You Wish You Would’ve Known: An Album About Mental Health

BLÜ EYES’s newest album, “healing hurts,” inspires people with mental illnesses to fight through their struggles. I am one of them.


Official cover art for “healing hurts.”

Sarah Kueking, Managing Editor

Young artists making music about mental health is becoming more and more common. Emerging artist BLÜ EYES is no exception. In her newest album, “healing hurts,” released Nov. 11, she sings about mental illness in ways that even people who do not have mental health issues can relate to. 

With so many young people suffering from mental illness and wanting to speak out about it, “healing hurts” is exactly what our world needs. As someone who has been struggling with mental illness my entire life, “healing hurts” is refreshing and cathartic to listen to.

I’ve been listening to the first track of the album, “you’d never know,” on repeat since its release in Sept. 2022. I rated the acoustic version of this song the No. 1 song of 2022 in my “The Best of the Best: Top 22 Songs of 2022” article. 

This track is great to kick off the album because, by singing about depression, BLÜ EYES establishes a common ground between herself and her audience right out of the gates. Being in a post-pandemic makes lyrics such as, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so lonely/Didn’t know if I would make it out” relatable even to listeners who don’t have a mental illness. Musically speaking, the song encapsulates its overall message by starting off slow and building up to a faster pace only to quickly return to its original tempo, mimicking the chaos of a panic attack so accurately that listening over and over is absolutely addicting. BLÜ EYES’s raw, hypnotic vocals make me want to listen to the song even more often.

The second song, “never got better,” continues the story introduced in “you’d never know.” In this track, BLÜ EYES sings about setbacks preventing her from fully recovering from what was ailing her in the first song. The quick tempo of the song fits well with the racing thoughts and panic that go with psychological setbacks. 

The lyrics that hit me especially hard were, “Every time that I remember/It’s like I never got better at all.” From my own experience with mental illness, I know being reminded of past issues can really set certain people back. People often want explanations for what a person might have done or said while struggling with their mental health, but moving on is just as important as getting answers. 

I applaud BLÜ EYES for putting that message out there for everyone to hear. I also love the paradox of this track; it sounds upbeat with a catchy melody and cheerful vocals, yet the lyrics are detrimental. I appreciate how BLÜ EYES uses “never got better” to encourage optimism among her audience.

Stepping away from the theme of mental illness, “wish we never happened” is a classic breakup ballad. Although this song has a catchy beat, and I like it, it doesn’t fit on this album. All five other songs fit under the umbrella of mental illness, while this song simply seems to be about a bad relationship without any direct relation to the theme of the other tracks. 

Getting back on course, “my body hates me,” as the title suggests, is about low self-esteem regarding one’s appearance. I love how BLÜ EYES personifies her own body: “God, I miss being friends/Now we just live together, nothin’ more than that/I kinda hate my body and she hates me back.” 

I appreciate the idea that your body is a person, and you should treat it like one; it skillfully inverts the low self-esteem that seems to be at the surface of the song. Other than the message of the song, I love the simple instrumentation, especially the guitar strumming throughout the entirety of the track. 

Nearing the end of the album, “rest in peace” says goodbye to a younger, more confident version of BLÜ EYES that she feels she will never get back. The title of the song encompasses the sadness of the realization that, as you’ve gotten older, you’ve changed for the worse. The track is catchy because of the beat and instrumentation, but the overall idea of the song is a bit warped to me. I understand it’s important to acknowledge that you change throughout your life, but “rest in peace” seems too eager to embrace hopelessness by refusing to go back to positive tendencies you abandoned in the past.

My personal favorite song out of the five I hadn’t heard before was definitely the titular track, “healing hurts,” which closes out the album. Every note bleeding with honesty, BLÜ EYES sings, “A full-time job isn’t this much work/I know that I’ll survive but/Healing fucking hurts sometimes.” The slow pace of the music and the somber instrumentation perfectly match the message of the song. I love this track because it really puts into perspective how difficult it can be to recover from a mental illness or any other tragic, life-changing event, such as a death in the family. 

In “healing hurts” as an album, BLÜ EYES tries to pack a lot of meaning into just six songs. However, one of those songs is out of place, while another lacks the depth the other four accomplish. I would recommend the album for a quick listen when you’re on the train, out for a walk or, most of all, when you want to know you’re not alone in your anxiety or other mental health struggles you might be facing.

I would rate this album a four out of five stars. If the album is too upbeat or energetic for you, try the acoustic version of the album. All the heart and soul of the regular album is stripped down into simpler instrumentation that puts more focus on the overall message and the vocals.

You can listen to the original album “healing hurts” on YouTube here or the acoustic here. You can also listen to it on streaming sites such as Spotify (original or acoustic), Apple Music (original or acoustic), or Amazon Music (original or acoustic).