20 Songs About Burnout

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Written By Julia Mehalko

Julia is a music journalist with a passion for retro songs. She holds a degree in journalism from University of Nevada.

Feeling burnt out and overwhelmed? You’re not alone! In a world full of pressure to succeed, perform, and fit into society, it’s very easy to quickly feel emotionally exhausted and overworked. Burnout is no small deal.

With these 20 songs about burnout below, you’ll be able to (hopefully!) experience something akin to a cathartic escape. When you’re going through your own feelings of burnout, remember you’re never alone!

1. “Icarus” by Eden

“Icarus” by Eden compares the myth of Icarus to the singer’s personal problems as a musician gaining fame. The myth of Icarus tells the story of a man who escapes from his prison by making wings with wax. However, when he flies too close to the sun, the wings melt and break away — and the man falls to his death.

In “Icarus”, Eden compares himself to this myth. He reflects on how he was touring and agreeing to play a lot of shows — even though his mental health was suffering because he was overworking himself.

As a result, he sings, “I’ve nothing left to give you / And I’m so burnt out and lost / ‘Cause it all just feels the same.”

2. “Front Row” by Metric

Metric’s 2009 song “Front Row” also discusses burnout. In this song, the band explores some of the flaws that can come with fame, such as paranoia and feeling overworked. The song analyzes rock stars and famous musicians and how we view them — and how we view them when they aren’t necessarily on top as they used to be.

The band sings, “Burned out stars, they shine so bright.”

3. “No Go” by Ramones

Ramones’ 1984 song “No Go”, which appears on the band’s album Too Tough to Die, explains feeling burnt out as a result of a party lifestyle. The band explains that even though they want to go out again, they are still left completely burnt out by the night before!

They sing the lyrics, “Yeah I got a call late Saturday night, alright / Beat, dead, burnt out from the night before / I wanted to go but couldn’t take it no more.”

4. “What the World Is Waiting For” by The Stone Roses

1989’s “What the World Is Waiting For” by The Stone Roses also discusses feelings of being burned out. This song opens with the lyrics, “Here comes the wise man / And there goes the fool / You see that burnt out world that he is living in / I don’t need to look for the rules.”

Here, the band is explaining that so many of us feel burnt out — which, as a result, makes the world feel burnt out. The rest of the song goes on to analyze people and how they feel about this world, as well as what they would do for money.

5. “10,000 Weight In Gold” by The Head And The Heart

“10,000 Weight In Gold” by The Head And The Heart opens with the lyrics, “I was burned out and lost / A dusty bulb, an abandoned lot.” After describing how burnt out the singer feels, as well as how lost, the song goes on to explain losing something good. The singer doesn’t realize how good things were — until they lost it all.

6. “Leaving California” by Boys Like Girls

In “Leaving California” by Boys Like Girls, the singer discusses feeling burnt out and alone, which results in him leaving California. The song doesn’t necessarily explain why he feels he has to leave. However, the song does hint at the unhappiness with his career, as well as possible issues he has in his romantic life.

He sings in the chorus, “Now there’s one less burned out star in this sky / Leaving California tonight.”

7. “Burn Out” by Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons’ 2018 song “Burn Out”, which appears on the band’s album Origins, clearly talks about burning out! In this song, the band talks about how many people can feel burned out, and then also struggle with depression and mental health as a result.

However, the singer doesn’t want to give up or let these emotions take control of him. Instead, he looks for positivity and the light at the end of the tunnel. He sings, “It’s just another downpour, don’t let it get the best of you / It’s only up from the floor, light everything inside of you / Don’t burn out, don’t burn out on me.”

8. “Something More” by Sugarland

“Something More” by Sugarland is one of the best songs about being tired from work. At the beginning of this song, the band sings about their daily commute and their regular work life. However, it’s clear they’re unhappy — and they remark that there has to be “something more”.

Later, as the song progresses, the singer works to find her own happiness — by quitting the job that makes her so unhappy! The band sings, “Five years and there’s no doubt / That I’m burnt out, I’ve had enough / So now boss man, here’s my two weeks.”

9. “Here and Now” by Seether

Seether’s 2012 song “Here and Now” also discusses feelings of burning out. The band singer discusses difficulties he has with life and love in general. However, he also talks about his own flaws and how he feels burnt out.

He sings the lyrics, “I’m wilted and faded after all / Too strung out and burnt out to be / Half the man that I could be.”

10. “The Greatest” by Lana Del Rey

“The Greatest” by Lana Del Rey explores the singer’s feelings about the current music industry versus the music industry of the past. However, she also talks about her own life and struggles within this context.

As a result, she sings about potentially feeling burnt out, especially in light of how she views the music industry and her place in it. She sings, “The culture is lit, and if this is it‚ I had a ball / I guess that I’m burned out after all.”

