ROSIE Explores the Nuances of Mental Health in “Sad Sad Sad”


Photos: Kate Ruthenbeck

According to the US Census Bureau, reported by in December of last year, more than 42% of people surveyed reported struggling from symptoms of depression and anxiety. A harrowing 11% increase from the previous year, speculated to be largely influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts say that these types of major events which shake society as a whole leave a lasting impression that is likely not to decline for several years. 

Therefore, now more than ever, it is of paramount importance to address these issues head-on, yet still, Mental Health America reports that only 27.3% of youth and 23.6% of adults receive consistent mental health treatment, a percentage that has not decreased since 2011. Still, as most who consider themselves in this 42% will tell you, treatment alone is not a catch-all solution. In order to undo these haunting binds, the work must start from within, beginning with recognition and acceptance.  

Following the success of her viral hit "Never the 1" and the John K-assisted "ilym," here to give her two cents on her own struggle with mental health is 21-year-old singer-songwriter ROSIE and her most recent single "Sad Sad Sad." ROSIE stands as an artist who has dedicated her platform to sharing herself with the world entirely unfiltered, so bearing her own experience with depression is a fitting next step for this wise-beyond-her-years creative. 

"'Sad Sad Sad' is about coming to the realization that despite all efforts to overcome my mental health struggles, I first had to learn to embrace and accept my pain. I had the honor of writing this song with two of my favorite musicians, Matteo Scher and Florio. With their support, I was able to really deep dive into the emotion and depth of this song. Given the state of the world, we are all sad or grieving something or someone, so I hope this song brings a sense of unity and togetherness during these uncertain times," shares ROSIE. 


ROSIE sets the stage with the opening line "Too many restless nights my body's shaking / My head hurts got a stomach ache / Too many sleepless nights and I'm impatient / Like a war inside my mind / I'm anxious all the time" over a stripped electric guitar line, highlighting her gorgeously unique vocal tone. In the chorus and subsequent verses, the stripped-back instrumental flowers into producer, Andrew Well's, expansive yet minimalistic production, allowing for a tangible feeling of hope amid a painfully honest message. Repeated lyrics in the hook like "20 milligrams of happiness, but when I do the math, it doesn't add up" and phrases such as "My friends are talking and I'm barely listening / They call me selfless but I'm self-obsessed" showcase her idiosyncratic lyrical sense and undeniably profound songwriting ability.  

Accompanied with a music video set in three contrasting natural environments, a barren desert, lush forest, and a tranquil seashore, the video perhaps symbolizes that depression doesn't always look the same and is as fluid as these very different settings. 

Together with its visual companion, "Sad Sad Sad" acts as a helping hand to those who have experienced the feelings that ROSIE articulates so eloquently, in hopes that together we can learn to accept our own journey to happiness, knowing that each stumble along the way is part of the process, a journey that though extraordinarily difficult, is still remarkably beautiful. 

Check out the music video for "Sad Sad Sad" below!