Sometimes you may feel like you’re not headed anywhere in your life. It could be your relationship, job, or anything else making you feel that way. The singers in these songs know a little something about this feeling.
Let this playlist of songs about being trapped (or feeling trapped) help you get unstuck. It might just take a little courage or change in mindset to get out of your rut.
Nowhere to Run – Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
In this song, a woman is in a relationship that isn’t doing great, and she expects to have her heartbroken at some point. But, “free of you, I’ll never be,” she says because she can’t resist loving the person who’s no good for her. If the percussion sounds hard to pinpoint, that’s because snow chains for tires were used to help make the music!
Stuck – Norah Jones
This song is about falling in love with someone and not being able to get past the feelings. She was stuck listening to a man babbling on at a bar, and at the moment, it was annoying, but once she made her way home, she couldn’t stop thinking about him. She “just lost the plot” for a short while.
Stuck in a Moment – U2
Lead singer Bono wrote this song after a friend passed away in 1997. The song is about how you can feel stuck in a situation and not have any way to get out of it. But that feeling is just a feeling. As the song says, “It’s just a moment. This time will pass.” The song was written as a message to help those who are struggling and as a tribute to his friend.
Trapped by Love – Manu Chao
The singer in this song is stuck with a lover who comes and goes. It would be better for them to end the relationship altogether so they can be treated better, but they’re ‘Trapped By Love’ and can’t seem to get away! His lover changes their mind as often as the weather, leaving the singer to feel frustrated and helpless.
Better Man – Pearl Jam
Sometimes people settle for someone because they think they can’t find anyone better. This song is about a woman in a loveless relationship who can’t find the courage to end it, so she lies and pretends like she’s happy. Lead singer Eddie Vedder wrote this song as a teenager about his mother and stepfather before he joined Pearl Jam.
I’m Stuck – Noah Cyrus
This country-inspired pop song is about a girl who found a guy she loves enough to calm down. She feels somewhat defeated, saying he’s “hanging up the gloves,” but she sort of doesn’t mind doing it for this guy. This song was initially written by Labrinth to be sung from a guy’s perspective, but Noah Cyrus loved it so much that she had it rewritten to have it on her album.
Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan tells stories of nine different people in this song, all of which aren’t necessarily related. The lyrics are abstract and can take a minute to decipher any meaning. The chorus asks, “can this really be the end?” and repeats the title, suggesting that each character has a similar problem: they’re stuck in the same place in life and are looking to get out.
Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
This song made it to number 3 and number 2 on the UK and US charts, respectively, and you’ve probably heard the iconic saxophone solo at least once, even if you haven’t heard the song before! The song is about a man who dreams of leaving the city to buy his own house, but his drinking habit prevents him from doing so. He drinks to forget that he hasn’t achieved his dream, but it’s also stopping him.
Trapped – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
The man in this song feels trapped in his failing relationship, but he feels hopeful that someday he’ll “walk out of here again,” even though his partner doesn’t seem to have his best interest in mind. This song was originally sung in a reggae style by Jimmy Cliff in 1972, but Bruce Springsteen’s cover ten years later made it popular. The style and some of the lyrics are much different than the original.
Recommended: Our curated list of epic Bruce Springsteen songs.
Trapped in a Box – No Doubt
Were you ever told that too much TV is a bad thing? No Doubt sings about how watching too much TV is essentially like being trapped in a box. You spend less time outside and are told how to think and act by someone else. This song came out in 1992, but you could say it’s more applicable today with smartphones and the internet!
Nowhere to Go, Nowhere to Be – Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney wrote this song in the months following his divorce from Renee Zellweger. He wanted to be alone, so he took a trip to the Virgin Islands and wrote this song after spending some time alone. He wrote about how he felt stuck and didn’t have anywhere to go at that point now that he was once again a single man.
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free – Nina Simone
‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ is a song of freedom from the 1960s written during the civil rights movement in the United States. While anyone can find their own meaning in the song, it was clearly about freedom and race equality during this tumultuous time in US history. It’s a beautiful song about hoping to live life freely without anyone holding you down one day.
Truck Got Stuck – Corb Lund
Ain’t nothin’ worse than when your truck gets stuck in the mud on a dirt road! This comedic song tells of someone who got their truck stuck after a much-needed rain, so they called a friend, but his truck got stuck too, so they called another friend. Guess what happens next? This song became pretty popular in Canada, making it to number 27 on the charts.
Chains – Nick Jonas
This was Nick Jonas’s first solo song after leaving Jonas Brothers after eight years. It’s much different than what he and his brothers produced together, which helped establish his image as a solo artist. The song is about being stuck in a relationship with someone who isn’t trustworthy, but you can’t leave because you feel too connected with them.
Stuck With You – Huey Lewis & The News
Being “stuck” with someone is a positive thing in this song! The couple in this song have had their doubts about the relationship and each considered moving on, but they were committed to staying together, so their relationship stayed strong. The song made it to the Top 10 in several countries and the Top 20 in several others.
Message in a Bottle – The Police
The Police tell a story of a man stranded on an island who feels incredibly lonely. He sends out messages in bottles to hopefully contact someone. One day, he sees tons of bottles on the shore with messages that are others are lonely, too. It’s an excellent metaphor for how you’re not as alone as you think you might be in this big world. This song made it to number 1 in the UK but only hit 74 in the US.