How depression inspired John Lennon to write “Help!”

Depression is a universal struggle that can impact anyone, irrespective of their background, success, or wealth. Even at the pinnacle of fame with The Beatles, John Lennon grappled with inner turmoil, leading him to pen the iconic hit “Help!” in 1965.

In a candid interview with Playboy magazine in 1980, Lennon opened up about the emotional journey that inspired the song. He expressed how writing “Help!” was his way of reaching out for assistance, a stark contrast to conventional methods of seeking help through therapy or confiding in loved ones.

Lennon revealed, “When ‘Help’ came out in ’65, I was actually crying out for help. Most people think it’s just a fast rock ‘n roll song. I didn’t realize it at the time. I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I really was crying out for help.”

The pressures of fame and success weighed heavily on Lennon during that period. He confessed, “The Beatles thing had just gone beyond comprehension. We were smoking marijuana for breakfast. We were well into marijuana and nobody could communicate with us.” This sense of detachment and overwhelming fame found its expression in the lyrics of “Help!”

Despite its upbeat tempo, “Help!” delves into Lennon’s inner struggles and the challenges of coping with fame. The song’s enduring popularity, topping charts worldwide, underscores its resonance with listeners who relate to its themes of vulnerability and the quest for solace.

Lennon’s honesty about his mental health journey serves as a reminder that even amidst success, we all face moments of darkness where reaching out for help, whether through music or traditional means, is a crucial step towards healing and self-discovery.

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