Songs with suicide references in the United States and clinical applications

The portrayal of suicide in popular music has been a topic of interest for some time. In 1984 there was notable controversy after 19-year-old John McCollum died by suicide while allegedly listening to the song “Suicide  Solution” by Ozzy Osbourne.1 McCollum’s parents later filed a lawsuit against Osbourne claiming the lyrics incited their son to […]

Psychosocial risks and benefits of exposure to heavy metal music with aggressive themes: Current theory and evidence

Concerns have been raised that prolonged exposure to heavy metal music with aggressive themes can increase the risk of aggression, anger, antisocial behaviour, substance use, suicidal ideation, anxiety and depression in community and psychiatric populations. Although research often relies on correlational evidence for which causal inferences are not possible, it is often claimed that music with […]

Association of music interventions with health-related quality of life: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Importance  Increasing evidence supports the ability of music to broadly promote well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). However, the magnitude of music’s positive association with HRQOL is still unclear, particularly relative to established interventions, limiting inclusion of music interventions in health policy and care. Objective  To synthesize results of studies investigating outcomes of music interventions in […]

Public awareness of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline following the release of a hip-hop song

obtained from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to evaluate the effect of ‘1-800-273-8255’ on public awareness for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Design: Cross-sectional analysis. Main outcome measures: We extracted data from Google Trends and Twitter for terms related to suicide following the release of Logic’s song, ‘1-800-273-8255’. We then used a forecasting autoregressive integrated moving algorithm […]

Associations between suicide risk factors and favorite songs: Content analysis and cross-sectional study

Background: For several decades, the question of whether personal suicidality is reflected in individual music preferences has been the subject of debate in suicide research. Despite many studies investigating the relationship between music use and suicidal behavior, it is still unclear whether suicide risk is reflected in individual music preferences. Aims: The present study aimed to assess whether […]

Cobain: Montage of heck

Cobain – Montage of Heck invites you to experience Kurt’s life, art and mind through his own unique lens, bringing you as close to the generation-defining icon as it’s possible to get. Experience Kurt Cobain like never before in the first fully-authorized portrait of the famed rock music icon. Director Brett Morgen expertly blends Cobain’s […]

The representation of self injury and suicide on emo social networking groups


Music and suicidality: a quantitative review and extension.

This article provides the first quantitative review of the literature on music and suicidality. Multivariate logistic regression techniques are applied to 90 findings from 21 studies. Investigations employing ecological data on suicide completions are 19.2 times more apt than other studies to report a link between music and suicide. More recent and studies with large […]

Suicide and the Creative Arts

This edited book includes 22 chapters on suicide & the creative arts. Part 1 examines suicide in painting & the traditional visual arts. Part 2 is on the depiction of suicide in the movies. Suicide in literature is discussed in Part 3. Part 4 looks at understanding suicide through the arts & Part 5 is […]

Suicide in the Opera (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter examines representative examples of suicide in the operatic genre. One of the findings is that the majority of suicides are by women, unlike real life where men die by suicide far more frequently than women. Female suicides appear in at least three situations – unrequited love &/or intense rejection, a lover’s seemingly hopeless […]

Gloomy Sunday: did the “Hungarian Suicide Song” Really Create a Suicide Epidemic (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

The lyrics of “Gloomy Sunday” relates the story of someone whose lover has recently died & who is now thinking about suicide in order to be reunified with their lost one. Ever since the song first was performed, there have been rumours about it inducing people to suicide & it being banned. This chapter explores […]

Future Work: Points of Departure and Data Sources (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

In this concluding chapter, Stack & Lester discuss selected points of departure for research that would fill important gaps in the knowledge base. Included in their survey are: the neglect of non-Western art, the neglect of major art forms like film, photography, & music, & the weighting of positive versus negative definitions in images. The […]

Gloomy Sunday: did the “Hungarian Suicide Song” Really Create a Suicide Epidemic?

The effect of art on suicide risk has been a neglected topic in suicidology. This article focuses on the song “Gloomy Sunday” which historical sources suggest triggered suicides. The alleged increase in suicides in the 1930s associated with the playing of the song may be attributed to audience mood, especially the presence of a large […]

Metal Music and Mental Health in France

Metal music has been associated with social problems such as suicide, self-destruction, & Satanism. This study attempts to determine if there is a link between mental health & the enjoyment of metal music. 333 French fans were surveyed, As a whole, metal music fans have levels of anxiety & depression that are similar to & […]

Listening to Youth: Woodstock, Music, America, and Kurt Cobain’s Suicide

This article explores the relationship between popular music & the formation of values among American teenagers. (6 notes, 14 refs.)

The Impact of Suicidal Rock Music Lyrics on Youth: an Investigation of Individual Differences

This study attempted to predict reactions after listening to music with lyrics about suicide. 126 volunteers completed self-reports of personality & mood, & then listened to the music. Afterwards, they completed projective stories, self-reports of moods & reactions, & a memory test for the lyrics. Low openness to experiences, & to a lesser extent, high […]

The Impact of Suicidal Content in Popular Media on the Attitudes and Behaviors of Adolescents

The authors review the literature surrounding the impact of suicidal content in popular media on the attitudes & behaviours of adolescents to better understand the complex relationship between these phenomena. Suicide rates among adolescents are presented as an introduction to the main discussion of the influence of television media among adolescents & the incidence of […]

Problem Music and Self-Harming

Problem music in this study included hard rock, hip hop/rap, & punk.

Musical Creativity and Suicide

Prevalence of Deliberate Self Harm and Attempted Suicide Within Contemporary Goth Youth Subculture: Longitudinal Cohort Study


Suicide-Suggestive Themes in Rock Music and Videos

Published in “Back to the Future: Refocusing the Image of Suicide,” ed. by J L McIntosh

I Will Survive: Getting to Tomorrow by Song

Published in “Back to the Future: Refocusing the Image of Suicide,” ed. by J L McIntosh

Suicide Influences and Factors: Rock Music (IN: Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, vol.2: L-Z, ed. by R Kastenbaum)

The authors discuss the use of suicide as a trope frequently employed to express rebellion in rock music. The concerns of scholars & others who suspect a link between such controversial music & suicide completion, particularly among adolescents, are reviewed. (7 refs)