Music for You: Depression

I’m writing an article about depression, the unique ways in which depression symptoms may manifest in musicians, and specific ways that musicians can – and do – cope with depression.

It turns out that there’s a lot more to say about this than I first thought. I received a lot of thoughtful feedback on these topics from musicians and music lovers through my Musicians and Depression survey and my Coping Techniques survey. You can still take these quick, anonymous surveys – just click on the links.

In the meantime, here is some music for you.

In addition to the surveys, I’ve done several in-depth interviews with area musicians on the topic of depression. (The first interview will be published in the next few weeks.) One question I ask is “What songs from other artists best sum up the experience of depression for you?” It’s interesting to learn what artists and songs they pick to express their experience.

Here’s a sampling from the interviews I’ve done so far. If you want to know who picked these, you’ll have to check out the interviews! Tell me: What songs from other artists best sum up your experience of depression? Do any of these songs ring true for you?

R.E.M. “Everybody Hurts” from Automatic for the People (1992).

Fiona Apple. “Every Single Night” from The Idler Wheel… (2012).

Krzysztof Penderecki.”Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima” performed here by Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. Composed in 1960.

Songs: Ohia. “Blue Factory Flame” from Didn’t It Rain (2002).

Nine Inch Nails. “Hurt” from The Downward Spiral (1994).

Yazoo (Yaz). “In My Room” from Upstairs at Erik’s (1982).

The Who. “Love, Reign O’er Me” from Quadrophenia (1972).

Cat Power. “Metal Heart” from Moon Pix (1998).

Johnny Cash. “Hurt” from American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002).

Music – creating it, playing it, listening to it – is cathartic. If you need help or support right now for how you’re feeling, don’t be ashamed. Please seek help. In Southwestern PA, you can call Resolve Crisis Services 24/7 at 1-888-7-YOU-CAN (796-8226). Nationally, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).