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Music & Mental Illness: A Powerful Connection

By: Leah Hovey


Music has a way of speaking to people on an emotional, personal, and profound level. It has the ability to bring us together and the ability to connect with the one person who may feel alone. Music has been a method of self-expression for those who are struggling with mental illness, grief, sadness, trauma, and challenging subjects. For many individuals I know, they say that music was the one thing that kept them going through life’s hardest times.


Whatever genre you like, there are songs that speak about challenging topics surrounding mental illness. Artists have a strong connection with their songs, such as Logic with his powerful rap about suicide ("1-800-273-8255") and Alessia Cara with her ballad about conquering self-esteem issues ("Scars to your Beautiful"). There are even songs that speak directly about mental illness, such as Florence and the Machine’s “Breaking Down” (which details her childhood struggle with depression) and Demi Lovato’s “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me” (which is about her Bipolar disorder).


Having these songs sung by our heroes is a great example of how mental illness does not discriminate against class, race, gender, or sex. This also goes to prove how music is one of the best ways to express and heal from the pain that is inside of you.


This month will be focused on how various art forms, such as music, help us understand, cope with, and express our mental health in a creative and beautiful way.


Conscious Counselling wants to encourage others to continue to use art as a form of therapy and self-care when dealing with the issues that impact us all. To start off this week in a positive way, we have created a playlist of all of our favourite tunes that speak about overcoming mental illness, obstacles, and help make us feel good! These songs will be sure to leave you in a happier mood and hopefully impact you the way they have impacted us.


“Where words fail, music speaks.” - Hans Christian Andersen

Listen to our playlist here.

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