One of the many, many reasons I fell in love with BTS and their music is because of their ability to be vulnerable and talk about that vulnerability. Through their music and their words, they were able to share their own experiences, their own struggles with mental health, their self-doubts, and insecurities, and more. They were able to comfort people and let people know that we’re not alone.
Just the other day I was browsing through the #btslyrics tag on Tiktok (don’t ask me why I got there in the first place lol), and came across an edit of their song Magic Shop. Now let me tell you, I have heard Magic Shop hundreds of times, it’s one of my favorites! But that particular edit shook me to the core, made me cry in the middle of the night (tears and snot, I am not kidding), and reminded me that their music has helped me through some tough times.
Now this got me thinking. I wanted to share these kind of music to you. It’s not always obvious, but I know we go through a lot of difficult things. I have been having bad mental health days/weeks myself as well (which is actually one of the reasons I haven’t blogged much lately), and BTS’ music has been there for me. I believe we need all the comfort and support that we can get. So here I am, extending my support to you, dear book nerd/reader, through music!
Here are 15 BTS songs that talk about various themes of mental health:
Songs about insecurities, and finding self-love
This song always makes me cry and fills me with so much comfort at the same time. Epiphany, a solo by Jin, is the realization that we are worthy of love.
What made me so afraid that I hid my true self
I’m the one I should love in this world
The shining me, the precious soul of mine
I realize only now, so I love me
2. Answer: Love Myself
This song was so on point. Answer: Love Myself touches on the insecurities and self-doubt we feel and goes on about learning how to love ourselves.
Let’s be honest and admit what we have to admit
that your standards are more strict when they are applied to you
The wide growth ring in your life
That is also a part of you, that is also you
So let’s forgive yourself now
A little sad, but profound. Reflection, a solo by RM, talks a little bit about self-hatred and reflects on the coexistence of negative and positive. In the end, it talks about wanting to be free and wishing to love oneself.
When I hate myself so much, I come to Ttukseom
I just stand here with the familiar darkness
People who are smiling, a beer that makes me smile,
and the fear that gently approaches me and holds my hand
Songs about losing passion/inspiration, feeling unsure of goals/dreams
4. Black Swan
Black Swan deserves all the praises and accolades to be honest. This one is a haunting and comforting ode to creators out there. It talks about losing passion or inspiration and having no drive to create something, and yet is ultimately a part of being an artist.
If this can no longer make me cry
If this can no longer make my heart flutter
Perhaps, this will be how I die once
Paradise came from member SUGA’s 2018 New Year message: “It’s okay even if you don’t have a dream as long as you’re happy”. This song talks about taking it slow, taking a break, and not succumbing to the pressure of always having grand dreams or achievements.
Dream doesn’t need to be anything grand
You can just become anyone
We deserve a life
Whether it’s big or small, you’re still just you
Songs about finding comfort/beauty within, accepting yourself, being confident
6. Magic Shop
Magic Shop has its own charm that’s both comforting and magical. This incredible song, which was also dedicated to the fans BTS ARMY, talks about creating a safe haven within yourself and the journey of looking and striving for positivity.
On a day you hate being yourself, on a day you want to disappear forever,
let’s build a door in your mind
Once you open the door and enter, this place will wait for you
It’s okay to believe Magic Shop that will comfort you
Mikrokosmos is a comforting, feel-good song. It references the Greek philosophy of microcosm, which views humans as their own little world/universe. This song is basically telling us that we’re unique and we shine in our own ways.
because you are one great existence
Let us shine
Perhaps, that tonight is yet again making such a beautiful face
is not because of those stars nor the lights but because of us
8. I’m Fine
I’m Fine is a continuation of another one of their songs, Save Me. Here, the song talks about being okay despite the pains and learning to be your own salvation.
Even if I get endlessly crumpled,
even if my wings get torn apart,
and I become someone that is not me,
it’s okay– only I am my own salvation
Songs about coping with sadness, self-doubt, anxiety
9. Blue & Grey
Blue & Grey is a personal song especially for member V. It talks about loneliness, wanting to be happier, and compares the gloomy feeling to the colors blue and grey.
It seems like people are all happy
Can you look at me? Cuz I am blue & grey
The meaning of my tears that are reflected on the mirror
is the color that is hidden under my smile, blue & grey
Released as his birthday gift for the fans, this solo song by Jin, talks about all the self-doubt, burnout, and pressure that comes with the achievements and milestones they receive as a band. The song also talks about trying to cope and overcome these dark feelings.
I face myself who is crying beautifully and sorrowfully
Myself in that darkness —
I’d like to go find him and tell him
that I’d like to know more about you today
11. The Last (Agust D)
Probably one of the most emotional and personal songs from Agust D (SUGA’s other stage name, as a solo artist), The Last touches on his battle with depression depression, OCD, social anxiety, and reflects on his life now as a Kpop idol.
Behind a successful idol rapper
stands my weak self, a bit dangerous
Depression and compulsion sometimes flare up
Maybe that’s my true self
Songs about grief, hardships, and finding hope
12. everythingoes (RM)
This one’s a song from RM’s second mixtape “mono” and it is as haunting as it is beautiful. This song talks about the hardships, worries, all the struggles we go through, and how they will all pass in the end.
Nothing can last forever in the dream
Instead of those vague words to cheer me up,
instead of those lies that this is how it is supposed to be,
I pray that it shall pass just like all these winds
13. Spring Day
Spring Day is one of the most memorable and meaningful songs for me and the whole fandom probably. This song speaks about longing, gloominess, and pain, but also talks about hope—about finding spring after a long, long winter. (There’s also a much deeper meaning to Spring Day and references a real tragedy, but for now, I think this is enough.)
Holding your hand, I go to the other side of the world
I wish to end this winter
How much longings must fall like snow
before that spring day arrives
14. 2! 3!
Dedicated to BTS ARMY, 2! 3! talks a lot about the hardships they went through. The song also has an overall message of finding hope—facing struggles and the sad memories, and still ultimately wishing for better days.
It’s okay When I say one two three, forget it
Erase all the sad memories Hold each other’s hands and smile
But still I hope, in the future, there will be many good days
15. Life Goes On
Life Goes On is truly a comfort song, especially to those who feel stilted and burdened due to the ongoing pandemic. Here, BTS shares their woes about our current situation and also shares their hopes and the little happiness that fuels us to go on.
The cold that the world gave me
Thanks to it, I push the dusty rewind button
Lying fallen, I ask you to dance with me off beat
When winter comes, let’s exhale an even warmer breath
There you have it! I love these songs and all they mean and what they could mean for each and every one of us. I hope you find comfort and even inspiration within these songs as well. And wherever you are, please know I’m cheering for you! Sending hugs to you dear reader!
(Note: All lyric translations are from Doolset Bangtan.)