If you are having suicidal thoughts, I urge you to talk to someone.
I’ll leave some numbers at the bottom of this article, in case you need someone to talk to.
Of course, talking isn’t for everyone.
I’m an introvert myself and prefer to me by myself when I am feeling down.
What helps me? Music.
Whenever I feel bad, I like listening to music by artists who were also feeling bad.
Listening to songs about suicidal thoughts helps you feel like you are not alone. Others are going through similar things.
And that always helps me feel better. Not sure what to listen to?
Below are some of the best songs about suicide and wanting to die ever written. I hope some of them help you as much as they help me.
Table of Contents
- 1 Songs About Suicidal Thoughts And Wanting To Die
- 1.1 Adam’s Song by Blink 182
- 1.2 Ballad Of Hollis Brown by Bob Dylan
- 1.3 Beyond The Realms Of Death by Judas Priest
- 1.4 Chop Suey! by System Of A Down
- 1.5 Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
- 1.6 Fade To Black by Metallica
- 1.7 Fire And Rain by James Taylor
- 1.8 Hey Man Nice Shot by Filter
- 1.9 How To Save A Life by The Fray
- 1.10 Jumper by Third Eye Blind
- 1.11 Last Resort by Papa Roach
- 1.12 Listen Before I Go by Billie Eilish
- 1.13 Stan by Eminem
- 1.14 Suicidal Thoughts by Notorious B.I.G.
- 1.15 Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey
- 1.16 The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe
- 1.17 The Message by Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five
- 1.18 The Outsider by A Perfect Circle
- 1.19 Today by The Smashing Pumpkins
- 2 Songs About Suicide: Final Thoughts
Songs About Suicidal Thoughts And Wanting To Die
I tried to include music from many different genres, so you should be able to find at least one song below that you can enjoy. Personally, I enjoy almost all of the following songs about suicidal thoughts.
Blink 182 (and the many copycat bands like them) was known mostly for lighthearted singles. Adam’s Song was one of their few more serious songs, at least among their early stuff.
The band’s bassist Mark Hoppus was the primary writer. He is responsible for he lyrics and also sings the song. He was influenced by a suicide letter from a teen he read in a magazine.
He also drew from his experiences being lonely on tour, where he was single, while his bandmates had girlfriends.
Blink 182 actually ended up retiring the song after the death of DJ AM (Adam Goldstein) in 2009. He was a friend of the band and they found it too difficult to continue playing a song about wanting to die. However, they brought it back and played it live again in 2018.
Ballad Of Hollis Brown by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan recorded Ballad of Hollis Brown in 1963. The lyrics tell a story about a destitute farmer in rural South Dakota who ends up killing himself and his entire family.
Dylan begins the song by painting a vivid picture of Hollis Brown’s life and all of the hardships he was facing. Once we understand, even feel, his dire situation, Dylan ends the song with Mr. Brown killing his family, and then himself.
What really sets this song about suicide apart is Dylan’s clever use of pronouns.At the beginning of the song, he uses the third person (he). At some point in the song, he suddenly switches to the second person (you).
If you’re not paying attention, you don’t even notice the switch. But the effect is staggering. Suddenly, it puts you right there in Hollis Brown’s situation. You feel his desperation so much more immediately as a result of this tiny switch. Brilliant.
Beyond The Realms Of Death by Judas Priest
Beyond The Realms Of Death is an anti-suicide anthem by Judas Priest that is generally considered one of their best songs. It tells the story of a man who slips into a type of coma due to depression and ends up dying, possibly by suicide.
The song begins quietly, until the chorus, when heavy riffs take over. It goes quiet again until the next chorus, which is then followed by an incredible guitar solo. Then it gets calm for the final time, before the riffs come back and the tune ends on a second solo.
Chop Suey! by System Of A Down
System of a Down’s Chop Suey was originally called Suicide, so that tell you what it is about right there. The band was forced to change it, because the record company wanted to avoid controversy.
The new title is actually the first two syllables of the word “suicide” after it has been chopped up. In other words: Chop Suey. But in truth, the song is not specifically about suicide, but about death and the hypocrisy we see in others after someone’s death.
Of course, there are many other theories about the song’s true meaning. And the band has decided to keep quiet on the matter. You can learn more about the meaning of the Chop Suey lyrics here.
Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
R.E.M. included Everybody Hurts on their eighth album Automatic for the People. They released it as a single in April 1993 and it climbed as high as number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Critical opinion of the song was high from the beginning and it has only increased. Numerous publications rank it among the top 100 of the greatest songs ever written.
