Music for Anxiety Attacks: Finding Calm in the Chaos [2023]

Feeling overwhelmed by anxiety can be debilitating, but finding ways to manage it is crucial for our well-being. One effective tool that can help during anxiety attacks is music. Whether it's soothing melodies, gentle sounds of nature, or uplifting rhythms, the right kind of music can ease our anxiety and bring us back to a state of calm. In this article, we'll explore the power of music in managing anxiety attacks and provide you with some helpful tips on finding the perfect tunes to support your journey towards relaxation and peace of mind.

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Anxiety attacks can trigger a cascade of uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms, making it difficult to regain control. However, research has shown that engaging with calming music can have a profound effect on our nervous system, helping to reduce anxiety levels and promote relaxation. The power of music lies not only in its ability to distract us from distressing thoughts but also in its capacity to stimulate the release of endorphins, our body's natural feel-good hormones.

The Science Behind Music and Anxiety

Many studies have explored the therapeutic benefits of music for anxiety, and the results are promising. When we listen to music that resonates with us, our brains release dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This release of dopamine can help ease our anxious thoughts and promote a sense of calm. Additionally, music has the ability to affect our heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels, all of which play a role in our body's stress response.

Types of Music for Anxiety Attacks

When it comes to finding the right music to alleviate anxiety, everyone has different preferences. However, some genres and styles of music have been found to be particularly effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. Let's explore some options:

1. Classical Music

Classical music, known for its soothing and melodic qualities, has been a popular choice for relaxation for centuries. Composers like Mozart, Bach, and Chopin have created compositions that can transport us to a peaceful state of mind. The slow tempo, gentle melodies, and intricate harmonies of classical music can help lower our heart rate, decrease muscle tension, and promote deep breathing.

Key features:

  • Slow tempo and gentle melodies
  • Intricate harmonies
  • Minimal use of vocals
  • Compositions by Mozart, Bach, Chopin, and others


  • Well-studied and proven to reduce anxiety
  • Historical compositions with a refined artistic quality
  • Helps lower heart rate and decrease muscle tension


  • Preference for classical music varies among individuals
  • May not resonate with everyone's musical taste

Check out some soothing classical music tracks: Check price on Amazon

2. Ambient and Nature Sounds

For those who find solace in the sounds of nature, ambient and nature-inspired music can be a calming choice. These genres often feature gentle sounds like raindrops, waves, or birdsong, which can create a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Listening to these natural sounds can transport our minds away from anxiety-inducing thoughts and help us reconnect with the present moment.

Key features:

  • Sounds of nature (e.g., rain, waves, birdsong)
  • Minimalistic and atmospheric compositions
  • Soft and unobtrusive melodies
  • Long, continuous tracks for uninterrupted listening


  • Creates a soothing and natural environment
  • Provides an escape from everyday stressors
  • Promotes mindfulness and present-moment awareness


  • Some individuals may find it too minimalistic
  • Limited lyrical content

Listen to ambient and nature sounds: Check price on Amazon

3. Guided Meditation and Relaxation Music

For those seeking a more guided approach to relaxation, guided meditation and relaxation music can be highly beneficial. These genres often incorporate spoken-word guidance or affirmations along with calming music to help us focus our minds, deepen our breathing, and let go of anxious thoughts. Guided meditation can provide a sense of reassurance, while relaxation music creates a soothing backdrop for introspection and stress reduction.

Key features:

  • Spoken-word guidance or affirmations
  • Ambient background music
  • Slow and deliberate pacing
  • Focus on deep breathing and relaxation techniques


  • Provides a structured approach to relaxation
  • Offers guidance for mindfulness and stress reduction
  • Ideal for those who prefer a more interactive experience


  • Requires active participation
  • Personal compatibility with the guide's voice and style

Engage in guided meditation and relaxation: Check price on Amazon

4. Instrumental and Minimalist Music

Instrumental and minimalist music can be another effective choice for easing anxiety symptoms. These genres focus on creating a tranquil atmosphere without the distraction of lyrics. The simplicity of instrumental compositions can help us disengage from racing thoughts and find stillness within. Whether it's solo piano, calming jazz, or modern ambient tracks, the absence of words allows us to immerse ourselves fully in the soothing sounds.

Key features:

  • Lack of vocal content
  • Simplicity and minimalism in composition
  • Calming instrumentation (e.g., piano, flute, guitar)
  • Emphasis on creating ambient and relaxing soundscapes


  • Emotionally evocative without lyrics
  • Provides a backdrop for introspection and reflection
  • Ideal for enhancing focus and concentration


  • Some individuals may prefer lyrical content
  • Minimalist styles may feel repetitive to some listeners

Explore instrumental and minimalist music: Check price on Amazon

5. Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are an emerging trend in the realm of anxiety-reducing music. These beats consist of two slightly different tones played simultaneously in each ear, creating a perceived sound frequency that can influence brainwave activity. Different frequencies are believed to have varying effects on our state of mind, with some claiming they can induce relaxation, focus, or even sleep. However, the research on binaural beats is still in its early stages, so individual experiences may vary.

