From the Renaissance Era to our Digital Age, music has remained the method that expresses the language that we cannot. And contrary to what one might think, research has shown music can help heal the heart. Its sounds release dopamine and endorphins that \u201ccan induce happy moods and relieve pain\u201d \u2014 specifically for the mind. And contemporarily, one could argue that rapper Kid Cudi has become an ambassador for mental health awareness. The 38-year-old employed his lyrics and iconic hums to destigmatize being not okay is okay. But what if I were to say music has always carried this tune and has always been a vessel to discuss personal pains? Before we dive into the 21st century, we need to revisit the Romantic and Classical periods with another musical icon, Ludwig van Beethoven. The German classical pianist is considered one of the greatest and admired composers in the Western world. Not only did Beethoven create 722 works, including nine symphonies, 35 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets, but his body of work is still important today and has been sampled by notable artists like Nas (\u201cI Can\u201d), Billy Joel (\u201cThe Night\u201d) and The Beatles (\u201cBecause\u201d). Beethoven may have been the 18th century GOAT, but his talent didn\u2019t immune him from mental struggles that nearly took his life. Around his 28th birthday, Beethoven began to undergo severe depression after experiencing deafening hearing loss. He even wrote a confession to his friend Carl Friedrich Amenda about his internal pains stating, \u201cYour Beethoven is leading a very unhappy life. And is at variance with Nature and his Creator.\u201d However, it was when he turned 31 years old, nearing complete deafness, that he began to struggle with suicidal thoughts. In a letter meant for his brothers, Beethoven confessed feeling humiliated that \u201canyone besides me heard a flute in the far distance, while I heard nothing, or when others heard a shepherd singing, and I still heard nothing! Such things brought me to the verge of desperation, and well-nigh caused me to put an end to my life.\u201d But then he expressed it was, \u201cArt! art alone, deterred me.\u201d In fact, his famous ballet, "Ode to Joy," was about his triumphing over harmful thoughts, where he pleaded God, \u201cMelt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day!\u201d As Beethoven credits \u201cArt\u201d as his reasoning from a fatal decision, perhaps it\u2019s much deeper than that. Maybe the power of music isn\u2019t just about how it makes us feel, but what it encourages us to ultimately understand. (Credit: Kevin Mazur\/Getty Images for Nickelodeon) Kid Cudi, the Cleveland indie artist born Scott Mescudi, skyrocketed into the musical stratosphere with idiosyncratic style and futuristic sounds. Since 2009, he\u2019s recorded nine studio and collaborative albums, including the Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin,\u2019\u00a0KIDS SEE GHOSTS, and the Man on the Moon\u00a0trilogy. And to date, the Don\u2019t Look Up star has sold over 22 million records, with a Billboard reentry of Man on the Moon III thanks to the vinyl sales of dedicated fans. It\u2019s not only Cudi\u2019s music that makes him out of this world. It\u2019s his down-to-earth personality, emotional openness, and how lyrically he's destigmatizing \u201cseeking help\u201d in a way that attracts fans to not only acknowledge when they\u2019re \u201cnot okay\u201d but to, in their own words, stay alive. Last December on Twitter, the phrase \u201cKid Cudi Saved My Life\u201d trended after a 22-year-old fan shared her college graduation photo crediting Cudi, stating, \u201cI made it to the ceremony,\u201d a song from his third studio album WZRD. https:\/\/twitter.com\/nellsonthemoon\/status\/1470230476426199047 After Nells\u2019 homage to her late father went viral, fans on Twitter expressed anecdotal stories of how Cudi\u2019s music inspired them to stay alive, too. A week later, I reached out to Nells via Twitter and asked which songs guided her through \u201cthe dark times of life.\u201d She expressed that Man on the Moon II, specifically \u201cGhost!\u201d and \u201cMr. Rager\u201d saved her. \u201cIt gave me a constant reminder that everything I was going through, no matter how bad or depressed I was, everything would make sense eventually. "Mr. Rager" is also another, just the intro alone with Cudder saying it was \u201cdedicated to all the kids like me\u201d made me feel that no matter how alone I was, Cudi knew exactly what I was feeling, and I wasn\u2019t in this alone.\u201d https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vrCLBGY0huVE Another devoted fan on Twitter, Jennifer Lively, 30, expressed it was \u201cThe Pursuit of Happiness\u201d that \u201cspoke deeply to soul, and still to this day.\u201d When asked how Cudi helped her with mental struggles, Lively said: \u201cWhen I was a teen, I was involved in a lot of bad things. I was homeless, strung out on drugs, struggling with my mental health issues, the list goes on. I had always been searching for a song or movie or something to speak the words I couldn\u2019t. To express the way, I had always felt, and when I found "Pursuit of Happiness," I cried. It was a combination of happy and sad because I felt heard, I felt like I wasn\u2019t alone, I felt like I could finally show people how I\u2019ve always felt, and that song has always helped me in my darkest times. "Pursuit of Happiness" is the song that literally saved me and still continues to save me to this day.\u201d In 2014, on The Arsenio Hall Show, Kid Cudi explicitly expressed his opinions on hip-hop, along with his musical mission after his on-stage performance. \u201cI think the braggadocious money cash hoes thing needs to be deaded.\u201d He passionately continued stating two main objectives of his music: \u201cMy mission from day one is two things: to help kids not feel alone and stop kids from committing suicide.\u201d According to America\u2019s Health, a website that specializes in public health statistics, \u201cSuicide is the tenth-leading cause of death in the United States. It is the fourth-leading cause of death for adolescents ages 15\u201319 globally.