Today (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day. With the ever-changing and demanding world of social media, entertainment and politics, the wellbeing of us all is considerably more important than ever. One key demographics that the modern world demands have affected is young people.
World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of issues revolving around mental health and remove to social stigma that surrounds it. This year’s campaign focuses on young people and the changing world. As the World Federation for Mental Health explains, “young people are spending most of their day on the internet – experiencing cyber crimes, cyberbullying, and playing violent video games.” While the numbers of suicide and substance have been steadily rising, with hardly anything being taught to young people about maintaining their wellbeing.
Thankfully in recent years, we have seen various bands and causes raise awareness about mental health issues and the support available. Likewise, Already Heard has always been keen to highlight and support organisations such as Samaritans, MIND, Heads Above The Waves and CALM, amongst others, to help with highlighting mental health support.
To mark this important day, we have put together a playlist of songs chosen by musicians and Already Heard contributors. ‘Songs of Hope’ is a selection of tracks that people have found comfort, hope and understanding when they’re going through difficult spells.
Linda Battilani (Halflives): ‘True Friends’ by Bring Me The Horizon
“I still remember the day they released this song, it was before the release of their album, it was August and I was in Manchester, during a lazy day off of one of my first UK tours ever, even before Halflives were born.
“I was in a very dark period, I was angry, disappointed to have trusted once more someone who was not worth it, heartbroken. When I heard the song I immediately connected with it, the lyrics were feeding my anger, giving me that feeling that eventually one day I would get my revenge because “Karma has no deadline”. I don’t think I ever had a real revenge, just that I went through all the pain in my chest and I’m here today. Happiness is the best form of revenge.”
Mark Boniface (Harker): ‘Everything Belongs’ by Thrice
“Perpetual motion. Constant state of flux between good and bad days. You never fully heal, but we cope and we survive. Remember everything happens for a reason, learn to live with the motion.”
Jack Pavitt (Bellevue Days): ‘Aurora’ by Foo Fighters
“Mental health is one of those things people are talking about more, and it’s so important. Break a bone or twist an ankle, very apparent. What isn’t is the inner workings of your mind, amongst all the messed up stuff that is going on in the world there’s something way better. Music! In any form, its more than a sound, its a community. For me, music is my lifeline and it always will be, because it involves friends, family (in all forms), and all the people we care about. I’ve seen bands breaking up this week and venues closing, which is sad. The only way we change that is getting outside, going to a gig and being part of something, the most amazing something! oh and ‘There is Nothing Left to Lose’ is the best album ever. Bittersweet.”
Alan Smith (Bellevue Days): ‘MakeDamnSure’ by Taking Back Sunday
Dan Lukes (Bellevue Days): ‘Waste of Paint’ by Bright Eyes
George Gadd: ‘The Oil Slick’ by Frightened Rabbit
“I skipped this song when it first came out and that is honestly a true crime. It wasn’t until I really sat down with the lyrics, especially towards the end of the song, that it really resonated with me and immediately became one of my favourites. I had an illustration of ‘there is light, there’s a tunnel to crawl through’ as my phone’s lock screen background for a while just as a solemn reminder to keep persevering. This really helped because I use my phone a lot to escape situations where I feel uncomfortable or anxious.”
Luke Rainsford: ‘The Devil in My Bloodstream’ by The Wonder Years
This one one of the first songs that ever made me feel less alone in my own struggles with mental health. Hearing lyrics about somebody else going through a bad time, and them also singing about a family member experiencing the same thing really set me on course to becoming the person I am today.
Ash Wain (Catch Fire): ‘Sextape’ by Deftones
“This song has such a beautiful soundscape that just soothes any negative feelings I go through. It’s melancholic, beautiful and It’s one of my go-to songs at night if I need to clear my head.”
Ash Wain (Catch Fire): ‘Decay’ by Counterparts
“I’ve never once related to a song more closely than this. Its lyrics align exactly with my views on life, and there really is no reason to dwell and torture yourself with negativity. We won’t be around forever, so don’t waste what little time you have.”
