Q&A – Should I Be Worried if My Friend is Emo?


    Recently I’ve noticed that my friend has gotten into a thing called “Emo.” You’ve probably have heard about it, but if not, in my view it’s extremely satanic. She doesn’t cut her wrists or anything like that, but it’s the way she dresses and who she talks to that I’m concerned about! I know its not my job to tell her what to do, but I want to try to help. She says that she doesn’t do any  “satanic” things, but isn’t just saying that you’re “Emo” basically like doing all of those things?


    Many young people who immerse themselves into the “Emo” lifestyle do so because they’re struggling with negative emotions and don’t know how to resolve the underlying problems. They often feel neglected by mainstream society and are drawn to this culture because they feel accepted and understood by others who are involved. This culture openly embraces depression and despair and followers report that they’ve finally found other people who know exactly what they’re going through. What these young people don’t know is that there is someone even greater that can heal them from whatever it is that’s going on in their lives. GOD.

    You have a right to be concerned about your friend because the “Emo” lifestyle can be harmful. I don’t believe in “accidents” so there’s a reason that the two of you are friends. God strategically places people into the lives of others and your current assignment may be to bring her closer to God. I encourage you to use this as an opportunity to witness to your friend. God has placed you in her life for a reason and I’m confident that you’ll continue to tell her about the goodness of our God. Even if your friend knows about God, once her relationship with God grows, she’ll see that the Emo lifestyle can be destructive and is not something God approves for us. I know that God disapproves of this lifestyle because the Bible tells us this:

    Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

    A culture that embraces depression and despair and even sometimes self-harm and death is NOT focused on things that are lovely, pure, noble, admirable or praiseworthy.

    I’m glad that your friend has you in her life. Continue to witness to her and offer her encouragement. Pray for her and if she’s open to it, pray with her. Encourage her to get help from a trusted adult about issues that are going on in her life. If she is harming herself in any way, including cutting herself, using drugs or having reckless sex, please, please tell an adult. Although she may be mad at first, she’ll thank you later.

    I truly hope this helps.

    Does anyone else have any advice?

    Written by Aysha Ives

    Aysha Ives
    Aysha Ives loves God with her whole heart and has a desire to help hurting people. With a Masters Degree in Psychology, she combines her education and experience with her love for God to help people live whole and fulfilled lives. Aysha is an Author, Mental Health Provider, Youth Church Teacher, and the mother of one gifted little boy whom she absolutely adores. Aysha is honored to be able to share her love of God with Project Inspired readers. Aysha is also the author of God Cares About Your Stuff: How To Believe For Tomorrow When Things Look Utterly, Completely, And Totally Impossible Today, released February 2013- Available at Amazon.


    1. Sometimes, kids just want to be “emo” because they think its “cool” or they “like it”. with some people, it can be completely harmless, you just have to watch her and see if shes one of those or if shes emo for deeper reasons. although i do agree, anything that embraces depression and the things that come with being emo cant be good for anyone, and no matter what she thinks she feels about it, it is never truly “harmless” to anyone

    2. Talking about depression with other people who are depressed isn’t going to help you get out of your rut. You should go and talk to someone who you know will try to help you and pray with you and for you because just talking with another depressed person isn’t going to change your mindset and you will get even more depressed. I am not good at explaining things, but I hope this helps you. 🙂 God bless you.

    3. okay, first off, “emo” isn’t satanic… it’s a style of dress+make up. it has NOTHING to do with devil worship or whatever. if she was into paganism, then you would have a problem. it’s not a fair assumption so say it’s evil b\c you don’t understand it. i am not sticking up for the style*even though i used to dress that way* Im a country girl, but thats beside the point. if you see signs of cutting\self harm, tell someone but don’t do it just b\c you think but have no proof. many friends of mine *and me at one point* cut, so i understand this, but if you find out she is, don’t yell at her, be there for her. don’t ry to cram anything down her throat, just BE THERE FOR HER. i don’t really know what else to say about it, but keep an open mind with her. love her, and help her. but don’t go about it in a “holier than tho” approach. i am a strong christian, and a lot of the time cutting is an escape. you can be a very strong christian, but be hurting. so, like i said, just be there for her and show her you love her. AND PRAY LIKE CRAZY!!!! 🙂

