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44 Songs About Giving Up

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about defeat, giving up, calling it quits, throwing in the towel.

Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about defeat, giving up, calling it quits, throwing in the towel.

You Deserve a Second Chance: Don't Give Up

In troubled times, luck can run slim as challenges outweigh resources. Loneliness and disappointment may seem to eclipse hope. Maybe it's a romantic relationship that isn't going well or a dream that is slowly dying. Perhaps you feel your whole world is crumbling around you.

Each day, we all have a choice: whether to give up and give in to defeat or instead to redouble our efforts and reach out in earnest for help. Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about people struggling with giving up. It may help you understand you're not alone. Then lend yourself kindness and a second chance (or a third). You're worth it.

1. "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes

Canadian pop-rock star Shawn Mendes acknowledges that sometimes he feels like the walls are caving in around him and he wants to surrender hope. The singer has struggled with anxiety, and in this candid ballad, he describes feelings of being overwhelmed. The song became a worldwide hit in 2018.

Medicine doesn't alleviate the narrator's feelings of coming unglued. Afraid to be by himself, he seeks the company of others and reassures himself that it's not in his nature to give up.

2. "Dear Agony" by Breaking Benjamin

The narrator in this rock tune from 2009 begs for the slow, painful end to be over. Whether he's referring to a relationship or life itself or is unknown, but his experience has been a difficult one of struggle and suffering. He fights until the end, but now there is nothing left of him, nothing left to give. As he gives up, he begs Agony to just let go of him.

3. "Worthless" by eli.

The guy in this 2019 pop song is a socially isolated loner who feels perilously close to giving up. He desperately needs professional help and complains about being both socially awkward and self-harming. Feeling worthless, the narrator seeks validation from others, especially authority figures. A friend serves as a godsend by encouraging him not to give up on himself.

4. "Say Something" by Christina Aguilera & A Great Big World

Have you ever had a crush where the other person just wasn't feeling it? In this heartrending 2013 pop ballad about unrequited love, the narrator has lost all hope that the relationship they have invested so much in emotionally will ever materialize. Feeling doleful about the failed, one-way love relationship, they let the object of their affection know that they would have done anything in the name of love, if given the chance:

Say something, I'm giving up on you
I'll be the one, if you want me to
Anywhere, I would've followed you
Say something, I'm giving up on you.

5. "Remind Me to Forget" by Kygo (featuring Miguel)

Know when to give up on a love that just isn't working for you. This 2018 R&B song has an electro undercurrent and features a guy who is finally calling it quits on a romantic relationship after having been badly burned. Feeling worse for wear, he alerts his sweetheart that she can keep her twisted love. The scars he bears from their romance will forever serve as reminders of her love and the damage done.

6. "Lost" by Ivan B

The narrator in this 2017 hip-hop song acknowledges that he is stubborn and bitter, and filled with both pride and selfishness. Feeling vulnerable, as if his world is crumbling, the man is ready to give up. He thus asks Jesus to help him. The narrator had previously pushed God away, but now, as temptation and negativity surround him, he reaches out for direction in his life:

To be the person that I know I can be
I need you to show me the way.

7. "I'm Not Okay" by Citizen Soldier

A mask of normalcy conceals a psychologically troubled mind in this 2020 pop tune. The song is a cry for help, an attempt to articulate the pain that the narrator experiences but usually keeps hidden from the world. The man feels tormented by the monsters in his head. However, rather than giving up on himself, he'll bravely tear down his protective walls to reveal his pain so that he can be heard, understood, and helped.

The lead singer of Citizen Soldier struggled with mental illness in college, including bipolar disorder, anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and a suicide attempt. As a result, the group endeavors to give voice to those battling mental health concerns.

8. "Fade to Black" by Metallica

This brooding, guitar-heavy track details the narrator's psychic anguish as he contemplates death at his own hand. Feeling out of options and emotionally spent, the despondent man wonders why he should even try anymore. Sadly, he has lost the will to live. The heavy metal power ballad received significant criticism upon its release in 1984. It fueled concerns among politician-activists who sought to censor controversial music lyrics.

In part, the classic Metallica tune was inspired by feelings of despair after the band's equipment was stolen from outside a Boston concert venue. Among the items taken was an amp with sentimental value. Imagine if Metallica had given up when they lost their gear! Additional life experience often brings perspective so that you realize such low points are not the end.

9. "Nothing Left to Say" by Imagine Dragons

In moving forward with one's struggles, progress isn't always linear, smooth, or permanent, and for the disheartened guy in this 2012 pop-rock ditty, it seems to be a case of taking two steps back in order to move forward. He feels broken and wounded as he struggles with whether to give up on himself.

The narrator experiences a downward spiral of melancholy. As he helplessly falls, the dispirited guy asks a friend to toss him a lifeline: "If you could only save me / I'm drowning in the waters of my soul." In the end, however, the friend's help may not be enough to save the narrator from himself as the two "fall apart."

