Song: “everything i wanted” by Billie Eilish 

Not only has Billie Eilish managed to break into the top charts and become one of the youngest artists to make it big in the industry, she continues to break barriers as she pushes the boundaries of mental health. Eilish openly discusses her struggle with depression, Tourette’s syndrome, body dysmorphia  and self-harm in interviews as well as allowing her music to capture the “ins and outs” of her vulnerability during those times. As a surfacing poster child for mental health awareness, Eilish’s music has become a source of hope and relatability for those who share experiences in similar hardships. The song “everything i wanted” is the first single released in 2020 after her debut album “WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”. The song very explicitly paints a narrative of the relationship between someone grasped by the struggle of depression and the support offered from someone who cares deeply about that person and their internal struggles. There has been a recent trend of songs touching upon mental health, such as Logic’s “1-800-273-8255”, which quickly broke into the Top 10 streaming songs chart shortly after its release. Eilish’s “everything i wanted” embodies a more layered message that ultimately challenges the audience and industry to normalize mental health as a more frequent topic of conversation/concern. 

In terms of research, I’d like to dive into the history of mental health issues as a topic within pop music; I think pop music has a very interesting dynamic in general so to analyze the line between relatability and mental health awareness in that realm parallel to advocacy happening on other platforms would be intriguing. Although I have a clear vision for this project now, I worry that as my work progresses I’ll run into difficulty collecting reliable sources about the topic I’m looking to learn more about. I think having tangible evidence and statistics to exemplify how neglected mental health is within the media and culturally in general will be imperative to understanding how “everthing i wanted” is a protest song. 

Personally, I have yet to meet someone who is not affected by mental health issues, whether it be through personal experience or dealing with someone else’s experience close to them. I think that mental health is an exceedingly important subject that should be discussed more openly to alleviate the loneliness and hopelessness it often entails. What better way is there to create change for the value and advocacy of mental health than through the universal platform of music?