      • maybe not Satanic, but Emo-ism originated from depressed people who usually looked to drugs, self-harm, and other ways to relieve their pain (EMOtional). those things are from Satan, and like Aysha said: a people who embrace depression and self-harm cannot be from God either. sometimes things do evolve from what they started out as, but Satan can still use them without them knowing because thats how they originated.
        but you’re right, always be there for her and pray for her, its all we can do

    4. I wanted to put my two cents in. I really feel like there needs to be some more elaboration on the subject. Emo used to just refer to the confessional (and often melancholy) music style. Now it’s pretty much a stereotype. I went through my “emo mentality stage”, but I’ve grown a little since then. I still love the aesthetic style of the clothing, though. Trust me, just because someone calls themself “emo” doesn’t mean they are satanic, or even depressed. It’s just a stereotype for the alternative music, clothing, and general angsty defiant attitude of some (not all!) of the people who embrace it. I reassure you emo culture doesn’t specifically endorse satanism. There might be some underground satanic bands but nothing that comes straight to mind. Pretty much every genre of music has a couple satanic bands, though. Some emos DON’T cut, just like some non-emos DO cut. I never cut myself. I agree with you that lots of the alternative scenes aren’t largely Christian, but there are a few of us love the Lord just as much as you guys do! <3

    5. But also don’t jump to conclusions, I am catorigized as “emo” cause of the way im dressed, the music i listen to, and just my overall style but I am dedicated to Christ and Jesus has my heart, it could just be the style your friend is into, im into that style and I am the farthest thing from a satanist. But just in case just pray for her and be there for her because if she really is “emo” all she really needs to know is that someone is there for her and will stick with her no matter what.

    6. “Emo” does not mean satanic and usually doesn’t mean a self-harmer either. It’s a style of dress and music. Sometimes, it’s not even people who have embraced depression. That is dependent on the person. Skater boys can do it, country girls can too. Yes, it’s dark and kinda scary, but maybe they just don’t like bright colors and the latest Katy Perry single but black and the newest Flyleaf song. It’s really stereotyped, in my opinion. And might I point out, there is a difference between scene and emo. Scene is a little brighter and outgoing. Like bright green pants outgoing.
      Of course, if you are seeing signs that your friend is harming herself and worshiping Satan, help! Introduce her to God. Introduce her even if she isn’t! But, really, it’s a way to fid what she likes, maybe it’s not what you’re used to, but she might be into it.

    7. Thank you for this article! I think it’s so great that Ayesha stands up for things that many Christians would be scared to stand up for since many people get argumentive over subjects like this. You’re speaking up for God and I know that’s great! God bless you! 🙂 Jesus loves you!

    8. In my town, some kids dress as an emo person nd listens to the music cuz they think it’s cool, some of them really don’t know that emo is the short version of “Emotional” nd real emo people don’t wanna be that way, they just are, nd hopefully God will give me the chance to preach to one of them one day nd bring them to God, I really hope that happens! But other than that, there are not emo but kinda similar to it Christian music nd artists, like flyleaf nd skillet, they mightve came from the emo setting but now have Jesus in their hearts at least that’s what I think 🙂

      • even some people who are close to God fall to depression. I personally have delt with depression and cutting and it started with situations where i felt God didnt care about me. Things that happened in my life that seemed like God had given up on me. BUT im over most of it, even tho it is a long process, but i still dress with an emo style. Emo has nothing to do with satan, its simply another “category” of people just like there is surfer, preppy, jock, geek…stuff like that. Its a group that has similar tastes in music and style. I don’t think she has anything to worry about her friend.

