeling like life is too much, there is plenty of support for you. Suicide is never the only option, and help is on hand to get you back on your feet. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.
1. Kill Yourself Part III – $uicideboy$
Album: My Liver Will Handle What My Heart Can’t
I’m not entirely sure which aspect of this track hits me hardest. The depressive piano introduction is a heavy hitter, but some of the lyrics within this track are truly heartwrenching. It’s a powerful release of negative energy that just so happens to turn into one of $uicideboys$ best tracks thus far.
“Kill Yourself Part III” was my introduction to $uicideboy$, and their music is still a regular spin to this day. Their introspective melancholy is rather cathartic on bleak days.
2. Fade To Black – Metallica
Album: Ride The Lightning
Metallica are known for their fast-paced, iconic thrash songs that helped cement the metal genre throughout their long-spanning career. When they released Ride The Lightning, it was a shock to many that they had undergone their very first power ballad on that album: “Fade To Black”.
From the sorrowful instrumentals to painful lyrics, this is the ultimate sad song from Metallica. It describes a man giving up on life and exploring its meaning.
3. Mad World – Tears For Fears
Album: The Hurting
When people think of Tears For Fears, “Mad World” is likely the first song to come to mind. Their magnum opus is riddled with sadness and loneliness as a man observes the world from a third-person perspective.
It’s the lyrics that drive me to think that this song is about suicide. The line “the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had” drives the depressive elements of this song home. Despite its upbeat instrumentals, the song is in fact.
4. Never Too Late (Three Days Grace)
While the songs in our list so far have been quite bleak in their entirety, it’s time to bring a little light in. Three Days Grace were, and still are, titans within the hard rock arena and are still influential today.
“Never Too Late” is a song dedicated to those who are struggling with life, and upholds a message to keep going. As the song described, no matter how bad life can get, it’s never too late for it to turn around. Staying and fighting will pay off.
5. How To Save A Life – The Fray
Album: How To Save A Life
Continuing with a theme of hope within songs about depression and suicide is The Fray’s “How To Save A Life”. This was an immensely popular track in the U.K. when it was released, and came with an incredibly strong message.
The song talks about people’s struggles in the world, and how we can all come together to offer others support in trying times.
6. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M
Album: Automatic For The People
Sometimes, knowing that someone else knows how you feel can be incredibly powerful. That’s what R.E.M. was chasing in “Everybody Hurts”, as it was aimed towards teenagers to stop the from committing suicide.
Through sharing our feelings with others, and the power of music, the world can be a brighter place for all.
7. Save Myself – Ed Sheeran
While it may not be directly related to suicide thematically, I feel that “Save Myself” is a powerful song that can help with the topic. In the song, Ed Sheeran sings of the importance of taking care of ourselves, so we may eventually help others.
The stripped-back piano instrumentals and Ed Sheeran’s voice create a warm, hopeful atmosphere that fills me with a lot of hope on a bad day.
8. Abuse Myself, I Wanna Die – GG Allin
Album: You’ll Never Tame Me
The other songs on this list are heartfelt, soft-spoken, and lyrically powerful. Anyone who knows GG Allin knows that these qualities are seldom seen in the late chaotic punk personality.
“Abusy Myself, I Wanna Die” is a self-explanatory explosion of aggressive riffs, grunting, and a simple outcry for self-destructive mayhem. In that regard, it matches GG Allin’s lifestyle perfectly before he died of an overdose in 1993.
9. Suicidal Thoughts – The Notorious B.I.G
Album: Ready To Die
The Notorious B.I.G. was indeed notorious for his fresh flows, dynamic beats, and catchy grooves, but he was also a sophisticated lyricist in ways you might not imagine.
In “Suicidal Thoughts”, Biggie vents all his frustrations towards the world and himself in one powerful track, pushing the love of those around him away. It’s a dark track that pulls at the heartstrings and shows the importance of talking to people about our problems.
10. Nobody’s Home – Avril Lavigne
Album: Under My Skin
Lastly, we have a powerful song from pop icon Avril Lavigne. Between the rest of Under My Skin, which I think is Lavigne’s strongest record, is a powerful song dedicated to a dear friend. Avril wanted to do something for this friend but felt hopeless in doing so.
I think the track is a powerful message for those experiencing problems in their lives. People want to help and will do it in any way they can. Reaching out is more important than we think.
Justin is an audio engineer with years of experience in the field. He has been creating and playing music his entire life, but he really found his passion for engineering when he was introduced to Logic Pro at age 10. Justin has spent countless hours perfecting his craft and now works as a freelance engineer out of Boston, MA.