Meaningful Kpop Songs Part 3: Mental Health

Disclaimer: All the lyrics have been quoted from Color Coded Lyrics and I don’t own the rights to any of them.

TW: Depression and suicide 

Hey! Everyone looks at mental health differently as you will see from these songs that we have all come to love and relate to. Remember to love yourself, do your best, stay positive, speak out and get professional help. People around you care a lot more than you think. Just because everyone is immersed in their own secret battles doesn’t mean that they won’t care about yours.

No No No by Apink

Starting off on a high note, we have the ultimate anti-depression anthem. I love how Koreans talk about “giving strength” rather than “having strength”. They take that extra step to show that they care and that you can rely on them. Sometimes, all you want is for someone to say, “I’m here for you.” A shoulder to lean on can be the most powerful thing for a person who’s suffering silently.

Don’t be sad no no no, you’re not alone no no no
You always became a light for me
Hold my hand, come and lean on me
I’ll always be your strength

Although there is a romantic aspect to this song, it can be applied to any valuable relationship. Initially, they talk about the other person being “the light” for them when they were having a hard time. Basically, they are saying that they will return the kindness and love shown to them. At the same time, they are reminding that person of their true strength which can uplift others. This is a great way to help a person heal on their own without being dependent on another.

You had so many dreams and when you were feeling nervous
You hoped for a miracle out of the many hardships
I’ve never seen you being shaken
By the continuous wind

A lot of people find it hard to talk to a depressed person. Not only does this song contain some wonderful examples of what to say but the ideal conversation starter that shows that you sympathize with them:

Did you hold it in for a long time?

The sweetest bridge endings ever ❤ ❤ ❤

When people start to leave you one by one in this world
I’ll shine on you

and,

When the lights turn off one by one
I’ll shine on you

I know people usually listen to sad songs when in a bad mood but this MV is guaranteed to make you feel better. Tastefully done with pure, cute and sexy vibes all in one, No No No’s iconic point dance and catchy chorus is irresistible. Visual queens. Vocal queens. Apink has it all ❤

 

Ayo by SHINee

One of the most comforting Kpop songs, I could not stop crying when I first saw this video. Thanks to the person who recommended it ages ago ❤ This is definitely one of my favourite live performances ever because it is everything and more. I don’t think anyone can watch it without being affected because of the sheer sincerity and love with how this song was made and presented. They did a great job of pointing out situations that hurt people: love, school and work. They made it so extra and fun that you cannot help but smile.

For everyone tired of trying:
Sometimes, you walk alone
You stop for a moment and take a look around
When you’re tired of the feeling of being alone
Follow me then, follow me, me, eh

For insomniacs:
You fall asleep alone again
You try hard to doze off, you close my worn out eyes
When you still can’t sleep
because of the many, many thoughts
Follow me then,
follow me, me, eh 

Taemin knows what’s up lol:
Your IQ is two digits, test scores are also two digits
School rank is three digits, why in the world, why, why

Remember, grades don’t matter. Skills get you jobs. Just do your best and don’t let anyone tell you that you are not smart because of your low grades. The education system is shit after all.

To all the assholes I loved before:
Person I trusted,
I gave you my best, but your love that changes
like seasons do, bye, goodbye

Their loss!

We have all lost loved ones. The love you had for each other always keeps them alive in your heart so you only have to look there to find them waiting for you.
Woo~ when it’s tough,
think about who will greet you
As I wait for you to come, I’m smiling for you, hey

SHINee wants you to know:
A-yo, when it’s tough,
doong-ta-dak, lean on the rhythm, oh
With our song for you oh,
everyone a-yo, everyone a-yo
Side to side, my sad tears,
side to side, all my pain
Brush it off, leave it to the rhythm oh,
everyone a-yo, everyone a-yo

Fighting ❤

 

Plz Don’t Be Sad by Highlight/ BEAST

I don’t quite know what to say. Highlight in their natural habitat trying to find your smile, fighting your shadow, making carpet angels and being ridiculous in general has got to make you smile. First of all Highlight thinks that you have a pretty angelic face so don’t dare call yourself ugly! Secondly, they’re trying really hard here. I mean Dongwoon nearly lost an eye. Just one smile, come on you can do it!
You’re smiling less, especially today
You seem sad for some reason
When I asked you what’s wrong
You said everything’s fine and turned your head

They know something’s up so don’t lie, okay? If it’s too hard to say something then write a note, send a message or record audio for the person you want to spill your feelings too. Don’t keep it in!
Your single tear drop
Makes my day crumble down
Your deep sighs
Tear apart my heart

There are people out there who care for you just like this ❤
Don’t hide it, tell me
I’ll hold you without a word
So all your scars can heal
Inside my arms

Hugs are healing so hug more! We all need them so don’t be shy.
Even if everyone leaves, I only need you
I want you to be happy as you’re with me
If I can protect you, nothing’s a waste
Even my own world

There are nice people around us whom we take for granted. They wonder if they are good enough. Don’t be fixated on those who walk away. Seek comfort from those who open their arms for you.

