I might be bias since I'm a worship pastor, but I have to say that a good song goes a long way when it comes to anxiety. There's something moving and life-giving about music. I'm not just talking about the fun upbeat songs that you belt out when sitting at a stop light while everyone looks at you like you're crazy. Wait, does that just happen to me!?! Anyway... I'm talking about the songs that speak to the dark parts of your soul, the ones that confess your failures and insecurities. Music is emotional for a reason. It provides us a way to express our emotions like nothing else.
Here are some suggestions on how to use music to your advantage when it comes to fighting against your anxiety.
1. Find a Song that Matches the Mood You Want
My go to songs of choice when I'm wrestling with anxiety are actually songs that don't have any words. I love instrumental music. My favorite would be movie scores, but I like everything from jazz music to classical piano. Honestly, classical piano songs seem to calm me down a bit. They aren't harsh or aggressive, which is generally what I'm feeling when I'm overcome with anxiety. No, these songs bring peace, calm and reflection, which is actually the mood I want to have.
2. Find a Song that You Need, Not that You Want
You have to fight the urge to turn on that Radiohead song that makes you feel even more depressed than you already are. You have pass over that Eminem song that makes you want to go out and punch somebody. You have to find a song that you NEED. One that's going to say exactly what you need to hear or say. So what song gives you hope? What song confesses what you need to confess? What song reminds you that there's still good in the world? For me, it's worship music. It reminds me that life is bigger than me, but that I have a savior who loves me. That's what I need to hear especially when I'm overwhelmed.
I know this all seems basic, but music is a powerful weapon in our fight against anxiety. We should use any means necessary to counter the negative attacks. So find that song that'll go a long way in encouraging you toward peace and joy.