Latin artists have long addressed mental health issues through their music. In 2017, Juanes joined Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid for a bilingual version of “1-800-273-8255,” the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The original song, off Logic’s album Everybody, helped him score his highest charting hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 3. As Juanes told Billboard at the time of his rendition’s release, “I think these days when everything’s about dancing and having a good time, it’s fresh to find a hit song like this one that’s talking about serious issues.”
The following year, Bad Bunny’s “Estamos Bien” quickly became a go-to uplifting anthem, with the superstar posting on social media with its release: “Many times, we’re sad and we don’t know why and it’s simply because we forget about the simple things in life.”
And three years ago, Residente released his poignant autobiographical “René,” on which he talks frankly about depression and dark moments in his life. Writing the personal track was “therapeutic,” he previously told Billboard.
The artists above are just a few of the many who have helped destigmatize the topic of mental health. Marking Mental Health Awareness Month (observed in May), Billboard’s Latin editors have compiled a list of songs on which artists speak of their personal struggles and in doing so, help raise mental health awareness.
From Bad Bunny’s “Estamos Bien” to Residente’s “René” and more, here are 10 Latin songs that touch upon the topic.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health or substance abuse disorders, reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration‘s national helpline 24/7 at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for confidential treatment referrals and information. For those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and/or distress, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. You can also call or text 988 to get connected to trained counselors.
Bad Bunny, “Estamos Bien”
Bad Bunny released his empowering anthem “Estamos Bien” with a special message on social media: “Many times we’re sad and we don’t know why and it’s simply because we forget about the simple things in life. I’m human just like you! And even though I’ve done many big things there are smaller ones that I have yet to achieve. And it’s those smaller things that give happiness,” he said.
Diego Torres, “Color Esperanza”
“I know that the windows can open. Changing the air depends on you and it will help you and it’ll be worth it,” sings Diego Torres in his song “Color Esperanza” which has become an anthem of hope and resilience.
Francisca Valenzuela, “La Fortaleza”
Chilean singer-songwriter Francisca Valenzuela released a diary-style album that includes “La Fortaleza” as the closing track to the set. “Everything that has happened has gotten me to where I am now. I look forward and bury the guilt. I leave, pack my bag and take a deep breath. I don’t look back,” she sings. The song is about knowing self-worth and understanding you are enough.
Jarabe de Palo, “Bonito”
“Bonita la vida, respira, respira, respira,” is the simple message that the late Pau Dones of Jarabe de Palo sends in this 2003 single, reminding fans about the beauty of life and the importance of breathing. The song is an up-tempo, feel-good alternative track that speaks about enjoying the simple things.
Kany García & Natalia Lafourcade, “Remamos”
The Puerto Rican singer-songwriter teams up with Natalia Lafourcade for the beautiful and powerful song “Remamos,” which talks about a new beginning and leaving behind what has brought you down or hasn’t allowed you to be your true self.
Karol G, “Mientras Me Curo del Cora”
On her new album Mañana Sera Bonito, Karol G opens up about going through tough times in the opening track “Mientras Me Curo del Cora.” “Give me time/That I’m not at my best/But I improve little by little, yes/Today I’m down, but I know that tomorrow will be more beautiful,” she sings at the beginning. Backed by feel-good melodies, the Colombian artist reflects on the importance of being surrounded by positive and supportive people on her journey to healing.
Kendo Kaponi, “Resistencia”
Kaponi’s new song “Resistencia” takes listeners on a journey about his life in prison and the depression he suffered behind bars. “Court didn’t understand my position and they sentenced me to prison. Christmas in depression and segregation,” he raps.
In an emotive comeback track called “Eclipse,” KHEA belts lyrics about losing himself but yearning to find himself again. “Who is the one in the mirror?/Every time I look I see him further away/With more complexes since you left/Since that day I live in a bloody eclipse,” he passionately chants.
Logic, Juanes, Alessia Cara & Khalid, “1-800-273-8255”
Juanes joined Logic for the Spanish remix of his powerful track, for which the song’s title is the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “There are people in this world that are trying to get through difficult situations and most of them probably are alone — probably they don’t know what to do,” Juanes told Billboard. “Music is always going to be that way to connect with ourselves and the rest of the world, and just find some help through art because art is such a powerful weapon.
The Puerto Rican singer-songwriter and rapper released an introspective song with raw lyrics about depression and dark moments in his life. Writing the personal track was “therapeutic,” he previously told Billboard. “When I fall into depression, I tell my problems to the window of the plane. Stress has me sick, I haven’t slept in 10 years,” he sings.