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Songs to lose your mind to

Updated on October 19, 2017

Mental illness is a problem

The premise of this article is simple, I will not mince words. Mental illness is a problem in our society. The world is chaotic, and there was a tendency for mental imbalance even before it got this way- it seems to be a trait of our ever so fragile humanity. Importantly, there are some of us that need our support enormously- our minds make us human, each one is an incomprehensibly powerful tool- this is ultimately a call to aid those whose lives could be damaged by this tools lack of control. This article is, above all, a call to arms to sign a petition for essential mental health legislation in Nigeria:

However, it is also an acknowledgement of the extremely insane nature of the world we live in, nihilism encroaches upon us as nothing seems to mean anything anymore, and everyone seems to be searching for a way to help them pretend that they are fine with it. Fortunately, I am a strong believer in the power of art to aid us in the dilemmas we face. With that in mind, here are four songs that I believe are helpful in their own small way.

Father John Misty

Father John Misty
Father John Misty | Source

Pure comedy

Existence is absurd

Father John Misty might genuinely be one of the funniest musicians alive. “Pure comedy” is his righteously unflinching look at the absurdity of existence itself. Life as a philosophical concept on its own is insane- this is a fact we would be much happier if we never forgot. It is comforting to know someone finds this mess we are stuck in as insane as we do.

Dance in the water

Atrocity exhibition
Atrocity exhibition | Source

Alienation is a tragedy

On the other hand, it is often comforting to know we are not alone in this, someone across the infinite cosmos relates with us. A widespread problem of mental health is the alienation suffered by the mentally ill. We tend to see the issue as a “them” problem- “them” supposedly meaning the white and the rich. This is wrong. Danny Brown shapes a sharp reminder- with the song “Dance in the water”- that we are all just trying to keep dancing despite the demons we face. It is an us problem, alienation of the sufferers is ultimately a tragedy.

Pursuit of happiness

We will fall again

I would almost be sinful to dare and discuss mental health and music without mentioning Kid Cudi. “Pursuit of happiness" is a lucid, somewhat drugged up, anti-power ballad. Explaining this one is simple; Kid Cudi has had his own ongoing struggles with mental health, and the harsh reality is- it is not a problem that can ever completely be fixed. It is a fight, a sequence of falling and getting up, ultimately understanding that we will fall again. Kid Cudi reminds us that what matters is the struggle, not the achievements themselves. “The pursuit of happiness” is a reminder that life is worth living for the pursuit itself.


It is okay to struggle

A terrifying truth is that, unless you have been deserted on an island, someone you know and probably someone you care about is struggling with their mental health- one way or another- it might even be you. It might be in secret, or if you are lucky in the open, but someone you know is struggling with mental health. Asa reminds us that their struggles do not change how beautiful they are to us. This song- and subsequently this article- is steeped in as much cheese as a mouse’s lucid dream, but the song “beautiful” still works. The black community especially seems to see struggling with mental illness as a sign of weakness- it is not. It is almost absurd how we all need reminders of this, but since we do I will spell it out- It is okay to struggle. This song reminds us to accept that.

Please sign the petition, help those that seriously need it.


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      Yemi Shodimu 4 months ago

      Brilliantly deep as usual.