10 Songs About Anger, Rage and Pain You’ll Love
There are days where you’re completely fed up with an individual person, or sometimes, the entire world in general. You’re downright irate, and when that emotion kicks in, sometimes the best thing to do is listen to some songs about anger.
So, in this article, I’m going to provide you with my favorite songs that dive deep into the emotion of anger. Hopefully, you’ll end up listening to one or two of these songs whenever you need to release some pent up frustration over how your day is going.
Songs About Anger You Will Appreciate
Let’s begin with a Tupac Shakur track.
I Don’t Give a **** by 2Pac
Tupac Shakur was a ball of flammable energy in the 1990s, and that fact was very evident from the debut of his very first album. On the album 2Pacalypse Now, ‘Pac featured a song entitled “I Don’t Give a ****.” This track, which touched on the struggle of being a poor, young black kid on the streets, hit on various topics including racial discrimination and violence.
The most memorable verse on this song features ‘Pac telling a story about how he’s fed up with society, which Exhibit A suffering the indignity of being followed around a store by an employee simply because he’s a black man.
I wanna take my business elsewhere, but where?
’Cause who in the hell cares
About a black man with a black need?
They wanna jack me like some kind of crack fiend
I wonder if he knows that my income
Is more than his pension, salary and then some
Your daughter is my number one fan
And your trife-a** wife wants a life with a black man
More than just being one of the better songs about rage or pain, it really speaks to the fact that society—specifically the way it treats certain groups of citizens—helps to push people towards anger and bitterness.
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My Happy Ending by Avril Lavigne
One of the most emotionally turbulent times in a person’s life is when they’re dealing with a breakup. There’s sadness, regret, and, yes, anger. Avril Lavigne nails the mixture of rage and heartbreak in this song. It’s about someone who didn’t treat her right, but she pictured their lives together. In the beginning, she wants to know what happened to them but quickly grows from grasping for answers to anger.
That’s the thing about breakups. So often, we romanticize them and make plans for the future. We tie ourselves up in them and base our lives on those narrow images. And when those plans start to crack, and we see beyond the fantasy, it can be a confusing swell of emotions. This song makes me feel less alone when that mish-mash of emotion consumes me.
King of Anything by Sara Bareilles
We’ve all experienced it: someone else thinks they know what’s best for you. I’ve never understood why other people think they get a say in anyone else’s lives, but it happens every day.
Sara Bareilles sings about exactly that in this song. She wonders, “who died and made you king of anything,” trying to figure out why the other person feels so entitled to influence in her life. This song is a more upbeat take on anger—it’s quite empowering in a somewhat perky but direct way. It’s a song for when you need a reminder not to worry about what other people say about you.
Ready For Combat by Icon for Hire
Icon for Hire is known for their relatable songs about mental illness. In an interview with Rock Sound, lead singer Ariel Bloomer says this song is about demanding a fight with her demons. This song works for any situation where you’re the underdog. It’s that song for when you’re finally breaking down after holding it in for so long.
Whether you’re fighting your own mental health or letting those feelings loose on someone who has taken advantage of your kindness for too long.
We must stand up for ourselves. We should try not to push down our feelings to the point where we have so much baggage to unleash, like in this song. But let’s be honest, that’s not how it usually works. This song is about taking on any type of bully after years of mistreatment.
Not Ready to Make Nice by The Chicks
Sometimes we say things, and we’re forced to deal with the consequences. That doesn’t mean we regret what we’ve said. We don’t apologize because everyone thinks we “should”–apologies should only be granted when we actually feel wrong about how we affect others.
The Chicks know all about that. In 2003, they made a political statement that didn’t sit well with their conservative-leaning country fanbase. Many fans deserted them, and their careers took a hit. Natalie Maines, the singer who made the statement, has readily stated that she’s not sorry for it. But this song isn’t inherently about politics. This song is to the extremists who said awful things, including death threats, to the band members just because she uttered a single sentence.
At its core, this song is about being in an argument and standing your ground. It’s about being unapologetic. This song will help fuel you by reminding you not to give up your convictions just to please someone else. It’s a reminder that we all make our beds and should be content with lying in them.
