The future of music

40 Best Songs About Anxiety

May 22, 2023
Songs About Anxiety

Take a look at our list of the best songs about anxiety from far and wide.

When it comes to songs about anxiety, the past few years saw a rise in mental health problems. In a world mid-pandemic, songs about panic and songs about social anxiety became commonplace.

What defines an anxious song is broad. We’ve sourced songs about worrying and songs about panic attacks to much more serious songs about anxiety disorders.

But, it’s not all gloom, we’ve included some songs for helping anxiety in amongst the bleaker songs about fear, stress, and worry as well.

40 Songs About Anxiety

1. The Doors – “People Are Strange”

Songs about social anxiety are not always super obvious with the subject matter. People are strange is on the subtler side.

Jim Morrison says what we are all thinking when we are trying to start a conversation with somebody new and makes a point of how strange you can be made to feel when eyes are on you as the new person n the room.

People are strange when you’re a stranger

2. The Beatles – “Help”

An instantly recognizable hit song about being overwhelmed by the transition from teen years when you are full of self-assurance to the harsher reality of adulthood that ultimately comes with worry.

The introduction screams the message of the song and the lyrics that perfectly represent the feeling of anxiety that comes with it for many of us.

“I need somebody
(Help) not just anybody
(Help) you know I need someone, help

3. Howlin’ Wolf – “Worried About My Baby”

As songs about worry go this early fifties number, with its bouncin’ piano and mouth organ solo is pretty upbeat.

The lyrics don’t really need to say much more, who hasn’t had a sleepless night worrying for someone else?

I’m worried about you baby and I can’t hardly sleep at night“.

A chipper old anxiety song.

4. The Ink Spots – “Do I Worry” 

One of the oldest songs about worrying about someone else on our shortlist. Naturally, we think about our partners when we are in a relationship. Concern for them doesn’t always end when the relationship does either.

This one is one of those songs about overthinking that spills over into a song about worrying.

5. Tori Amos – “Crucify”

Of course, not all songs that describe anxiety are as subtle as those we have seen. Some are more black and white, darker, more graphic even.

Tori Amos lays her feelings of inadequacy bare and shares her suffering in her anxious song lyrics with religious undertones.

“Every day
I crucify myself
And my heart is sick of being
I said my heart is sick of being in
Chains, oh oh oh

6. Radiohead – “Creep”

Sadly, songs about anxiety and depression go hand in hand.

Thom Yorke has never been shy about discussing the stigma of depression, the many people who suffer from anxiety disorders, and how relatable lyrics about anxiety can help. Findings in a study say the same thing according to this article at TheVerge.

“Creep” was never written as a song about anxiety the singer has even gone on record to say he wasn’t comfortable with the lyrics that suggest low self-esteem but many find it a soothing song that they can relate to.

7. Avril Lavigne – “Head Above Water”

Some of the best songs about anxiety are ‘coping songs’. Songs that try to encourage you to power through make the perfect music for anxiety attacks.

90’s rock-chick Avril, paints a harrowing scene with her lyrics;

“Yeah, my life is what I’m fighting for
Can’t part the sea, can’t reach the shore
And my voice becomes the driving force
I won’t let this pull me overboard

But ultimately inspires listeners to keep their “Head Above Water” like all the best songs to listen to when you have anxiety.

8. Paramore – “Fake Happy”

Another rockin’ diva who tells it like it is, Hayley Williams’ social anxiety song is centered around the way we sometimes present ourselves to the rest of the world in a less than honest way to be more socially acceptable.

“If I smile with my teeth
Bet you believe me
If I smile with my teeth
I think I believe me

9. Green Day – “Basket Case”

There are so many rock songs about mental illness that touch on anxiety in the lyrics and with that in mind, we’d like to make a case for Green Day’s “Basket Case”.

Although its focus is on paranoia and tries to comedically shrug off its serious themes as a byproduct of drug use we still think there is enough to crown it as one of the top post-punk songs about having anxiety.

“Grasping to control
So I better hold on

10. R.E.M. – “Losing My Religion” 

To lose your religion is to lose your temper, not always referring to anger. Just that you are pushed to act out of the ordinary within a situation. In a social situation, we can overthink.

Micheal Stipes vocals have particular separation beneath some of the most pivotal song lyrics about anxiety.

“Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

11. Linkin Park – “Crawling”

Linkin Park wrote lots of songs that describe anxiety really well. “Crawling in my skin” is such an illustrative sentence to explain how you can feel discomfort simply being yourself.

The lyrics show how lost and disconnected from the ‘self a person can feel, Chester’s personal struggles have a clear influence on the honesty he displays in his words. Some songs about social health neglect to portray things realistically for fear of negativity.

“Against my will I stand beside my own reflection
It’s haunting
How I can’t seem

To find myself again”

12. Matchbox 20 – “Unwell”

“I’m talkin’ to myself in public, dodging glances on the train
And I know, I know they’ve all been talkin’ about me
I can hear them whisper, and it makes me think
There must be somethin’ wrong with me
Out of all the hour’s thinkin’, somehow I’ve lost my mind”

Many songs that help with anxiety can be a little too watered down, but this throwback from Matchbox 20 still uses stronger language but has the positive twist needed to urge you to get through the tougher days.

