Maybe you’re struggling with your own demons. Maybe your loved one is struggling, and you don’t know what to do to make them feel better. Either way, these songs about help, empathy, and support might help you break through the dark clouds and see a better future on the horizon. Good luck!
1. Rihanna – Umbrella
Songs about helping people don’t have to be cheesy. Rihanna’s smash hit “Umbrella” inspired countless riffs, spoofs, and imitations, but beneath its slick beat and sexy choreography, it’s a song about two people sticking together and riding out all storms.
2. The Rembrandts – I’ll Be There For You
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Friends, you’ve heard this song. It came out in 1995, but it’s still a bop, and it will give you a fun blast of nostalgia while you’re at it. Put it on an old-school playlist and enjoy.
3. Coldplay – Fix You
“Fix You” is one of Coldplay’s most famous song, and it’s been covered by everyone from country singers to Korean boy bands. If the original version doesn’t get you misty-eyed, just try one of its acoustic remixes.
4. Linkin Park – One More Light
Who cares if one more light goes out? / Well, I do. This beautiful and melancholy song is made all the more poignant because of Chester Bennington’s suicide. Use “One More Light” as a reminder that people do care.
5. The Unlikely Candidates – Follow My Feet
The first few lines of “Follow My Feet” will fool you into thinking that it’s a depressing song, but if you listen to it all the way through, you’ll end up happy, hopeful, and inspired to help everyone from friends to strangers. It’s a song about the power and goodwill of man everywhere.
6. Sia – Breathe Me
“Breathe Me” is a soft and delicate song that asks for help rather than receiving it. If you’ve ever wished for someone to hold your hand when you’re struggling, you can probably relate to these lyrics: Be my friend, hold me / Wrap me up, enfold me / I am small and needy / Warm me up and breathe me.
7. Shinedown – How Did You Love
Shinedown gets real and raw with their rock song “How Did You Love.” It acknowledges that people often make bad decisions because of circumstances outside their control, but then it poses a devastating question: Despite all of that, how did you love?
8. The Calling – Wherever You Will Go
If you have a secret weakness for 2000s emo songs, this one will give you all of the grungy blonde highlights and skinny jeans that you could ask for, but it’s actually a positive song overall. The message is about loving someone so much that you’ll be there for them at all times and in all circumstances.
9. Avicii – Hey Brother
Despite its title, “Hey Brother” is equally balanced between genders, so it’s a great sibling song in either direction: What if I’m far from home? / Oh brother, I will hear you call / What if I lose it all? / Oh sister, I will help you out. Throw in the addictive beat and you’ve got a hit song.
10. Sam and Dave – Hold On, I’m Comin’
Released in 1966, you might recognize this old-fashioned soul music because of its frequent use in movies and TV shows. It encourages the listener to wait for the singer when times are bad because they’re on their way to make things better.
11. Ruelle feat. Fleurie – Carry You
Soft and gentle, Ruelle promises to be there for a friend even after they’ve forgotten how to be happy. “Carry You” is a beautiful, emotional song that will make you believe in the power of kindness and compassion again.
12. Kygo feat. Ella Henderson – Here for You
This is a sleek and sexy song that wouldn’t be out of place in a nightclub, but its lyrics are surprisingly wholesome. Its repeated hook promises “I’ll be here for you” as its rhythm pounds deeply.
13. Kerrie Roberts – Rescue Me
With its vivid, evocative imagery, “Rescue Me” is a rock ballad that sounds a little like a fairy tale. It’s only fitting that it comes from an EP titled Once Upon a Time. If you want to receive help in addition to giving it, this is the song for you.
14. No Other Name – Let It Start With Me
Though it’s a religious song, even non-believers will find it hard not to be inspired by the spirit of “Let It Start With Me.” It’s all about proactively helping and caring for others even if you’re the first one to do so.
15. Rascal Flatts – I Won’t Let Go
Country songs are known for being deeply personal, and “I Won’t Let Go” is no exception. It follows a man trying to support his friend through dark and difficult times no matter how much it weighs on both of them.
15. Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension
A mix of pop, funk, and new wave, “11th Dimension” puts good values to a zippy beat. Lyrics include lines like Your faith has got to be greater than your fear and Forgive them even if they are not sorry. There are also a few warnings like We’re so quick to point out our own flaws in others.
16. R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts
Though it’s most known for its parodies, the original “Everybody Hurts” is a stellar song that deserves more love than it usually receives. R.E.M. explicitly calls for people to take comfort in their friends and to remember that they aren’t alone in a cruel and seemingly uncaring world.
17. Dessa – Alibi
“Alibi” is a bit darker than the other songs on this list, but if you have a friend that you’d genuinely do anything for, you might appreciate this female rapper and her willingness to have her friend’s back no matter what. Just don’t tell the cops.
