Music that reduces your anxiety doesn’t need to be soft or calm.
I know this goes against some popular beliefs about how piano music or Bach or Spotify’s “Peaceful Piano” station should help reduce your anxiety.
But the reality? It may not. And that’s okay.
Maybe piano music doesn’t soothe you, but Beyonce does. Maybe you’ve heard that Bach helps people relax, but it just doesn’t work for you. Maybe you’ve tried to listen to the “Peaceful Piano” station on Spotify, but it just makes you feel more anxious and unsettled.
Sometimes music that reduces your anxiety can be loud, bass-heavy, or really bold. Feeling firmly grounded in your body and the present moment can actually be quite soothing.
Anxiety can be a powerful energy, and sometimes it needs to be met with a similar energy in order to be soothed.
My music & anxiety story
Recently I was on a phone call that left me with some residual anxiety – I could feel the tightness in my chest, and how my breath was pretty shallow.
I was driving at the time, so I put on the radio, and while station-surfing, landed on Sia’s “Cheap Thrills”.
Is this my usual go-to music while driving? Not especially.
But somehow in that moment it really worked for me, and I cranked it up and even raised the bass. I could feel the steady bass in my chest, and before I knew it I had taken a good deep breath – without even trying.
You know the kind of breath I mean – the deep breath that scoops down to the “sweet spot” behind your breastbone and reminds you that you have lungs.
This is your permission slip to….
Lean into the music that works for you. Whatever that might be – and it may change.
Be open to the possibility that a completely random song might help reduce your anxiety.
Invite some exploration into unfamiliar styles and sounds.