It is no secret that music can inspire, motivate, create change, and help people express themselves. The Odyssey notes that as our culture changes, so do the lyrics within our music. One recent cultural change has been the openness of topics surrounding mental illness and addiction. As more celebrities are willing to open up about their experiences, more people are likely to be impacted to seek help. Hip-hop is an influential genre – Forbes Magazine states that for the first time in United States history, hip-hop is the most dominant form of music. Many hip-hop artists have taken part in the movement towards being open about addiction and mental illness, and this is helping the greater good.

Jay-Z’s song “Wings” take to the heart of addiction, as he raps about deep thoughts associated with drug addiction and medication. One of his lyrics described his experience as “the cyclone of my own addiction”. A song titled “1-800-273-8255” – the number for the National Suicide Lifeline – performed by Logic and Alessia Cara discusses the important issue of mental health and suicide, urging people to seek help. It’s worked – John Draper, the prevention line’s director, stated on LA Times that after the song’s music video went viral, phone call rates went up between 30% and 50%. He stated, “Messages like Logic’s, where he says, ‘I’m thinking about suicide, but I want to get help’ and he got it, are a very positive role model.”

One important distinction is the difference between suicide awareness and suicide prevention – songs such as “1-800-273-8255” serve as a catalyst for people to seek help. The empathy behind these messages is so important because many people with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts feel alone and that nobody cares about them.

Furthermore, these songs of hope and guidance are helping people within the black community. Dr. Daphne Watkins, director of the joint Ph.D. program in Social Work and Social Sciences at the University of Michigan stated for NBC News, “In the black community we sweep those things under the rug, because we just don’t know how to have those conversations.” More and more artists are posting their lyrics on social media to help emphasize their experiences and motivate individuals to seek help.

New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If you are ready to seek help, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation. You’re not alone, and there are so many people who care about your wellbeing.


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