Mean by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has had more than her fair share of “haters.” Swift uses her anger, and instead of letting it seep into a rage, she moves through it by reminding herself how great her life is versus the person that hurt her. She talks about how she has all this possibility and hope, and the only thing the other person can be is a mean, bullying person.
Like Swift, we must remind ourselves that the people who needlessly put us down are ridiculous. If someone’s taking the time to put us down, that says more about them than us. This song is a helpful reminder to you about how pathetic those bullies are and how much more potential you have. Remember not to get tied up in them. Move beyond them.
Gives You Hell by The All-American Rejects
This song by The All-American Rejects says f*** you without actually saying it. It came out when I was in middle school, and I used to sing it without having much to be angry at. As an adult, I see a clear face every time I sing it. And it’s not always the same face.
Every day we deal with people we don’t like for whatever reason (the song is about ex-lovers, but it works for other situations too). We all want that taste of revenge—we want the people who upset us to see how much better we are, despite what they’ve said or done. This song exemplifies that feeling and helps me feel like I’m manifesting that reality.
Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit
I tried to steer clear of many of the more “violent” songs that deal with anger. There has been mixed research about whether songs with more violent lyrics lead to more violent thoughts. But it’s undeniable that these songs are prevalent, and I would argue they’re a good way of releasing that pent-up aggression without doing anything dangerous or harmful. So, I decided to add just one of the many good ones.
Here’s a song with a crazy history. It’s believed by some people that this song was responsible for riots at the 1999 Woodstock festival. Whether that’s true or not is contested.
This song makes me think about, what I call, our “first thoughts.” We can’t control our first thoughts, but luckily, we usually don’t act on our first thoughts. We have more rational second and third thoughts.
I may think, “I want to punch him in the face,” but I don’t actually do it. When we’re experiencing anger, we have a lot of “first thoughts” like this. I hope this song helps you sift through them and express your rage vicariously through Limp Bizkit’s lyrics and emotion.
Simmer by Hayley Williams
If you’re looking for songs about rage, but one that is more on the quieter end of the spectrum, then give this Hayley Williams song a try. I don’t listen to it when want to scream along to lyrics, but instead when I’m a tight-lipped, quiet rage-like mood. When I’m feeling more introspective than explosive, for example. It’s a great song to calm myself down with.
Now, it’s not going to make me happy, but it makes me do exactly what the title says “simmer down.” It recognizes that things you’re angry at still exist, but you need to come to a place of peace within yourself.
If you’re in that state of mind where you’re tired of being angry (and in your “counting to ten” stage), this song is perfect for you.
We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
When you sing along to this song, it feels like a protest. It’s left ambiguous what it is in protest of, making it easy for anyone to bend it to their circumstance. But the song itself is about being sick of a current situation or circumstance and lashing out at whatever authority is above you.
In recent history, Ukrainians have been singing this song as an anthem during the Russian invasion. It can be used on a historical, cultural level, or even just when you’re angry at your parents. Whether your problems are big or small, it’s a song about reclaiming your power—-about rebelling. It was released in 1984 and is still as relevant today as it was back then.
Let’s add one more to this list, which is an interlude by Paramore.
Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore by Paramore
Emotions are ever-present and constantly changing. One thing that has helped me is remembering that each feeling is fleeting. Sure, that can be a bit of a bummer sometimes, but it’s comforting to know when I’m feeling something unpleasant. Life truly is a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and this song is about that—slipping from anger into happiness and back into anger.
Paramore is no stranger to these up and down flip-flop of emotions, as the band has had its own share of drama. For years they’ve had members phasing in and out of the group. People have been asking on and off since 2010, “did Paramore break up?” Band members must be sick of hearing that question, but they’ve always come out on top.
Anger is a natural, but it’s not always channeled the right way. Sometimes the way we express our anger is destructive, which is why listening to songs about anger can help us vent and almost live vicariously through the artist or band.
Be sure to listen to any of these songs when the world feels a bit too frustrating or unfair—and you just need a really great song to help pour all of the anger out of your body.
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