20 Songs About Insanity and Madness

Photo of author
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.

Looking for a playlist of songs that explore the theme of insanity and madness? This is the list for you. In these 20 songs below, a curated list lies that discusses the many complexities of insanity, mental illness, feeling overwhelmed and out of control, and madness.

Many people turn to songs when they are looking for solace or understanding during periods of instability. Therefore, this list can be a great curation to turn to if you’re looking for everything from inspiration to comfort to simply a good tune. Enjoy this list full of the artistic expression of madness!

1. “Madness” by Muse

“Madness” by Muse is perhaps one of the best — and definitely most popular — songs about madness. This song follows the theme of feeling out of control, particularly when it comes to a romantic relationship. The singer explains that he feels as if he’s going mad at all points of his relationship with someone, whether he’s very happy and falling in love — or fighting with her.

The band sings the lyrics, “Now, I need to know, is this real love / Or is it just madness keeping us afloat?”

2. “I Plead Insanity” by Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle’s 1991 song “I Plead Insanity”, which appears on her album Live Your Life Be Free, also explains how many can feel insane when in a romantic relationship. Carlisle explains how angry and mad she is in this relationship — and how this has made her seem crazy as a result.

She sings, “I can’t think straight, I can’t see straight / I plead insanity / All I do is obsess about you.”

3. “Gotta Be Insanity” by Ice Cube

Ice Cube’s 2000 song “Gotta Be Insanity” also details feeling out of control and crazy while you’re in a romantic relationship. Throughout this song, Ice Cube talks about the things he doesn’t particularly like about the woman he’s with. He also explains how he’s wary of her.

However, all of these feelings and fears don’t mean much, because he still wants to be with her. His reasoning for sticking beside her and even being happy? “It’s got to be insanity,” he claims.

4. “Am I Going Insane (Radio)” by Black Sabbath

“Am I Going Insane (Radio)” by Black Sabbath is one of the best songs about madness in the metal genre! In this 1975 song, the band simply talks about feeling insane and potentially losing your sanity. However, they aren’t completely out of control yet, as they question their state of mind throughout the song.

The band repeatedly sings the lyrics, “So, tell me, people / Am I going insane?”

5. “Insane” by gnash

“Insane” by gnash, released in 2019, at first details the end of a romantic relationship that the singer feels bad about, particularly because it’s his fault. However, as the song progresses, we learn more about his mental health and how he feels that his brain is going to break just as his heart did.

He sings, “Today might be the day I go insane.”

6. “Love Me Insane” by Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne’s 2019 song “Love Me Insane” is yet another song that details insanity when it comes to romance! Lavigne sings about how much she wants to be with her romantic partner, singing, “I know it’s a dangerous game / But love me insane.”

However, it’s worth noting that her partner is called an “angel” and has even helped put Lavigne back together. So, rather than Lavigne becoming insane in a potentially toxic or bad relationship, she’s becoming insane in a good one.

7. “Gone Insane” by Lucius

“Gone Insane” by Lucius, which appears on the 2016 album Good Grief, once again follows a romantic relationship that changes when someone feels as if they’re going insane. However, in this song, the singer explains that her partner says she’s insane.

As a result, she sings, “Go on call me the one who’s gone insane.” The rest of the song details how this relationship has turned toxic, and how this ultimately does make her feel as if she’s going crazy.

8. “Almost Easy” by Avenged Sevenfold

“Almost Easy” by Avenged Sevenfold is one of the best rock songs about insanity and madness. For the most part, this song is about how many people can feel as if they’ve messed up or made mistakes in their life. As a result, many other people can also feel as if people have hurt them because of these mistakes.

Even though it’s not easy to completely forgive and forget these pains, the band says that it’s “Almost Easy”. Therefore, it’s “Almost Easy” to go back to a relationship with someone who has done you wrong. As they touch on these meanings, they also sing about feelings of insanity.

Throughout the song, the narrator says that they aren’t insane — even though they just might be. The song also opens with the lyrics, “I feel insane every single time I’m asked to compromise / ‘Cause I’m afraid and stuck in my ways.”

9. “Duality” by Slipknot

Slipknot’s 2004 hit song “Duality” discusses feelings of insanity and madness when it pertains to making choices in your everyday life. When you’re stuck in a difficult position where you have to make a choice, many people may feel as if they are feeling crazy because of their lack of control over this situation — or over their life in general.

Towards the end of the song, after the singer has talked about his pain and worries, he finally sings, “All I’ve got, all I’ve got is insane.”

