Title: “Diagnosis”;

Name and year of the Album: “Such Pretty Forks in the Road”, 2020;

Songwriters:  Alanis Morissette / Michael Farrell;

Singer: Alanis Morissette;

Short description of the song: The song tackles the challenges and stigma surrounding postpartum depression and other forms of mental health issues. The singer repeats: “Call it what you want / ‘Cause I don’t even care anymore / Call me what you want to/ To make yourself comfortable / So I am debilitated / I can’t remember where the sentence started/ When I’m trying to finish it / And all of you are so frustrated / And everyone around me is trying to help as much as they can.” It seems she gives up in explaining what she is suffering from, in fighting against the wrong way the people address to her illness. On the other side, she feels that all the people around her are frustrated because they are not able to change her condition. But she is “alone in this meltdown of nervousness/ diagnosis”: nobody can really help but herself. She sings: “I’ve not left the house in a while / I’ve not felt a glimpse of ease / And I have not made much headway / Since-I-have-come-back from the war / And I no longer give a damn/about things that used to matter / And I am covering my eyes/as I am frozen on the spot”. The “coming back from the war” may be referred to the stress disorder suffered from the soldiers after experiencing traumatic events, with an open-up on forms of mental health challenges others than the one she is suffering from. She also describes the feeling of being depressed: “My house is spotless my lens is skewed my limbs/they recoil / And I’m folding in on myself / since I am out of order”. She folds in on herself both physically and mentally, translating into images the loss of interests in daily activities she is experiencing.

Tags: #postpartum #depression #frustration #nervousness #mentalillness #stressdisorder #stigma #alanismorissette #diagnosis.

Title: “Anyone”;

Name and year of the Album: “Anyone”, 2020;

Songwriters: Sam Roman / Badriia Bourelly / Dayyon Alexander / Eyelar Mirzazadeh / Demi Lovato / Jay Vincenzo Mooncie;

Singer: Demi Lovato;

Short description of the song: This song was recorded four days before the singer tried to kill herself with an overdose. Her vulnerability is highlighted given the context of her struggles with addiction and depression. The lyrics talk about the singer’s feelings of isolation and sorrow, as exemplified in the chorus: “Anyone, please send me anyone / Lord, is there anyone? / I need someone”, where she screams for help. In regard to the opening lyrics of the song “I tried to talk to my piano / I tried to talk to my guitar”, there is a reference to the attempts to find a relief through the music. She “confided into alcohol”, she talked to her imagination and to the stars, she prayed. Even so, and despite “a hundred million stories / And a hundred million songs”, she wasn’t feeling better and she feels “stupid” when she sings because it is not worthy, because nothing changes: “nobody’s listening”. She desperately tries to communicate her difficulties: “I used to crave the world’s attention / I think I cried too many times / I just need some more affection / Anything to get me by”. However, it seems like no one is listening, even if she is a famous singer with millions of fans. And this is sadly ironic.

Tags: #help #listening #depression #isolation #sorrow #anyone #demilovato.

Title: “Adam’s song”;

Name and year of the Album: “Enema of the State”, 1999;

Songwriters: Tom De Longe / Mark Hoppus;

Singer: Blink 182;

Short description of the song:  The track concerns suicide, depression and loneliness. The bassist of the band, Mark Hoppus, was feeling lonely during the tour because while all the other members of the band could not wait to come back home to meet again their loved ones, there was no one waiting for him. He was feeling sad because he did not have anything to come home to. This is the meaning behind the verses ” The tour was over, we’d survived / I couldn’t wait till I got home / To pass the time in my room alone”. Other than the personal experience of Hoppus, the song’s inspiration came from “reading a magazine where some teenage kid had killed himself and left a letter for his family”, as Hoppus declared during an interview. A clear reference to the latter episode can be found since the incipit of the song, when it says: “I never thought I’d die alone / I laughed the loudest who’d have known? / I trace the cord back to the wall / No wonder it was never plugged in at all/ I took my time, I hurried up / The choice was mine I didn’t think enough / I’m too depressed to go on/ You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.” The song speaks about how youngsters feel hopeless and depressed sometimes, and the sole solution seems to be ending your own life. On the other side, it says “Sixteen just held such better days / Days when I still felt alive / We couldn’t wait to get outside / The world was wide”, which may be interpreted as a positive message towards adolescents, since the song recalls the “better days” lived during the youth time.

