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  • Coco Zhu

Mindfull X Shield - Artworks and Songs about Mental Health

You're standing in a gallery surrounded by whispers of fellow art enthusiasts. You were looking into a painting, its colors swirling and blending in a mesmerizing dance across the canvas. In a single stroke of paint, an artist can capture the essence of human experience, conveying emotions that words alone could never express. And when it comes to advocating for mental health, art becomes an invaluable tool for breaking down barriers and fostering understanding.

Artwork and music can be created to advocate for mental well-being, laying a profound impact of creativity on the human psyche, delving into the ways in which art and music can serve as powerful vehicles for healing and self-expression. From vibrant paintings that capture the tumultuous beauty of the mind to haunting melodies that echo the depths of emotional turmoil, we will be navigating the complex landscape of mental health through the lens of artistic expression. 

Powerful Artworks that you may want to know:

At Eternity's Gate by Vincent van Gogh

Widely recognized for his enchanting pastel and oil masterpieces such as "The Starry Night" and "Irises," van Gogh's artistic brilliance often overshadows the profound struggles he endured. Van Gogh's life was overshadowed by internal turmoil, grappling with psychotic outbursts, alcoholism, epileptic seizures, and bipolar disorder. Tragically, he succumbed to his mental anguish, ending his life in 1890. Yet, amidst his struggles, he left behind a profound legacy, encapsulated in works like "At Eternity's Gate." This poignant oil painting portrays an elderly figure in a posture of defeat, reflecting van Gogh's own despair. Join us as we explore the depths of van Gogh's psyche and the impact of his art on our understanding of mental health.

Between by Fleur Alston 

This photo series by 42-year-old Fleur Alston showcases her talent for capturing raw human emotion. Inspired by her family, particularly her daughter who battles anxiety and frequent panic attacks, Alston created this series to empower her daughter and depict the suffocating nature of panic attacks, likened to drowning or suffocating.

Isolation by Sabrina Chevallier 

Sabrina Chevallier, a photographer from Toronto, created the final piece of artwork being analyzed. Sabrina has struggled with depression most of her life, and she finds that using photography as a means of expression helps her cope with this mental illness. The hands in this image are meant to represent people around you. Either stressors that contribute to your anxiety/depression, individuals judging you, or helping hands that are extended to you. There may be many influencers surrounding you, but at the end of the day, it is up to you to choose how to respond. 

Songs about Mental Health

“Help!” by The Beatles

Though it may initially resonate as a quintessential pop anthem, underlying the buoyant melodies lies a poignant plea for assistance. Penned by John Lennon as the titular track for The Beatles' 1965 album, the song serves as a vehicle for expressing the mounting anxiety he experienced amidst the band's escalating fame. In retrospect during his solo endeavors, Lennon recurrently revisited the composition, characterizing it as an endeavor to confront his personal struggles and navigate a path forward by soliciting support.

“Now I'm In It” by Haim

At the heart of this introspective ballad by the widely popular pop ensemble lies the central theme that underscores the significance of self-relationship. Through the unfolding verses, vocalist Danielle Haim articulates a yearning for inner tranquility, prioritizing personal harmony over seeking companionship. "Can’t get a read of myself," she laments, highlighting the desire for self-understanding and the imperative for transformative change.

“1-800-273-8255” by Logic

In an era where hip-hop reigns as one of the most influential musical genres, the lyrical impact of a rapper holds immense sway. Among these, Logic's track "1-800-273-8255" stands out as particularly poignant. Named after the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States, the song offers a compelling narrative that shifts perspectives, from the caller seeking help to the counselor offering support, concluding with a soulful outro by R&B sensation Khalid, who echoes the yearning for vitality with the refrain: "I wanna feel alive." Following the song's release, the hotline reported a notable surge in calls, indicative of its profound resonance with listeners.


Through evocative artwork and soul-stirring songs, we see and feel the depths of human emotion, shining a light on the struggles and triumphs that define our shared human experience. From Vincent van Gogh's poignant portrayal of inner turmoil in "At Eternity's Gate" to Logic's "1-800-273-8255" which provides poignant reflections on mental health struggles, powerful artworks continue to be created offering solace and support to those in need. As we navigate the complexities of mental health through the lens of artistic expression, let us continue to foster empathy, understanding, and healing for all.

Writer: Coco Zhu




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