Music for anxiety relief

Experiencing symptoms of anxiety can be frustrating, upsetting, and sometimes scary. It’s important to note that if you are having feelings of anxiety, you’re note alone – over 300 million people worldwide suffer from anxiety disorders.

When anxiety makes it feel like the world is crashing down around you, having tools you know you can rely on to ground you and help you feel a little calmer can be a game changer. Some studies have shown that listening to music may reduce stress levels, and decrease anxiety levels in stressful situations, such as during surgery or during cancer treatment.

Here are a couple of types of music that might help distract or relax you when you’re feeling anxious.

Nature sounds

Connecting with nature is widely accepted as an activity that can induce feelings of calm and relaxation. The tranquil ambiance provided by the sounds of the wind rustling leaves, the gentle flow of a stream, or the comforting presence of rain trickling down from a cloudy sky may help bring you peace. Sometimes overlaid with dreamy musical harmonies, these tracks might help ground you in the presence of the natural world and its serenity.

Here are our favorite nature sounds playlists:

Dreamy Forest Music

Zen Garden

Green Noise

Night Rain

Forest Bathing

Classical music

Many forms of classical music are written to impart a soothing, restful quality on the listener. One study showed that in comparison to pop music, listening to classical music by popular composers Mozart and Strauss significantly lowered blood pressure and heart rate, which are usually elevated when the body is experiencing a stress response.

Some of our top picks for relaxing classical playlists:

Chilled Classical

Atmospheric Piano

Classical Sleep

Relaxing Bach

Gentle Classical

Instrumental covers

Sometimes you might need that comforting sense of familiarity that comes with the music you love, but the original just has a bit too much going on. Alternatively, you might want to take the lyrics out of your favorite tunes so you can focus, but still get the pleasure and satisfaction of listening to a sound you know and enjoy. Instrumental covers tick all the boxes here – bringing you the distraction you need with a twist.

Some popular instrumental cover playlists include:

This Is Vitamin String Quartet

Calming Instrumental Covers

Relaxing Guitar Covers

Sleep Covers

Chilled Classical Covers

Sound bath

A sound bath refers to the experience of being immersed in deep sound vibrations that may aid in relaxation. They can involve a variety of instruments, including chimes, tuning forks, gongs, and singing bowls. Sound baths are often used as part of meditation.

Here are a couple of sound bath playlists to get you started with the practice:

Sound Bath

Tibetan Bowls

741 Hz


There are a couple of different forms of ‘noise’ that some people use to focus, distract, and calm themselves.

White noise is a combination of all the sounds the human ear is able to hear, which ends up sounding like TV static. Because it crosses the entire spectrum of hearing, it may help to drown out the world around you.

Brown noise is similar to white noise, but sounds deeper, and as a result may be more soothing. There is also pink noise, which has a slightly more muted sound.

We’ve found a couple of noise playlists for you:

Brown Noise

White Noise 10 Hours

10 Hours of Pink Noise Sleep

Sleep Noise

Noise Cancelling

How do I know if music helps my anxiety?

After starting a new intervention, such as music therapy, it can be tricky to keep track of how your symptoms are changing or any side effects you may be experiencing. It can be even harder to try and recall this information in the limited time during an appointment.

Human Health is a free app that helps you track your symptoms and any treatments you might be taking. You’ll even get push notifications to remind you to take your treatments. Using a health tracker can help provide you and your doctor about which treatments are working for you, so you can make more informed decisions about your health.

Click here to download Human Health.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you know someone that might benefit from reading about music and sounds that might help soothe anxiety, please share this with them. We’d love for our resources to reach those who need them.

Olivia Holland
Medical Writer