Tags: #depression #loneliness #suicide #hopeless #betterdays #adamssong #blink182.

Title: “Fake Happy”;

Name and year of the Album: “After Laughter”, 2017;

Songwriters: Hayley Nichole Williams / Taylor York;

Singer: Paramore;

Short description of the song: It is about faking your own way of feeling, pretending to be always happy. The contrast between the real feelings of sadness and depression hidden behind the surface of a smile is transposed to the record’s technique of pairing difficult lyrics with instrumental pop music. Since the incipit of the song (“I love making you believe / What you get is what you see / But I’m so fake happy / I feel so fake happy / And I bet everybody here / Is just as insincere / We’re all so fake happy / And I know fake happy”) the content and its message are immediately plain: the singer knows that everyone around her is faking a smile, because she is one of them too. The chorus then says: “If I smile with my teeth / Bet you believe me / If I smile with my teeth / I think I believe me”. The bigger your smile is, the more the people who look at you can believe you are sincere, and even yourself can start believing in your own lie. Nobody should pretend to be always smiling, and instead everybody should be how they feel, without the fear of being judged badly just because of one’s state of mind.

Tags: #sadness #depression #faking #dontpretend #behowyoufeel #paramore #fakehappy.

Title: “I want to be well”;

Name and year of the Album: “The Age of Adz”, 2010;

Songwriters: Sufjan Stevens;

Singer: Sufjan Stevens;

Short description of the song: Stevens suffers from both a mysterious chronic illness and a growing unease with his own artistic identity. This viral infection debilitated him so much to lead to a growing psychological angst. The song is wild and unsettled, with a rhythm that alternates noisy electronics with an almost fairy-tale musicality, giving the idea of a fluctuating mood and psycho-psychological state. The song seems divided into two parts: the first one is more hysterical, which is a state of mind the singer himself makes a reference to: “The burning from within the burning from with (ordinary hysteria) / I could not be at rest, I could not be at peace (extraordinary hysteria)”.In this first part the main themes emerging from the chaos are death (“To think that I would die this time”; “I’ll find sleep, I’ll find peace / Or in death you’ll sleep with me”; “So do yourself a good, or do yourself a death from ordinary causes / Or do yourself a favour, or do yourself a death from ordinary causes”), loneliness (“Isolated in the room where the bed rises”) and deep sufferance (“Did I go at it wrong? / Did I go intentionally to destroy me? / I’m suffering in noise I’m suffering in (touching ordinary body)”). The rhythm calms down starting from the words “Illness likes to prey upon the lonely”. In this second part, he sings with resignation, and the perceived feelings are desperation (“I want to be well”; “I am not fucking around”) and acceptance (“And I forgive you even”). However, the whole song is a begging for relief.

Tags: #hysteria #chaos #death #loneliness #sufferance #illness #resignation #desperation #acceptance #relief #iwanttobewell #sufjanstevens.

Title: “Shine on your crazy diamonds”;

Name and year of the Album: “Wish you were here”, 1975;

Songwriters: David Jon Gilmour / Rick Wright / Roger Waters;

Singer: Pink Floyd;

Short description of the song: This song was wrote for the former band member Syd Barrett, who suffered from mental illness and drug abuse. “Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky / Shine on your crazy diamond”: the blackened eyes are both a reference to the dilation of pupils due to the drug consumption and to the black emptiness of his look, reflecting the decline of his mental health. “You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom, / Blown on the steel breeze”: these words tell about him struggling because of the premature death of his father and the exclusion from the band itself. “You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon. / Shine on your crazy diamond”: the “moon” represents his madness, which is a recurring symbolism present also in other songs of the band. And the metaphor continues when it says: “Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light”, where the exposition to the light (of the moon) is a reference to him facing mental health challenges. The whole song is an exhortation to shine, despite all the dramas, despite all the appellatives (“you stranger, you legend, you martyr”; “you painter, you piper, you prisoner”), because he is a diamond which has to keep on shining.

