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Song About PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

Songs about PTSD can help ease some of the frustrations we experience during the aftermath of a trauma. These relatable songs can help remind you that you aren’t alone in your battles. You might also want to seek PTSD treatment with professional help if your symptoms prove too much to bear. 

It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction to protect a person from harm.

Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People with PTSD may feel stressed or frightened, even when not in danger. [1]

PTSD songs can help you feel like you’re not the only person struggling. Some of these lyrics may pinpoint the exact emotions you’re feeling. Some of the music might describe the feelings you’re feeling. Here are the top 10 songs about PTSD that’ll help you overcome it:

  1. “Zombie” by The Cranberries – The singer of the band, Dolores O’Riordan, explained during interviews that the song spoke out about the fighting in Ireland that started in 1916. The war had lost meaning and killed innocents that had nothing to do with the fighting. The song was written hoping for peace between Ireland and England and that it would hopefully end the violence. The song’s lyrics talk about what a soldier suffering from PTSD may experience once home, as one primary symptom is sleep deprivation. “In your head/ in your head they are fighting/ with their tanks and their bombs/and their guns/ In your head, in your head, they are crying.”

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  1. “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood – Some people experience PTSD after traumatic car accidents. This song can help you recover from your trauma by putting your faith in a religious figure instead. While not everyone believes in the same faith, you can interpret the lyrics as putting your faith in the universe and your spiritual leaders or letting life run its course.

The lyrics “I’m letting go, so give me one more chance” can be powerful for people who are ready to let go of their trauma and go back to facing their fears and living the life they want to so that they can be saved from “the road I’m on.”

  1. “Brave” by Sara Bareilles – The song is about being brave enough to tell your story. This is a perfect song for people struggling with PTSD who act bravely by seeking professional help. Or a trauma victim decides to press charges against their attacker and speak up about the issue.

The lyrics “Sometimes a shadow wins but I wonder what would happen if you say what you wanna say and let the words fall out honestly I wanna see you be brave.” Sara Bareilles almost acts like your friend in the song, encouraging you to be brave and stand up for yourself. 

  1. “Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga – This PTSD song is about being a rape survivor. The lyrics are about how people always tell you you’ll be fine the moment you’re struggling. But the challenge is that the people telling you to be strong have never been through what you’ve been through.
Songs About PTSD
Instead of feeling better as time goes on, the individual may become more anxious and fearful. PTSD can disrupt a person’s life for years, but treatment can help them recover.
Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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  1. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash – Johnny Cash’s masterpiece “Hurt” is actually a cover written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails,  and is probably the most depressing song ever about what seems to be Borderline Personality Disorder (probably with sociopathic tendencies).  It can also describe the feelings of having PTSD. When he recorded “Hurt,” he had already been given only 18 months to live by his doctors (he suffered from a rare degenerative disease and diabetes). Johnny Cash’s Hurt reflects depression on a deep level. Furthermore, Musical artist biographer Martin Huxley notes Hurt is a reference to self-harm and heroin addiction
  1. “Whataya Want From Me” by P!Nk – The lyrics are probably some of the most relatable lyrics on this list. “Just don’t give up, I’m working it out, please don’t give in, I won’t let you down. It messed me up, Need a second to breathe, just keep coming around, whataya want from me?” This sums up a person with PTSD’s main conversation with those close to them. When battling PTSD, you’re struggling to keep yourself around. It would be best to have time to ‘breathe’ and heal.
  1. “Thank U” by Alanis Morissette – This song is about her journey into Enlightenment. Getting past all the negative emotions…terror, frailty, disillusionment, elusive praise (kudos), and the fear of death. This song is Alanis’ reflection after she visits India. She realizes all these habits she has don’t need to exist. It’s also a humbling song about growth and gratification.
  1. “Keep Breathing” by Ingrid Michaelson – Keep Breathing is a great example of a PTSD song for a war veteran. The lyrics “people are dying, I close my blinds” talk about how difficult it is to watch people die, but you’re forced to pretend it doesn’t affect you. The most powerful part of the song is when the lyrics “All we can do is keep breathing” are repeated. 
Songs About PTSD
Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD.
  1. “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” by Eminem – This song follows a similar trend of highlighting early adverse experiences and PTSD. The song deals with Eminem’s angst against his mother. In the first verse, Eminem highlights how he can’t keep his emotion in check and describes them as “the oceans exploding,” attributing it to his parents’ relationship, their “tempers flaring.” The chorus indicates that Eminem wishes to exorcise his emotional demons by voicing his angst in his lyrics. He uses the metaphor, “but tonight I’m cleaning out my closet,” to acknowledge that he would rather reveal his “skeletons” than allow them to eat away at him.
  1. “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child – This PTSD song is ideal for people looking to gain confidence in their decision to leave an abusive relationship. It’s the ultimate power song for victims to recognize that they’re strong and have made the right decision. The lyrics “Thought I would self-destruct, but I’m still here” are really powerful lyrics for people battling suicidal thoughts as they struggle with PTSD.