11. “If I Had” by Eminem

Eminem’s 1997 song “If I Had” follows the rapper as he discusses multiple things in his life that had gone wrong, leaving him quite disillusioned with many things. He also sings about feeling tired from work and even burnt out by it all.

He raps, “I’m tired of jobs startin’ off at $5.50 an hour / Then this boss wonders why I’m smartin’ off / Tired of bein’ fired every time I fart and cough / Tired of havin’ to work as a gas station clerk / For this jerk, breathin’ down my neck, drivin’ me berserk.”

12. “Kill the World” by Motorhead

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c-z2im9sPE

“Kill the World” by Motorhead explores feelings of burnout as a result of the world. The band sings that many people experience feelings of burnout, though they should instead try to only save themselves, rather than save the world.

They sing, “We got to get you home because you’re burned out / Didn’t take too long before we found it out / See the drowned, drink it all / Ain’t no ocean deep enough to sink it all.”

13. “Babydoll” by The Fratellis

The Fratellis released the song “Babydoll” on their 2008 album Here We Stand. This song, which also explores feelings of burnout, mainly discusses a romantic relationship that the singer has. The girl the singer is with has a history of other romances, which seems to complicate her current relationship with the singer.

As a result, the singer questions whether this relationship will last or not. He wants to ensure this relationship lasts — but it also seems as if he doesn’t see her for who she is.

Other people tell him that she feels burnt out from their relationship, but he doesn’t see this for himself. He sings, “Well, they said you was burned out I just laughed and said, ‘Come on, she’s not burned, she’s just gone’ / And it took me too long ’til I found out.”

14. “Gonna Know We Were Here” by Jason Aldean

In the song “Gonna Know We Were Here”, Jason Aldean sings about making his mark on the world. Aldean wants to live it up and do everything he wants. He doesn’t care if this is seen as wild and crazy. He realizes that he only has one life, so he’s going to do his best to have fun — even if this means he burns out in the process.

Aldean sings the lyrics, “Might burn out like a firework / Like a shooting star across the sky / And we may not be around in 20 years / But they’re sure gonna know we were here.”

15. “Sunshine Overtime” by Chris Young

“Sunshine Overtime” by Chris Young opens with the lyrics, “If you’re tired of the glass being half full / Burnin’ at both ends and you’re burnt out / Sometimes you got to go a little coastal / Take the truck and point it south.”

As the song progresses, Young sings that you shouldn’t stay feeling completely burned out. Instead, find your own happiness. Quit your job and go on a vacation. Get too much overtime in the sunshine, rather than overtime in an office!

16. “Rock of Ages” by Def Leppard

While Def Leppard’s classic 1983 song “Rock of Ages” mainly discusses living life to the fullest and partying it up (while also becoming a rock legend), the song does open with an interesting line about burning out.

The band sings at the beginning of the song, “I got something to say / Yeah, it’s better to burn out / Yeah, than fade away.” As with some of the other songs on this list, the band talks about the pressure of performing. Many musicians and rock stars struggle when they fade away, as they fade from view from the limelight.

Therefore, the band explains that they believe stars should burn out, even if others find this a negative aspect!

17. “Bullet Proof” by The Goo Goo Dolls

“Bullet Proof” by The Goo Goo Dolls follows a romantic relationship that struggles. The singer wants to be with this girl. However, the girl seems to express reservations or worries about fully committing to the relationship.

As the singer discusses these struggles and his thoughts on the girl, he talks about burning out. He sings, “Would you come my way / Or did you burn out to the end?”

18. “Merry Go ‘Round” by Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves’ 2012 song “Merry Go ‘Round” explores the family dynamics, as well as the society of a trailer park, around Musgraves’ upbringing. She sings about a family that deals with many problems, as well as trailer park society (her friends, neighbors, etc) as a whole.

Musgraves compares this social life to a merry-go-round. At the end of the song, she sings about burnout when she says, “Jack and Jill went up the hill / Jack burned out on booze and pills.”

19. “When the Day Goes Down” by Eurythmics

Eurythmics’ “When the Day Goes Down” explores a more positive take on burning out. Throughout this song, Eurythmics explains that nobody should feel down and alone. After all, the band explains that we are all the same. So, if you feel alone and burnt out, remember that so many other people often feel this way, too!

When discussing who the band wrote this song for, they sing, “This is for the helpless fools / And the burnt out.”

20. “Shelter From the Storm” by Bob Dylan

Finally, let’s discuss the last song on our list! “Shelter From the Storm” by Bob Dylan, which appears on Dylan’s 1975 album Blood on the Tracks, also explores themes of burning out. This song mainly analyzes Dylan’s relationship at the time. However, he also explains his state of mind and how he felt burnt out.

Of his feelings and emotions, he sings the lyrics, “I was burned out from exhaustion / Buried in the hail / Poisoned in the bushes / And blown out on the trail.”