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  • Writer's pictureStacy G. Smith, MS, LPC

Overcoming Anxiety: Tip #25

Listening to music is a quick and easy strategy to add to our helpful, and growing, coping skill toolbox. When feeling anxious, upset, or completely drained of energy, putting on a soothing, relaxing melody can make all the difference. While music is not a cure for anxiety, it can certainly help us feel calmer, grounded, and more relaxed - giving us the mental strength and energy to continue on with our day, or settle in for the evening. It gives our minds a chance to slow down and unwind, when it would otherwise be racing with thoughts and emotions from a busy, stressful day.

Now, each individual will find comfort in different songs, so it's important to discover music that best works for you. Songs that resonate best may simply include a calming melody sans words, or one that includes lyrics that resonate strongly with you. Some songs may bring back positive, special memories from your past, while others may simply give you a warm and fuzzy feeling for no apparent reason at all. Some individuals may further connect by singing along, while others may close their eyes and enjoy the relaxing moment.

What can be most helpful is to create several playlists, one for each emotion you feel may be difficult to get through. For example, when feeling anxious, many find comfort in soft, slow, melodious music, while more upbeat music can be helpful for when feeling depressed, or when lacking energy. While some songs may overlap between playlists, others may vary greatly. And, of course, there's no harm in creating a "happy" playlist, where you can let loose when having a good day, celebrate an accomplishment, or go for a work out at the gym.

Now, using music as a coping strategy does not necessarily mean listening to all fifteen songs on your playlist, at the expense of accomplishing important day-to-day tasks. What it does mean, is taking a few minutes to listen to at least one song mindfully - staying in the moment, listening to the lyrics, and connecting with the melody. One song can go a long way, especially during a lunch break at work, or when having a few minutes to yourself during the day. If you're at home with no pressing matters in front of you, perhaps lie down and listen to several songs. Music can even be a helpful strategy as part of a bed-time routine, to quiet the mind and prepare yourself for a restful night's sleep.

What relaxing songs are on your calming playlist?


DISCLAIMER: The blog posts shared on contain the opinions of Stacy Smith, MS, LPC, and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations or affiliates. While Stacy is a licensed mental health professional, all blog posts on her site are for informational purposes only, and are never a substitute for professional advice catered to your individual needs. Stacy Smith is not liable for any diagnosis, treatment plans, or decisions made based on the information presented on this website. Furthermore, commenting on posts does not mean a treatment relationship has been established with Stacy Smith.​

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