Study: Hit Song Saved Lives From Suicide

Logic’s song “1-800-273-8255” was associated with a large increase in calls to Lifeline. A reduction in suicides was observed in the periods with the most social media discourse about the song.​

Song’s Papageno Effect Credited With Decrease in Suicides

A song by hip-hop artist Logic, “1-800-273-8255,” is being credited for saving hundreds of lives by a new study published in The BMJ, a medical journal. The study, which looked at suicide data and calls to the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, found performances of the song, whose title is the number to the lifeline, led to an increase in calls to the hotline and a decrease in suicides.

When Logic first sang “1-800-273-8255″ on MTV’s Video Music Awards in 2017, calls to the number jumped 50% after the performance, CNN reported. The study found that in addition to that jump, there was a 5.5% reduction in suicides, which equates to 245 lives potentially saved.

During a trip where he stopped at fans homes while traveling by bus, Logic wrote the song after some fans told him, “Your music has saved my life,” The Washington Post reported.

The study argues the reason for the decrease in suicides is the Papageno effect, where the media broadcasts positive messages about people who have coped with suicidal crises without dying. This is the opposite of the Werther effect, where reporting on suicide deaths, especially among celebrities, is associated with an increase in suicides.

“1-800-273-8255″ made it to No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 albums chart and became the highest-charting phone number song in Billboard’s chart history, beating Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

Hip Hop Song Helped Prevent Suicides