Music can have such a big impact upon anxiousness- whether that’s songs that you can relate to; songs that pick you up and empower you; or songs that remind you of all the things in life that make it worth living (see my Top 7 songs to inspire and empower you shared last week). I find silence can feed anxious feelings as there’s nothing to claim my attention but worries and anxious thoughts, and so music can make a huge difference in managing these feelings. Here are my personal favourite songs to listen to when I’m feeling anxious.
1. Midnight City- M83
2. Claudia Lewis- M83
Basically the whole Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming album by M83. Listening to this album is such a calming experience as it’s so beautiful- the beat and general sound of it is so relaxing and pretty. I always seem to put this album on when I feel anxious or need to focus: I consistently listen to it every year when I revise for exams; I listen to it in the car when traffic is stressful; I listen to it when I’m writing because it fills the silence but doesn’t distract me from getting done what I need to; I listen to it when I want to focus on my breathing and need something to fill my head with as I do so. It’s such a stunning album and it always claims at least some of my focus away from the worst of the anxiousness for the duration of the songs.
3. The Coast Is Where Home Is- As It Is
This is a band that I have loved for years. I have an abundance of happy memories connected to their music, and I always find the familiarity of their sound calming when I feel anxious. I think it’s the fact that their music brings up so many positive memories to focus on: listening to them for the first time and instantly knowing I loved them; hearing their sound evolve and grow alongside me; relating to their lyrics and being able to send songs to my friends with excited messages, feeling so understood; having countless little dance parties in kitchens with my friends; I have so many happy experiences attached to As It Is’ music.
This song in particular is about feeling infinitely at home by the coast, as the sea is still the same even when so many aspects of life have changed (both in the literal sense of hometowns being different, and in the sense of growing up and life changing). I find change and things moving on a challenge- I would happily live in an infinite loop of familiarity if I could- and the way this song addresses it really helps put everything into perspective for me. The line ‘you can’t change that nothing will stay the same’ really resonates with me, and it really helps to listen to this song when I’m anxious about change as it reminds me that I’m not alone in feeling this way, and that even if big changes may be taking place, not everything is. The sea is still there even if nothing else is, the coast is always where home is, and it really helps me to focus on the positive side of things a bit more.
4. Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride- Lilo and Stitch
Obviously it won’t be this song for everyone, but upbeat songs from childhood, songs that bring back nostalgia and happiness, are ridiculously helpful when feeling anxious, and this is one of them for me. I find that Disney songs work especially well for this!! Again, I think it’s the element of positive memories attached to the songs, as the familiarity of this song just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside as I absolutely adored it as a child, and so listening to it and focusing on evening out my breathing really helps to regain some control over anxious feelings.
5. Someone New- Hozier
There’s something so calming and beautiful about his voice, and the steady pace of this song is so soothing to me. I find it really effective to focus on the sound of it and how it makes me feel, as in turn it helps me to organise my thoughts in more of a relaxed manner, and less of an anxious and manic way.
What songs help you to ease anxious feelings? I’d love to hear about them, please share your favourites below…