The song is not actually about someone committing suicide, but it is definitely about someone having suicidal thoughts. However, the protagonist of the song is able to talk that person down from actually going through with those thoughts.
Fade To Black by Metallica
Fade to Black was a departure for Metallica when they included it on their second album Ride The Lightning and released it as the first single. It was their first ever power ballad and they were not sure how fans would receive it.
Most loved it. And the band say they heard from a lot of fans who told them the song helped them through some rough times. In terms of the music, Guitar World readers voted the solo as the 24th best guitar solo of all time.
The lyrics of the song address suicidal thoughts. Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield were, according to a statement made by Ulrich in an interview, “obsessed with death” at the time. Hetfield also admitted that his favorite Marshall amplifier being stolen also contributed to the dark mood of the song.
If you like this song, you will probably like Metallica’s most famous ballad as well. Check out or analysis of the Nothing Else Matters lyrics meaning.
Fire And Rain by James Taylor
James Taylor’s Fire and Rain is perhaps a bit different than most other songs on this list. It is not about wanting to die, but about an actual suicide. At last in part.
Taylor has explained that the song has three parts. He wrote one of those parts about his childhood friend Suzanne Schnerr, who had killed herself while he was in London recording his album.
The second part talks about his own struggles with depression, as well as his attempts to beat his drug addiction. The third part talks about his road to fame and his difficulties in dealing with his success.
Hey Man Nice Shot by Filter
Filter’s Hey Man Nice Shot also talks about a suicide that has already been committed. In this instance, it was a very public suicide.
In 1987, Pennsylvania state treasurer R. Budd Dwyer committed suicide during a press conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He had just been convicted of bribery charges and was expecting to receive a long jail term.
Singer and songwriter Richard Patrick stated this suicide as the subject of the song, but many were convinced it was actually about the suicide of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. This despite the fact that Patrick wrote the song in 1991 and Kurt killed himself in 1994.
How To Save A Life by The Fray
The Fray’s How to Save a Life is their biggest hit. It was the subject of one of our articles dissecting the meaning of a song. You can find it here, if you want to learn more about the lyrics to this song and their meaning.
In short, singer and songwriter Isaac Slade wrote the song based on his experiences as a youth counselor, when he mentored troubled teenagers.
There was one boy in particular who was struggling to deal with the death of someone close to him and was also battling addiction. He kept losing friends due to his actions and no one was able to get through to him and help him out, including Slade himself.
Jumper by Third Eye Blind
Third Eye Blind’s Jumper was a huge success for the band as the fifth single from their self-titled debut album. Critics gave the song mostly positive reviews and it made it all the way up to number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Frontman Stephan Jenkins was inspired to write the song by the story of band manager Eric Godtland’s friend committing suicide in high school after being bullied due to his sexuality.
In addition to that incident, Jenkins also drew from his own bad experiences in childhood. The lyrics talk about a gay friend jumping off of a bridge because he was bullied for being gay. Very close to the real story that inspired the song.
Last Resort by Papa Roach
I’m not a hug Papa Roach fan, but I remember seeing them live in Reno when they opened for a band I liked, before anyone knew who they were. I remember thinking they should be far better known. They just had that sound that was all the rage back then.
Sure enough, when they released their first single Last Resort a few months later, they took off. That song was everywhere and the band ended up becoming one of the primary bands responsible for defining the nu metal sound.
The original inspiration for Last Resort came from a roommate of vocalist Jacoby Shaddix who tried to kill himself. Shaddix says they caught him in time and took him to the hospital. He ended up in a mental facility and ended up changing his life for the better.
But he sees the song as a general cry for help. He says he originally wrote it with his friend in mind, but many years later, it actually ended up being about himself as well. He found himself in the same place, not knowing if he wanted to continue. Luckily, he managed to get through it.
Listen Before I Go by Billie Eilish
Listen Before I Go is one of Billie Eilish’s darker songs and I suppose that’s saying something. I admittedly do not know much about her or her music, but my impression is that much of her work is on the dark side of life. Of all the songs about wanting t die o this list, this is the newest.
The inspiration for this song came from Eilish’s own battles with depression. She is basically imagining what might have happened if she had succumbed to that depression and taken her own life.
Stan by Eminem
Stan is considered one of Eminem’s signature songs and is certainly one of his most recognizable. But when it was first released back in 2000, it only ever made it up to number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100.
These days the song is so famous that it has even spawned a slang term that even made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. Personally, I hate the term “stan”, but I do see it everywhere.
The lyrics talk about an obsessed fan named Stan who sends Eminem a series of ever-more-disturbing letters that end with him drunk and high, driving off a bridge to kill himself with his pregnant girlfriend locked in the trunk of his car.