    9. Emo isnt satanic sure some satinists may be emo but emo which is short for emotional which everyone is at one point but this term more refers to music. i am catorgorized as goth/scene/emo and i absolutely adore god. i personally find the question asked to be quite ignorent-no offense most people are like you. as a matter of fact i was told by my youth group i didnt belong to the church i was previously attending because of the way i dressed and the music i listened too and that i could never be a good christian. the sadist part about this i was one of the only ones in my youth group that stood up for god on a regular basis. i was there everytime the church doors were open. it makes me sad to know that christians think and act this way and to be honest most other people who dress like i do are agnostic(believe in a higher power but do not accept the though of religion)but it gives me more people to whitness too. this kind of close midedness is what drives people away from chritianity away when christians say ” you cant love god if you believe or look like that”. people like me are pushed away because we are different and we dont like when assumption are made about us because of what we look like or what we listen too, theres actually quite a bit of christian metal but most ‘normal christians’ dont accept or understand it. we are told we cant be christian so most of us leave christianity alone. i was christian before i picked up the goth style and i was strong enough in my faith to not be chased away by overly critical christians. this has created a widespread idea that no one with emo look is a christian. hopefullly this has changed your veiw point and sorry for my rambling and bad grammer, i just feel very strongly about this subject since i have been prosecuted by my fellow christians with similar thoughts.

    10. Emo can also be a music genre. Some people who listen to emo music can be classisied as emo without having depression or commiting self harm. Also people who ARE emo are not in any way considered satanic. They have emotional issues and they don’t have a constructive way of dealing with them. That has nothing to do with practicing satanism. Please get your facts straight before filling young people’s head with nonsense.

    11. The “emo” culture does not embrace cutting yourself, they just don’t pass judgment. Your friend could be in a bad place or maybe she just likes that style. There’s nothing wrong with that culture. I am a part of that culture and I’m still strong in my Christian faith. Just because it isn’t mainstream doesn’t mean God doesn’t accept it. Mainstream society can also be very destructive. Anything can be. We need to remember that Jesus hung out with the lepers and his disciples were people that the mainstream society saw as lowly. Matthew 7: 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

      3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    12. i have a question!!!
      okay so i have a friend and she goes through abuse. physical from dad, and verbal from mom. parents are split and her big brother made her smoke meth once. so there are some big family problems going on. what is the biblical way for me to help her? i made her tell her counselor before. the counselor talker to her parents and the abuse just got worse.

    13. If your friend is like this you shuld try talking to them about why their depressed. If she looks up to you, you should give her some verses to look up and encourage her. I just found out my friend is turning emo, and even worse, cutting herself. So i try to give her verses about self harm and things like that.

    14. I feel like I should get this out there. I’m considered to be kind of emo, because of the music I listen to, the way I dress, the makeup I wear (as my friends would say, my hair is probably the only part of me that isn’t “emo”). Stuff like that. But I’m definitely NOT a Satanist. Yeah, I am pretty emotional, and that’s part of why I’m considered emo, but I’m definitely not emotional enough to be depressed. Most of the time I’m a fairly outgoing. I don’t cut myself or anything like that. I’m a born again believer and I love Jesus. So yeah, people call me emo and I don’t deny it. I don’t think that just because I’m a Christian, I need to fit in with all my other Christian friends. I think it’s cool to stand out.

    15. When it comes down to it, “emo” is just another way of dressing. Me? I dress in styles called “classic lolita” and “sweet lolita” which many people would find rather bizarre, but I still act like a normal person for the most part. “Emo” has the aesthetic of dark colors, dark jeans, chains, spikes, etc. “Classic lolita” has the aesthetic of a Victorian lady, flowers, lace, and class and “sweet”, well, the name speaks for itself — bright colors and frills and bows. And from what I know right now, mainstream aesthetic is tight graphic tees, blue denim, Converse, etc. See? Just different aesthetics. Clothes don’t define people (most of the time — extremely revealing clothes can usually say a lot about a person’s behavior). Anybody of any aesthetic can be involved with self-injury and poor behavior. For example, I know there’s people in the lolita aesthetic who can be extremely mean and catty, but most of them are generally sweet. I know that there are mainstream people who embrace things that are absolutely ungodly. I have an emo friend, though. And while she does dress dark, she absolutely one of the brightest and silliest girls I know.

      So yeah, think before you judge based on clothing and aesthetics. There are lovely people in almost every subculture, and followers of Christ in every style. 🙂

    16. My friend Kari (although I did not notice when I first met her) was emo. Since then I’ve brought her to church and God, and she’s gotten out of that, however every now and then she slips back for a day or two because she suffers from depression and she’s bi-polar. But her and I do like the style of emo, but only the hair, clothes, and make-up side of it. Is this a problem too? I would really like you’re input on it.