13. Metric – “Help I’m Alive”

This one kicks it up a notch in comparison to other anxiety songs, you could even describe it as music that causes anxiety!

The drumbeat underneath is ever so slightly out with everything else, the music is relentless and builds pressure.

The opening lyrics are like the singer’s inner monologue;
“(If I stumble)
They’re gonna eat me alive

On the surface, it begins as a song about being nervous but the singer turns it on its head.

“What shouldn’t I do?
I get wherever I’m going
I get whatever I need
While my blood’s still flowing
And my heart’s still
Beating like a hammer

15. Weezer – “In The Garage”

An obvious social anxiety song that many a nerdy introvert may identify with.

The lyrics describe the man cave of a garage the singer has with all their geeky creature comforts, a safe haven they have created where they can be themself.

“In the garage
I feel safe
No one cares about my ways
In the garage
Where I belong”

16. Muse – “Map of the Problematique”

This one is essentially an anxious person’s love song about crippling self-doubt.

“I can’t get it right
Get it right
Since I met you

Bellamy highlights many common themes for someone living with anxiety. It speaks of loneliness and how frustrating it can be to overthink each move you make as you struggle to overcome your worries and fears.

17. Imagine Dragons – “Demons”

Songs about fear and anxiety can often get a little dark. The worry of how you are perceived by others can cause you to hide your true self…

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you”

The singer makes their anxiety clear throughout this one with his inner demons outed;

“Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide

18. Rihanna – “Disturbia”

With a similarly dark and demonic comparison throughout is Rihanna’s anxiety pop hit with a rock-edge.

The video is very surrealistic and depicts torture and disturbing imagery, a horrific portrayal of the way in which we torture ourselves mentally, and gives the words to Rihanna’s “Disturbia” meaning.

“Your mind’s in disturbia
It’s like the darkness is the light”

19. Cage the Elephant – “Social Cues”

Although this one again was not intended to be a song about panic, the lyrics resonate with anyone who has ever pushed themself to attend a social event and found that they are well outside of their comfort zone.

“Hide me in the back room, tell me when it’s over
Don’t know if I can play this part much longer”

With its retro groove, it is a cool modern tune that puts a smile on your face, rare in songs about panicking.

20. NF – “The Search”

A brutal anxiety rap song from NF that begins with a vulnerable confession;

“Last year, I had a breakdown
Thoughts tellin’ me I’m lost, gettin’ too loud”

It makes for a deep rap song about anxiety as NF describes the panic;

“I look at the crowd and see so many faces, yeah
That’s when I start to get anxious
That’s when my thoughts can be dangerous”

It is more vulnerable than other rap songs about anxiety, the artist has no qualms about sharing that he sought therapy to make changes and get rid of his burdens. Its message makes it a pretty powerful anxiety rap song.

22. Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”

Heavy codependency issues underly this song about worry and anxiety.

“Help me, it’s like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can’t
It isn’t in my blood”

It is one of those songs about being left alone, that has an inspiring lift in the chorus rendering it a potential anxiety relief song if you like pop with an emotional edge.

23. Ariana Grande – “Breathin’” 

Another song about panic; that sums up the feeling pretty well.

“Feel my blood runnin’, swear the sky’s fallin’

Ariana reminds us of something we all need to remember when panic strikes.

“Just keep breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’

Its positivity and calm 80’s undertones make it a top choice when it comes to songs for anxiety relief.

24. Florence + the Machine “Shake It Out”

Another great choice of songs to ease anxiety is this part gospel part baroque pop anthem.

The singer leads by example and emplores you to refuse to relive dark moments and instead “Shake it out, shake it out“.

She also accepts that it’s easier said than done; “And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back” and freely admits the hopelessness you can feel.

“And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t”

But the breakout choruses are so rallying and uplifting!

One of the best songs to help with depression and anxiety.

25. Jack Garratt – “Worry”

Sometimes we obsess unhealthily over a break-up whilst the other person doesn’t. Instead of harboring negative feelings towards them for moving on the singer (sarcastically?) forgives and allows. His lyrics essentially give them the green light not to worry about him.

“Pick apart the pieces you left
Don’t you worry about it, don’t you worry about it
Try and give yourself some rest
And let me worry about it, let me worry about it

26. Simon & Garfunkel – “I Am a Rock”

There are a lot of sad songs about mental health and these two ‘friends of darkness’ have written their fair share.

“Hiding in my room safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock I am an island
And a rock feels no pain”

One of those often overlooked, but eye-opening nonetheless, songs about social health that’s worth a listen.

27. Dire Straits – “Why Worry”

A great song for any kick the anxiety playlist, Knopfler plays soothing arpeggios underneath his lullaby-like melody.

“Why worry
There should be laughter after pain

A calm musical interlude in place of his typical epic solo makes this track a top contender in terms of songs to help with anxiety and stress.

