20 Best Songs About Guilt

By Nico Gonzalez

Songs about guilt are some of the most powerful tracks out there. They can make you feel all the emotions, from sadness to anger, and everything in between. Here are 20 of the best songs about guilt, listed in no particular order.


Guilt Trip – Kanye West

This song is about Kanye’s guilt complex, regarding how he treated his ex-girlfriends. He sings about how he knows he’s made mistakes, and how those mistakes have caused him a lot of pain. Some fun facts about this song is that Kanye uses auto-tune, because he sang the song in one take. He wanted it to be raw and real, leaving little room for error.

Guilty Conscience – 070 Shake and Eminem

070 Shake - Guilty Conscience (Official Video)

This song is about the internal struggle between good and evil, and the guilt that comes with making the wrong decision. It’s a duet between 070 Shake and Eminem, and it’s one of the most popular songs from Eminem’s album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Many fun fact about this song is that it was the first song 070 Shake had ever rapped on, and she did so beautifully.

Guilt – Nero

This song is about the guilt and pressure Nero feels when he’s in a relationship with another man. He feels like the only way his partner would be attracted to him was if he had money, and that really bothered him. Some fun facts about this song is that it samples Shostakovich’s ‘No.15’, and that Nero dedicated it to his fans, who felt like he was abandoning dubstep.

Guilty Party – The National

The National - 'Guilty Party'

This song is about the guilt The National feel for not being able to save their friends from their addictions. They sing about how they’ve tried to help, but it’s never been enough. Some fun facts about this song are that Matt Berninger, the lead singer, actually wrote the song while his wife was in labor. He didn’t want to leave her side, but he also needed to get the song out.

Guilty Pleasure – Cobra Starship

Cobra Starship: Guilty Pleasure [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

This song is about the guilt Cobra Starship feel for enjoying their success, even though they know it’s wrong. They sing about how they’re addicted to the lifestyle, and how there’s no turning back. Some fun facts about this song are that it was featured in the movie Jennifer’s Body, and that it was written by Gabe Saporta, the lead singer of Cobra Starship.

Guilty – Marina & the Diamonds

Marina and the Diamonds- Guilty (HQ)

This song is about Marina’s guilt for being a successful artist, while her friends are struggling. She sings about how she’s never there for them, and how she’s always busy. Some fun facts about this song are that it was produced by David Guetta, and that it was featured in the movie The Fault in Our Stars. Its lyrics have also been used in the show Shameless, for a scene where one of the characters commits suicide.

Guilty All the Same (feat. Rakim) – Linkin Park

Guilty All The Same - Linkin Park (feat. Rakim) | The Hunting Party

This song is about Linkin Park’s guilt for making so many carbon copies of their previous songs. They sing about how they know they’re no longer unique, and that they can’t get away with this forever. Some fun facts about the song are that it was written by Chester Bennington, and it features a verse from Rakim, who is one of the most influential rappers in history.

Modern Guilt – Beck

This song is about Beck’s guilt for being a privileged white man, and not using his platform to help others. He sings about how he’s ashamed of himself, and how he wants to make things right. Some fun facts about this song are that it was produced by Danger Mouse, who is one of the most successful producers in the world, and that Beck wrote it in just 10 minutes.

Guilty Conscience – Tame Impala Remix – 070 Shake and Eminem

070 Shake, Tame Impala - Guilty Conscience (Tame Impala Remix)

This song is a remix of Guilty Conscience, and it features a verse from 070 Shake. She sings about the guilt she feels for not being able to help her friends, and how she’s always been there for them. Some fun facts about this song are that it was produced by The Alchemist, who is one of the most famous producers in the world, and that 070 Shake has said it’s one of her favorite songs to perform.

Guilty Filthy Soul – Awolnation

AWOLNATION- "Guilty Filthy Soul" (with lyrics)

This song is about the guilt Awolnation feels for being so successful, while others are struggling. They sing about how they know they’re lucky, and that they don’t deserve it. Some fun facts about this song are that it was featured in the movie Transformers: Age of Extinction, and that it was written by Aaron Bruno, the lead singer of Awolnation.