    17. Be careful about what you deem “Satanic”.
      Emo culture can be divided into categories of either the lifestyle or the outward appearance/fashion- even so called “preps” across the US have adopted the emo hairstyle.
      Satanism/satanic activity is a very serious thing. It is not defined by the way a person dresses, the color they dye their hair, or even in some cases the music they listen to.
      Satanism is about the soul. You might be surprised if you met some people who actually do profess to participate in Satanic activities- THAT is truly scary- remember, Satan is smart- his main tactic is to keep people from believing he even exists.
      It is more cunning for him to “come in the form of sheeps clothing” rather than “the form of a wolfs clothing”.

    18. This bugs me. Emo does not equal satanic, and it’s sad that anyone would think that. Some people become a part of emo culture because they have a thing for long hair and eye liner, or maybe for dressing and/or doing their hair and make up in a fun way, one that makes them stand out. Others because they’re really into loud, passionate music with lots of guitar. Others because the are hurting and they see emo culture as a place where their pain will be acknowledged and even accept it. Some become a part of it as a way to rebel. My reasoning was a combination of all of the above, and though I’m not proud of that, I’m proud of the results. Once I became “emo” I started to drift away from the fall-out-boy-cutting-club. I didn’t like the angsty, dirty lyrics and found all the suffering even more depressing. Then I found Paramore, Relient K, and a few other Christian bands in the “emo” category. From there I found Skillet and Flyleaf, and from there hope and eventually salvation. I know god works in all things, good or bad, but how can a culture that includes Flyleaf and the like be satanic? My advice is to introduce your friend to Christian/emo culture and music, with hold judgement, and keep her in your prayers

    19. In my experience, trying to witness to my emo friend did nothing but make her angry – so far she hasn’t been alienated to the idea of religion, she’s just to stubborn and angry to realize maybe Christianity could be the real deal. She grew up Christian though, so I wonder if it’s just another rebellion thing. Either way, I don’t think shoving Jesus down an “emo”‘s throat is always the right thing to do. But that’s my opinion.

    20. The important thing is to evaluate whether or not your friend is embracing the emo “style” or the emo “lifestyle”. If your friend is simply adopting the style, there is not as much to worry about. As long as your friend still makes wise choices in what they expose themselves to, then their personal style (e.g. clothes, hair, music choice, and othe rthings that are stereotypically considered “emo”) is their own perogative. However, the emo “lifestyle” is often fraught with harmful choices– I would know, that’s what I used to be like. Certain music and social choices can push you further into an emotional state of despair or isolation– which is common with “emo” music and culture. Self harm is also sometimes encouraged or idolized by people who subscribe to these ideals, which is a very dangerous path to go down (spoken from my own personal experience). If this is indeed where your friend is at, I would say that an intervention may be needed. Continue to minister to your friend through your relationship with them, but inform a trusted adult (e.g. a pastor or counselor) if you believe that your friend may be making or exhibiting life-threatening behaviors. And, as always, continue to pray not only for your friend, but for God’s wisdom and guidance as you trek through this patch of you friendship. Remember, God sees into what we cannot– including you friend’s heart.

    21. i think people should dress the way they like as long as it doesn’t offend anyone else. i like to dress in lots of ways sometimes I’m preppy pink or sometimes I’m scene i like to mix it up; id be offended if someone told me not to wear what i like so as long as she isn’t hurting no one or herself i say let her be its nice you care bout her though :))))

    22. It depends on how she is doing it. Emo is typically just a way of dress, but it has other associates (cutting, depression, etc.). There are many Christians who dress “emo” and they use it as a way of ministry while dressing how they like. However, if she is depressed, or needs ministering to, that’s when it becomes bad. If it’s a style, I wouldn’t worry. If it becomes part of her lifestyle, definitely help her out of it.

    23. I don’t like the depressed, manic, sad side of emo, or the title. But I do like edgier clothes (I don’t mean the heavy make up, or some of the more inappropriate items) like black jeans and some specific band tees. And some music from that same genre does actually aim to say “Hey, I overcame my problems and came out stronger” But if you aren’t careful and practice judgment it can all get waaaaaaaay out of hand. This is something I’ve noticed in a couple of my friends, I’ve also noticed when people are just trying to be cool they realize how stupid the whole thing is and end up changing before they get way into it. I think its important to realize for the most part its a phase and a trend, not satanic or even particularly destructive. Cutting however is not nessicarily an emo thing, its just bad, and sad frankly, and something should always be done about that.