10. “Too Much Information” by The Police

“Too Much Information” by The Police, which appears on the band’s 1981 album Ghost in the Machine, opens with the lyrics, “Too much information running through my brain / Too much information driving me insane.”

This song follows the singer as he expresses his feelings about being overwhelmed in life, thanks to having so much information at his fingertips. This song could also be seen as a negative reflection of globalization and the age of information, as the narrator ends up feeling insane throughout the entire song!

11. “Basket Case” by Green Day

“Basket Case” by Green Day, the hit song off their 1994 album Dookie, follows lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong as he deals with his anxiety and his mental health. He feels as if he’s going crazy and as if he’s a “Basket Case”.

In the memorable chorus, he sings, “Sometimes, I give myself the creeps / Sometimes, my mind plays tricks on me / It all keeps adding up / I think I’m cracking up.”

12. “Can I Play With Madness?” by Iron Maiden

In 1988’s “Can I Play With Madness?”, Iron Maiden sings about a man going to visit a prophet. Instead of getting a clear view of his future, the man argues with the prophet and says that he can’t see anything at all — and he’ll pay for this, in this life or the next.

As a result of this accusation, the prophet simply laughs and then tells the man about his future. The band sings, “Can I play with madness? / The prophet stared at his crystal ball.”

13. “Madness” by Elton John

Elton John’s 1978 song “Madness” discusses many problems and evils in the world, including violence, war, and fires. John sings about how many innocent people can often be caught up in this madness of the world. He also explains how many good people can often turn mad because of the world we live in.

Explaining this, he sings the lyrics, “Madness, it’s a kind of madness / That turns good men bad / And we’re helpless, caught up / In the madness of a world gone mad.”

14. “Losing My Insanity” by Dio

“Losing My Insanity” by Dio features the lyrics, “And though it’s not of my choosing / I’m losing my insanity / Again.” The entire song details the narrator’s realization that he’s losing his mind, even though he doesn’t want to. However, fighting against this doesn’t seem to be an option.

15. “Madness” by Alanis Morissette

“Madness” by Alanis Morissette, which is featured on her 2008 album Flavors of Entanglement, explores what happens when someone realizes they’re going crazy in a romantic relationship. Morissette explains that she has realized that her partner is bringing out the madness in her by singing, “And now I see the madness in me is brought out in the presence of you.”

However, she doesn’t fault her partner, nor does she hate them. Instead, she even thanks them. There’s no explaining whether or not she stays with this person and works on her instabilities — or whether she leaves them, yet thinks back on them positively because they helped her reveal her madness.

Therefore, much of this song can be up for interpretation!

16. “Madness” by Lucius

Another Lucius song! “Madness” follows the band as they explain their dreams, thoughts, and emotions — and how they feel as if they’re going mad. Through these feelings, they explain how their potentially toxic relationships have led them here.

The duo sings, “Maybe I’ll drive myself to madness / Spinning in circles, don’t have it figured out just yet.”

17. “Insane” by Korn

In Korn’s song “Insane”, the band details many problems in life and their own lives in general. The song deals with a lot of issues and pain, which results in the singer explaining that a lot of people could never relate to him because of his own madness. He sings, “No one can relate to me / That’s not right out insane.”

18. “Too Many Thoughts In My Head” by Weezer

In “Too Many Thoughts In My Head”, Weezer explains the modern age with all of the options many people have in life. Information and entertainment are now at people’s fingertips, thanks to 24/7 news and Netflix. However, many people — the band included — feel as if they are overwhelmed by these options.

As a result of these options and the singer’s life in general, the singer explains his feeling that he’s going insane. He sings, “Too many thoughts in my head, now / I can’t get out of my brain / They got me running in circles / Feel like I’m going insane.”

19. “You’re Insane” by Rod Stewart

“You’re Insane” by Rod Stewart, which appears on his 1977 album Foot Loose & Fancy Free, also deals with madness and insanity. Stewart sings about a woman he’s attracted to who many say is an absolute mess, as well as mad. She drinks, does drugs, and lives a wild life. While he’s attracted to her, he knows they won’t last long.

He sings, “Honey, it’s a crying shame / This whole mad town thinks you’re insane.”

20. “The Game” by Disturbed

Finally, let’s talk about the last song on our list: “The Game” by Disturbed! Released in 2000 on the band’s album The Sickness, this song follows the point of view of a man who is manipulated in a romantic relationship and eventually becomes violent as a result.

The singer, from the POV of this man, sings about his romantic partner, “Is she not right? / Is she insane?” However, as the song progresses and he details his growing anger with this woman, we learn that it is really he who may be going insane.