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21 Songs People With Anxiety and Depression Recommend

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Though music isn’t a magical “cure” for mental illness, it can be a source of comfort for people who live with anxiety and depression.

Maybe a song’s lyrics provide a distraction to the anxious thoughts racing around your head. Maybe a song’s pounding beat gets you out of bed in the morning on days when depression wants you to stay in. Or maybe you have a certain song you listen to on repeat when you need hope to live another day.

No matter what reason you have for using music as a coping strategy, it’s no secret that music can affect us in powerful ways. We wanted to know what songs people with depression and anxiety recommend, so we asked our Mighty community to share one song that gets them through tough times.
Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran

“His music always seems to help when I’m anxious and in a down day. ‘Give Me Love’ just speaks to me. I listen to it on repeat sometimes.” — Lorena N.

2. “Unwell” by Matchbox 20

“It literally sums up how I feel when I’m at my worst. Pushing the very edges of a breakdown and I want to give up. Kinda reminds me I’m not alone.” — Viki W.

3. “Better Place” by Rachel Platten

“[It] is an upbeat song, yet it has a soft element to it that makes it calming. Her lyrics help me pretend she’s talking to me and telling me life is a better place with me in it. In a way, it’s very convincing because she doesn’t know me personally yet the truth remains that life would be better with me in it for the sake of my family and friends.” — Nikki D.

4. “Screen” by Twenty One Pilots

“The line, ‘We’re broken people’ is somewhat comforting and makes me feel a little less alone. I also love the idea of having a metaphorical screen on your chest so even though you are trying to hide emotions and problems, etc.” — Brenda J.

5. “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman

“It depicts a life of struggle, but a yearning and willingness to believe and work for something so much more. ‘And I had a feeling that I belonged. I had a feeling I could be someone.’” — Dayze F.

6. “Last Hope” by Paramore

“I have followed this band for the majority of my teenage years into adulthood. Dealing with a recent loss, I was in a depressive episode and this song (while it made me cry), helped me to heal. The song opens with some of my favorite lyrics: ‘I don’t even know myself at all, I thought I would be happy by now. The more I try to push it I realize, gotta let go of control.’” — Courtney V.

7. “Heavy” by Linkin Park

“As destroyed we are over Chester’s untimely death, his music has been the soundtrack for so many of us. His voice became our voice. He left behind a legacy that can help save so many others. ‘Heavy’ reminds me I am not alone in this fight. Our struggles may weigh us down but we aren’t alone. We can lift each other up if we just reach out a hand.” — Caitlin S.

8. “1-800-273-8255” by Logic feat Alessia Cara, Khalid

“This song is about suicide and how there is help for those who have ever [had] bad thoughts. The number, which is the name of the song, is the number to a suicide prevention line. This song helps me so much because it starts off as someone who wants to die, who sees no good and by the end they realize they don’t have to die. It had helped me so much when I felt at the lowest points in my life.” — Orianna A.

9. “Let it Be” by The Beatles

“I first heard this song as a 16-year-old at summer camp. I had been struggling with depression for about a year at that point and was already feeling hopeless. Our whole camp came together and sang this song and it really resonated with me. I have it tattooed on my wrist now to remind me.” — Allison H.

10. “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga

“To me it’s empowering and reminds me that yes, there may be ‘a million reasons’ to be stressed and anxious and it’s so easy to give in, but sometimes all it takes is just one reason to be that light at the end of the tunnel or that one reason to remind me everything is eventually gonna be OK. and that just because right now is bad doesn’t mean it’s gonna last. This song gives me hope and is honestly sometimes my reason to push through.” — Julia C.

11. “Missing You” by All Time Low

“I’m actually tearing up thinking about how powerful it is… This song really helped me through dark times because it’s saying don’t bottle up your feelings of depression. It is a very painful thing to feel. You need to express what you are going through. You shouldn’t have to deal with depression alone and should never blame the person fighting it.” — Erica K.

12. “Titanium” by David Guetta feat. Sia

“It’s a song about standing strong against hurtful words of bullies and knowing words won’t break you down. This song helps me to remember that anxiety and depression are bullies and the things tell me are not true.” — Jessica B.

13. “I’ll Be There for You” — “Friends” theme song

“The Friends TV show theme song: ‘I’ll be there for you,’ because the show actually really helps comfort me and calm me down or bring me up when I’m feeling anxious, having an anxiety attack, having a particularly hard day, etc. Also, it reminds me to rely on my social supports, my friends and family to help me get through things and [reminds me] I don’t have to isolate myself or go through things alone.” — Kassy S.

14. “Everything’s Not Lost” by Coldplay

“This is the best song, the one that understands me. It makes me feel it has been written just for me. It helps me through those really hard times when I don’t know what will happen next, when everything is black, when I feel alone and extremely sad and don’t know if I’ll get out of it and stop feeling that way. It helps me think just what the title says.” — Ana C.

15. “So Small” by Carrie Underwood

“When I’m anxious, it helps me put things in perspective. Some of the words are: ‘Sometimes, that mountain you’ve been climbing is just a grain of sand. When you figure out love is all that matters after all, it makes everything else seem so small.’ I even have that song as a ringtone on my really bad days.” — Melody A.

16. “Invisible” by Hunter Hayes

“[It] reminds me I’m not insignificant and there are others out there who will always stand by my side and support me.” — Jerusalen J.

17. “Gravity” by John Mayer

“It explains the power that depression can hold. It’s about acknowledging the pain and getting through it a little at a time. You can have great periods of low symptom and suddenly it just hits hard. It’s about being humble enough to acknowledge the issue and danger of depression so it doesn’t take a harder toll. No one knows why depression chooses some of us, but [I believe] it takes being proactive and acknowledgment to live a healthy life.” — Arika B.

18. “Be OK” by Ingrid Michaelson

“I am in a silent battle with anxiety and depression, and my family knows nothing about it. The song perfectly describe my feelings every single day.” — Mihn C.

19. “Beside You” by Marianas Trench

“Listening to this song (and also this band’s music) makes me feel at ease and reminds me I’m never alone. Their music has helped me get out of a rough spot in my life a few times and I’m forever grateful. I’ve met great friends and made some amazing memories because of this band.” — Nicole K.

20. “Everlong (Acoustic)” by the Foo Fighters. 

“This song always brings me back to earth, or at least a more stable footing, during my depression lows. I focus on the guitar and his words. If nothing else seems to help in this world, his voice does. ‘I’m over my head, out of my head I sang…’ This, amazing, beautiful line just reminds me I’m not the only one feeling this way and in that moment when I’m focusing on Dave’s words, it’s like we’re sitting in a room, just the two of us, jamming out. It’s like he’s consoling me and telling me to come back here whenever I need him and he’ll be there. The song may not have been originally made for this purpose, but it’s my lifeline.” — Sigrun A.

21. “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel

“As silly as it sounds, if I’m feeling super low or anxious, I blast ‘Let It Go’ from ‘Frozen.’ The first time I watched the movie (which I put off for a good two years because I’m a teacher and I had to listen to 25 kids yell/sing ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman’ 27,000 times per day), I started ugly crying seven minutes in because I could relate to Elsa so much.” — Pamela L.

What would you add?

Originally published: August 29, 2017
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