Tags: #mentalillness #mentalhealthchallenges #drugabuse #shineonyourcrazydiamond #pinkfloyd.

Title: “Fix you”;

Name and year of the Album: “X&Y”, 2005;

Songwriters: Christopher Anthony John Martin / Guy Rupert Berryman / Jonathan Mark Buckland / William Champion;

Singer: Coldplay;

Short description of the song: This song speaks about helping someone you love who is in need. Particularly, Chris Martin was inspired by his wife, who was suffering because of the recent loss of her father. “When you try your best, but you don’t succeed / When you get what you want, but not what you need / When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep” refers to coping with the difficulties, trying to getting better without succeeding it. “Stuck in reverse” means that everything goes to the opposite side of where it should go, failing your own expectations. “Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones” is a reference to finding relief, moving on. “When you’re too in love to let it go / But if you never try you’ll never know / Just what you’re worth”: on the other side, “the light” is not that easy to find, because when you lose someone you love it is really hard to let it go. “I will try to fix you” is a promise Martin makes to her wife: he will try to help her, to understand her, to let her scream and cry, and he will be next to her, sharing with her the pain.

Tags: #struggling #loss #failingexpectations #move on #love #fixyou #coldplay.

Title: “Heavy”;

Name and year of the Album: “One More Light”, 2017;

Singers: Linkin Park feat. Kiiara;

Songwriters: Brad Delson / Chester Bennington / Julia Michaels / Justin Tranter / Mike Shinoda / Dave Farrell / Joseph Hahn / Robert G. Bourdon;

Short description of the song: It is about the difficulty of an individual to get over and move on from events and thoughts which brings him/her sadness and depression. Often it is hard to accept to have a problem and therefore separate yourself from it: you are not the problem, but there may be something inside yourself which you did not choose to deal with: “You say that I’m paranoid  / But I’m pretty sure the world is out to get me / It’s not like I make the choice / To let my mind stay so fucking messy”. The adjective “heavy” describes this deep psychological burden, enhanced by external factors too: “I know I’m not the center of the universe / But you keep spinning ’round me just the same / I know I’m not the center of the universe / But you keep spinning ’round me just the same”. However, what happens to be the focal part of the song is the inability to fight against this heaviness just by letting it go, because admit that depression is an inherent part of one’s personality is so much easier to be said than to be done. This message can clearly be seen in the chorus: “I’m holding on / Why is everything so heavy? / Holding on / So much more than I can carry / I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down / If I just let go, I’d be set free / Holding on / Why is everything so heavy?”.

Tags: #depression #sadness #accepting #letitgo #heavy #linkinpark.

Title: “In my blood”;

Name and year of the Album: “Shawn Mendes”, 2018;

Singer: Shawn Mendes;

Songwriters: Shawn Mendes / Geoff Warburton / Teddy Geiger / Scott Harris;

Short description of the song: The singer is suffering from anxiety disorder and no medicine seems to improve his conditions. However, he does not give up, because it is not “in his blood” to do so, and it turns out to be an exhortation to go on despite the obstacles everyone may face.  At the same time, he screams for help: he does not want to be left alone, struggling.  In the chorus, he repeats: “Help me, it’s like the walls are caving in / Sometimes I feel like giving up / No medicine is strong enough / Someone help me / I’m crawling in my skin / Sometimes I feel like giving up / But I just can’t / It isn’t in my blood. According to Mendes, he wrote the song about his problem in the hope that listeners would not only “relate with it” but also “understand it”, since he was the first one not to really understand the gravity of this type of disorders before it happened to him. He also describes how it feels when he has an anxiety attack and the thoughts which cross his mind while he is unable to control himself, unable to breathe: “I’m looking through my phone again, feeling anxious / Afraid to be alone again, I hate this / I’m trying to find a way to chill, can’t breathe, oh / Is there somebody who could”.

