23 Of The Best Songs About Anxiety And Feeling Worried

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Anxiety is an experience with which many people are familiar. Whether it’s that feeling of worry in the pit of your stomach or a nagging fear that things will go badly, anxiety can come for any one of us.

Whatever might be giving you stress, there is music to help calm you down. So many artists have written about anxiety and all the feelings and thoughts that come along with it.

We have carefully curated a list of 23 of the best songs about anxiety and feeling worried. Read on to find the ones that might resonate with you when you’re feeling tense.

1. “Under Pressure” By David Bowie And Queen

This hit song by David Bowie and Queen hits the nail on the head when it comes to the experience of anxiety. Released in 1981, “Under Pressure” is a pop-rock tune that describes the experience of feeling pressed, squeezed, and pushed by stress on all sides.

“Under Pressure” talks about the stresses that life brings. Can you imagine studying something for many years but ending up having a menial office job?

That’s not all. We assume a lot of responsibilities. We take care of our families, see to the needs of our children and try to be good citizens, too. These can be quite taxing and, no doubt, cause anxiety.

2. “Basket Case” By Green Day

If you are experiencing panic attacks, this song will resonate with you. Green Day‘s “Basket Case” chronicles the experience of losing it due to anxiety.

Green Day waxes about self-doubt, seeking help, and ultimately “cracking up” because of mental stresses. The song says, “Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me.” This could be the working of an overthinking mind or the feeling that you’re going crazy.

It doesn’t get any easier. So if your anxiety has you feeling “paranoid,” it may just be time to crank up some Green Day and let these pop-punks play your troubles away.

3. “The Message” By Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five

When anxiety makes you feel you’re “close to the edge,” Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five know what you mean. Music historians consider “The Message” one of the first hip-hop songs providing commentary on the cultural conditions that cause anxiety.

In the lyrics, the singer tells us about the stress caused by living in an oppressive situation. This song is iconic because it delivers a powerful message regarding anxiety-inducing conditions.

When Grandmaster Flash tells us, “Don’t push me,” we, as listeners, hear the extreme stress he’s describing. And we are ready to heed that warning.

4. “Unwell” By Matchbox Twenty

A lot of people will be able to relate to the song “Unwell” by Matchbox Twenty. Lead vocalist Rob Thomas tells us what it’s like to struggle with anxiety, mental stress, and depression.

According to the lyrics, others may not see your struggles. But they are real and can bring out a “different side” of you. It comes to the point that you are “feelin’ like I’m headed for a breakdown.”

Anyone who has experienced anxiety will tell you that it can make you feel a little crazy. In this song, Matchbox Twenty reassures listeners that they’re not crazy. They’re “just a little unwell” when they experience mental health struggles like anxiety.

5. “Anxiety” By Jason Isbell

One of the few songs with “anxiety” in the title is Jason Isbell‘s “Anxiety.” He is a beautiful lyricist with such a poignant way of describing the everyday human struggles that can bring us down.

Anxiety is no exception. In the song, the lyrics poetically detail the consequences of anxiety. These include sleeplessness, panic, and estrangement from others. Isbell gets to ask his anxiety why it always gets the best of him.

Too often, it can feel like anxiety takes away our best selves and experiences. It makes even the most beautiful and enjoyable things painful.

6. “Paranoid” By Black Sabbath

When anxiety struggles go on for long periods, they can cause us to lose hope that things will ever get better. In “Paranoid,” Black Sabbath expresses that sense of hopelessness perfectly.

The band laments how one can lose relationships when the other person doesn’t understand what’s going on with you. There’s a lot on your mind, and people think you’re crazy.

The sad thing is, you yourself can’t find your happiness. It makes you crave understanding from others. Unfortunately, even though we wish for better times, we may have to face the reality that “it’s too late.”

7. “Disturbia” By Rihanna

This dance-pop song gives us an unfiltered peak inside the world of someone deeply troubled by anxiety. In “Disturbia,” Rihanna feels like she’s “going crazy” because she is so consumed with the “disease of the mind.” That is, anxiety.

In the lyrics, Rihanna is saying that anyone can fall victim to this. It can “come and grab you” without you even realizing it. And pretty soon, anxiety can “control you.” And so Rihanna puts out a warning to people to “watch out.”

The song is raw and genuine, taking us on a journey through all of the anxiety’s deeply disturbing symptoms.

8. “Anxiety” By Blackbear

A song with “anxiety” in the lyrics, “Anxiety,” is one of Blackbear‘s catchy singles. This is a little different from all the other songs on this list. One, because it talks about anxiety when it comes to love and one’s significant other.