Like This by Pentagon

This is Pentagon’s best title track and nothing can change my mind. From Hui to Yanan, every vocalist shined and of course, rap line never disappoints. I did want to see and hear more of Shinwon though. The year 2016 was the year some of the best Kpop male vocalists debuted and if you are still sleeping on them….boo WHY? The MV is awesome with lovely symbolism that supports the lyrics. You can check out my review of Demo-01 here. Like This is an entire journey with so many important messages in between. Ready? Let’s go!

Every day and every night
In the passing time
There is one shadow that stops
Where am I looking?

Everything feels so strange
Even myself, that I was so familiar with
Even when the bright morning comes
It doesn’t shine on me

I mean, we have all been there. This is so relatable. You’re not the only one going through this. Life can come to a standstill and lose meaning. Everything seems repetitive yet unfamiliar even yourself. Everyone seems to be moving ahead leaving you behind and when anything good happens, it doesn’t seem to touch you.

I’m letting out a cold breath
In front of the hardships that repeat every day
I don’t want meaningless fights
But the more I hold it in, the bigger the thorn gets
I don’t want to get caught
So I hide it more but my heart hurts
But all of these little things that happen
They’re all the same

Wooseok’s part is very interesting. Daily, there’s conflict and he’s tired of it so he does’t want to be a part of it. As a result, he keeps his feelings hidden to avoid confrontation. Eventually, it just becomes background noise. This is a very unhealthy state to exist in. Speaking up is important. The problem is that most people don’t have the emotional energy to talk things out. Make people feel valuable. Less judgment. More listening.

Like a flower blooming for the first time
Like a small blade of grass sprouting
I believed in you and go on my way
I hope you’ll wait for the real me, like this

Like Hui said, he didn’t know himself or he lost his idnetity somewhere along the way. Self discovery is an exciting yet draining journey. It becomes easier when your loved ones encourage you and believe in you. Sure, there are risks not to be taken but opposition should be reasonable and gentle.

I won’t cry anymore
Scream it to the world, oh yeah
Even if I fall and my knees bleed
I’ll keep running like this

I won’t ever stop
For the only light I want
Oh yeah, even if there’s a storm
I’ll keep running like this

And so should you ❤

I’ll live with no regrets, looking at the sky like this
Spread my wings and fly, now like this

I’ll fly with you!

365 FRESH by Triple H

I was surprised by how many people misunderstood this song. Glad to take this opportunity to explain it 🙂 Who doesn’t love this funky sound? Did you notice the contrast between the MV and the song though? A lot of people did but they didn’t realize that it was deliberate. The lyrics are of a pure party song. They also celebrate diversity and encourage acceptance. These people, they have something in common that brings them together and they take in everyone. They sound confident and out to have a good time. They keep talking about being bored with the ordinary and wanting something “fresh”. Did you notice the oddity?

There are signs of being tired of life and using escapism to fill the void within them or erase the pain caused by this “regular” life. In fact, it’s not regular at all. Look at all the hardships that they are going through in the beginning. Hui is being chased by what looks like a loan shark. He steals a car to run away. Hyuna is sexually assaulted at work and ends up killing her would be rapist. E’Dawn is suicidal. There’s no clear reason for this so we may assume that he is depressed. These three meet by chance and recognize each other’s pain. That’s why they decide to stick together. They find money in the stolen car. They all feel like they are on the path of no return so they continue to commit crimes and “have fun”. No matter how hard they try to escape their pain it plays in their minds like a TV show.  They just want to be free. That’s why they commit suicide together when the police finally catches up with them in the end.

365 FRESH shows us what society sees and what the reality is. When we see people reacting badly to their mental illness, financial troubles or personal trauma we think that are just troublemakers. We call them attention seekers and criminals. There are countless victims among them and their behaviour is simply a cry for help. They feel like they can only rely on one another because no ones wants to understand their pain. Eventually, they kill themselves and then everyone just calls it a “bad end” or tragedy. If only we had tried listening to them.

 

Breathe by Lee Hi

Let’s end this post on a positive note. It’s a beautiful comforting song you can listen to at the end of a hard day and not feel alone.

Take a deep breath
Until both sides of your heart get numb
Until it hurts a little
Let out your breath even more
Until you feel
like there’s nothing left inside

This is actually a great breathing exercise for anxiety and panic problems. Take one breath after the next and let it lull you into a sense of security.

It’s alright if you run out of breath
No one will blame you
It’s okay to make mistakes sometimes
Because anyone can do so

Not only do we let ourselves be affected by criticism from others but we keep judging ourselves so harshly. How is that we forgive others for terrible faults but not ourselves for a small poor act often done unintentionally? Forgive yourself, ask others for forgiveness and move on.

Someone’s breath. That heavy breath
How can I see through that?
Though I can’t understand your breath
It’s alright I’ll hold you

People might not want to share their problems with us but that doesn’t mean that we cannot comfort them. Look for signs that reflect their internal suffering and let them know that you are there for them.

Even if others think your sigh
Takes out energy and strength
I already know
That you had a day that’s hard enough
To let out even a small sigh
Now don’t think of anything else
Let out a deep sigh
Just let it out like that

Develop empathy and treat others’ invisible struggles the same way you would want yours to be treated.

 

I hope this post brought you some comfort. Know that you are not alone. Reach out. Speak up. There are people who care and want to listen to you. Until next time, don’t lose your smile 🙂

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