Tags: #anxietydisorder #loneliness #help #donotgiveup #inmyblood #shawnmendes.

Title: “Breathin”;

Name and year of the Album: “Sweetener”, 2018;

Singer: Ariana Grande;

Songwriters: Ariana Grande / Ilya Salmanzadeh / Max Martin / Savan Harish Kotecha / Peter Anders Svensson;

Short description of the song: It is about the singer struggling because of anxiety. People around her suggest to take medication and, leading into the pre-chorus, she shares some of the feelings she endures: “Feel my blood runnin’, swear the sky’s fallin’ / How do I know if this shit’s fabricated, oh? / Time goes by and I can’t control my mind / Don’t know what else to try, but you tell me every time”. However, instead of being stressed out by her environment (“I look up and the whole room’s spinning”), she is taking the time to pause, breathe and cater to herself (as the chorus says, “Just keep breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’ / And oh, I gotta keep, keep on breathin’ / Just keep breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’/ And oh, I gotta keep, keep on breathin”). It is an important message to her fans who experience anxiety too. The phrase “head in the clouds” (“Sometimes it’s hard to find, find my way up into the clouds”) is often used negatively as a term for being out of touch. It’s dismissive of people who thrive in fantasy and imagination. In this case, it is something she is looking for: detaching yourself from reality can be a way some people deal with their anxiety.

Title: “Gasoline”;

Name and year of the Album: “Badlands”, 2015;

Singer: Halsey;

Songwriters: Peder Losnegard / Ashley Frangipane;

Short description of the song: It deals with having a mental health issue, namely a bipolar disorder, and being at the same time part of the show-business. The singer uses a brutal and direct language in order to refer to being ill (“insane”, “strange”, “deranged”) because this is actually a way some people address to persons facing mental illnesses. The song describes the different states, namely mania and depression, suffered from people with bipolar disorder. The reference to the first state can be found in the line “are you high enough without the Mary Jane like me?”, since she can get euphoric without taking drugs because of her condition, while the reference to the second state can be found in the verses “I think there’s a flaw in my code/These voices won’t leave me alone”, where the voices aren’t literal. These are the “voices” that tell her she is not good enough, the same ones that can convince her to kill herself (the singer tried to kill herself once). Going through a mental health issue can be even harder when you are a “pretty face”, “part of a machine”, which is the music industry, whilst feeling trapped by it, not being able to “wake up” because her “is not a dream”. Since she is famous and she exposed herself by speaking out about her mental health disorder, she has to cope with “people whisper ’bout you on the train”. It can be really hard to reveal what a person struggle with and it can take a lot out of your self-esteem (“With your face all made up, living on a screen/Low on self-esteem, so you run on gasoline”). However, notwithstanding the pain, she knows she is more than her disorder: her “heart is gold” and she made the best decision by sharing her own experience.

Tags: #bipolardisorder #mania #depression #voices #speakingout #gasoline #halsey.

Title: “Eet”;

Name and year of the Album: “Far”, 2009;

Singer: Regina Spektor;

Songwriter: Regina Spektor;

Short description of the song: It is about loneliness and depression, about losing your happiness and your faith, your sense of being. The metaphor which makes us feel this loss is the reference to forgetting a beautiful song we used to sing all the time: “It’s like forgetting the words to your favorite song/You can’t believe it/You were always singing along/It was so easy and the words so sweet/You can’t remember/You try to feel the beat”. Suddenly something has changed, you have changed, and you can’t understand why, so you struggle to accept your own condition. In the third verse, it describes a person consumed by an ambiguous situation: “someone’s deciding whether or not to steal”. While this person is deciding whether or not to steal, he “opens the window just to feel the chill/He hears that outside a small boy just starting to cry/‘Cause it’s his turn but his brother won’t let him try”. Even if everything seems to have not worked out; even if you forget the best memories you have, because the “sweet song” you used to like appears to have no meaning anymore; even if you are on the edge, likely to do something wrong, there it is that leap of faith. You can observe others representing your thoughts and understanding by their actions how powerful empathy can be: it can save yourself by doing something you may therefore regret.