    24. I have to add that depression and despair can be so controlling, and that it really helps to know that your friends are their for you. While I never started dressing emo or acting emo around my friends, I went through a really hard time where I hated myself, I hated my life, I hated God. Nothing mattered to me anymore, and I was pretty much “Emo” even if I wasn’t really “Emo”. Did that make any sense? Just let her know that you are there for her and that GOD IS TOO. Honestly, I felt like God didn’t care about me anymore, so I quit caring about Him. Encourage her, pray for her, be there for her. I cannot stress this more.

    25. ya…. i have a friend who’s hardcore “emo” and she cuts herself……. but when i talked to her about it she said it “doesn’t even hurt, and she didn’t even bleed”…. she wears a bunch of black and “bloody/gory clothes”, and listens to violent music…. what really concerns me is that she’s REALLY young……… she’s 12……

    26. Lots of people have already basically expressed this. There is nothing wrong with the Emo style. My favorite color is black, I listen to heavy metal CHRISTIAN music, and I’m a big fan of the style. I don’t do anything wrong like cutting myself, and I wouldn’t consider myself depressed. I actually have quite a peppy and bubbly personality! So I wouldn’t say it’s satanic or anything, though some people who are Emo might be like that. Just like some people who are considered normal could actually do rather satanic things. Anyways, for those who are looking for some good Christian music, might I recommend these? Hip-hop: Group 1 Crew. Rock: Skillet. Metal: Red. Hope I’ve expressed myself correctly without confusing anyone… I’m not the best at explaining things :/

    27. i have an emo friend, and she is nice. im not saying i want to be emo. she doesn’t cut herself or anything. ( which is good:) ) shes ok. we used to hang out alot last year, but not so much now. hopfully ypour friend doesnt cut.

    28. I was emo once and got help but i also couldn’t go to church when i was being self harming, i felt ashamed but then i realized that God would want me to go to church so he could help me. I believe God did not like what i was doing and did not approve but i do believe that if you accept God and fell into a depression and become “emo” that God will still love you just as much for we are all Gods children.

    29. My best advice is be there for her 100% if she’s doing it because there’s emotional pain. I used to be a cutter and I only stopped because my bestfriend Jason helped me stop. Sometimes all they really need is to know that someone cares about them and wants to help them with whatever they need help with…..Sometimes just sitting down with them and asking “Are you ok?” and telling them that you love them and want to help them if they need it can be the most valuable thing in the world to them 🙂

    30. I was never “emo” but I did try to dress that way for a while, I was just following the crowd. I was lonly and wanted to fit in. I came out of it, but it was not a good time for me. Now I’ve just about gotten rid of everything black in my wardrobe. My best friend was with me the whole time, just stay by her, don’t judge but don’t approve, don’t follow her,and as April said PRAY!!!!!!

    31. I know this si from last year… but I have been thinking about something… with all the articles written about satin being dark and such….. isn’t that incorrect? In Genesis God made light and darkness and saw that they were good… so really, shouldn’t we find ANOTHER word for bad things OTHER than darkness? Because….. God says that the light and the darkness si good….

    32. I may understand emo people. I’m emo myself. It’s true because I was insulted and judged by other kids at school because of my difference. I was freakishly tall and the other cool kids embarrased me in public. I then met emos who understood me. I became an emo. It’s was cool to finally feel like you belong. tHEY dont cut themselves or anything only some do it than people blame the whole emo community just because of a few emos actions. We wear black because it shows what we feel inside. Full of sadness, low self esteem, self pity and hatred for the other bullies. But now I am sharing to other emos about the love of God and how God accepts everyone just as they are. God loves and cares for everyone the same, no matter what we’ve done in life. 🙂

    33. my other friends say that one of my friends is going on an ’emo kick’…not unusual, he goes on a lot of ‘kicks’, but i do not think that it would really be described as ’emo’. just a little bit unusual.

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