31 Of The Best Songs About Fear And Being Scared

Written by Dan Farrant

All of us have something to fear. It can be something mild or something debilitating. Fear is a powerful emotion that causes changes in us when we perceive a threat or danger.

Music captures these emotions in a way that can be cathartic and enlightening. And so, artists across genres and eras have tapped into this theme. They use their lyrics and melodies to confront, express, and overcome their fears.

Today, we are bringing you 31 of the best songs about fear and being scared. We hope these will resonate with you as they mirror our own fears and anxieties. Let’s begin.

1. “I Will Fear No More” By The Afters

Up first, we have “I Will Fear No More” by The Afters. This song explores fear in relation to feelings of anxiety and apprehension about the future.

The lyrics describe the narrator as someone fearing what lies ahead. He feels as if he is not in control of his future.

However, the song is a comforting reminder that fear does not have control over our lives. It reminds us that we can come to God, who gives us strength and courage. It’s knowing that trusting God is better than allowing fear to have a grip on us.

2. “The Fear” By Lily Allen

Singer-songwriter Lily Allen sings about the anxieties associated with society’s obsession with wealth, fame, and material possessions in “The Fear.” In particular, she talks about the problems that come with celebrity lifestyles.

In the lyrics, the narrator lets us know her desire “to be rich” and with “lots of money.” She wants to have clothes and pieces of jewelry and to be famous.

But behind all these material things, she questions the realness of life in a world dominated by materialism and consumerism. She voices out her fear surrounding the superficiality and emptiness of such pursuits.

3. “Fear Is A Liar” By Zach Williams

All of us can use some words of encouragement when fear paralyzes us. Listening to Zach Williams‘ “Fear Is a Liar” will do us good, as it reminds us to overcome our fear.

Williams does a great job illustrating what fear does to us and our lives. Fear tells us we are “not good enough,” “not strong enough,” and “not loved.” These are lies that manifest as self-doubt, insecurities, and negative thoughts. What they do is hold us back from living a fulfilling life.

The lyrics remind us that fear will “stop you in your steps” and “steal your happiness.” The song encourages us to seek God and ask Him to “let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears.”

4. “FEAR.” By Kendrick Lamar

American rapper Kendrick Lamar shares his own experiences with fear in this 2017 single. Released from the album DAMN., “FEAR.” explores this emotion in its various forms throughout Lamar’s life.

The song is divided into three verses, each one describing his fears and worries at ages 7, 17, and 27. These fears have something to do with anxieties and the thoughts of dying and losing his success and fame.

Throughout the song, Lamar examines how fear has shaped his life from childhood to adulthood. It’s a closer look at personal growth and the role fear plays in it.

5. “The Breakup Song” By Francesca Battistelli

The 2018 single “The Breakup Song” by Francesca Battistelli is not really about breaking up with someone. Battistelli sings about breaking away from fear.

In the context of the song, fear is personified as an oppressive relationship that the narrator wants to end. The song speaks to her decision to refuse fear, to “break up” with it, and to reclaim control over her life.

Furthermore, the narrator is already tired of living under the weight of fear. Now, she is making a conscious effort to part ways with fear and live a liberating and empowering life.

6. “Doubt” By Twenty One Pilots

At its core, Twenty One Pilots‘ “Doubt” is about self-doubt and fear. It works as a prayer for someone who’s afraid of what he’s become and is asking for help.

Like many songs out there, “Doubt” is also open to interpretation. It’s safe to say that here, the narrator is calling to God and asking for His forgiveness for doubting Him. This is addressed in the lines “Don’t forget about me / even when I doubt you.”

Another angle of the song shows that the narrator is losing touch with his faith, particularly in difficult times. He confronts his fears head-on, pleading with God for reassurance and a desire to overcome his fears.

7. “Scared Of Beautiful” By Brandy

Many can relate to Brandy‘s “Scared of Beautiful.” This track is about the fear of embracing one’s true self and potential. It speaks to the struggles of those who want to step out of their comfort zones and accept their unique identities.

The song encourages listeners to confront these fears, accept their individuality, and embrace their unique qualities. It also invites them not to allow fear to hold them back from becoming who they’re meant to be.

Essentially, “Scared of Beautiful” is about overcoming the fear of self-acceptance and growth. It’s a call not to be scared of the beautiful potential that lies within us.

8. “Guts Over Fear” By Eminem Ft. Sia

When it comes to songs with “fear” in the lyrics, we shouldn’t forget “Guts Over Fear” by Eminem, featuring Sia. This motivational song leaves a beautiful message about overcoming fear and the courage it takes to face fears head-on.