In the final verse, the singer realizes that the letters match a news story he saw and it dawns on him that this obsessed fan really did commit murder suicide out of anger at the singer for never answering him.
Suicidal Thoughts by Notorious B.I.G.
Suicidal Thoughts was the final song on Biggie’s debut album Ready To Die. It was never released as a single and is probably one of the least known tracks from that record. It is certainly one of the darkest.
The lyrics consist of Biggie talking about how terrible he feels about his life and his situation. The songs ends with him killing himself, which also makes it a somewhat fitting end to an album entitled Ready To Die.
Both Biggie and Puff Daddy (or whatever he calls himself now) have said that the song was exaggeration. Biggie says he was simply talking about how tough his situation was, but that he never actually thought about killing himself. However that may be, the lyrics feel real.
Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey
Summertime Sadness was the first Lana Del Rey song I ever heard and it hooked me. In the end, it’s still my favorite song of hers and much of her other stuff isn’t really my cup of tea.
Other people agreed with my feelings about this song. It became a sleeper hit and made it up to number 6 on the Billboard Top 100. That is the highest any of her songs have climbed up the charts. IT even made it onto Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, albeit at number 456
This song is perhaps not so much about suicidal thoughts, but about the fleeting happiness of a summertime fling. Of course, this particular fling ends in suicide, which is what landed it here on this list
The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe
The Verve Pipe are seen as a bit of a one hit wonder, with The Freshman being that hit. However, there was actually a second hit off their debut album Villains called Photograph. It did not have the same level of success as The Freshmen, but it did chart.
The inspiration for The Freshmen was lead singer Brian Vander Ark’s girlfriend getting an abortion. The part of the song is taken from real life, but the rest of it is a made up story. That includes the ending, where the girlfriend commits suicide.
The Message by Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five
The Message by Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five is one of the earliest popular hip-hop songs that delivered a social message (hence the title, I suppose). It has become a monster hit and one of the most recognizable songs of all time.
NME voted it “track of the year” for 1982. It has landed at, or near, the top of many hip-hop lists. Rolling Stone ranked it number 50 on their list of the greatest songs of all time. It was even one of 50 songs the Library of Congress added to its National Recording Registry in its first year of archival, becoming the first hip-hop track to land there.
However, the song is not directly about suicide or suicidal thoughts, so I debated whether to include it here. It is actually about a child who grows up in the ghetto and ends up in prison, where he commits suicide. I figured if Lana del Rey’s song is on this list, then The Message certainly has to be.
The Outsider by A Perfect Circle
I have to admit, I’m a big fan of A Perfect Circle, so I was thrilled to be able to include one of their songs on this list. The Outsider is the second single off their second album Thirteenth Step. It was a good success for them and made it onto various charts, although it got nowhere near the top.
Like most of Maynard James Keenan’s lyrics, they are not the easiest to decipher. But they are easier than most. The Outsider is about suicidal thoughts, but not from the perspective of someone having them.
It looks in from the outside, from the perspective of a friend or loved one who does not understand their friend’s depression at all and is less than helpful. They basically just tell them to suck it up and get over it. The music video is bizarre. Apparently, they went with something completely ridiculous for a lack of any other good ideas.
Today by The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins are another band I love. And Today is one of the songs that launched them to stardom, along with Disarm. Both are from their second album Siamese Dream, one of the quintessential albums of the 1990s.
Today is unusual in that it sounds quite upbeat, but the lyrics are anything but. Singer and songwriter Billy Corgan wrote them when he was feeling suicidal, lending them a dark, ironic tone and message.
Corgan explained that he fell into a deep depression after releasing their debut album Gish. The depression lasted for about eight months and he was suicidal for two or three of them. You certainly feel this pain throughout the second album.
Songs About Suicide: Final Thoughts
As mentioned, I tried to include various genres in this list of songs about suicidal thoughts, but you can probably tell my somewhat advanced age from the selection, as well as my lack of familiarity with newer music, country music and R&B. Plus a few other genres.
For that reason, I invite you to make additional suggestions for great songs about wanting to die. If they are good, I will be happy to add them to the list. But I should warn you. I will not add anything that is noticeably autotuned. I like listening to humans sing songs about suicide, not computers.
Finally, if you are having thoughts about suicide yourself and you need someone to talk to, here are some resources for the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
- United States: CDC – Suicide Prevention
- Canada: Government of Canada – Preventing Suicide
- United Kingdom: NHS – Help For Suicidal Thoughts
- Australia: Lifeline
If you suspect someone you know is struggling with depression and might be contemplating suicide, this article has some ways you can help that person.