82% of Gen Z and Millennials use music to alter their mood. The escapism series creates playlists to resonate with various mental health conditions. Experiencing clinical depression whether personally or vicariously through a loved one can be isolating. Welcome to the escapism series, a collection of art created by Gen Z.
TW: Today's playlist relates to depression. It is posted on Youtube here. Help is available at these links.
**Please note: This theme is my interpretation of lyrics - It is not meant to imply diagnoses, lived experiences, or any other associations between artist and mental health condition **
Track #1: "Numb Little Bug" - Em Beihold
“Do you ever get a little bit tired of life? / Like you’re not really happy but you dont want to die?” The song was released January 28, 2022. It peaked at #1 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 list and finished the year holding spot #8. So yeah, Em, it sounds like a lot of people get a little bit tired of life.
"Depression (also known as major depression, major depressive disorder, or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working" - National Institute of Mental Health
Track #2: "serotonin" - girl in red
“There's no depth to these feelings / Dig deep, can't hide / From the corners of my mind
I'm terrified of what's inside”
You'll notice throughout the playlist I tried to stay away from heartbreak songs and really stick to lyrics that evoked the mental illness aspects of depression.
Track #3: "lovely" - Billie Eilish (ft. Khalid)
We've got two phenomenal Gen Z artists on this track. “Need a place to hide, but I can't find one near / Wanna feel alive, outside I can't fight my fear.” Billie was 16 when this song came out in 2018, Khalid was 19. Heavy lyrics for teens.
Track #4: "sidelines" - Phoebe Bridgers
“Nothing ever shakes me, nothing ever makes me cry.” I love this lyric because it speaks to the diverse experiences that people with clinical depression may experience. Many describe it as a numbness or lack of feeling, rather than an intense sadness (See Numb Little Bug, Track #1).
“It’s getting hard for me to breathe / 'Cause the man I’ve been running from / Is here inside of me”
Khalid again. I absolutely love his vulnerable lyrics on this album (Free Spirit).
Talk about vulnerable! Thank you Tones & I for these gems. Track 6A ends our Gen Z artists on a hopeful note, as she sings, "You feel the pain / And when you fall / Just lean on me." You aren't in this alone.
Or you can go the 6B route and stay in your feels. “But there’s alive and then there’s living.”
Shouting out our Millennial artistssss
Track #7: "End of Youth" - Ed Sheeran
This song... Thank you Ed, for putting music to something so many experience. And for setting the example for anyone not accustomed to speaking about hard feelings.
"I've been lost since the teens, but pretend it's all alright / All my ups led to falls that led to trying to end my life... It's been a long year and we're not even halfway there / Is this the ending of our youth when pain starts taking over?"
Track #8: "Homemade Dynamite" - Lorde
Let's note -- She was 20 when this album Melodrama came out. “Let's let things come out of the woodwork / I'll give you my best side, tell you all my best lies / Yeah, awesome, right?”
Track #9: “my mind and me" - Selena Gomez
"Yeah, I'm constantly tryna fight somethin' that my eyes can't see." Yes. Having invisible disabilities can be a very isolating experience because no one can look at you and guess what you're going through. Remember to check in on your loved ones. We could all use an extra affirmation or two here and there.
The National Institute of Mental Health concluded YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The statistics prove it.
"An estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 8.4% of all U.S. adults'
"The prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adult females (10.5%) compared to males (6.2%)'
"The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (17.0%)' -- Gen Z this playlist is for you <3
"The prevalence of major depressive episode was highest among those who report having multiple (two or more) races (15.9%)"
What are your songs in this escapism series? Find the playlist here.