Calm that Anxiety Playlist
Let these songs ease your mind
Through the years, I've recognized how powerful music is to calm the soul. As a preteen, I fell asleep to Amy Grant's album Heart in Motion. I waited anxiously on the radio for Gloria Estefan's "I See You Smile". Through the years, I went through phases of what songs calmed my troubled soul--some pop, rock, or gospel music. However it works, music speaks and soothes the spirit.
So here I share songs that helped me through and others that my friends and family recommended.
Journey from the Past
My former high school tennis coach suggested Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time", which was my junior prom theme song. I danced to this music many times while practicing the junior promenade choreography. I have fond memories.
In my college freshman year, I sang two songs repeatedly while cleaning first-grade classrooms in the evening. I only knew the chorus and a few other lines, so I croaked out "One step at a time" and "Everything's going to be all right. Rock-a-bye, Rock-a-bye" from the 1997 Anastasia "Journey from the Past" and Shawn Mullins' "Lullaby".
I first heard "Control" sung by Zoey Wees while having a root canal in the summer of 2020. I only caught some of the lyrics, but I felt more relaxed while waiting in the dentist's chair. Truly, who wouldn't be stressed before a root canal? This also came when many of us had increased anxiety because of COVID-19 and racial tensions.
After an extensive google search, I finally found the music video. Then I added the song to my Spotify playlist along with "Ocean" by Lady A. I lay on the floor or couch while listening to these songs. I felt a peace come over me while I sang along or just listened. My muscles relaxed.
Zoey Wees wrote this song about the anxiety and epilepsy she personally faces.
The Sun Is Rising
One late night last winter, I watched the movie "The Other Woman". I wasn't sure what to think of the show. Mostly, it had lots of laughs. Then there's a scene after all three women have almost finished their revenge on the philanderer husband. While they sit on the beach, the "other" women comfort the wife as she lets go of her toxic marriage. The soundtrack plays "The Sun Is Rising" by Britt Nicole during the sunrise. That moment engenders hope and peace for a better tomorrow.
Let It Be
I always think of Sesame Street's "Letter B" instead of the Beatles' hit song. When I asked friends for songs that calm them, my friend MH suggested a different version of "Let It Be" that her yoga instructor played. This version has an upbeat guitar vibe. (MH also suggested "Sun Sleeping at Last" and "Jabberwocky".) Another family friend stated she listens to Meditation Station over Alexa.
The Uncles Who Teased Me Suggestions
On my mother's side, my three uncles teased me through my growing years--and they still tease me--so I don't know if I can trust their recommendations. After all, I was more gullible, but I've learned to be skeptical of their suggestions ;). So I looked up some of the lyrics and songs.
The songs range from the 70s to 90s in different genres than I listen to, so I only recognized "Slow Dancing Swayin to the Music". My uncles suggested Pink Floyd's "Shine on Crazy Diamond", Queensryche's "Silent Lucidity", Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend", and Johnny Rivers' "Slow Dancing Swayin to the Music". First, the lyrics and melody of "Silent Lucidity" felt calm as a rock lullaby. Second, "Shine on Crazy Diamond" and "Funeral for a Friend" have memorable keyboard, saxophone, and acoustic guitar solos, which means they also contain fewer lyrics. Third, I enjoy "Slow Dancing Swayin to the Music" as a classic slow dance song.
Finally, my aunt suggested the familiar "You Are My Sunshine"--so familiar that 350+ artists have recorded it. The song feels like part of American culture as much as the "Happy Birthday" song. Sadly, my college roommate used this song as her morning alarm. She hit two alarms off and on for 20-30 minutes. Not so calming for me after that. But it is a beautiful song.
My local radio station carries "Sunday Sounds" in my area which plays the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (Mormon Tabernacle Choir), Hilary Weeks, Lauren Daigle, and other spiritual song artists. On one Sunday drive, I heard Kristene DiMarco's "It Is Well", but I didn't know who sang it. When a neighbor friend suggested it for my list, I was happy to find out the singer so I could add it to my playlist. Others suggested spiritual songs like "Peace in Christ" and David Archuleta's "Glorious". Personally, I enjoy listening to Lauren McDaigle, Hilary Weeks, Amy Grant, Jaci Velasquez, Casting Crowns, and many more. My favorite spiritual songs to relax to are "Go Ye Now in Peace" and "Peace, Be Still."
If you enjoyed these suggestions, consider subscribing, tipping, or pledging to my radio station on Vocal. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook or my blog Musings of a Crazy Redhead.
About the Creator
Wannabe linguist. Wannabe novelist. Blogger. Poet. Avid reader. Boy mom. Have bipolar 2. Experience bisexual attraction. Love America. Love China. English language BA from BYU.
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