Choosing Music to Calm Anxiety

For many of us, listening to music can be a powerful tool in stress management. For those of us with anxiety, doubly so – the right song can rescue you from a turn toward panic or overwhelm.

Evidence even shows that a jam out session can be extremely cathartic, and that just listening to certain songs can reduce anxiety. So here are some tips on choosing the best music to calm your anxiety:

Pick Songs to Get Comfortable

Start with songs you are familiar and comfortable with.

Regardless of the message or nostalgia, use music you enjoy. As cheesy as this sounds, finding music that speaks to you can help you to start feeling better. Whether it’s Hannah Montana or Frank Sinatra, trust your judgment and listen to music that resonates.

Leverage Good Memories

We generally already have certain emotions attached to specific songs in our head.  We associate music with feelings of happiness, sadness, etc. from our reservoir of memories, and it can be powerful to utilize these emotions.

List songs that take you back to a happy time, or put you in a good place. You can find similar pieces to expand the playlist, later on.

Remember to also beware of negative emotions that could be triggered by each song.

Prepare Your Playlists

Have different playlists with different tempos, volumes, and genres so you can choose which one you need at any given time. Sometimes, we need to get pumped up with something upbeat and fast, but other times we need something slower and calmer to set the mood – but making the perfect setlist isn’t always an option.

When anxiety hits, decisions only make things worse, so make sure to have a good set of tailored playlists on hand – for good times and bad!

Instrumentals: Failproof Anxiety Jams

Consider adding songs without lyrics. Instrumental music can be quite calming, with no words to focus on or bad memories to bring up. Just laying back and basking in the vibrations may help bring you out of anxiety, down to earth.

In parting, be prepared to have your music with you when you need it. Whether it’s carrying around your headphones or an external speaker, make sure you’re prepared to broadcast your special playlist for when you need to be lifted.

Written by: Anisha Makhija and Christina Beck

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