Everyone struggles with insecure feelings at some point or other, especially in romantic relationships where your happiness is often in the hands of someone else.
The good news is that musicians know all about these feelings – and fortunately for us – have created some brilliant songs that deal with vulnerability.
This list will take a look at the meanings of several songs about insecurity and will remind you that you’re not alone.
- I Suck – Mark Ronson feat. Rivers Cuomo
- Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots
- Don’t Delete The Kisses – Wolf Alice
- Insecure – Jazmin Sullivan X Bryson Tiller
- I Hate U I Love U – Gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien
- Unpretty – TLC
- If I’m Insecure – James Blake
- Cry Pretty – Carrie Underwood
- Happy – Pink
- SZA – Drew Barrymore
- Don’t Let Me Get Me – Pink
- Cool Kids – Echosmith
- Do You Love Me – Jay Sean
- Your Type – Carly Rae Jepsen
- All By Myself – Eric Carmen
- Liability – Lorde
- Soap – Melanie Martinez
- I’m Dumb – Glen Campbell
I Suck – Mark Ronson feat. Rivers Cuomo
‘I Suck’ doesn’t mince words. It captures that simple “I suck” feeling people get when they feel down about their own personality and self-esteem. The song mentions a beautiful girl going home with a guy who’s totally lame, and the singer is left wondering why they aren’t good enough to bring a girl home when that guy somehow can. Feelings of jealousy and frustration are typical when you feel like your personality is lacking, and this song captures it well.
Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots
‘Stressed Out’ reminisces about the carefree days of childhood and how there wasn’t anything to worry about compared to adulthood. The song mentions insecurities by name and personifies them using a low-pitched voice. This voice is named “Blurryface” and is meant to represent a person’s insecurities that nag at them. Pleasant childhood memories like playing pretend or a mother’s song serves as a source of comfort, while Blurryface creates a feeling of uneasiness throughout the song.
Don’t Delete The Kisses – Wolf Alice
This song takes you into the mind of someone who’s secretly thinking about a crush and wondering if they should reveal their feelings to them. The lyrics show that the person is so insecure about herself that they question if they’re even meant to find love. After working through their feelings throughout the course of the song, you can see that they have plans to reveal how they feel at a party, making this sad song feel hopeful.
Insecure – Jazmin Sullivan X Bryson Tiller
This song is about a woman who feels suffocated in her relationship because of her insecure partner. The man thinks he has a cheating partner, but in reality, she’s just out having honest fun, and he’s worried about nothing. It seems like a doomed relationship when the man says his lines because even though he apologizes, there’s still uncertainty in his mind. Unfortunately, this relationship doesn’t seem like it will get past the insecurities since it’s with the woman saying she won’t put up with it anymore.
I Hate U I Love U – Gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien
The two singers in this song contradict each other because of a misunderstanding in the relationship due to insecurities. It sounds like the woman ended the relationship because she thought her partner had eyes for someone else. However, in the man’s verses, he reveals that he’s hurt she left him and that he never did anything wrong to warrant her leaving. The saddest part of this song is that the truth can’t be known because the only perspectives given are two that are skewed by emotions.
Unpretty – TLC
Unpretty deals with the difficult topic of feeling insecure about your own body. The message says that you can cosmetically change your outward appearances until you’re happy, but until you deal with how you feel about yourself, you won’t find true happiness or satisfaction with yourself. The song has an air of confidence when it suggests getting rid of the person (or people), making you feel insecure so you can focus on learning to love yourself.
Related: see our list of songs about being yourself.
If I’m Insecure – James Blake
This song is about finding confidence and comfort in someone else as a way to overcome insecurities. It has a hopeful message that you can overcome self-doubt when you find the right person who makes you feel safe. The person isn’t necessarily the person who “fixes” the insecurities, but they’re supposed to be the one who makes you feel comfortable with who you are as a person. The singer realizes that maybe they’re not so insecure after all since they have the confidence that they can care for their loved one.
Cry Pretty – Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood belts out a powerful song about how you can’t ignore your feelings and that it’s okay to cry. Her song states that crying is always ugly, so you should just acknowledge and accept your feelings and cry them out. No amount of “I’m fine” can make tears fall gracefully, and it doesn’t look any different if you’re around others or alone. This song is an excellent reminder for those who struggle to show their feelings.