Key features:

  • Two slightly different tones played simultaneously
  • Induces a perceived sound frequency
  • Available in various frequencies and target outcomes
  • Specially designed audio tracks


  • Unique and specialized approach to relaxation
  • May supplement meditation or mindfulness practices
  • Offers a variety of frequencies to suit individual needs


  • Limited scientific research on their long-term effects
  • May not be effective for everyone

Experience binaural beats: Check price on Amazon

Creating Your Anxiety Attack Music Playlist

Now that you have an understanding of the different types of music that can help during an anxiety attack, it's time to create your customized playlist. Follow these steps to curate a collection of songs that resonate with you:

  1. Explore different genres: Start by experimenting with different genres and styles of music. Listen to various tracks and note how they make you feel. Pay attention to the tempo, instrumentation, and overall atmosphere of the music.

  2. Select your favorites: As you listen, choose the songs that evoke a sense of calm and relaxation for you. These could be classical compositions, ambient tracks, guided meditations, instrumental pieces, or binaural beats. Personal preference plays a significant role in finding music that works best for you.

  3. Consider the flow: Arrange your selected songs in a way that creates a smooth flow between tracks. Pay attention to the pacing and energy level of each piece, ensuring that they complement and transition seamlessly from one to the next.

  4. Experiment and adapt: Your musical preferences may change over time, so don't hesitate to update your playlist as needed. Stay open to discovering new artists, albums, or genres that resonate with you and enhance your overall relaxation experience.

Remember, the goal of your anxiety attack music playlist is to create a calming and nurturing auditory experience that redirects your focus away from anxious thoughts and promotes a sense of tranquility.

How to Use Music During an Anxiety Attack

During an anxiety attack, music can be a powerful tool to help you regain control and find relief. Here are some tips on how to incorporate music effectively when you're experiencing heightened anxiety:

  1. Find a quiet space: Seek out a quiet, comfortable space where you can listen to your chosen music without interruptions. Creating an environment free of distractions helps you fully immerse yourself in the soothing sounds and focus on your breathing.

  2. Focus on your breath: As you listen to the music, place your attention on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths in sync with the rhythm of the music. This will help regulate your breathing, lowering your heart rate and promoting relaxation.

  3. Visualize a safe space: Use the music as a backdrop to visualize yourself in a serene and safe environment. Imagine a place where you feel calm, supported, and protected. The combination of music and visualization can help alleviate anxiety and create a sense of inner peace.

  4. Engage in gentle movement: If you feel restless during an anxiety attack, try incorporating gentle movements such as swaying, stretching, or slow pacing. Allow the music to guide your movements and help release any tension or restlessness you may be experiencing.

  5. Experiment with headphones: If you find that external noise or disturbances are impacting your ability to relax, consider using headphones. Headphones can help create a more immersive experience, blocking out ambient sounds and allowing you to fully focus on the music.

Remember, everyone's experience with anxiety attacks is unique, so find what works best for you. Trust your instincts and listen to your body's cues to guide you towards the music that brings you the most comfort and relief.


Q: What music is good for intense anxiety?

A: When experiencing intense anxiety, it's beneficial to choose music that promotes relaxation and calmness. Classical music, guided meditations, and ambient sounds are all great options. Experiment with different genres to see what resonates with you personally.

Q: What kind of music helps panic attacks?

A: During a panic attack, music that induces a sense of tranquility and serenity can be beneficial. Gentle melodies, nature sounds, and instrumental compositions are often effective in helping to manage panic symptoms.

Q: What should I listen to during an anxiety attack?

A: The best music to listen to during an anxiety attack is subjective and depends on personal preference. However, it's commonly recommended to choose music with a slower tempo, gentle melodies, and minimal use of lyrics. Guided relaxation tracks or ambient sounds can also provide a soothing backdrop.

Q: Can music calm an anxiety attack?

A: Music has the potential to calm an anxiety attack by diverting our attention, regulating our breathing, and promoting relaxation. However, it's important to remember that everyone's experience is different. Experiment with different genres and find what works best for you.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • In a survey of anxiety sufferers, 8 out of 10 respondents reported that music helps them manage and reduce anxiety symptoms.
  • Listening to music before bed can help alleviate anxiety-related insomnia and promote better sleep quality.
  • Music therapy is an established field that utilizes the power of music to address various mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders.

Note: The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If you are experiencing severe anxiety or panic attacks, it is crucial to seek support from a qualified healthcare professional.

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