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14 Songs You Wouldn’t Expect to Help People With Anxiety, but Do

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Anxiety is frantic. Chaotic. Loud. Frazzled. Jumbled. Fast. Messy. (Often kept under wraps, of course, masked by a person who may seem like he or she is calm, cool and collected.)

It makes sense to combat its internal noisiness with soft, soothing, music — tunes to slow your heartbeat down, put your thoughts in order, ground you a bit.

For many, that works (and that’s great!). Others find anxiety-reducing effects in bellowing drums, screeching guitars and voices, uncomfortable, angry or even silly lyrics. If you love music and are frustrated it hasn’t been able to help your anxiety, maybe you need to switch up your playlist.

We asked our mental health community to share an “unusual” song that helps relieve their anxiety. Maybe some of these will resonate with you, maybe you’d rather stick to the more obvious options. Or maybe you just need to turn the sound down completely and find comfort in some silence. Whatever you choose is the right answer.

That being said, here are some unexpectedly anxiety-reducing songs from our community:

1. “Monster” by Skillet

The secret side of me / I never let you see / I keep it caged / But I can’t control it

2. “I’m on a Boat” by The Lonely Island (Feat. T-Pain)

Hey ma, if you could see me now / Arms spread wide on the starboard bow / Gonna fly this boat to the moon somehow / Like Kevin Garnett, anything is possible

3. “Under Pressure” by Queen (Feat. David Bowie)

It’s the terror of knowing what the world is about / Watching some good friends screaming, “Let me out!”

4. “Papercut” by Linkin Park

Why does it feel like night today? / Something in here’s not right today / Why am I so uptight today? / Paranoia’s all I got left

5. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake / Shake it off!

6. “Bye, Bye, Bye” by *NSYNC

I loved you endlessly / When you weren’t there for me. / So now it’s time to leave / And make it alone

7. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

Is this the real life? / Is this just fantasy? / Caught in a landslide / no escape from reality

8. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones

You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might just find / you get what you need

9. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii

Feeling my way through the darkness / Guided by a beating heart / I can’t tell where the journey will end / But I know where to start

10. “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars

Don’t fight the feeling / Invite the feeling

11. “Fuel” by Metallica 

Fuel is pumping engines / Burning hard, loose and clean / And on I burn

12. “Ninth Wave” by Trifonic

13. “What a Catch, Donnie” by Fall Out Boy

I got troubled thoughts / And the self-esteem to match / What a catch, what a catch

14. “The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson

Hey you, what do you see? / Something beautiful, something free?

What “unusual” song helps ease your anxiety? Let us know in the comments below.

Originally published: April 21, 2017
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