18. Bruno Mars – Count on Me
Featuring one of the peppy, toe-tapping beats that he’s famous for, “Count on Me” is an uplifting song from Bruno Mars that promises support to a special someone. To get it stuck in your head even more, it has literal counting in the chorus!
19. Charlie Puth – One Call Away
Everyone deserves a friend that you can wake up at 3AM when life is overwhelming you. In “One Call Away,” Charlie Puth promises to be that friend: No matter where you go, know you’re not alone / I’m only one call away.
20. Glee Cast – Get It Right
Songs about help aren’t always cheerful. In this original song made for Glee, Lea Michele belts out plaintive lyrics about wanting to help people but not being recognized for her efforts or forgiven for her past mistakes.
21. Martina McBride – I’m Gonna Love You Through It
“I’m Gonna Love You Through It” is another one of those deeply personal songs that can speak to and connect with listeners because of its raw, relatable emotions. In this case, it was written after a diagnosis of breast cancer and a spouse’s promise that they would always remain by their loved one’s side.
22. Glenn Campbell – Try a Little Kindness
Originally recorded in 1970, “Try a Little Kindness” is a classic song about love, empathy, and lending a hand to your fellow man. It encourages you to look beyond your own problems and recognize the same in others. Why? Because the kindness that you show every day / Will help someone along their way.
23. Stars Go Dim – You Are Loved
This is a song where the singer provides comfort directly to the listener. With reassuring promises that you don’t have to be anyone other than yourself to deserve love, it’s a soothing kind of song that will make a great addition to a self-care playlist.
24. Casting Crows – If We Are The Body
Based on the idea that every Christian is part of “the body” of Jesus, this Christian rock song is all about reaching out and helping others. It’s definitely religious, but it has a universal message for the secular, too.
25. Birdy – Keeping Your Head Up
With her breathy, otherworldly vocals, Birdy created a surprisingly fun song in “Keeping Your Head Up.” It has a nice message about supporting a friend and wishing that you could take their pain away, but it’s also fun, boppy, and catchy. It’s the kind of song that might make you feel better just by singing along.
26. Mariah Carey – Anytime You Need a Friend
If Mariah’s powerful vocals weren’t enough, she’s also backed by a literal church choir in this moving and motivational song from 1993. It’s a bit cheesy in terms of sheer earnestness, but who needs to know what you listen to in the middle of the night when the depression hits?
27. Carrie Underwood – I’ll Stand by You
Nothing you confess / Could make me love you any less sings Carrie Underwood in her hit song “I’ll Stand by You.” It’s a lovely sentiment backed up by even lovelier vocals. By the time that you’re finished listening, you’ll feel better.
28. Avril Lavigne – Keep Holding On
Though you might be most familiar with her early 2000s skater girl aesthetic, Avril Lavigne came out with this heartfelt ballad a little later in the career, and it proved that she could make genuinely good music. While there’s nothing wrong with a guilty pleasure listen of “Complicated,” it doesn’t hold a candle to “Keep Holding On.”
29. Josh Groban – You’ll Never Walk Alone
You don’t have to be afraid of the dark. You don’t have to hide your face from a storm. With powerful, self-affirming lyrics, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is a song that can bring comfort when you’re really going through it.
30. Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work
“Something Good Can Work” is basically feel-good indie punk. It’s stylish, but it’s also undeniably hopeful: Let’s make this happen, girl / We’re gonna show the world that something good can work / And it can work for you.
31. Alanis Morissette – Empathy
With a title like “Empathy,” you might expect this song to be full of feelings, and you’d be right. Alanis never holds back. The good news is that she’s more familiar with the definition of “empathy” than “ironic.”
32. Chris Stapleton – Parachute
Ticking off a list of everyday problems, “Parachute” is both intimate and far-reaching in terms of its message. It also promises eternal love and support from one person to another.
33. Alec Benjamin – If We Have Each Other
This is a song for friends or lovers who are both struggling. It’s all about leaning on each other during tough times: When the world’s not perfect / When the world’s not kind / If we have each other then we’ll both be fine.
34. The Fray – Be Still
They’re most famous for the hit “How to Save a Life,” but The Fray also killed it with “Be Still,” an emotional song that deserves more recognition for both its sound and its message.
35. Rob Thomas – Hold On Forever
First thing: we make you feel better / Next stop: we pull it all together. This is a song about actively recovering from emotional wounds with the help of someone who loves you. It doesn’t ignore the messy parts, but it promises care and affection regardless.
36. Rodney Atkins – If You’re Going Through Hell
This is a plain-talking country song that doesn’t pull its punches. It basically says “yeah, life sucks, but keep going.” It might be comforting on days when you just need someone to tell it to you straight!
37. KISS – I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You
Who would have thought that the crazy, face-painted rock stars of KISS would come out with a song that’s genuinely sweet? Though the message is delivered with high-pitched falsettos over hard guitar riffs, there’s no mistaking this song as anything other than a testament of love, compassion, and devotion.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.