Its “I don’t wanna be alive” refrain may have become a jokey TikTok trend, but Logic’s anti-suicide anthem “1-800-273-8255” really did save lives. A new study from the BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical trade journal from the British Medical Association, ties performances of the song to a decrease in suicide rates among teenagers.
In the days after Logic performed the song — which takes its name from the number of the US National Suicide Prevention Hotline — at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2017, the organization said calls to the lifeline increased by 50%. In addition to this, the BMJ studied suicide rates around this time frame, as well as around the song’s April 2017 release, and around a 2018 performance of the song at the Grammy Awards. In doing so, they found a 5.5% reduction in suicide rates among 10-19 year olds; 245 less suicides occurred during these times than what is normally expected.
“To know that my music was actually affecting people’s lives, truly, that’s what inspired me to make the song,” Logic told CNN. “We did it from a really warm place in our hearts to try to help people. And the fact that it actually did, that blows my mind.”
With guest vocals from Alessia Cara and Khalid, “1-800-273-8255” sees the singers push through a bout of depression until they no longer wish to die. “Pain don’t hurt the same, I know/ The lane I travel feels alone,” Khalid offers, but the trio promises audiences that better days are coming. “You don’t gotta die, now let me tell you why,” Logic sings. “It’s the lightness in the air when you’re there chest to chest with a lover,” Cara suggests. “It’s holding on, though the road’s long, seeing light in the darkest things.”
Revisit “1-800-273-8255” below, and check out Alessia Cara’s tips on managing insomnia and anxiety here.