Survivor Guilt – Rise Against

Rise Against- Survivor Guilt

This song is about the survivor guilt that Rise Against feel, for being able to escape their depressing hometown while others were stuck there forever. They sing about how they used to be like them, and how they’re not anymore. Some fun facts about this song are that it was featured in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, and that it’s inspired by the true story of Tim McIlrath’s brother.

Guilty Cubicles – Broken Social Scene

Guilty Cubicles - Broken Social Scene

This song is about the guilt Broken Social Scene feel for living their lives without thinking about workers’ rights. They sing about how they can’t ignore it anymore, and how they need to start doing something about it. Some fun facts about this song are that its lyrics were inspired by a poster in Kevin Drew’s bathroom, and that the band who made the phone call in this song is actually Kevin Drew’s real-life daughter.

Guilty of Being White – Minor Threat

Minor Threat-Guilty of being white

This song is about the guilt Minor Threat feel for being white in a society that’s built on racism. They sing about how they’re ashamed of themselves, and how they want to do something to change it. Some fun facts about this song are that it was written by Ian MacKaye, who is the frontman of Minor Threat, and that it’s one of the most influential hardcore punk songs of all time.

The Gift of Guilt – Gojira

Gojira - The Gift Of Guilt (Live at Brixton Academy, London)

This song is about the guilt Gojira feel for not being able to save the world. They sing about how they’re always trying to do better, but they can’t seem to make a difference. Some fun facts about this song are that it was produced by Joe Duplantier, the lead singer and guitarist of Gojira, and that they chose to produce it in a way that would sound like the song is underwater.

Fire and Rain – James Taylor

James Taylor - Fire And Rain (BBC In Concert, 11/16/1970)

This is a classic song that has stood the test of time. It deals with the guilt that James Taylor has felt throughout his life, including his substance addiction, and his time committed to a mental health facility. He also sings about the death of a close friend, and the guilt he feels for not being present for her. He even sings of how wishes he could still see his friend’s face just one more time.

Guiltiness – Bob Marley & The Wailers

Guiltiness (1977) - Bob Marley & The Wailers

This song is about the guilt Bob Marley & The Wailers feel for being so successful, while some of their loved ones are struggling. They sing about how guilty they feel, and how they’re doing everything they can to help those loved ones succeed as well. Some fun facts about this song are that it was produced by Chris Blackwell, who is the founder of Island Records, and that it’s based on a true story.

The Guilty Party – While She Sleeps

While She Sleeps - THE GUILTY PARTY

This song is about the guilt While She Sleeps feel for not being able to keep their loved ones safe. They sing about how they’re always waiting for the phone to ring, but it never does. Some fun facts about this song are that it was produced by Carl Brown, who has worked with artists like Manic Street Preachers and Bring Me the Horizon, and that it’s one of the heaviest songs on their album.

American Guilt – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - American Guilt (Official Audio)

This song is about the guilt Unknown Mortal Orchestra feel for not being able to explain how they feel. They sing about how guilty they feel, and how they wish somebody could understand them. Some fun facts about this song are that it was produced by Ruban Nielson, who is the lead singer and guitarist of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and that it’s one of the most psychedelic songs on their album.

Guilty Cocker Spaniels – Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse - Guilty Cocker Spaniels

This song is about the guilt Modest Mouse feels for never being able to save the world. They sing about how they’re always trying to do better, but they can’t seem to make a difference. Some fun facts about this song are that it was produced by Isaac Brock, who is the frontman of Modest Mouse, and that it’s one of the most famous songs on their album.

The Everlasting Guilty Crown – Egoist

The Everlasting Guilty Crown

This song is about the guilt Egoist feels for not being able to save their friends. They sing about how guilty they feel, and how they’re too powerless to do anything to help them. Some fun facts about this song are that it was produced by Ryo of Supercell, who also created the soundtrack for the anime Guilty Crown, and that it’s one of the most emotional songs ever made.