Tags: #loneliness #losingfaith #changing #donotstopsinging #eet #reginaspektor.

Title: “Who you are”;

Name and year of the Album: “Who You Are”, 2011;

Singer: Jessie J;

Songwriters: Jessica Cornish / Toby Gad / Shelley Peiken;

 Short description of the song: During an interview, the singer explained: “I kind of lost myself. It’s very personal. It’s about being true to yourself. Don’t lose yourself in any situation you’re put in, and do the dew”. At the beginning, she sings: “I stare at my reflection in the mirror/Why am I doing this to myself?/Losing my mind on a tiny error”. She is staring at the mirror, watching herself suffering and wondering why she blames herself just for having committed an insignificant mistake: often we are too hard with ourselves. The chorus says: “don’t lose who you are, in the blur of the stars/seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing”, which seems to be an answer to her will to leave the real her “on the shelf”. Things can often turn out differently from our initial expectations, but this does not mean we should give up on them nor that we should care about someone else’s opinion: “Sometimes it’s hard, to follow your heart/Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising”. At the same time, we should embrace our sadness and desperation: “it’s okay not to be okay”.

It is an exhortation about being who you truly are, accept yourself and do not be scared by those moments when you want to be alone (“leave me alone”) or you would like to scream your angst out (“’Cause everything inside me screams, no, no, no, no, yeah”), because “there’s nothing wrong with who you are”.

Tags: #beyourself #donotbescared #itisokaynottobeokay #followyourdreams #whoyouare #jessiej

Title: “Hunger”;

Name and year of the Album: “High as Hope”, 2018;

Singer: Florence + The Machine;

Songwriters: Tobias Jesso / Thomas Wayland Bartlett / Emile Haynie / Florence Welch;

Short description of the song: In this song the singer, Florence Welch, reflects on the emptiness we often try to fill with obsessions or addictions. Particularly, she refers to herself suffering from eating disorders when she was young (“At seventeen, I started to starve myself”). However, she later on says that “we all have a hunger”, which means that everyone can aim at something more, that everyone can feel lonely somehow. But this “hunger” is mostly a need for love and acceptance and in fact, within the song, the singer describes what has been “love” for her through the time: “I thought that love was a kind of emptiness”, “I thought that love was in the drugs”, “I thought that love was on the stage”. These verses hide the desperation behind the research of happiness, the attempts made in order to find her own fullness. Although all these moments, which sound like a surrender, are alternated with messages of hope, clarity and acceptance of her uniqueness: “Don’t let it get you down, you’re the best thing I’ve seen”, “Oh, but you and all your vibrant youth/How could anything bad ever happen to you?/You make a fool of death with your beauty”. And at the end, as a kind of relief, the song ends with “I forget to worry”: it looks like she finally finds her peace after having gone through her own story, her own memories, her own pain.

Tags: #eatingdisorders #emptiness #loneliness #addictions #love #acceptance #relief #hunger #florencethemachine.

Title: “1-800-273-8255”;

Name and year of the Album: “Everybody”, 2017;

Singers: Logic ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid;

Songwriters: Sir Robert Bryson Hall II/Dylan Wiggins/Arjun Ivatury/Alessia Caracciolo/Khalid Robinson/Drew Taggart;

Short description of the song: The song’s title is the phone number for the American National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It raises awareness regarding suicide, which is often related to a mental health challenge. The lyrics transpose a dialogue between a person who is willing to end his life and the operator who picks up the call. The first verses are sung form the prospective of the person who is calling the prevention lifeline because he is having suicidal thoughts: “I’ve been on the low/I been taking my time/I feel like I’m out of my mind/It feel like my life ain’t mine/Who can relate?”, “I don’t wanna be alive” and then he explains that he would rather die because of the deep suffering he acknowledges and which he is not able to fight back. He is disappointed by his own life, by the fact that people “say every life precious (but) nobody care about mine”.