Country Songs About PTSD

Matt Kennon’s songs have hit home with many struggling with issues like suicide, post-traumatic stress, and bullying. The Atlanta native also has developed an anti-bullying program, which he has taken to 83 schools to reach over 150,000 students with a powerful anti-bullying message. Matt wants his music to speak the truth. That doesn’t mean he ever contemplated suicide like the young man he mentions in “The Call.”

Another country song about trauma and PTSD is Smile Again by Brooke Lambert. “Smile Again” shows remarkable strength and courage that while certain unspeakable moments can’t necessarily be erased, they don’t have to define or completely ruin you. After courageously telling fans on social media that she was drugged and raped after playing a solo gig, Lambert continued to chronicle details of the events and feelings following the traumatic experience.

Rock Songs About PTSD

You’re not alone if you live with PTSD and struggle with symptoms like flashbacks or insomnia. Here are a couple of songs you can relate to. It’s crucial to remember that you can connect to someone who can understand you as well. Try reaching out for help or if you have any questions about PTSD treatment options. Call us today at We Level Up.

“The Day I Tried to Live” by Soundgarden Requires decent headphones for a good experience, as there is a mixture of sounds and stereo usage that captures the feeling of punctuated disorientation that is life with panic attacks. While not directly about life with PTSD and panic, the lyrics express frustration and alienation that connects with how PTSD feels — particularly in the struggle to find self-acceptance in a hostile world.

“Unwell” by Matchbox Twenty is a song that screams everything about PTSD. The lyrics “I’m not ‘crazy…’ But someone with PTSD may feel like it… you may often look or act like it. “Talking to myself in my sleep” — usually begging some higher power to let you rest for one night of peace. One night to feel like you again.

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Songs About PTSD Abuse

Trauma is complex, and so is its aftermath. And while music cannot “cure” post-traumatic stress disorder, music therapy has shown positive results in helping relieve PTSD symptoms. For some, a song — or loud sounds at all — can be triggering, but for many, empowering and relatable lyrics or calming (or even heart-pumping) melodies help get them through difficult periods with PTSD.

“Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift. This song isn’t a typical Taylor Swift song.  But if you’re currently suffering from PTSD for the first time, you might find this song about PTSD accurately taps into what emotions you’re feeling.

Another positive song about PTSD is “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree. The lyrics “you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger, you gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together” might be the hardest thing to do as you battle your demons, but the lyrics act as a positive mantra that you can repeat to yourself as you heal. This might be a good PTSD song to listen to as you approach the end of the PTSD challenges.

“Silence” by Marshello feat. Khalid is a powerful PTSD song for those who’ve suffered in an abusive relationship. The lyrics “I found peace in your violence, can’t tell me there’s no point in trying, I’m at one and I’ve been quiet for too long” are especially powerful. It’s also a positive message that you may one day find peace after being in an abusive relationship.