28. The Smiths – “How Soon is Now?” 

In what is probably one of the band’s most famous songs Morrisey sings about how gutwrenching it can be to drag yourself somewhere alone and miss your shot at connection for fear of social acceptance.

“There’s a club if you’d like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home and you cry
And you want to die

29. Sarah Reeves – “Anxious”

Reeves gets super personal in her bare-all anxiety song that reflects the modern social-media-driven world we live in and the pressure that comes with seeing everyone post a rose-tinted view of their lives.

“Looking at the highlights, everybody’s good life
Reminding me of what I don’t have
Second guessing who I really am
Maybe I should give up,
Will I ever measure up, I don’t think I’m good enough

30. ROSIE – “Social stamina”

Another clear example of how the fresher on the scene artists are willing to be vulnerable with their audience.

“I lost touch with all my friends
I’m in bed by 10pm
I have no social stamina
I cancel on all my plans
I commit then I don’t answer
I can’t keep up with anyone”

Rosies song about social anxiety is so relatable but utterly heartwrenching; “When did I become
Someone no one loves

31. Alessia Cara – “Growing Pains” 

A little older than the 2 above but still another modern youthful point of view on anxiety in her song about stress and growing up.

“And I guess the bad can get better
Gotta be wrong before it’s right
Every happy phrase engraved in my mind”

32. Theory of a Deadman – “Loner”

The real takeaway from this post-grunge social anxiety song is that you don’t need to try to chase friends or impress anyone. Stay true to yourself and have a handful of friends who like you for you.

“No, I’m not afraid to stand up and say
I’m a loner, could be cooler, but that’s okay
Don’t need lots of friends who think I’m funny when
The ones I have think I’m God and don’t have to pretend”

33. Hamish Anderson – “Trouble”

Aussie blues-rock legend in the making sings his 2016 debut album song about anxiety with his gravelly vocal tone dripping all over the organ and guitar riffs.

“The trouble
Feel it closing in
I feel it now in everything”

34. Colin Hay – “Overkill”

When you’re anxious you overthink, and most of us overthink at night when we are held prisoner to our thoughts.

This little-known song got boosted onto the radar when it was used in the sitcom “Scrubs”.

“I worry over situations that
I know will be alright
It’s just overkill”

Perfect on a playlist full of songs for overthinking- distract yourself!

35. Julia Michaels ft. Selena Gomez – “Anxiety” 

Back in the world of the young and hip, this pop song about social anxiety is unashamedly honest with its personal lyrics, Julie holds nothing back and is uncensored right from the get-go.

“My friends, they wanna take me to the movies
I tell ’em to f*ck off, I’m holding hands with my depression
And right when I think I’ve overcome it
Anxiety starts kicking in to teach that sh*t a lesson”

This anxiety song’s lyrics are real, as songs about fears go, this one is certainly one of the most candid!

36. Camila Cabello – “Real Friends”

There is a tonne of songs about being overwhelmed with life that can fill a spot on our list of songs about worry, but what about a song to counter it?

As well as songs about overcoming anxiety we have chosen this beautiful song chock-full of the closest harmonies for the ears to hear and relaxing strumming.

The lyrics have a soothing and positive effect.

“Hold your head up high
Rise it up, it’s fine terrain
The time will come again”

37. Christina Perri – “Human”

Sometimes the best music for anxiety is a song that has lyrics that demonstrate to the anxious listener that they are not alone in how they feel but ultimately promote acceptance. Perri’s song does exactly that reminding us that we are “only human”.

“I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part”

38. Sia – “Breathe me”

Sia demonstrates fragility with her usually powerful vocals and bluntly weak lyrics.

“Be my friend, hold me
Wrap me up, enfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up and breathe me”

The decision to use dramatic strings pitted against childish xylophones musically echoes the needy and worrisome sentiment and makes it one hell of a nervous song.

39. Ellie Goulding – “Don’t Panic”

Though it appears to be just another teenage love song on the surface, the lyrics have a little more sentiment to them than may first appear. A lot of our fears and worries can come from relationships.

We have high hopes and when things don’t go to plan our worlds metaphorically fall apart. With its simply put stark reminder as a hook; “Don’t Panic” this one of those songs about panic to turn up and let your cares slip away with.

40. Set It Off – “Why Worry” 

We have saved one of the best songs about overcoming fears for last. This 2014 theatrical rock opera homage is not like your average song about worry.

“Stand up, life is too damn short
That clock is ticking

Man up, if ya feel me
Everybody sing it

Please tell me why do we worry?

Final Thoughts

So there you have it our best anxiety songs list. We hope we found the middle ground between songs to ease anxiety and songs about panic; We promise we were aiming for more ‘music for anxiety attacks’ than anxiety-inducing music!

It is hardly surprising that there is a constant rise in songs dealing with social issues. We have had a disconnected couple of years and technology can bring us together can ultimately have the opposite effect promoting unhealthy perceptions. Social anxiety is a big issue in recent years.

Ultimately the best song for anxiety is one that helps but what helps is down to the individual.

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Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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