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23 Songs That Help People Get Through Anxious Moments

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Anxiety can strike at any moment. And when it does, we need tools to help us through. Although breathing techniques and other exercises can help manage our racing thoughts and accelerated heartbeats, sometimes a simple song can help calm us down and get us through a tough moment.

So, we asked people in our mental health community to share what songs help in particularly anxious moments. It might give you inspiration to add to your own playlist.

Here are some of the songs they shared:

1. “Be Still” by The Fray

“When darkness comes upon you and covers you with fear and shame, be still and know that I’m with you, and I will say your name.”

Submitted by Kaitlyn Mueller: “The music itself is so soothing, but the lyrics really make you just stop and breathe.”

2. “Moonshadow” by Cat Stevens

“Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light. Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night?”

 Submitted by Abby Ferron: “Positive thinking, even if the worst happens.”

3. “Seasons of Love” from RENT

“How do you measure a year in the life — how about love?”

Submitted by Sacha Batra: “Reminds me how precious life is, to look at the big picture, and realize how blessed you are.”

4.”The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World

“Hey, don’t write yourself off yet. It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on. Just try your best, try everything you can. And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away.”

Submitted by Cait Ruth

5. “There, There Katie” by Jack’s Mannequin

“Katie, I’m sorry that in your condition the sunshines been missing, but Katie, don’t believe that it isn’t there.”

Submitted by Katharina Munzig

6. “You Are My Sunshine” as sung by Johnny Cash

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.”

Submitted by Sharyn Bell: “‘You Are My Sunshine’ is my go to song. My Nanna used to sing it to me when I was upset, and hold me tight in her arms and rock back and forth. Now when I sing it, I find myself cuddling myself and rocking back and forth — it’s the only way I can gain focus after a bad episode of anxiety. Life’s hard but that song helps me every day.”

7. “Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie

“Can’t we give ourselves one more chance? Why can’t we give love that one more chance?”

Submitted by Keith Gottschalk: “The tension builds with the song – it’s like a panic attack set to music. ‘It’s the terror of knowing what this world is about/watching some good friends screaming, let me out!’ I can’t think of a better explanation for the anxiety I experience than that line. But just when the song builds to a breakdown, there’s the saving grace: ‘Love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves’ – there’s this crushing, beautiful catharsis that we’re not along in our suffering. We are ‘the people on the edge of the night.’ Empathy, understanding, love and self-forgiveness are what I take from this song. Our ‘weakness’ is our strength, our humanity. This is ourselves. And I feel better.”

 8. “A Quiet Mind” by Blue October 

“Give me a quiet mind and I…I love you. You give me a quiet mind and I…I love you.”

Submited by Hannah Elle

8. “Details in the Fabric” by Jason Mraz

“Calm down, deep breaths, and get yourself dressed instead of running around and pulling on your threads and breaking yourself up.”

Submitted by Abbey Dunson: “I listen to this song on repeat until my anxiety goes away. It calms my mind and gives me hope for the future through the music and the lyrics. I actually have part of the chorus tattooed on my worst. There have been times where I can’t leave the room and listen to it, so I just look at my wrist and sing it in my head.”

9. “La Vie En Rose” by Louis Armstrong

“And when you speak, angels sing from above, everyday words seem to turn into love songs.”

Submitted by Shelby Munson: “The tempo helps me calm down, and the lyrics remind me that life is beautiful when my anxiety is telling me that everything is chaos.”

12. “Hanging By a Moment” by Lifehouse 

“I’m desperate for changing, starving for truth. I’m closer to where I started chasing after.” 

Submitted by Kelly Leskiw: “Lifehouse has always been my vice. They have brought me through some of my darkest days.”

13. “Be Calm” by fun.

“Be calm, I know you feel like you are breaking down. I know that it gets so hard sometimes. Be calm.”

Submitted by Sharon Fischer

14. “Lose It” by Oh Wonder

“Move your feet and feel it in the space between, you gotta give yourself a moment, let your body be. We gotta lose it.”

Submitted by Taryn Heil

15. “Make My Own Sunshine” by Olivia Lane

“Hey, hey, I’m OK. Hanging right here in my happy place.”

Submitted by Jess Daly

16. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

“Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? And can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life? Oh, oh I don’t know.”

Submitted by Froggy Robby

 17. “Lost” by Michael Bublé

“‘Cause you are not alone, and I am there with you. And we’ll get lost together ’til the light comes pouring through.”

Submitted by Wendy Thompson: “It reminds me that I’m not lost and I do have friends and family around me that love me.”

18. “Heart of a Lion” by Kid Cudi

“At the end of the day, day, my momma told me don’t let no one break me. Let no one break me.”

Submitted by Caroline De Coursey

19. “Don’t Carry It All” by The Decemberists

“Let the yoke fall from our shoulders, don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all. We are all our hands and holders beneath this bold and brilliant sun.”

Submitted by Casey Bee

20. “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers

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

Submitted by Ashlee Schuler

21. “Car Radio” by Twenty One Pilots

“I hate this car that I’m driving, there’s no hiding for me. I’m forced to deal with what I feel. There is no distraction to mask what is real.”

Submitted by Josh Edward

22. “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls

“And I don’t want the world to see me ’cause I don’t think that they’d understand. When everything’s meant to be broken. I just want you to know who I am.”

Submitted by Emma Wood

23. “Rylynn” by Andy McKee

Submitted by Sarah S


What song calms you down when you’re feeling anxious? Tell us in the comments below:

Originally published: June 8, 2016
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