20 Songs About Physical Pain

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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.

When you’re dealing with physical pain, it can be hard to find ways to deal with day-to-day problems. Chronic pain never goes away. But sometimes, things like music can help make things just slightly easier to deal with. Even if the pain doesn’t go away, these songs could help inspire you on bad days.

In this article, we’ve listed 20 songs that are about physical pain. Some of these songs may have been written about emotional pain, but we feel that they can be interpreted as songs about physical pain, as well!

1. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash is a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song of the same name. However, when Cash recorded his own version near the end of his life in 2002, the song took on new meanings. The true meaning of the song will likely always be up to interpretation, but many often do look at it as a song about physical pain.

Cash opens the song with the lyrics, “I hurt myself today / To see if I still feel / I focus on the pain / The only thing that’s real.”

2. “Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift

“Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift follows the singer as she thinks back on a romantic relationship that didn’t work out. Throughout the relationship, Swift wondered if they would be okay — if they were “Out of the Woods” and therefore on their way to a happily ever after.

However, Swift also sings about physical pain in this song after she gets into a car crash with her partner. She sings the lyrics, “Remember when you hit the brakes too soon? / Twenty stitches in the hospital room / When you started crying, baby, I did too / But when the sun came up, I was looking at you.”

3. “Fake Your Death” by My Chemical Romance

“Fake Your Death” by My Chemical Romance was the last song the band released before they broke up. In a way, it was a goodbye to fans, and when looking at the lyrics, you can see their explanations about why they felt they had to end things at the time.

However, as songs can have multiple meanings, the song can also be seen as describing physical pain, especially when the band sings, “Just look at all that pain / Just give me all that pain.”

4. “War Inside My Head” by Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies’ 1987 song “War Inside My Head” follows the band as they sing about the war in their mind, as well as all of the pain they feel. This is one of the best rock songs with pain in the lyrics.

The band sings, ”Can you hear the (Pain) / Can you see the (Pain) / Can you sense the (Pain) / Can you feel the (Pain).”

5. “Break the Cycle” by You+Me

“Break the Cycle” by You+Me could be about emotional pain — but it also could be one of the best songs about overcoming physical pain! After all, it’s all about how every individual listener interprets the lyrics!

The duo sings, “Break the cycle / Break the chains / Cause love is louder than all your pain / Than all your pain.”

6. “Lost” by Korn

Korn’s 1996 song “Lost”, which appears on the band’s album Life Is Peachy, follows the singer as he remembers his childhood. The singer has a lot of emotions and pain that he’s trying to deal with. This song also hints at some of the trauma he went through as a child.

He sings repeatedly throughout the song, “Pain and rage and fear I feel.”

7. “Something For the Pain” by Bon Jovi

“Something For the Pain” by Bon Jovi explores what it’s like when a relationship ends. While the singer explores his feelings over this breakup, and while the song can be viewed from this point of view, many people who are dealing with chronic pain find catharsis with this song as well!

The band sings, “Give me something for the pain / Give me something for the blues / Give me something for the pain when / I feel I’ve been dangling from a hangman’s noose.”

8. “Pain In the World” by Danzig

While “Pain In the World” by Danzig is technically about how there is evil all over the world, it can also be seen as a song about someone going through their own acutely felt physical pain. Danzig sings, “Crying / Pain has come to the world / Dying / Pain in the world.”

9. “Somewhere I Belong” by Linkin Park

“Somewhere I Belong” by Linkin Park is about wanting to move on, if possible, and explore pain relief. The singer wants to heal all that has happened to him — and find a true place where he can be safe, and where he can belong.

The band sings, “I wanna heal, I wanna feel / What I thought was never real / I wanna let go of the pain I’ve held so long / Erase all the pain ’til it’s gone.”

10. “Liquor Store Blues” by Bruno Mars

In “Liquor Store Blues”, Bruno Mars sings about falling on hard times. He’s trying to deal with his pain — which could be seen as either emotional or physical — so he goes to the liquor store to buy alcohol to numb all this pain he’s in.