The person at the other end of the line reassures him, trying to help him getting through this painful moment: “I want you to be alive/I want you to be alive/You don’t gotta die today/You don’t gotta die/ I want you to be alive/ I want you to be alive/ You don’t gotta die”.

Later on the song becomes an exhortation at “seeing light in the darkest things”, because the overwhelming negativity is just temporary: “It can be so hard/But you gotta live right now”. The song ends with the caller changing his mind: “I don’t wanna die/ I finally wanna be alive”.

It is always so important to talk to someone who can empathize with you, making you open up about your inner troubles, and there is no shame in seeking professional help, since sometimes it can literally safe your life.

Tags: #suicide #negativethoughts #iwantyoutobealive #seekinghelp #seethelight #1-800-273-8255 #logic.

Title: “Help”;

Name and year of the Album: “Help!”, 1965;

Singer: The Beatles;

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney;

Short description of the song: “I was depressed and I was crying out for help”, Lennon said during an interview referring to this song. Even if it was commissioned to the music band for a movie, the singer soon realized it was speaking out what his subconscious was holding on. Notwithstanding the cheerful music, the song tells a story about loneliness and seek for help. Lennon remembers how different was being young, when he “never needed anybody’s help in any way”. But now he is not “so self-assured” anymore, his life has changed and the “independence seems to vanish in the haze”. He is feeling “so insecure”, he is “feeling down” and he desperately needs someone around, “to get (his) feet back on the ground”. It seems he lost contact with reality, he is not able to deal with it anymore, therefore he admits he needs help. Understanding to not feeling very well and embracing the idea that speaking to someone may bring relief are often not such easy things to accept. This song breaks the stigma which surrounds illnesses and diseases, hoping to transform an action into an attitude by singing it out loud.

Tags: #insecure #depressed #lonely #feelingdown #needsomebody #relief #help #thebeatles.

Title: “Anxiety”;

Name and year of the Album: “Inner Monologue Part 1”, 2019

Singers: Julia Michaels feat. Selena Gomez;

Songwriters: Julia Michaels / Scott Harris / Ian Kirkpatrick / Selena Gomez;

Short description of the song: Both singers suffer from mental health issues and through “Anxiety” they speak about a battle they know very well. The song particularly focuses on the difficulties people having anxiety and depression face when it comes to relationships. It is about a perpetual conflict of a person who is conscious of dealing with a mental health challenge (“I’m holding hands with my depression/And right when I think I’ve overcome it/Anxiety starts kicking in to teach that shit a lesson”) and at the same time would like “to be social”, but she cannot. She would rather staying alone with her affliction than going out (“My friends, they wanna take me to the movies/I tell ’em to fuck off“). However, she feels like she is missing something, she fantasizes about what an amazing time she could have spent with her friends (“Then I overthink about the things I’m missing/Now I’m wishing I was with ’em”). The sentiments which come out from the song are on one side the need to be heard and understood by the others (“But all my friends/They don’t know what it’s like, what it’s like/They don’t understand why”) and on the other side the sympathy for the negative feelings people around her may experience towards her (“And my exes all say that I’m hard to deal with/And I admit it, yeah”). She knowns what she is coping with, but she has not given in to these afflictions. She tries her best to eliminate this feeling of frustration, that for the others seems to be so much easier than how it actually is (“I’ve been told that I could take something to fix it/Damn, I wish it, I wish it was that simple, ah”).