10. "I'm Not Okay" by Deadfish

In a world where people attempt to conceal the vulnerable part of themselves, props go to Polish musician Deadfish for putting emotional fragility right out there. (Hey, the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging it.)

A breakup has brought the guy in this 2020 alternative rock song to his knees. The dude is not okay, and he plainly admits it. He feels trapped inside his own mind with only dark emotions to keep him company. Seeking relief, he cries out for help.

11. "Should I Give It All Up" by James Blunt

We all make mistakes and harbor insecurities when it comes to romance, but the man in this 2020 pop song is letting his past get the better of him. Uncomfortable, out of place, and lonely, he admits that he fears a loss of emotional control over his heart (but that's what love is). The needy, lovesick fellow confesses that he will give it all up for his beloved if she wants it. What have you given up for love?

12. "1-800-273-8255" by Logic ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid

This 2017 hip hop tune broke down barriers by emotionally confronting the stigma of suicide. The song's title publicizes the phone number for the US-based National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that provides a free round-the-clock resource for those experiencing emotional distress and thoughts of suicide.

The worldwide hit features a troubled narrator who is struggling with thoughts of giving up on life. Feeling disenfranchised and disconnected (“I feel like I’m out of my mind/ It feel like my life ain’t mine"), he reaches out to get the life-saving support he needs.

13. "You Don't Know" by Katelyn Tarver

Most of us have that relentlessly perky friend who sees the world as glass half-full regardless of the situation. Their over-the-top positive spirit may not always be helpful, however—especially when you're just trying to process the pain. That's when you may want them to shove their best intentions, hold back on lessons learned, and forget gentle platitudes while you wallow a little in your woe.

The anguished gal in this 2017 pop ballad just wants to be "not okay" for a spell, so back off and stop trying to fix her life for her:

Let me just give up
Let me just let go
If this isn't good for me
Well, I don't wanna know
Let me just stop trying
Let me just stop fighting
I don't want your good advice
Or reasons why I'm alright
You don't know what it's like ... .

14. "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" by Billy Joel

An uplifting message fills this energetic rock hit from 1985. Based on his own experiences, Billy Joel urges teens not to give up on themselves because the momentum of their second wind is within reach. As an adolescent, the legendary singer faced depression and thoughts of self-harm. This song imparts a message of hope and self-forgiveness for mistakes that we all make. Rather than give up, redouble your efforts and start anew.

15. "Cry" by Alexx Calise

A massive wave of emptiness washes over the dejected narrator as she holes up in her room. Fittingly, it's raining outside. Withdrawn and at a loss for words, the narrator no longer feels like trying. All she wants to do is cry. This is what giving up feels like. Alexx Calise is best known for this sad 2010 rock ditty after it was frequently featured on Lifetime's Dance Moms.

16. "Gave Up" by Nine Inch Nails

The narrator in this aggressive 1992 industrial rock single is battling inner demons. As a result of an unhealthy relationship, he has compromised everything that he is, including his sanity, integrity, and values. A dark, hollow feeling lingers after he has given up all that was important to him. Still, his sacrifices don't seem to be enough.

17. "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry

If you've known someone who died young, this mournful 2010 country tune may remind you of them. The youthful narrator describes being content with the time you have on earth because you never know when you will have to surrender to death. She imagines her own funeral if she should die now before reaching full adulthood:

The ballad of a dove
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep 'em in your pocket
Save 'em for a time when your really gonna need 'em oh.

A young narrator struggles with loneliness and depression in this 1999 slow bummer of a rock song. He's a musician on tour who has no one to return home to. The guy's mind is churning over whether to give up on life as he imagines what occurs afterward. Fortunately, he chooses another option and realizes that better days exist on the horizon.

19. "Given Up" by Linkin Park

One individual can only bear so many hardships before their emotional wires fray and they start to melt down. In this 2007 alternative rock track, the narrator feels defeated, demoralized, and disconnected from others. Feeling like there is no relief from the overwhelming challenges in front of him, the narrator is experiencing mental problems. He declares himself his own worst enemy. He has given up.

"Given Up" is known for the 17-second scream that lead singer and co-writer Chester Bennington emits late in the song. Unfortunately, Bennington struggled with depression and substance abuse for much of his life and ended his own life in 2017.

20. "Save Me" by Nicki Minaj

Loneliness has gotten the best of Nicki Minaj in this 2010 hip-hop song, and she complains of being unable to silence the negative voices in her head. Although she's at the top of her career, she is plagued by self-hate for her behavior ("I'm a monster"). She feels herself giving up and asks God to save her again.