Blackbear sings, “I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I get anxiety.” These symptoms manifest when the lover is away from him. At the end of the chorus, he says that the woman herself gives him anxiety.

The whole song reflects what many of us go through when in love. Sometimes we tend to overthink things. It freaks out when we think of what could happen to the relationship.

9. “Heavy Balloon” By Fiona Apple

American singer-songwriter Fiona Apple has never been shy about describing her struggles with anxiety and depression. Just listen to her song “Heavy Balloon,” and you’ll know what we mean.

In the song, the heavy balloon is a metaphor for the weight that one carries when dealing with anxiety. Apple chronicles the struggles and the accompanying desire to bust out from under this heavy balloon.

Apple also sings about how people with anxiety feel lost and heavy. It comes to the point when the only place they know is the bottom. All the while, anxiety keeps “gnawing at me.” It’s like something is blocked, and so the pressure grows.

10. “Happy & Sad” By Kacey Musgraves

Anxiety can strike at the most inopportune time. Just when you’re having fun with friends or a lover, that’s when your mind goes overboard and overthinks. That’s what Kacey Musgraves‘ “Happy & Sad” says.

In the song, she says she gets nervous “when I’m having the time of my life.” She can’t explain it better, but she feels happy and sad at the same time. It gets frustrating, seeing how she wants “to stop all this thinkin'” and just enjoy the moment.

In this slow country ballad, listeners can relate to Musgraves’ mixed emotions and the anxiety new experiences bring. If the rain of anxiety starts to fall on you, crank up this song and let the lyrics soothe your worried mind.

11. “Beginning Of The End” By Weezer

Oftentimes, anxiety is fueled by performance expectations. When others expect us to achieve certain things or behave in particular ways, that can cause stress. Even panic. If your anxiety is related to expectations like these, Weezer knows what you’re going through. Just listen to “Beginning of the End.”

In the song, Weezer chronicles the stressful event of performing live in front of an audience. We find him doing a “last check in the mirror to see if anything’s wrong.” Anxiety manifests in the way his “head is spinning” on seeing his audience.

If you have found yourself “so scared” by what others expect you to achieve, you will relate strongly to this song.

12. “Stress” By Organized Konfusion

American duo Organized Konfusion‘s “Stress” is a song that mentions anxiety through its many debilitating symptoms. Chest pressure, blood rushing to your head, generally feeling heartsick… The list goes on and on.

The lyrics describe stress as a poison, painting quite a bleak picture of this exhausting condition. The line “My brain can’t even rest” points out the fact that anxiety causes you to overthink. It leads you to be more stressed than you already are.

This iconic 90s hip-hop sound, coupled with dark lyrics about all the troubles anxiety can bring, will make a good addition to your playlist.

13. “Inner Demons” By Julia Brennan

In this piano-fueled ballad, Julia Brennan battles against the dark forces of anxiety. She calls them the “Inner Demons.”

In the lyrics, we find her calling on angels to help her make it through. She admits she’s not strong enough to do it on her own. The line “Just push them down, just fight them harder/Why would give up on it so soon?” suggests that she needs help.

And so she calls on her angels to fight for her and listen to her prayers. She implores, “Angels, don’t give up on me today.” Whether she calls for spiritual beings or these angels represent people, it also makes us wish we have angels to come to our rescue when we feel anxious.

14. “In My Blood” By Shawn Mendes

In 2018, Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes released “In My Blood.” The song comes from his self-titled album and explores themes of struggle, anxiety, and vulnerability.

The lyrics showcase the inner turmoil and battles that the singer experiences. From the words, we can tell he’s going through self-doubt and being overwhelmed. He feels “like the walls are caving in,” leaving him hopeless sometimes.

But while he goes through these dark times, he also recognizes he needs help and is not afraid to seek it. He’s looking for someone to help him and give him a hand to pull him out of the dark.

15. “Breathin” By Ariana Grande

In “Breathin’,” Ariana Grande addresses anxiety, stress, and the need for self-care in trying times. She released the song in her 2018 album, Sweetener.

The song’s lyrics convey the singer’s personal struggles with anxiety. She goes through feelings of uneasiness, being overwhelmed, and helplessness. Like most of us, she experiences pessimism and a lack of hope at certain times.

The singer uses the act of breathing as a metaphor for finding relief and regaining control over her life. It serves as a coping mechanism that comes in handy for times of anxiety. Not only that. The song can also be a mantra for people who are going through mental health issues.

16. “Sober” By Demi Lovato

Singer-songwriter Demi Lovato comes from a place of experience in her 2018 hit “Sober.” It addresses her struggles with addiction and her honesty about relapsing after being sober for some time.