\u201d And some leading risk factors are \u201cmental health issues, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and financial stress.\u201d However, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistician Sally Curtin, suicide still remains \u201cless predictable than other causes of death.\u201d After Hall asked Cudi, \u201cWhy those two things?\u201d he divulged his understanding the struggle with loneliness and having suicidal thoughts for years. \u201cI know how it feels. Loneliness is a terrible thing, and if you don\u2019t know how to conquer it, it can eat you alive.\u201d Cudi continued: \u201cAnd kids don\u2019t have music to coach them and give them guidance.\u201d https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v3y5WiiRuq50 Cudi revealed it\u2019s his job to be that navigator to convince the listener \u201cnot to check out.\u201d And that\u2019s the cool thing about his lyrics. We rap along to them at the party, or in the car, or alone on our beds, under the guise that we\u2019re simply rapping. However, what we\u2019re actually doing is professing our deepest secrets disguised as singing along. And like Beethoven, Cudi\u2019s talents do not exempt him from human suffering. Similar to Beethoven, Cudi posted a letter on Facebook in 2016 to express his internal battles. He wrote, \u201cYesterday I checked myself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges. I am not at peace. I haven\u2019t been since you\u2019ve known me.\u201d But then he continued, \u201cI deserve to have peace. I deserve to be happy and smiling. Why not me? I guess I give so much of myself to others I forgot that I need to show myself some love too. I think I never really knew how.\u201d In 2018, he discussed this moment with Red Table Talk hosts, and family trio, Adrienne Bandfield-Norris, Jada Pinkett and Willow Smith. He then shared he\u2019s been clean from drugs for two years and is feeling \u201cmore at peace.\u201d Before the show wrapped, one of the Red Table Talk staff members, Micah, came forth and showed Cudi his forearm tattoo, which was lyrics from \u201cGhosts!\u201d \u2014 \u201cI hope they understand that I really understand that they don\u2019t understand.\u201d Micah affirmed that Cudi\u2019s music got him through the darkest times of his life, stating, \u201cI tried not to care about people around me.\u201d And after losing his brother, cousin, and grandmother, Micah expressed, \u201cI started to get into a lot of trouble. After Man on the Moon II came out, it helped more than anything else could.\u201d In addition to fans, there\u2019s been a plethora of celebrities who\u2019ve shared the same sentiments. Most famously in 2016, on the radio show, The Breakfast Club, Saturday Night Live\u2019s Pete Davidson told the hosts, \u201cI truly believe that Kid Cudi saved my life. I would\u2019ve killed myself.\u201d He continued, \u201cI truly believe if Man on the Moon didn\u2019t come out, I wouldn\u2019t be here.\u201d And in 2018, rapper Logic expressed in conversation with Apple Music, that: \u201c inspired me to talk about anxiety or mental health or all these things. He was the dude that was like, \u2018It\u2019s okay to be sad, it\u2019s okay to talk about these things and go through these things.'\u201d Then in 2020, rapper Jaden Smith on Hot 97 stated: \u201cCudi would always say things that my life. Everybody says that Cudi saved their life.\u201d Similarly, in 2012, English actor Stephen Frye revealed on the Art of Change: Nothing\u2019s Concrete podcast that he\u2019s suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts, \u201cInside you just do not see the point of anything,\u201d he said. \u201cNothing has any meaning. Everything is just hopeless.\u201d Then later in the conversation, he divulged that Beethoven\u2019s music helped him with his mental health. \u201cOne of the ways I cope with it is to bathe myself in music like Beethoven.\u201d Fyre continued: \u201cBeethoven brings that color back to you quicker than almost anything else.\u201d But Frye mentioned something profound about individuals who\u2019ve mentally suffered but managed to push. \u201cAnd to think of people who have gone before me who have been lit by the flame of mania and doused by the icy water of depression.\u201d He continued, \u201cAnd lived those lives being close to the edge and managed to achieve things and to retain their love and hope. One clings to that.\u201d As Medical News Today explains, even though music is proven to help \u201cpeople feel good\u201d and \u201cinduce happy moods\u201d \u200a\u2014\u200a music is not a cure for our problems. It can only \u201cimprove an individual\u2019s mood and encourage connection and self-expression.\u201d (Credit: Will Heath\/NBC\/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) As a huge Kid Cudi fan, and admirer of Beethoven\u2019s work, I understand why fans would credit these men for saving their lives. However, I\u2019d argue another take, that the decision each fan makes to stay here saves their own lives. In 2009, I was a troubled 20-something with no ambitions other than drinking a lot. Heck, at the time, my proudest accomplishment was voting for Barack Obama. I questioned life like Stephen Frye, I struggled with sobriety like Kid Cudi, I fought my inner demons like Beethoven, but ultimately, as Cudi sang in \u201cKing Wizard,\u201d \u201cLiving life is a choice.\u201d And that affirmative decision is why we\u2019re blessed with Beethoven\u2019s legendary symphonies which inspired Frye to \u201ccolor again.\u201d And why we can enjoy Kid Cudi\u2019s musical innovations, while exploring our mental and emotional well-being. No matter if we\u2019re an 18th century composer, celebrity icon or another person walking the streets\u200a. We are inevitably inner-connected beyond our comprehension, because we all play a part. And maybe it\u2019s not only music that inspires culture. Perhaps it\u2019s our staying alive that changes the world. We reached out to Kid Cudi for comment, but he was unable to participate in an interview.