**Note – this is a repost from my old, inactive blog**
As any person with an anxiety disorder is sure to know, it’s ever so slightly difficult to calm down from an anxiety or panic attack. For those with a love of music, sometimes listening to a tranquil song can have a calming effect. Even if it doesn’t quite work – because hey, it can be difficult sometimes, I know – at least you’re getting to listen to some good music!
Personally, I created a playlist mid-attack at around 3am one night (morning?). You can see how clearly I was thinking by its title:
I know, well done me, right? At least I had the sense to put helpful songs on it. Sometimes they do the job. But even when they don’t, this method is a hell of a lot more useful than the anxiety management apps I downloaded, which of course I constantly forget to use. So here is a run down of the songs currently on my “calm down” playlist – which is always changing – and a few more besides. All links open in a new window.
Lighthouse – The Hush Sound
One of my all time favourite bands, The Hush Sound’s mix of melodic and sometimes morbid music is always a delight to listen to. This song – although concerned with a couple escaping only to be trapped in a lighthouse forever – is a lovely, slow, piano-led waltz that is both enchanting and soothing.
Stay Awake (Dreams Only Last For A Night) – All Time Low
This song is an upbeat reminder that not everything is as bad as it seems. These lyrics from the chorus (You’re safe from the weight of the world/Just take a second to set things straight) are oddly reassuring, especially when it feels like you’ve got nothing to hold onto. Although, I do recommend trying to sleep no matter how bad the anxiety gets: you’ll feel better, and chances are you won’t be as anxious. There’s also an acoustic version, which can be found here.
Serious Underground Dance Vibes – Twin Atlantic
Instrumental songs are great for when you feel vocals would be a distraction, or you just want some nice background music. I like this song a lot, and I’m really glad it was on the album. I am a fan of instrumentals (see below) and this one in particular has helped me achieve some serious underground chillout vibes when needed. It does get heavier and louder towards the end, so avoid it if you feel like that may be overwhelming.
Interlude – Young Guns
Another (fairly short) instrumental, this time by the brilliant Young Guns. A lot of their songs are suitable, but I chose this (sorry Gustav!) because it has such a nice sound and I always find myself lost in listening to it. Take that racing thoughts.
You Are The Moon – The Hush Sound
The Hush Sound actually dominates this playlist, so I’m going to limit myself to two videos. This second one is about exactly what it says, an ode to the moon. Actually it can also serve as a prompt to see yourself as great as you actually are, not just what your anxiety makes you think. It’s a wonderful song and not the only one of their catalogue to be beneficial when you’re not doing so well.
Other THS songs on the list: Hurricane, Break The Sky, Echo, Weeping Willow
Slow Emergency – Gold Motel
Surprise! This particular song is by The Hush Sound’s Greta Morgan and her other band Gold Motel. It’s a light, summery tune that you can enjoy while pretending it’s not started getting colder outside. Sufferers can see themselves in (I’m brushing off my doubts but they ain’t going away) but ultimately things are going okay.
VersaEmerge – Clocks
This song has the same otherworldly vibe of the rest of their songs but is pleasantly relaxed. The guitars and drums are more muted than usual, and Sierra’s vocals are fairly quiet, which makes it a good song for this list. An awesome live acoustic version is here.
Let It Land (Acoustic) – Tonight Alive
You might have guessed that I’m a firm believer in acoustic songs as a relaxant. Let It Land is great either way, with a sentiment you’ll almost certainly find familiar. Not to mention I almost fell asleep to it on a bus once. What I love about the What Are You So Scared Of? album is that both versions were on it. Tonight Alive did us a great service with the last four songs, all acoustic and all worthy of checking out.
Time For A Sign – William Beckett feat. Derek Sanders
(You’re not alone, know that I’m here, know that I won’t take you for granted)
It’s no secret that I love William Beckett. Here is one of his more laid back songs with a hopeful message that you’ll probably like as much for the content as the tempo. A guest appearance from Mayday Parade’s Derek Sanders makes it even better.
Safe And Sound – Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars
Practically the epitome of calming, this Hunger Games soundtrack is dreamy and sweet like a lullaby. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to it and not been pacified by its serene 4 minutes. Standout lyric: Come morning light, you and I’ll be safe and sound.
I do enjoy heavy songs but sometimes it’s good to take it down a bit and chill out. These songs are of great use to me and always make me happy, even if they fail to alleviate some anxiety.
Other songs to consider:
- Twin Atlantic’s Wonder Sleeps Here, Hold On (hooooooooold ooooonnn, if you caaaan beeee strooong) & Crash Land (although I suggest you avoid the latter if pessimism is going to bother you – I know sometimes I’m just not in the mood for sadder songs)
- Gold Motel’s Santa Cruz
- The Hush Sound’s Magnolia & That’s Okay
- Panic! At The Disco’s Northern Downpour & Always
- Young Guns’ Broadfields (gets loud suddenly at 3:14-3:58) & Hymn For All I’ve Lost
- We Are The In Crowd’s Long Live The Kids
- Paramore’s Misguided Ghosts & When It Rains
- Taylor Swift’s Begin Again
- Candy Heart’s Miles And Interstates
- Any of VersaEmerge’s acoustic versions or covers. They have a pretty cool acoustic EP you should look at.
- Mayday Parade’s entire discography, pretty much. A lot of it is really sad so have a listen to 12 Through 15
- Marmozets’ Captivate You
Hopefully this was worthwhile to you in some way or at least introduced you to an awesome band. If you have your own playlist, or any songs that help you recover, I’d love to hear them. I’m open to pretty much any new music!