Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects millions of people worldwide and can result from a variety of traumatic experiences. For many, music can be an outlet for processing and expressing the intense emotions that come with PTSD. In recent years, several artists have created songs that touch on the topic, providing a voice for those who struggle with the disorder. These thoughtful and powerful ballads offer a glimpse into what life is like for those managing the weight and complexity of PTSD. Here we present a selection of songs about PTSD that have resonated deeply with listeners.
“Home” – Three Days Grace
The haunting and powerful track, “Home” by Three Days Grace, delves into the emotional turmoil of a soldier coming back from war to a life that feels unrecognizable. The sharp-edged, frenzied lyrics and the vocal delivery amplifies the intense feelings of alienation and disorientation that often come with PTSD. The chorus evokes the sense of longing to be somewhere that feels familiar, the desperation to find a sense of normalcy in a life thrown off balance by traumatic experiences. It’s a gripping, cathartic expression of the impact PTSD can have on a person’s perception of their own identity and place in the world.
“Bullet” – Hollywood Undead
The track in question highlights the struggle of dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The song delves into the idea of putting up a facade and hiding the dark thoughts that echo through one’s mind due to trauma. The lyrics speak to the aftermath of trauma and the internal conflict that comes from trying to move on while being weighed down by the past. Musically, it features an intense and energetic beat that mirrors the chaotic thoughts that can come with PTSD.
“Not Strong Enough” – Apocalyptica ft. Brent Smith
This track from the Finnish cello-metal masters Apocalyptica and vocalist Brent Smith of Shinedown is a haunting exploration of the struggles faced by those struggling with PTSD and emotional trauma. With swirling cello lines and impassioned vocals, “Not Strong Enough” captures the conflicting emotions of fear, strength, and vulnerability that often come with the struggle to overcome the lasting effects of psychological trauma. The song’s emotive instrumentals and Smith’s soaring vocals create a powerful, cathartic listening experience that speaks to the difficulties of healing, survival, and growth in the face of overwhelming pain.
“Gone Away” – Five Finger Death Punch
“Gone Away” is a haunting and poignant melody that explores the agony and anguish of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The song uses vivid imagery and powerful metaphors to demystify the emotional burden carried by those experiencing PTSD. The lyrical narrative represents a stirring tribute to the pain and hurt felt by those affected by this condition, creating a touching and evocative musical narrative that resonates with listeners. The intense emotional depth of the track is complemented by the heartrending, soulful delivery of the vocals, further amplifying the raw, emotive power of this moving piece.
“One More Light” – Linkin Park
“One More Light” by Linkin Park is a poignant reflection on loss and the impact it can have on our mental wellbeing. Written about a friend who passed away, the song explores the devastating feelings of grief and the toll it takes on our mental health. With hauntingly beautiful lyrics and an emotionally powerful melody, “One More Light” speaks to the struggles of individuals coping with PTSD and offers a relatable and comforting message of hope and support for those who may be struggling to heal from their traumas.
“Welcome to the Black Parade” – My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance’s epic anthem “Welcome to the Black Parade” is an emotional ballad that speaks to the struggle of confronting one’s past traumas. The song’s sweeping orchestral arrangement and powerful vocals speak to the feelings of isolation and confusion often experienced by those dealing with PTSD. It is a deeply moving and poignant expression of the intense emotions involved in the healing process, and stands as a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
“Heavy” – Linkin Park ft. Kiiara
Linkin Park’s “Heavy” is a stirring composition that explores the challenges faced by individuals who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With a captivating melody and riveting lyrics, the song delves into the complexities of mental health struggles, using a blend of emotional and introspective language to convey the pain and anguish that can arise from experiencing PTSD. Through an evocative mix of imagery and metaphor, “Heavy” offers a poignant reflection on the often fraught and difficult journey of healing after traumatic events.
“Coming Down” – Five Finger Death Punch
This heart-wrenching song tells the story of a soldier struggling with PTSD and substance abuse following his time spent at war. The weight of his experiences is palpable in the lyrics and vocals, as the haunting melody builds to an emotional climax. The raw and honest nature of this track makes it a powerful addition to any playlist focusing on mental health and trauma.