The song chronicles Eminem’s real-life struggle with his rap career. He talks about feeling stuck in his career, worried about public perception, and the pain he’s caused others. Not only that. He’s also scared of stagnation, judgment, and causing harm to others.

The central theme of this song is overcoming these fears. It tells us to have the guts to face fear and persevere despite the odds.

9. “The Fear” By Ben Howard

As the title suggests, Ben Howard‘s “The Fear” is about this emotion. In particular, it delves into one’s internal struggle with fear and worry.

The song depicts how fear can confine us and limit our lives. This is addressed in the line, “I been worryin’ that we all live our lives in the confines of fear.” The lyrics also convey the narrator’s anxieties and fears, as well as the universal human experience of fear.

In essence, “The Fear” is about confronting and acknowledging our fears. It contemplates how fear shapes our lives and our decisions.

10. “Only Fear Of Death” By Tupac Shakur

The late American rapper Tupac Shakur, who died in a drive-by shooting, talks about death in “Only Fear of Death.” The song was released from his R U Still Down? (Remember Me) album, which contains three songs of which the lyrics foreshadow his death.

In “Only Fear of Death,” the rapper reflects on his life, struggles, and contemplation of his mortality. He expresses his fear of death, as seen in the lines “Or will they kill me while I’m sleepin’? / Two to the head while I’m in bed / leakin’ blood on my satin sheets.”

The song also mentions Franklin D. Roosevelt’s quote about fearing fear itself. This suggests that Tupac’s fear is not just about physical death. He also worries about the psychological fear that can keep us from living life to the fullest.

11. “Mr. Fear” By Siamés

Another song that delves into one’s struggle against fear is “Mr. Fear” by the electro-pop rock band SIAMÉS. The song personifies fear, making it a tangible entity that one can confront and challenge.

The lyrics encourage listeners to face their fears head-on rather than letting them control their lives. The song emphasizes that fear is something that can be overcome. By facing our fears, we can move past them and grow.

In essence, “Mr. Fear” reflects on the nature of fear and how it can impact our lives. It invites listeners to confront their fears and take control of their destiny.

12. “Fear The Future” By St. Vincent

This song with “fear” in the title addresses the anxiety for what lies ahead. St. Vincent‘s “Fear the Future” suggests the narrator’s apprehension toward the future, an experience many can relate to.

The lyrics describe apocalyptic images such as the earth splitting in two and the walls rising and falling. We can consider these metaphorical expressions of fear about changes that we cannot control.

Throughout the song, there is a sense of urgency, which suggests the need for survival. The narrator seeks guidance and finds it in someone, likely a higher authority, as reflected in the lines “Come on, Sir / just give me an answer.”

13. “Fearless” By Jasmine Murray

Released in 2018, Jasmine Murray‘s “Fearless” imparts a beautiful message about overcoming fear. The song was inspired by her own experience, making her realize that God wants us to be paralyzed by what we fear.

Basically, the song tells us that fear doesn’t have to control us. We don’t have to struggle with all the things that we fear. It reminds us that we are not “given the spirit of fear.” Instead, we are given “the power of love.”

Murray talks about finding strength in our faith and choosing to live life fearlessly. That is, despite the challenges and uncertainties that life brings.

14. “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” By Blue Öyster Cult

The lead guitarist and vocalist of Blue Öyster Cult, Donald Roeser, penned “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” It was born out of a health scare he had due to a heart condition. He penned the song while imagining an early death for himself.

Through the lyrics, Roeser presents death as something that we should not fear. Rather, it is a natural part of life. The lyrics use metaphors like seasons, wind, sun, and rain to illustrate that death is a part of the cycle of life.

The line “Don’t fear the reaper” is a call to let go of the fear of death. It invites listeners to view death as an inevitable part of life.

15. “Fear Of Sleep” By The Strokes

We all have something to fear. In The Strokes‘ “Fear of Sleep,” the narrator fears confronting his thoughts and emotions, especially during quiet moments.

In the lyrics, the narrator seems to be avoiding sleep. Sleep is usually associated with respite from reality. But in the context of the song, it is perceived as somewhere he doesn’t want to be.

It’s likely due to nightmares or what his dreams might reveal about his subconscious mind. He hides from the world, much like a squirrel. It suggests his desire to escape reality and his inner turmoil.

16. “Fear Of The Dark” By Iron Maiden

The title track of Iron Maiden’s 1992 album, “Fear of the Dark” was penned by the band’s primary songwriter, Steve Harris. In an interview with lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson, he stated that Harris himself is afraid of the dark.

