36 Alt Rock Songs That Have Helped People Through Anxiety


Music is by no means a cure-all for anxiety, but the right song, or even lyric, can certainly have an impact. It’s scientifically proven that music can reduce stress, and while stress is not the same as anxiety, the two often come hand in hand. But we decided to bypass the scientists and turn to the music fans in our mental health community dealing with different kinds of anxiety disorders or maybe just going through a particularly rough time.

Continuing our series of anxiety-relieving playlists, this time we asked our Facebook readers what alternative rock songs help them through anxious moments. Here’s their list (a Spotify playlist is at the bottom).

“Migraine” — Twenty One Pilots

And I will say that we should take a day to break away / From all the pain our brain has made / The game is not played alone / And I will say that we should take a moment and hold it / And keep it frozen and know that/ Life has a hopeful undertone.

Yes I’m Changing — Tame Impala

Yes, I’m changing / can’t stop it now / And even if I wanted I wouldn’t know how. / Another version of myself I think I found, at last.

Breakdown — Seether

You can break me down if it takes all your might / ’cause I’m so much more than meets the eye.

Edit the Sad Parts — Modest Mouse

Sometimes all I really want to feel is love. / Sometimes I’m angry that I feel so angry. / Sometimes my feelings get in the way / Of what I really feel I needed to say.

Live Like a Warrior — Matisyahu

Your heart is too heavy from things you carry a long time. / You been up, you been down, tired and you don’t know why / But you’re never gonna go back, you only live one life.

Hopeless Opus — Imagine Dragons

It’s not a picture perfect life/ Not what I had in mind / Let me write my own line.

You Are A Tourist — Death Cab for Cutie 

Because when you find yourself the villain in the story you have written / It’s plain to see / That sometimes the best intentions are in need of redemptions / Would you agree?

Knife Going In — Tegan and Sara

I’m feeling anxious / Not enough to kill me

Washington Square Park — The Wonder Years

I’m looking for the upsides to these panic-attack nights / where I’m staying in eating take-out food by TV light / I’m trying to play the b-side to this awkward life of mine.

Lost That Easy — Cold War Kids

If we didn’t laugh, we’re crying all the time.

Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

There was a dream and one day I could see it / Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it / And there was a kid with a head full of doubt / So I’ll scream til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out

Wilder Mind — Mumford & Sons

You can be every little thing you want nobody to know / And you can try to drown out the street below / And you can call it love / If you want

Ache With Me — Against Me!

Do you share the same sense of defeat? / Have you realized all the things you’ll never be? / Ideals turn to resentment, open minds close up with cynicism. / I’ve got no judgement for you. / Come on and ache with me.

Let’s Dance To Joy Division — The Wombats

Everything is going wrong / But we’re so happy.

Third Eye — Florence + The Machine

‘Cause there’s a hole where your heart lies / And I can see it with my third eye. / And oh my touch, it magnifies / You pull away, you don’t know why

Colours — Grouplove

It’s the colors you have / No need to be sad. / It really ain’t that bad.

Falling — HAIM

They keep saying / Don’t stop, no it’s never enough / I’ll never look back, never give up / And if it gets rough, it’s time to get rough.

Mononokay — Sorority Noise

I’ve tried to rid myself of my anxious tendencies / But I have to accept my head for what it is to me.

Gimme All Your Love — Alabama Shakes

So much is going on / But you can always come around. / Why don’t you sit with me for just a little while? / Tell me, what’s wrong?

Now — Paramore

Lost the battle, win the war / Bringing my sinking ship back to the shore / Starting over, we’ll head back in. / There’s a time and a place to die but this ain’t it.

The Hand That Feeds — Nine Inch Nails

So naive / I keep holding on to what I want to believe. / I can see / But I keep holding on and on and on and on.

Shaky Ground — Freedom Fry

Expectations — Sir Sly

Truth has holes; truth, it swells / Sometimes truth can feel like hell. / And it’s full, and it swells / In the end, we’ll all be well.

All Our Lives — Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

There’s only two mistakes that I have made. / It’s running from the people who could love me best / And trying to fix a world that I can’t change.

Up and Up — Relient K

Yesterday / Is not quite what it could’ve been / As were most of all the days before / But I swear today / With every breath I’m breathing in / I’ll be trying to make it so much more.

Watch The Sky — Something Corporate

And I will crawl / Theres things that aren’t worth giving up I know. / But I won’t let this get me. / I will fight. / You live the life you’re given with the storms outside. / Somedays all I do is watch the sky.

Silhouettes — Colony House

Did you lose something? / Or someone you love? / You’ve still got that story / tell it every morning.

It’s a Good Life — KONGOS

Too much information / People drowning in receipts / Some days you wanna just chuck it all / Try your luck and hit the streets

You’re Not Alone — The Mowgli’s

You’re not alone / Even when you feel so far from home / Everybody’s here / You’re not alone / Screaming in the mirror saying, “I’ve been broke / Out of love / But I know /We’re not alone.”

A Little Rain (A Song For Pete) — Arkells

Hung up on everything that I’m not / Pete said, “Look around at everything that we’ve got.”

Dyin’ to Live — Smallpools

It’s not much to ask for / We’re only trying just to feel all right / We’re only trying just to find that steady love / We’re only trying just to buy some time / We’re all just dying, we’re all just dying to live

All These Things That I’ve Done — The Killers

“If you can hold on, hold on.”

Make Them Gold – CHVRCHES

We are made of our longest days. / We are falling but not alone. / We will take the best parts of ourselves / And make them gold.

Flaws — Bastille

All of your flaws and all of my flaws are laid out one by one. / Look at the wonderful mess that we made / We pick ourselves undone.

Mountains At My Gates — Foals

Yeah, when I feel low / You show me a signpost for where I should go.

I Wanna Get Better — Bleachers

So now I’m standing on the overpass screaming at the cars, “Hey, I wanna get better!”

What would you add? Let us know in the comments below!

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