“Hurt” – Johnny Cash
This track explores the pains of trauma and suffering, as Johnny Cash’s iconic voice channels unmatched emotion in every note. The lyrics weave a story of hopelessness and despair, as the protagonist grapples with his inner demons while trying to navigate a world that seems to be closing in. The song’s haunting melody and Cash’s unapologetic delivery drive home the weight of PTSD and the difficulty of fighting it off. A sobering reminder that the battle does not always end when the war is over.
“Demons” – Imagine Dragons
“Demons” by Imagine Dragons is a melodic powerhouse that takes a deep dive into the struggles of living with inner demons. With profound lyrics and haunting instrumentals, this track delves into the internal monologue of someone coping with their traumatic past. It’s a thought-provoking and introspective look at the lasting effects of PTSD, making it an essential addition to any playlist dealing with this topic.
“The Sound of Silence” – Disturbed
“The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed is a haunting and evocative song that speaks to the overwhelming and unrelenting silence that can accompany the experience of PTSD. With poignant lyrics that describe the sound of silence as an “echo in the wells of silence” and a “narrowed watercourse,” the song captures the isolation and alienation that can come with the condition. The raw emotion and intense musicality of “The Sound of Silence” make it a powerful and cathartic anthem for those struggling to come to terms with their PTSD.
“The War Inside” – Switchfoot
“The War Inside” by Switchfoot delves into the complexity of PTSD by painting a picture of inner turmoil. The lyrics highlight the internal battles that war veterans face, and how the mental health struggles can manifest outwardly, wreaking havoc on personal relationships and past traumas. Switchfoot’s haunting vocals and the melancholic soundscapes add to the emotional texture of the song, making it a powerful ode to the war inside many suffering from PTSD.
“Breaking the Habit” – Linkin Park
The song in question delves into the tumultuous experience of trying to break free from the cycle of trauma and pain. Its lyrics describe the immense weight of memories that haunt an individual, the endless struggle to silence the voices that scream inside, and the battle to carve out a space of safety and calm amidst the chaos. The melody unfolds with a raw, emotional intensity that mirrors the jagged ups and downs of life after trauma, ultimately arriving at a cathartic, powerful plea for hope and healing.
“So Far Away” – Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold’s “So Far Away” is a powerful ballad that touches on the theme of loss and emotional distress. With its poignant lyrics and heartfelt melodies, the song captures the struggle of dealing with the aftermath of trauma and grief. Its soaring chorus and evocative instrumentation combine to create an atmosphere of overwhelming emotion and catharsis, making it an ideal choice for those seeking solace in music amidst their struggles with PTSD.
“Wrong Side of Heaven” – Five Finger Death Punch
The potent lyrics of “Wrong Side of Heaven” encapsulate the agony and enduring struggle of a soldier dealing with PTSD. Through poetic verses and gritty instrumentation, Five Finger Death Punch eerily paints the harrowing, internal battle of post-traumatic stress disorder that plagues the minds and souls of countless veterans. The track delves into the haunting imagery of war, ruminating on the painful emotions of feeling lost, alienated, and invisible. Overall, “Wrong Side of Heaven” is a poignant and gut-wrenching anthem that sheds light on the hidden traumas often left unspoken in society.
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” – Green Day
Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” explores the feelings of emptiness, isolation, and confusion that can come with PTSD. The lyrics paint a picture of a lonely person wandering down the street, feeling lost and disconnected from the world around them. The song’s melancholy melody further reinforces the sense of despair and hopelessness often associated with the disorder. Overall, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” captures the feeling of being adrift and unable to find a way back to normalcy, making it a haunting and evocative representation of PTSD.
“Numb” – Linkin Park
The song hauntingly delves into the complexities of mental anguish triggered by traumatic experiences. The lyrics are introspective and melancholic, reflecting the feelings of the protagonist who is struggling with a myriad of emotions, ranging from numbness to anger and despair. The music creates a somber atmosphere, accentuating the sense of detachment and isolation that people with PTSD often experience. It is a poignant and thought-provoking piece that brings to light the painful reality of PTSD and the ongoing battle that many people face in coping with the disorder.