Sometimes, happy music simply doesn’t make the mark. We all experience low points in our lives, and one saving grace that I connect with to improve my well-being is music which resonates with how I’m feeling then. It brings a catharsis that can help me move on from my feelings, while also not feeling alone in my thoughts or troubles.
Music has the power to shift minds and inspire us, but it also has the power to ground us and lift us from the dark. In this article, I’ve compiled the 10 best songs that resonate when you’re feeling like the world is a little too much and you need a little release.
There will be a fluctuation in genres here, so strap in as I go through the 10 best songs about self-hatred.
1. Major Fuck Off – Lifelover
Kicking off this list in rather extreme fashion is the underground titan of depressive metal, Lifelover. The band became an iconic part of the black metal underworld thanks to their alluring blend of cold black metal with elements of post-punk and various other genres to create their unique sound.
The lyrical content might not link to self-hatred, but I feel that Kim Carlsson’s initial wail after the introduction’s buildup feels like catharsis incarnate. “Major Fuck Off” is an excellent choice if you just need to shout, but don’t want to.
2. Kill Yourself (Part III) – $uicideboy$
Album: My Liver Will Handle What My Heart Can’t
When it comes to self-deprecation, I don’t think much gets stronger than $uicideboy$’ “Kill Yourself (Part III)”. The previous two installments of this trilogy of songs are nowhere near as successful as the ‘finale’, and with good reason. “…Part III” has such a depth of atmosphere to it that empathy is immediate, and it’s hard not to get emotional to this song.
$uicideboy$ vary from heavily emotional rap soundscapes to simply heavy trap rap; either way, they could be a new favorite.
3. Creep – Radiohead
Album: Pablo Honey
Sometimes we simply feel like we don’t belong. Be it in friendships, relationships, families, or even workspaces, feeling like the odd one out is much more common than most of us think. Radiohead perfectly encapsulated this strange, persistent feeling in their iconic track, “Creep”.
While we should all embrace who we are as our qualities truly define us and are (mostly) things to be proud of, this song reminds us that we are never truly alone.
4. I Am Hated – Slipknot
In a similar vein to Lifelover’s “Major Fuck Off” at the start of this list, Slipknot became known in the late 90s and early 2000s as hate or angst personified. They had such a chaotic, often self-deprecative aura about them which was only matched by their aggressive songwriting and thought-provoking lyrics.
“The whole world is my enemy, and I’m a walking target” is how Corey Taylor decided to introduce this song, and it quickly becomes an anthem for self-hatred.
5. Journey Through Pressure – Katatonia
Album: The Great Cold Distance
Katatonia sits in a strange position in terms of genres. They initially had quite a black metal sound to them, before slowly fading away and transforming into a melodic doom outfit that primarily focused on clean vocals. Either way, their music is incredibly introspective and often rather negative.
“Journey Through Pressure” is an anthem to acknowledging the troubles of life, and feeling like it’s too much. It can also act as inspiration to keep moving and recognize that we all go through trials in our lives.
6. Make Everyone Happy/Mechanical Birds – Modest Mouse
Album: This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About
Self-hatred and self-deprecation might be an immensely common theme throughout music’s history, but I feel that few do it as well as those in the indie genre. Modest Mouse is a prime example of this, as their music is mostly rather introspective and reflects on either an event or the impact of an event on the life of an individual.
“Make Everyone Happy/Mechanical Birds” is a simply beautiful track wherein the protagonist reflects on his life as it is about to end, and punishes himself for not making the most of what he had while he was alive.
7. The Biggest Lie – Elliott Smith
Album: Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith was, in and of himself, a grandmaster of storytelling, poetry, and acoustic guitar wizardry. I feel sad that I only heard his music several years ago, and even more morose was I to know that Elliott had already passed on by that point.
“The Biggest Lie” fits in with our theme of self-hatred well. It seems to reflect on the protagonist threatening suicide to his partner if she leaves him while refusing to acknowledge that things must change for happiness to break in. I take this as a form of self-hatred, as we must accept change within ourselves to grow.
8. Alone I Break – Korn
Korn are the titans of self-hatred, especially in their earlier work. Untouchables might not have been every Korn fan’s favorite record, but it deserves so much more love than it received.
“Alone I Break” is an anthem for the broken, a chorus for the cursed, and a form of catharsis for the confused. It focuses on the negative things that have happened in Jonathan Davis’ life, and how it feels like a repetitive cycle that must be broken.
9. It’s Been Awhile – Staind
Album: Break The Cycle
Staind appeared out of nowhere in the early 2000s and dominated music stations such as MTV with their big grunge-meets-nu-metal sound and thought-provoking lyrics. While they didn’t have many massive hits, songs like “It’s Been Awhile” helped rocket them into the mainstream with relative ease.
This heartfelt ballad is about the pain and hate that vocalist Aaron Lewis experiences in his life and himself, yet how nothing changes to fix it.
10. I Hate Myself And I Wanna Die – Nirvana
Album: In Utero
To finish off this list of the 10 best self-hatred songs is the immovable titan of grunge, Nirvana. In the short period in which they were releasing music before Kurt Cobain’s demise in 1994, they created a selection of anthems to last a lifetime.
This song is about as simple as it gets, and its meaning can be taken straight from the song title.
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.