The singer shows her vulnerable side as she admits that she has no excuses for her mistakes. She goes through feelings of shame, guilt, and disappointment with herself. She feels bad about letting herself and the people who love her down.

But aside from a heartfelt apology, she promises her mom and dad that she will be better. And that involves seeking help.

17. “Anxiety” By Julia Michaels Ft. Selena Gomez

Our next song deals with anxiety and the effect it has on one’s life and relationships. Julia Michaels collaborated with Selena Gomez and released “Anxiety” in 2021.

Here, the singer experiences emotional struggles that come with anxiety. The song shows us how overwhelming it can be. Anxiety impacts her thoughts and how she interacts with the people around her.

In addition, the song deals with the singer’s self-doubt and fear of judgment. She’s in a constant struggle to find peace within herself. Sadly, she feels detached from her friends because they don’t understand what she’s going through.

18. “Rose-Colored Boy” By Paramore

The American rock band Paramore came out with “Rose-Colored Boy” in 2017. The song reflects one’s attempts at being positive despite going through internal struggles.

In the lyrics, the singer is forced to put on a happy face all the time. But it can be exhausting, not to mention frustrating, to pretend to be okay when inside you’re hurting. Instead of becoming better, it only feeds anxiety.

“Rose-Colored Boy” is a cry to break free from people’s expectations of us. The song tells us that it’s okay to feel negative emotions. And sometimes, just crying it out is what we need to feel better.

19. “Crawling” By Linkin Park

Up next, we have “Crawling,” a song by the American rock band Linkin Park. This song addresses inner turmoil and the singer’s struggle to find his identity.

In the song, the singer feels vulnerable and overwhelmed by his thoughts and emotions. He seems to undergo inner conflict as he deals with insecurities. These are like wounds that do not heal because he has no strength to get out of his predicament. He feels trapped as he struggles to deal with his fears.

The song resonates with listeners who, like the singer, go through self-doubt. Linkin Park is able to capture the difficulty of battling inner demons.

20. “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” By Geto Boys

The hip-hop group Geto Boys deserves a spot on our list with their 1991 song “Mind Playing Tricks On Me.” The song deals with one’s paranoia and anxiety living in a challenging environment.

In the lyrics, the singer experiences mental and emotional distress. Symptoms include the inability to sleep, paranoia, and sweating. He talks about his fears and anxieties, which boil down to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He has no peace as he constantly watches his back for unexpected attacks.

The song shows us the debilitating effect of trauma. Obviously, it takes a toll on the person’s mental well-being.

21. “Overkill” By Men At Work

Overthinking can kill your inner peace. This is the message that the Australian rock band Men at Work wants to share with their song “Overkill.”

Our thoughts and emotions can get the best of us sometimes. If we don’t set boundaries, we tend to overthink, causing us unnecessary stress. We can’t sleep at night, we worry about things, and we let our imagination run away with us.

As the lyrics show, our thoughts and worries can consume us, leading to feelings of being overwhelmed. It repeats night after night, like ghosts that “appear and fade away.” Ghosts are a metaphor for these worries that are never resolved.

22. “I Can’t Breathe” By Bea Miller

American singer Bea Miller released “I Can’t Breathe” from her 2018 album, Aurora. Here, she addresses themes of personal struggle and mental health.

This ballad is a haunting but at the same time hopeful song about being broken inside. She recognizes that there is an issue that must be addressed. She feels suffocated and trapped in a prison from which she doesn’t know how to escape from.

Feeling detached from her own mind and body, she longs to go back to the time when everything was okay. A time when she felt complete and could breathe better.

23. “Fake Smiles” By Phora

We are closing this list with “Fake Smiles” by American rapper Phora, released in 2018. The song addresses the issues surrounding hiding one’s true emotions and putting on a fake smile despite inner pain.

In the song, the singer laments how “my anxiety is breaking me, it kills me.” He is saddened by the state of the fake world he lives in. And so he learned to wear a mask and show fake smiles. But deep inside, he is hurting and suffering from turmoil.

He tries his best to hide what he feels, indulging the world that expects people to be happy all the time. Unsurprisingly, it’s not easy maintaining an outward appearance of happiness.

Summing Up Our List Of Anxiety Songs

Looking for a song to soothe your worried mind? Or one that perfectly describes the experience of debilitating panic? We’ve got you covered.

While anxiety can be isolating, it helps to know you’re not alone. By listening to artists who have had similar experiences, you can combat those feelings of isolation. It helps knowing others have gone through what you’re experiencing now.

As all music lovers know, there is nothing more powerful remedy for your woes than a good song. We hope the songs we listed above somehow helped you.

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.