Happy – Pink
Happy talks about self-loathing and working hard to overcome it. The singer says she tried therapy but turned back to bad habits just to avoid dealing with the problems head-on. Cynicism can hold a person back when it comes to repairing your self-image. “Maybe I’m just scared to be happy” suggests that cynicism can make you feel strangely comfortable in your insecurities, resulting in never getting better and constantly dealing with the same struggles.
SZA – Drew Barrymore
This song is all about not feeling good enough when you see people around you who you think are pretty or generally better than you. The song is full of apologies for not looking a certain way or behaving in certain ways. The song mentions loneliness, citing it as a source for the insecure thoughts that pop up. What about that title, though? SZA said she named it after Drew Barrymore because the actress played many characters who dealt with scenarios the song talks about.
Don’t Let Me Get Me – Pink
‘Don’t Let Me Get Me’ is about learning to accept your imperfections and learning to love yourself. The lyrics mention the singer’s flaws and the frustrations she has about them. The saddest part is that LA only made her insecurities worse by telling her everything she needed to change just to fit in. The plea throughout the song is to be somebody else, showing that the singer feels it would easier to be someone new rather than to accept herself.
Cool Kids – Echosmith
Cool Kids seems to be the cry of every teenager at some point in their lives. The first verse is about a girl who never gets noticed by the cool kids. Although she wishes she could be like them, the song points out that she doesn’t fit in with their style and stands out from the crowd. The second verse is about a guy who wants to fit in, but nobody sees the trouble he’s going through. It suggests that they wouldn’t understand him. Although the song is all about fitting in, it inspires courage to stand out.
Do You Love Me – Jay Sean
The singer shows his insecure side in this song, questioning if his partner really does love him. It’s a jealous love, but not an unhealthy one. He knows his partner is genuine and loveable and refers to everyone else as a fake diamond. The singer is afraid that someone else will notice how great she is and want to take her away from him. The question “do you love me like I love you?” isn’t necessarily questioning her loyalty but is meant to ease his worrying mind.
Your Type – Carly Rae Jepsen
Your Type is a synth-pop song that will make you want to dance, but it’s about longing for someone you can’t have. “I will never get to call you mine” may be literal and accurate, but it can also be interpreted as an insecurity-driven “I’m not good enough” assumption. The singer apologizes for having feelings for someone but can’t help herself and states that she knows she won’t be more than a friend, once again showing vulnerable feelings that she wants to hide.
All By Myself – Eric Carmen
This is arguably the most-used song in TV and movies to depict someone feeling insecure and sad, and for good reason. The lyrics look to the past to remember all the good times and compares them to the lonely present. The singer is living alone with low self-esteem and is confident that they won’t find love again like they used to have. The most vulnerable part of the song is when the singer remembers that they didn’t need anyone when they were younger, which suggests that now they do need someone.
Liability – Lorde
This heartbreaking song shows that the singer feels unworthy of love and attention after being told so by many others. After being told that going out with her was a mistake, Lorde says she’ll go home to the only girl she loves, who she reveals is herself. Even though this sad song is about not being accepted by others, there is hope because the singer can find comfort in self-love despite her insecurities. The song’s underlying message is that when everyone is against you, you need to be there for yourself.
Soap – Melanie Martinez
Soap uses a bathtub as a metaphor for spoken words. Warm water represents kind words, cold water represents harsh, honest, or negative words, and water overflowing represents when you say too much. Someone being in the bathtub is someone hearing what you say, so when they get out, they’re not listening to you anymore. The metaphor shows the singer’s insecurities about her words as she tries to keep the water warm by saying all the right things but ends up saying too much.
I’m Dumb – Glen Campbell
This song is about a man realizing how dumb it was to break up with his former lover. Breaking up was an easy decision at the time, but since then, he realizes he’s not the same. Love doesn’t feel the same, he doesn’t seem like the same person he used to be, and he feels insecure about himself. He recognizes that the girl he lost was the one for him and wants to get back with her. Saying “guess I’m dumb” shows that he has regrets and feels insecure about his ability to make good decisions.