If there is one thing on this planet that has the power to soothe the soul and distract the mind, it’s music. Whether its classical, pop, country or even rap; music is therapeutic. It is my savior, my friend and possibly my one true love (besides books of course!). I am constantly singing, whether it be at work, while driving or just when I’m taking a walk. Now, me being me, I don’t sing very loud unless I’m alone in my car because I have a voice like a foghorn and nobody should have to be subjected to it. But even when I’m just humming along to a song while out shopping, I feel more at ease. I feel a little less anxious and a little freer.
I think part of it has to do with the distraction factor. Music often takes me to a different frame of mind. If I’m having a crappy day I flip through my old CD’s and listen to a few tracks for nostalgia’s sake. Every song holds some sort of memory for me. When I first heard it, who I associate it with and even who I was back when I used to listen to it. It’s always interesting when I hear a song like “Low” by Flo Rida come on the radio because it automatically takes me back to my high school days. It’s odd how something as simple as a song can do that, isn’t it?
The other part that’s great about music, for me at least, is the relatability factor. The songs I tend to listen to a lot are the ones I can either relate to or I WANT to be able to relate to them. For instance, if I’m not in a particularly great mood (which is usually in part due to my anxiety) I’ll put on something hip and fun. Something I can dance and sing along to and has a positive message about people who just love life. That often does the trick for me. In fact, the right music selection is often a big part of trying to get me out of a mood. If my social anxiety wasn’t such an all-important dark cloud hovering over my existence, I’d probably be the type to go to clubs and dance the night away several times a week. As it is, I just stick with dancing around the house.
Sometimes people have asked me if there are any songs in particular I listen to when I need to calm myself down or put myself in a better place mentally. I’ve compiled a short list that you may peruse if you’d like. Note, our taste in music may be different so what works for me may not always coincide with what works for others.
Brave– Sara Barielles
Issues- Julia Michaels
Wanted– Hunter Hayes
The Words– Christina Perri
Worth It– Fifth Harmony
The Middle– Jimmy Eat World
Stitches– Shawn Mendes
Nancy Mulligan– Ed Sheeran
Stressed Out– Twenty One Pilots
New York– Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys
So that’s my little list (each song title has a link to the YouTube video that goes with it). Does anyone have any songs they’d like to share that help them when they’re feeling anxious? I’d love to hear them! Over and out my friends.