The lyrics follow a man walking alone in the park at night. He feels “a little strange” and “a little anxious when it’s dark.” It’s the perfect situation for someone to overthink and imagine things, such as being watched.

“Fear of the Dark” explores why we’re afraid of the dark. It shows that it’s not just the physical absence of light. Rather, it’s the symbolic representation of the unknown, the unseen, and the potentially threatening.

17. “Fear Of Dying” By Poppy

Our next song, “Fear of Dying” by Poppy, is an original by Jack Off Jill. It explores the theme of fear of death and boredom.

The song opens with the narrator stating she’s not afraid of standing still or speaking her mind. Instead, her fear resides in being bored. We can look at it as a fear of life lacking excitement or meaning. It can also be a fear of the passing of time and the inevitability of death.

In essence, “Fear of Dying” is about dealing with fears that come with existence — from the fear of unfulfilled life to the fear of death itself.

18. “Scared” By Jeremy Zucker

A song that explores the fear of vulnerability and uncertainty is Jeremy Zucker‘s “Scared.” It was released in 2022 from the album Winter Blues 2023.

The lyrics reveal the narrator’s innermost fears and concerns, particularly those that have to do with apprehension about the future. The opening line — “Don’t move, there’s a lion next to you” — can be interpreted metaphorically as his fear of facing life’s challenges.

The recurring phrase “So yeah, I’m scared” is an honest admission of these fears. It serves as the first step in acknowledging and confronting them.

19. “There Goes The Fear” By Doves

In “There Goes the Fear,” the indie rock band Doves explores the fear of letting go and facing regrets. Here, the narrator struggles with feelings of alienation and loneliness.

The lyrics “We’re out of here / out of heartache / along with fear” represent his fear of change and the unknown. He longs to escape his current circumstances and face the fear of moving on. In addition, the song talks about the fear of missed opportunities, as seen in the line, “You turn around and life’s passed you by.”

But there’s also a positive message behind “There Goes the Fear.” The song tells us to take responsibility for our lives and move on.

20. “Fear For Nobody” By Måneskin

We’ve all experienced fearing what people think about us. That’s what “Fear for Nobody” by Måneskin is talking about. In particular, the song delves into the fear of judgment from others and the limitations it can impose on our lives.

In the lyrics, the narrator shows his determination to fight and stand up for his beliefs. He refuses to let others dictate or influence his decisions out of fear.

The lines “I don’t have fear, I will survive” and “Please don’t close your eyes” speak to inner strength and resilience against adversity. These emphasize the narrator’s refusal to surrender to fear.

21. “Fear Is The Weakness” By In Flames

Up next is a song that mentions fear and its impact on one’s life. “Fear is the Weakness” is a song by the Swedish heavy metal band In Flames. It can be found on their 2011 album Sounds of a Playground Fading.

The song emphasizes the idea that fear can be a paralyzing force. It steps in the way of personal growth and affects relationships negatively. This is addressed in the lines “Fear is the weakness in all of us / It’s sad to see you go.” These show how destructive fear can be, leading to loss and regret.

“Fear is the Weakness” reminds us that fear can hold us back. It can consume our thoughts and impact our actions. But the song encourages us to face our inner demons head-on.

22. “In Fear And Faith” By Circa Survive

Let’s move on to “In Fear and Faith,” a single from the American rock band Circa Survive. It’s about the fear of isolation, loneliness, and the thought of being left behind. The lyrics capture the narrator’s struggle with these fears.

In “Can we last through the winter?” the narrator could be referring to a period of hardship. He questions if he and his partner can endure this “winter,” indicating his fear of the relationship not surviving through the tough times.

In addition, the song tackles the fear that comes from feeling disconnected from a loved one. This fear of drifting apart adds another layer to the overall theme of fear in the song.

23. “Afraid” By Tenth Avenue North

Up next, we have a song about fear arising from uncertainty and insecurity. Tenth Avenue North released “Afraid” from their 2016 album Followers.

The narrator expresses at the beginning of the song that he does not want to be afraid anymore. In the past, he had surrendered to anxiety and distress. But he has come to realize that “worries only wasted time.”

This time, he is lifting his worries to God, knowing that “[he] is safe in [His] love.” He asserts his desire to overcome his fears and regain control of his life.

24. “The Fear” By The Shins

In “The Fear” by The Shins, missed opportunities and regret are the centerpiece. The song captures the narrator’s emotions as he regrets letting go of a relationship.

