I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at with questions or ideas!

What does "My Stress" by NF mean?

What does "My Stress" by NF mean?

“My Stress” Lyrics Meaning

In “My Stress,” NF grapples with his feelings about his musical career as it’s become a source of anxiety for him, and questions its impact on his mental health.

“My inner critic talks, I’m just hopin’ that God helps me” 

As always, while this analysis will use “NF is dealing with...” or “NF thinks...” statements, these are only to explain what he is expressing in the lyrics. While NF is an artist who is largely autobiographical in his songs, it doesn’t mean that everything stated in his songs are or aren’t about him. NF is a phenomenal emotional storyteller, and while those stories are often true, unless he says so, we can’t be sure what elements are about his life. Either way, these lyrics are very raw and personal in nature and tell an intense and moving story. 


Some days, I just wanna leave the negativity in my head

I just want relief from my stress

I just want relief from my stress

Some days, I don't want to see ya

Have a bunch of people to impress

I just want relief from my stress

Yeah, I just want relief from my stress

The pressure of having fame and so many people waiting for the next song weighs on him, and while he loves his fans, the stress is crushing.

Verse 1

Late nights, starin' out the window doin' 85

Got my state of mind

Yeah, walkin' on that grey line

Hopin' that my stress dies

It's like I hate it but I love it at the same time

Pressure pushin' me from all sides

Insecurities of all kinds

Yeah, I'm a hostage to my own pride

Most important things in life to me are things I know I can't buy

Yeah, it's me in phases

I'm not in the mood, yeah, to meet another stranger

I'm not in the mood, yeah, to have a conversation

And talk about a bunch of things that I don't feel amazed with

Gettin' too close to me, whoa

Could be dangerous

I don't like the energy, I leave the situation

All this negativity, yeah, I can't get away from

All this negativity, I think I need a break from

I'm thankful but

Even though he hates the stress in his life, there are still aspects he finds attractive about it. (Most likely, the stress motivates him to improve his music, but also damages him in the process.) Fighting his mixed feelings, he focuses on why he wants relief from that stress. Above all, he points out the isolating effect it has on him, as he warns those around him not to grow too close to him.

Verse 2

Yo, this life got my head spinnin'

Wonder what I'd do if I knew these were my last minutes

Wonder if I had a week to live, would I stay trippin'?

Wastin' every day that I had left tryna sell tickets

Or maybe call my dad, say I love him and laugh with him

Take a couple days and get away from this fast livin'

I don't love my work the way I did

Man, this whole business has got me feelin' jaded

Friends that I had, now they act different

It's all switchin', whoa

Yeah, it's pretty hard to watch things you used to love

Turn to things you wish you forgot

Real moments that make you question the things that you want

Got me growin' mentally, but stressin' me out 'til I drop over the top

Swear I live on a daily basis

I always find a way to find the bad in good situations

It's sad, huh?

Yeah, I live my life on the edge, don't want the meds

I'm just tryna get relief from my stress, you know

NF values his loved ones over his career, and feels that his actions may not always reflect that well. Though he is still passionate about his music, he doesn’t get the same joy from it that he used to out of it (this is not why he values people over it). Seeing something he’s loved so much become something that brings him stress has caused him to question whether he still wants it. 


These stress levels are not healthy

I'm waitin' for that call sayin' records are not sellin'

I wonder when this all disappears and they forget me

Will I feel like I found who I was or be more empty

I wonder was I was wrong thinkin' this is where God led me

Or did I get involved in somethin' that was too heavy?

I drive until I'm lost and just sit in my car yellin'

My inner critic talks, I'm just hopin' that God helps me

Just stop stressin'


Looking to a hypothetical future, he wonders if his mental state will be better or worse if he lost the success he’s found in the music industry. The answer to that question for him, depends on whether “this is where God led [him]” or if he got “involved in somethin’ that was too heavy.” Feeling lost, he reaches out to God, hoping that He will help him silence the self-questioning that’s causing his stress.

Deeper Meaning of “My Stress” by NF

“My Stress” deals with the struggle of getting relief from stress when stress is also used as a motivation to achieve more. NF’s honesty can inspire those of us who use pressure to accomplish more to identify those tendencies and replace them to prevent the stress from changing our passions into causes of anxiety.

What does "Change" by NF mean?

What does "Change" by NF mean?

What does "Trauma" by NF mean?

What does "Trauma" by NF mean?