The Beatles and My Depression

This could have been about any band. Good music helps lifts anyone’s mood so there are many bands and songs that I could write about but for the last six months I’ve been listening to The Beatles a lot, including watching the eight hour documentary Get Back twice since it aired on Disney+ in November. 

Most of the time I have friends to talk to when I feeling down, but sometimes in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep you can’t really text a friend. So when this happens I listen to music with my headphones on. This is when the choice of music can help me get out of the down period and quickly. Songs in my mind are linked to people or moments and that makes me happy. If there is a song that I’m listening to when I’m spending time with someone, in my head I will always think of a certain person when I hear it. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley is one such song, with Best of You by the Foo Fighters reminding me of being in America as it was on the radio all the time. With a band like The Beatles whose music changes so much during the eight years they were releasing music,  there are songs that cover what I just mentioned for very different reasons.

We all know the songs The Beatles made, so I really don’t need to go into too much detail with them, we all tap our feet and move our shoulders when Twist and Shout comes on and if there is no one around dance like Ferris in the scene when it is played in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. A lot of their songs from the first half of sixties are like this (they still made them in the late sixties) but it’s the song from their latter albums that for me lifts me up when I need it.

During the last few years of The Beatles, all four members suffered from depression and they wrote songs about it, which was unusual for that time as people didn’t talk about it back then. It’s this that has given me a connection to the songs, knowing George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr all felt the same way as I feel and manage to write such amazing songs about that feeling. Its almost as if they are talking you through it. When George wrote about having been down in Here Comes The Sun

‘Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here’

When I listen to this song I can think that this feeling with be over soon.

‘…I feel the ice is slowly melting’

And everything will be clear soon, that can really lift up. When Paul wrote about it in Let It Be, he wrote about his mother coming to him in a dream telling him to let everything be and he will be ok. Now of course because we talk about it more, we have have friends to tell us that, ‘you can do it’.

Their songs help me because even though they are singing about being down, there is always an upside. We can get through this, George even sung ‘All Things Must Pass’. There is an optimism in their songs that lifts me out of my down time. It’s like your musical heroes are saying to you, yeah we are down too but we can get through it. 

There are many more of their songs they did as a group and on their solo albums that we can relate to and when we can relate to something it can often help us, knowing that we are not the only ones going through this. So even though these songs are over 50 years old, they have become relevant to me and many others right now. This little thing of listening to music helps me a lot when I need it  and hopefully will some people who are reading this, whatever music you listen to. I’m very lucky that I have friends that I can talk to when I’m down, but some times late at night when the black dog comes I can always put on the headphones and listen to The Beatles.

By StephenJBaker

My name is Stephen Baker and I'm a Teaching Assistant in South Wales. Been sending my writing to my friends and thought it was time to see if anyone else wants to read it.

Also if you are a teacher and want ideas, follow on Instagram one of my best friends, she is an amazing teacher and shares great ideas.

3 replies on “The Beatles and My Depression”

Excellent introspection. The Beatles were my salve and elixir, beginning at age 15. I liked John for the darkness he seemed to have, because I thought I had that, too.

This article spoke to me and what I and many of us have been going through. Thank you for sharing your story.

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