Songwriting for Mental Health – A Quest for Helpfulness and Truth

Singer/songwriter Jason Didner writing lyrics about mental health
I frequently replace words in my lyric writing as I zero in on the truth

When I write songs about mental health, I seek ways of sharing a situation of crisis early in the song. Then I share a path to resolution that will unfold as the song plays out – a path my audience can map out for their own lives. Originals like “Run With My Troubles” and “Because I’m Grateful” follow this pattern where I present a difficult mental health situation at the start and propose an action (exercise, gratitude) that makes a difference.

In writing and editing the lyric I’m constantly pursuing the truth – the exact words that most precisely reflect the experience.

Finding the Words

 My newest love song, “Back to Our Bliss,” represents this drive toward helpfulness and honesty in the lyric. My first draft contained the line “And we won’t be going back to the harm we’ve gone through.”

But I came to realize I’m not a fortuneteller. I can’t truly predict that all the harm is over. So, just writing a wish doesn’t make it true! I chose a more meditative replacement for the lyric: “May we learn to be more mindful of the harm we’ve gone through.” This line honors the challenges people still face At the same time, it provides a pathway for living with emotional difficulty while nourishing stronger, healthier interpersonal connections.

I’ve come to trust this process of mining my song ideas and lyrics for the truth I know – either my truth or that of someone close to me. By the time you hear a finished track or see the video of my original songs, you can be sure that I absolutely mean what I’ve written, because I’ve taken the time to ensure the lyrics reflect the truest meaning of what’s in my heart.

Watch this space for the upcoming songs “Back to Our Bliss” and “Distorted.” I’ve begun the process of making demo recordings.  

What’s your process for expressing yourself? Feel free to discuss in the comments below.