So, he ends up singing the lyrics, “I’ll take one shot for my pain / One drag for my sorrow / Get messed up today / I’ll be okay tomorrow.”

11. “Numb” by Pet Shop Boys

“Numb” by Pet Shop Boys is about wanting to run away from the world and lock away all the bad news. The band sings about wanting to hide from this all, as they just don’t want to face it. However, when they sing about pain, listeners could interpret their singing to relate to their own physical pain.

The band sings, “I wanna be numb / I don’t wanna feel this pain no more / Wanna lose touch / I just wanna go and lock the door.”

12. “Dead Boys” by Sam Fender

Sam Fender’s song “Dead Boys” explores both the emotional and physical pain that revolves around suicide. Fender sings about how in his hometown, he knew so many friends who committed suicide — and the hometown struggles to understand what has happened.

So, he sings, “We close our eyes, learn our pain / Nobody ever could explain / All the dead boys in our hometown / We close our eyes, learn our pain.”

13. “Remedy” by Seether

“Remedy” by Seether follows the band as they explore addiction and try to overcome it. The battle is hard, but the singer tries to get rid of all the emotional and physical pain he has as a result of his addiction.

He sings the lyrics, “Frail, the skin is dry and pale / The pain will never fail / And so we go back to the remedy.”

14. “Cancer” by My Chemical Romance

“Cancer” by My Chemical Romance continues the story of the narrator of the album The Black Parade. In this track, he sings about the cancer that will end up killing him. The song is very to the point and direct, allowing the narrator to express his sorrow at how his life is ending.

However, the band sings about the hardest part of it all. They sing, “’Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you.”

15. “Soon You’ll Get Better” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s song “Soon You’ll Get Better”, which features The Chicks and appears on her album Lover, explores the singer’s emotions about the illness her mother faces. Her mother is in physical pain, and Swift hates to see this — especially because she can do nothing to stop it.

However, she tries to stay positive about everything and be there for her mother. She describes going to the doctor and taking care of her mother, singing the lyrics, “Holy orange bottles, each night, I pray to you / Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too.”

16. “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons

“The Cave” by Mumford & Sons follows the singer as he tries to come to terms with his life, his struggles, and his pain. Again, the pain here can be seen as either emotional or physical. The band sings, “And I’ll find strength in pain / And I will change my ways / I’ll know my name as it’s called again.”

If you need a positive song as you deal with your own personal pain, this is one of the best songs to turn to.

17. “Two Fingers” by Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg’s song “Two Fingers” follows the singer as he deals with some past trauma. Even though he’s moving on from all that happened, he’s still struggling. So, he turns to different substances to help numb his pain.

He sings, “So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain / Light a cigarette and wish the world away / I got out, I got out, I’m alive and I’m here to stay.”

18. “She Lays Down” by The 1975

“She Lays Down” by The 1975 explores the singer’s own struggles as he deals with his mother’s postnatal depression after having him. The singer describes both the emotional and physical pain that his mother had to deal with for years. She had to deal with all of this while she was trying to raise him.

He sings, “We got a plane, oh to see my dad again / She prayed that we’d fall from the sky / Simply to alleviate the pain.”

19. “Migraine” by Twenty One Pilots

In “Migraine”, the band Twenty One Pilots sings about a metaphorical migraine. However, listeners can also interpret this song as describing a real migraine, too! The band sings about the pain that they feel, as well as how they struggle to go about their lives.

They sing the lyrics, “I-I-I-I’ve got a migraine / And my pain will range from up, down, and sideways.”

The migraine gets so bad for the singer. However, he can’t seem to deal with the pain, or find a way to make it a little bit easier to deal with!

20. “I Can Feel a Hot One” by Manchester Orchestra

“I Can Feel a Hot One” by Manchester Orchestra describes quite a lot of things. The singer explores his emotions as he struggles with panic attacks and his own fears. However, towards the end of the song, he describes a dream that features a car accident. This dream also details a lot of physical pain.

So, he sings, “So I prayed for what I thought were angels / Ended up being ambulances.”

Listen to the full playlist on YouTube here.