Songs About PTSD
Recovery from PTSD is a gradual and ongoing process. Symptoms of PTSD seldom disappear completely, but treatment can help people learn to manage it more effectively.

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Songs About PTSD Trauma

“A Little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans. A PTSD song about recovery is this Sara Evans song. The lyrics “But I brushed my teeth anyway, Got dressed through the mess and put a smile on my face I got a little bit stronger” are perfect for celebrating the little wins as you recover from PTSD. Even a little bit of self-care can help you recover from PTSD.

“Praying” by Kesha. This song about trauma is Kesha’s song about rape after she experienced it herself. This song is about the aftermath of rape when a person has begun to heal. The lyrics “No more monsters, I can breathe again” are especially relatable to those suffering trauma. 

Songs About PTSD War

A song about PTSD for people in the military is the song “Zombie” by the Cranberries. It can be triggering as it talks about war. The lyrics “in your head, they are fighting, with their tanks, and their bombs, and their bombs, and their guns, in your head, in your head, they are crying.” With images running through your head, fighting in a war and killing civilians can be particularly difficult.

The lyrics may play while you experience flashbacks. This song may make you feel worse if you’re struggling with flashbacks. But it may also feel relatable. If you listen to this song, try to listen to it with a therapist in the room or with a friend, as it can be difficult to listen to alone.

“Keep Breathing” by Ingrid Michaelson. Keep Breathing is a great example of a PTSD song for a war veteran. The lyrics “people are dying, I close my blinds” talk about how difficult it is to watch people die, but you’re forced to pretend it doesn’t affect you. The most powerful part of the song is when the lyrics “All we can do is keep breathing” are repeated.

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PTSD Treatment

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic, often debilitating mental health disorder that may develop after a traumatic life event, such as military combat, natural disaster, sexual assault, or unexpected loss of a loved one. Most of the U.S. population is exposed to a traumatic event during their lifetime, and shortly after exposure, many people experience some symptoms of PTSD. Although among most individuals, these symptoms resolve within several weeks, approximately 10%–20% of individuals exposed to trauma experience PTSD symptoms that persist and are associated with impairment. [4]

The diagnosis of what is now accepted as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has changed over the years as we have gained a better understanding of the stress response and its longer-term impact on the body and the brain. PTSD treatment works. Those who have gone through trauma can learn to feel safe in the world and cope with stress.

Deciding to get help and taking steps to start can be hard. There are several effective PTSD treatments. This means you have options. Many professionals provide evidence-based talk therapy and medication to people who go through trauma. Treatments with the strongest evidence should be the first line of treatment for PTSD whenever possible, considering patient preferences, values, and clinician expertise.

Songs About PTSD
The goal of PTSD treatment is to reduce the emotional and physical symptoms, improve daily functioning, and help the person better manage the event that triggered the disorder.

In addition to PTSD Treatment, many people with disorders find it immensely helpful to share their experiences and feelings with others with similar experiences, like a peer support group and listening to songs about PTSD.

We Level Up FL provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. All work as a team, providing PTSD Treatment for successful recovery. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.

Search Songs About PTSD & Other Resources
Sources:

[1] Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) – https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd
[2] PTSD: National Center for PTSD – https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand_tx/tx_basics.asp – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
[3] Mann SK, Marwaha R. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. [Updated 2022 Feb 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559129/
[4] Miao XR, Chen QB, Wei K, Tao KM, Lu ZJ. Posttraumatic stress disorder: from diagnosis to prevention. Mil Med Res. 2018 Sep 28;5(1):32. DOI: 10.1186/s40779-018-0179-0. PMID: 30261912; PMCID: PMC6161419. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6161419/
[5] Facilitating Transition to Recommended PTSD Treatment – https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT05165940?cond=PTSD&draw=2&rank=2