Tags: #anxiety #depression #understanding #frustration #relationships #juliamichaels #selenagomez

Title: “Unwell”;

Name and year of the Album: “More Than You Think You Are”, 2002;

Singer: Matchbox Twenty;

Songwriters: Rob Thomas / Robert Thomas;

Short description of the song: This song is about mental illness and the way people with mental illness feel perceived by others. “Feeling like I’m headed for a breakdown/And I don’t know why/But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell/I know right now you can’t tell/But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see/A different side of me.” It is about the stigma which surrounds mental health challenges and the negative meaning which comes along with the word “crazy”. The singer tries to justify himself by saying that he is feeling just “unwell”, “impaired”, ashamed of being labelled as “crazy”. He asks the listener to be patient and take time to deeply understand him and his struggles instead of “whisper” behind his back, making him think that “there must be something wrong with me”. Moreover, this song seems to describe psychotic events: the singer is “making friends with shadows on (his) wall” and he is “hearing voices”, which may be episodes referring to the hallucinations as symptoms of his condition, even if the latter is not further defined. Towards the end he says: “I know right now you don’t care/But soon enough you’re gonna think of me/And how I used to be”, which may be read as his hope both for a redemption and for getting better.

Tags: #crazy #psychosis #shame #hearingvoices #redemption #gettingbetter #unwell #matchboxtwenty.

Title: “Lights”;

Name and year of the Album: “Bright Lights”, 2010;

Singer: Ellie Goulding;

Songwriters: Ash Howes / Elena Goulding / Richard Stannard;

Short description of the song: It is about fighting against the “dark” of the depression, being scared of it, feeling overwhelmed by the sense of hopelessness (“the dark is too hard to beat”). She suffers from insomnia (“I’m not sleeping now”) and she is close to give up on fighting (“And I’m not keeping up/The strength I need to push me”). However, someone shows her the “lights”, instilling into her the will to go ahead. This “someone” may be a part of herself, this inside, often hidden part that everyone has and that make ourselves react upon failure: “You shine it when I’m alone/And so I tell myself that I’ll be strong”. There is then a constant reference to her “home”, a place where she “felt safe”, with her “brother” and “sister”, a place where there she supposedly used to be happy (“I had a way then/losing it all on my own/I had a heart then”), but “home” can also be a metaphor for a place away from the sadness (“And so I tell myself that I’ll be strong/And dreaming when they’re gone/’Cause they’re calling, calling, calling me home/Calling, calling, calling home”). “Noises, I play within my head/Touch my own skin/And hope that I’m still breathing/And I think back to when/My brother and my sister slept/In another place/The only time I feel safe”: the noises are the negative thoughts, the ones who make her being afraid of dying, hence she checks on herself, hoping she is still alive. And again there is a reminder to her past sweet memories of family life, when she was feeling safe most probably from herself, from that voices inside her head which bring pain and sadness.

Tags: #darkness #depression #insomnia #hopelessness #voices #safeplace #lights #elliegoulding.

Title: “Paint it black”;

Name and year of the Album: “Aftermath”, 1966;

Singer: The Rolling Stones;

Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger;

Short description of the song: This is written from the point of view of a person who is depressed and wants everything to turn black to match his mood. In this song, the pain derives from the extreme grief suffered by a person who is shocked by a sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one (“I could not foresee this thing happening to you”). “I have to turn my head until my darkness goes” describes the resignation of a person facing an event which is bigger than himself and out of his control. The black colour is therefore both a visive representation of the funeral the singer is attending to (“I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black/with flowers and my love both never to come back”) and, metaphorically speaking, it gives the idea of the emotion the singer is experiencing: his “whole world is black”, he sees “no colours anymore I want them to turn black”.

It refers to an attitude which is typical of a person who is suffering, who wants to be left alone with his pain, because he is unable to talk about it neither he thinks that the people around him can truly understand his feelings. This often happens to those who face a dark moment: becoming reluctant to others, closing in on themselves, not seeing a way out, because even the latter one is shrouded in sadness (“I see a red door and I want it painted black”).

Tags: #loss #darkness #suffering #closingin #sadness #paintitblack #therollingstones.