2019 / May

Everybody Hurts


Photo by Jonathan Rados on Unsplash

This REM hit from their 1992 Automatic for the People album is perhaps one of the best know REM songs. Written by their then drummer, Bill Berry, Everybody Hurts is an anti-suicide anthem which delves into the loneliness that many people often feel.

Berry describes the mindset of someone who is hopeless and tired; “When your day is long, and the night, the night is yours alone. When you’re sure you’ve had enough, of this life …”. His exploration details the depth of the despair; “When your day is night alone, if you feel like letting go. If you think you’ve had too much, of this life …” The experience is endless, days and nights merge in to a never ending, tiresome experience from which the person wants release.

But there is hope. Even in this pit of despair, there is hope. So, what does the song suggest? How do we grasp hope when everything is so bleak?

“Well hang on. Don’t let yourself go.” Even when things are at their darkest, we need to make the decision to be courageous and hang on in there. To choose not to be overcome. This is a really hard message. But there is something tangible we can hang on to even when it seems, “Sometimes everything is wrong”.

“’Cause everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes.” Feelings of despair are never unique to you. All of us feel despair to a greater or lesser extent at one time or another throughout our lives. We may feel like we are alone in this experience, but we’re not. Our darkest experiences and thoughts will have been experienced by others too. You are not alone, regardless of how many friends you may or may not have, you are not alone.

So, take encouragement from REM. Whether what you are experiencing this week is suicidal thoughts, or a more situational and passing concerns causing you anxiety, our feelings are also shared and common to other people too. You are not alone.

Do you feel you are different to other people? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood of Realign Coaching via Keia.


Exploring and co-creating #wellbeing4all and community theology with individuals, businesses and communities. For the many, not the few.