The lyrics “Of all the stupid things / a man could feel / while his freedom rings / he squanders the deal” suggest that he deals with the fear of having made the wrong decision. This exhibits fear of loss and the anxiety that comes from questioning his own choices.

In addition, the song explores the fear and sadness of missing the opportunity to create a meaningful relationship. He reflects on this, leading to a sense of regret and melancholy.

25. “Fear” By X Ambassadors Ft Imagine Dragons

Featuring Imagine Dragons, X Ambassadors sing about the fear associated with uncertainty in “Fear.” The song captures the narrator’s unease upon witnessing a younger generation coming into power.

The lyrics encapsulate paranoia and anxiety as the shifts in power dynamics unfold. We can characterize this as the fear of the unknown as the new generation takes control. This is addressed in the line “The kids are coming out tonight.”

In essence, “Fear” explores the fear of societal changes, the fear of the unknown and the future. The line “God, I’m running in fear, fear, fear” captures the sense of anxiety associated with uncertainty.

26. “Fear” By Sade

From the 1985 album Promise comes a song about fear associated with vulnerability and uncertainty in relationships. Sade‘s “Fear” explores the complexity of this emotion.

In particular, the song explores the depths of fear and how it can affect people. The narrator deals with internal fear, which affects her perception of the outside world. We can see this as the fear that her emotions will be visible to others, rendering her vulnerable.

The song also delves into the fear of loving again. Her fear and hesitation reflect the challenges of vulnerability and the courage needed to overcome these fears.

27. “Fear And Loathing” By Marina And The Diamonds

Singer-songwriter Marina and the Diamonds sings about fear in the context of self-discovery, personal growth, and the pursuit of mental well-being. “Fear and Loathing” chronicles her journey toward understanding and, ultimately, overcoming her fears.

From the lyrics, we can tell the challenges the narrator has been through. She finds herself sick and tired of living a life dominated by “fear and loathing.” She wants to break free from this cycle of negativity.

Despite what she’s been through, she “wanna feel like [she’s] floating / instead of constantly exploding / in fear and loathing.” This shows she wants to free herself from her fears and experience freedom.

28. “Panic Room” By Au/Ra

Let’s explore fear associated with anxiety and self-doubt in Au/Ra‘s “Panic Room.” This place is a metaphorical space where distressing feelings imprison individuals.

The lyrics follow the narrator, who struggles with anxiety. The “panic room” represents a mental state where fears come alive, and she wrestles with her inner demons. Here, she feels trapped by her fears and insecurities.

The narrator describes the experience as scary. However, the song reminds us that if we face our fears, we can get out of the panic room.

29. “Untethered Angel” By Dream Theater

Fear is like an invisible rope or chain that controls and restricts you. Dream Theater‘s “Untethered Angel” depicts the destructive power of fear and how it can limit an individual.

The lyrics illustrate the narrator who has created a world of chaos and fear around himself. This fear keeps him from taking chances, making mistakes, and exploring new possibilities. It tethers him and restricts his growth and progress.

If the individual does nothing, fear can debilitate him and stop him from reaching his true potential. What he should do is untether himself from his fears and embrace the unknown.

30. “Scared To Live” By The Weeknd

Now, we come to the penultimate song on our list. “Scared to Live” by The Weeknd explores fears associated with love and relationships. In particular, it delves into the fear of vulnerability and the potential pain of a breakup.

The lyrics tell the story of a failed relationship that has left the narrator’s ex scared of loving again. This fear comes from the emotional scars left by the breakup. And now it makes her hesitate to pursue new relationships.

The line “So don’t be scared to live again” serves as words of encouragement from the narrator. He urges her to move on with her life and not be afraid to love and start again without him.

31. “Fear Not” By Chris Tomlin

For the last song, we present Chris Tomlin‘s “Fear Not.” This song addresses fear from a Christian perspective.

The song’s central theme is the reassurance of God’s constant presence and unwavering support in times of fear. The song draws inspiration from various passages in the Bible where God commands his followers not to fear.

It also reminds listeners of God’s faithfulness. It emphasizes that even in difficult times, God won’t abandon His people. This message encourages listeners to trust in God and let go of their fears.

Summing Up Our List Of Fear Songs

In wrapping up, the songs above showed us the many facets and the depths of fear. They also proved that fear is a universal human experience, something that can be managed in many ways.

We hope that these songs provided you with a medium to explore and understand emotions that arise from fear. And may these songs remind you that we are not alone in our fears and that it’s okay to face them.

This is it for now. If there are other songs about being scared that you want to see on the list, do tell us. We’ll include them for you!

Photo of author

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.