Luke D’Alton (A Few Too Many): ‘Nobody’ by Stick To Your Guns
It’s a song that I can really relate to on various levels, from the bullying aspect to feeling like you’re almost see-through and non-existent in a room. As the chorus lyrics go – “when you look at me, you see nobody at all”. I can be in a room full of people, whether I know them all or not, and yet still feel like I’m on my own and be blending into the background because I’m not great with people and social interaction. People tend to ignore you and not interact with you which is fine a lot of the time but there might be that one time where you want to talk to someone but you’re not quite sure how to start that conversation. Over time I’ve gotten used to it and I’ve come to realise that there’s something nice about being different, that there are positives to not fitting in and that I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if I had tried to fit in. This song really reflects those feelings for me – “Proud to be nobody at all”.
Luke Harrison (Stand Alone): ‘Live Outside’ by Enter Shikari
“The song is about having certain thoughts that you can’t get away from. It’s so torturing that he refers to the voices in his head as ‘the noise in this house’ and says “why won’t they pipe down”. That’s how I interpret it anyway. The chorus “I wanna live outside of all of this” is a reassuring phrase even for someone who might not have suffered from mental health. The vocals in the breakdown and last chorus shows his passion for such a subject.”
Liv Jones (Elasea): ‘Break Stuff’ by Limp Bizkit
“Sometimes you shouldn’t fight the tough time and you should just embrace it, this song helps with that.”
Liv Jones (Elasea): ‘Breathless’ by The Corrs
‘This is Elasea’s go to van jam! We’ve all learnt a different harmony and we sound like an absolute symphony, a proper feelgood tune that can’t help but make you smile.”
Tyler Ennis (Of Virtue): ‘Torn Apart’ by Of Virtue
“‘Torn Apart’ is very personal to me, as I wrote it around a very traumatic experience with a close friend. Our focus as a band is to bring attention to ideas we believe are important. ‘Torn Apart’ is how I hope to reach out to those who may need to it most, just as my friend needed someone to reach out to them.”
Levente Spicze (Harmed): ‘605’ by Harmed
“‘605’ is not a positive song, but I believe that many find negative songs healing and that’s why I write a lot from difficult personal experiences … my own or ones which people I know have gone through. With ‘605’ – the title is quite personal in itself. I was with my ex for 605 days. It’s about her perspective of our relationship, how she might have felt about the situation, and how I felt she reached a point where she just gave up on me.” Utilizing lyrics such as “No heaven without hell under our soil” is me saying there are no good things without some negativity and the bad coming with it. It [our relationship] was bad for her, she couldn’t take it anymore, and with her escape she found solace.”
Nik Taylor (The Capital): ‘Untitled 3 (Samskeyti)’ by Sigur Rós
“It epitomises beauty and simplicity. There is a misplaced note towards the end that the band decided to leave in, which signifies that you don’t need to strive for complete perfection. This record instantly lifts me and takes me on a musical journey of hope.”
Eljay Lambert (Death Remains): ‘Never See The Sun Rise’ by Dayseeker
“This song reflects upon the lose of a child. Not only that but a still born child. These truly deviating issues of this song (and album) really helped us as a band when it came to losing those close to us. The loss of band mates, the loss friend or the loss family.”
Sêan Reid (Already Heard Editor and Founder): ‘Local Man Ruins Everything’ by The Wonder Years, ‘Believe’ by Moneen, ‘Fever Dream’ by Movements, ‘From The Outside’ by Real Friends, ‘Get Better’ by Frank Turner, ‘Escapism’ by The Winter Passing.
As I stated in this piece I wrote a few months ago, there’s been a handful of songs that have helped me through my mental health issues. These choices are just some of the songs that have comforted me or made me understand during difficult times.
Kathryn Black (AH Writer): ‘An Ode To Lost Jigsaw Pieces’ by Enter Shikari
Angelah Betmead (AH Photographer): ‘World Away‘ by Tonight Alive, ‘I Am The Fire’ by Halestorm and ‘The Mountain’ by Three Days Grace
Connie Taylor (AH Photographer): ‘Bulimic’ by The Used.
If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health problems, we recommend reaching out to one of the following services:
Playlist artwork photo by Jez Pennington.