When I feel anxious, stressed, or sad, I often turn to music
On days when I feel terrible mentally or emotionally, these songs comfort me and relax me. Whether it's a song that has relatable lyrics, a song with a comforting message, or just a happy tune, music has the power to relieve some of the most emotional pain that is felt. Some of the songs I listed below are mellow and soothing, while the others are uplifting and fast-paced. However, they all give me temporary relief when I am feeling anxious or upset.
1. "Details in the Fabric" by Jason Mraz (feat. James Morrison)
Anytime I have trouble falling asleep or feel like my anxiety is too much to bear, I put this song on and instantly feel calmer. There is something so comforting about hearing the soft acoustic guitar strumming along with Jason singing "calm down, deep breaths" and "everything will be fine." This song makes me feel safe and I think I will always turn to it when I'm feeling overwhelmed by life, and I recommend that you listen to it as well.
2. "Breathin" by Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande's song "Breathin" relates to her own struggles with anxiety and PTSD following the tragic bombing at her concert in Manchester, England, back in 2017. Similarly to Mraz's song, Grande encourages her listeners to "just keep breathin," which I think serves as a good reminder to all of us to pause and take a breath. I also find that singing these lyrics out loud seems to drill the thought into my brain and calms me down. Her lyrics in this song are extremely relatable to anyone who has experienced anxiety.
3. "Love Yourz" by J.Cole
On this track, J. Cole beautifully reminds us all to take a step back and appreciate the things we have in life, even if it's not a whole lot. When he sings, "No such thing as a life that's better than yours," it makes me think about what really matters in my life; friends, family, and love are more important than any materialistic items or ideas. This song really clears my mind and reminds me to hang on even when there are challenges because, in his words, "There's beauty in the struggle."
4. "Circles" by Mac Miller
Mac's soft singing voice and the gentle instrumental soothes the soul and reminds me to breathe. This song might be short, but it effectively relaxes me when I start to feel too sad or anxious. I especially like the line, "Don't you put any more stress on yourself it's one day at a time." Maybe it's the fact that I miss Mac and hearing his voice calms me down, but I think "Circles," is a great song to listen to when you just need to take a moment to stop worrying.
5. "Migraine" by Twenty One Pilots
Much like other Twenty One Pilots songs, "Migraine," sounds like a bright song, but the lyrics actually tell a darker story of depression and anxiety. Sometimes when I feel really anxious, it makes me feel better to put this song on and belt out the lyrics with Tyler Joseph because the words amazingly capture how anxiety feels. Singing to this song and bopping along to the beat is almost therapeutic to me. It allows me to release all of the negative energy I might be holding inside my mind.
6. "Maybe IDK " by Jon Bellion
I remember the moment when I first this song; I was in high school, driving home from my guitar lesson and feeling stressed about school, feeling like I wasn't good at guitar, and worrying about applying to colleges. This song came on shuffle and the lyrics instantly resonated with how I felt in that moment. Bellion reminds his listeners that sometimes it's okay to not know what's going to happen tomorrow or how things will pan out in the future. It serves as a reminder to live in the present instead of worrying about things you cannot control. Singing "Maybe I don't know, but maybe that's ok" feels so relieving.
7. "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor
Something about this song soothes me and makes me want to take a long walk alone through nature. When I listen to "Fire and Rain," it feels like James Taylor himself is telling me a story about the various trials and tribulations he has experienced in his life. I'm not entirely sure why this song brings me peace, but the acoustic guitar with James' soft voice brings me back to Earth. It gives me hope that I can overcome anything because James was able to overcome his challenges.
8. "Carry On" by Fun.
I love belting out this song in times of stress and worry. The message of, "When you're lost and alone, or you're sinking like a stone, carry on," is uplifting and inspiring. This is one of my favorite motivational anthems to listen to when I feel like giving up during a difficult time. "Fun." makes the audience feel like they aren't alone in their struggles and encourages us to band together as a team to carry on through life, no matter the circumstances.
9. "Be As You Are" by Mike Posner
Back when I would feel anxious about going to school, I would listen to this song in order to boost my confidence. Hearing Mike Posner tell me about his own issues with self-doubt and urging me to be myself through his lyrics brought me comfort. I think this song is beautiful and more people need to give it a listen. It has a wonderful message about self-love and not being afraid of other people's opinions of you. I particularly love the lyric, "you are stronger than you feel you are now."
10. "I Am Not A Robot" by MARINA
I absolutely love this song. Marina sings directly to the listener by saying things like, "You've been acting awful tough lately...but inside you're just a little baby." She almost calls out the listener by pointing out their coping mechanisms for anxiety, but she does so encouragingly. Marina tells us all that we are not robots; we're all far more complex and emotional than a machine and that is ok. One of my favorite lyrics in this song is, "Better to be hated than love for what you're not." Singing along to this song makes me feel free from my own insecurities and the opinions of others.
11. "Weight of the World" by Jon Bellion
Jon Bellion really just understands how it feels to be anxious about life. In this song, he seems to be letting go of his fears by lifting the heavyweight of anxiety off of his shoulders. Bellion beautifully sings, "I don't hold the weight of the world anymore," which feels free to sing along with. Trust me, belting out these lyrics will lift a load off of your very own shoulders too.
12. "Fix You" by Coldplay
This song never fails to send chills down my spine. With its incredible lyrics and absolutely stunning melody, "Fix You," hits me to the very core. I was lucky enough to see Coldplay live, and when they performed this song I cried with happiness because it is just so beautiful. Something about hearing a massive crowd sing "lights will guide you home" while waving flashlights in the sky had me in complete awe. The lyrics make you feel less alone and it's comforting to know that someone cares about your struggles, even if that someone is Coldplay.
13. "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)" by Jason Mraz
The happy, joyous sound of this song automatically puts me in a good mood when I'm feeling down. Mraz declares happily that he won't worry his life away, and taking a moment to sing those words with him is an instant mood booster. I love the messages of positivity and living life without a care in the world that this song wondrously delivers. It makes you want to kick back and relax instead of stressing out about life.
14. "If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out" by Yusuf/Cat Stevens
Cat Stevens could not state his message any clearer in this song. Basically, he wants us all to know that we all have the freedom to do whatever we want and be whoever we want to be without having to worry about others' opinions. I love how simply he states the meaning of this song and it brings me at ease when I feel like I'm not sure what I want to do.
15. "Even My Dad Does Sometimes" by Ed Sheeran
The lovely voice of Ed Sheeran serenades his listeners with this track and reminds us gently that it is ok to cry. He urges us to hang on and keep pushing through any hard times we may be experiencing. If you need to cry while also feeling validated, listen to this song and let it out.
Music may not be a cure for anxiety, stress, or sadness, but it sure does help remedy those emotions. I hope you all try listening to these songs next time you feel overwhelmed or down in the dumps!
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