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." - Thomas Edison, American inventor

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." - Thomas Edison, American inventor

Even More Songs About Giving Up

SongArtist(s)Year Released

21. I Can’t Make You Love Me

Bonnie Raitt


22. Trainwreck

James Arthur


23. I'm Not OK



24. Otherside

Red Hot Chili Peppers


25. Giving Up

Ingrid Michaelson


26. Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies

Biffy Clyro


27. Jumper

Third Eye Blind


28. Anyone

Demi Lovato


29. You Ruin Me

The Veronicas


30. I Give Up

Roy Orbison


31. Best I Can

Art of Dying


32. In the End

Linkin Park


33. 555

Jimmy Eat World


34. Take It Back

Bug Hunter


35. Listen Before I Go

Billie Eilish


36. We Both Go Down Together

The Decemberists


37. Rainy Days and Mondays



38. I Don't Care Anymore

Phil Collins


39. I'm Not Alright

Sanctus Real


40. I'm Not Alright



41. Loser

3 Doors Down


42. How to Disappear Completely



43. Done

The Band Perry


44. It's Time to Go

Taylor Swift


© 2020 FlourishAnyway


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 28, 2020:

Brenda - Thanks for stopping by. I hope your holiday has been a good one. Have a wonderful 2021!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on December 27, 2020:

Great topic and choice if songs.

I like these ones "Dont stop believing" by Journey & "I won't back down" by Rachel Platten.

You put alot of time and detail in this article.

Great job.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 27, 2020:

Adrienne - Music can be a great outlet for emotion, whether feeling happy or down. Thanks for stopping by.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 27, 2020:

Pamela - Thank you for the kind commendation. I hope your Christmas was a happy one.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 27, 2020:

Devika - Thanks for the kind comment. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 27, 2020:

Devika - Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad you had a wonderful holiday.

Adrienne Farricelli on December 27, 2020:

Music can influence people a lot so I can see how powerful listening to certain songs may be. Some songs can be a form of therapy.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 27, 2020:

This is a good selection of songs for not giving up, Flourish. I am always surprised at the large amount of songs you find on any given topic.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 27, 2020:

FlourishAnyway, songs that I enjoy listening to and your lists of songs are always a surprise to me.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 27, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway I had a good but quiet Christmas. I always enjoy reading your interesting hubs.Hope you are having an enjoyable festive season.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 27, 2020:

Peg - Thanks for stopping by to listen to a few songs. I hope your Christmas was a good one. Stay healthy and happy as you embark on a new year!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 26, 2020:

Thanks for another great collection of songs. I didn't realize there were so many on this topic. I only knew a few of the artists, like Billy Joel, but I did listen to a couple of new (to me) songs.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 26, 2020:

Chitrangada - Thank you for your kind kudos. I hope you are well. Take care of yourself and have a healthy and happy holiday and new year!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 26, 2020:

Linda - You're so sweet and I'm so glad you're not giving up! You've gone to an impressive extent to keep safe this year. You're a model for us all! I hope you had a fabulous holiday and a healthy and happy 2021!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 25, 2020:

An appropriate theme, considering the troubled times, the World is facing due to the Pandemic.

Your list of songs is wonderful, as always.

Wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy and Peaceful times ahead.

Thank you for sharing.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on December 25, 2020:

Flourish, I had nothing. When I read the title of this article I could not come up with one tune. How you do this I'll never know. It must take AGES. What a good topic to end this year. I think a lot of people do feel like "giving up" but not this old gal. I'm hopeful for better days, a better year, and a better future. Thank you for entertaining us. I always learn something from your posts.

Take care of yourself dear friend; stay safe and let's have a good 2021.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 25, 2020:

Umesh - Giving up on an unhealthy relationship is usually a good choice, but it's never good to give up on oneself. Thanks for reading. Have a beautiful Christmas.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 25, 2020:

Peggy - Thanks for stopping by and for your cheerful words. Have a Merry Christmas!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 25, 2020:

MG - Thank you for stopping by. It's my hope that people will redouble their efforts and reach out for help rather than give up on themselves.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 25, 2020:

Louise - Thank you for your kind comment. Each one can take quite a while to compile. I often work on more than one at a time. I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 25, 2020:

Bill - I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday as well. Brighter days are ahead.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 25, 2020:

You have selected a great theme. Yes, very true, many times we give up in our life only to learn to not give up next time.

Merry Christmas.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 25, 2020:

Perfect timing for words about not giving up. We can use encouragement during these dark days of the pandemic. Brighter days lie ahead. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and wishing you a beautiful year ahead!

MG Singh emge from Singapore on December 25, 2020:

That's a fine selection. So many of us give up at critical times. You have presented a lovely set of songs

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on December 25, 2020:

I always enjoy reading our song lists. It must take you ages to compile!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 25, 2020:

I couldn't think of anything other than "Surrender" by Sara McLachlan...but I'm not sure that's what the song is about. I've forgotten the lyrics. :) Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.