20 Best Songs About Being Stressed

As with many powerful human experiences, the arts prominently feature stress, including music. Some artists use their craft to process stress and feeling overwhelmed by various aspects of life. 

While the subject matter in these pieces is not always pleasant, listeners and artists find great value in them. Exploring these topics and knowing that others experience similar troubles can be a lovely first step toward escaping negative emotional experiences. Read on to learn about some of the best songs about being stressed. 

 “American Screams” – Arkells

While many of the songs on this list relate to individual experiences of stress and anxiety, “American Screams” is a song inspired by the stress and anxiety surrounding the United States and its political landscape in the early 21st century. 

Even though this song explores complex themes of stress, it is ideal for stress relief thanks to its fast tempo. Listen to this song to explore your stress or go for a run or have a stress-relief dance party. The band, Arkells, released this song in 2018 on their album Rally Cry


“Anxiety” – Jason Isbell

The aptly named Jason Isbell song explores anxiety and describes what it feels like to experience stress and other emotions. The lyrics of the song capture being struck with anxiety as you go about your day. Choose this piece if you are looking for songs about being stressed at work and feeling unease in social situations. 

American singer-songwriter Jason Isbell released the song “Anxiety” in 2017 on the album, The Nashville Sound. Isbell was a solo artist at the time of release, but he was also a member of the band Drive-By Truckers and worked with The 400 Unit. 


“Breathin” – Ariana Grande

The song “Breathin” describes the feelings of stress and anxiety that lead to a panic attack. Grande explained that she wrote the song when she was suffering from stress and panic attacks. The lyrics can also serve as a reminder to breathe during times of stress. 

Ariana Grande released “Breathin” as the third single from her album Sweetener in 2018. Grande is a solo artist, and Sweetener was her fourth studio album. This piece is a dance-pop song with a strong beat. As a result, “Breathin” is great for contemplation and getting up and moving your feet.


“Disturbia” – Rihanna

“Disturbia” by pop icon Rihanna represents feelings of anxiety, stress, confusion, and other related emotions. The dark lyrics echo equally dark instrumentals. When recording this song, Rihanna hoped that the result would help listeners relate so that they could feel less alone in their anxieties. 

Disturbia is the third single on a re-release of her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad in 2008. It is a dance-pop song that was a huge commercial success in the United States and Europe. A complex and dark music video accompanies the song as a reflection of the complicated feelings of stress and anxiety.


“Fix You” – Coldplay

The alternative rock song “Fix You” is the second single from Coldplay’s third studio album and makes the list of best songs about stress. All four members of the band collaborated on this song. However, the composition was started by Chris Martin when he wanted to comfort his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, after her father’s death. 

The organ, piano, and guitar in this song come together with bass and drums to make a song that explores grief, anxiety, and other concerns relating to mental health. It also explores traveling through grief and the ability to recover and heal.


“Help I’m Alive” – Metric

“Help I’m Alive” is the lead single on Fantasies, Metric’s fourth studio album from the four-member Canadian indie rock band. This song is a popular choice for film and television and is in Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, 90210, and in the closing credits for the 2010 movie, Defendor

This song perfectly captures stress and anxiety. The lyrics, tempo, and music come together to convey what it feels like to experience the physical experience of stress and anxiety. 


“Help!” – The Beatles

Iconic and legendary foursome The Beatles released “Help!” in 1965, a single from their fifth studio album titled the same. John Lennon wrote the song with some assistance from Paul McCartney and the lyrics capture Lennon’s stress surrounding The Beatles’ meteoric rise to fame. 

“Help!” describes what it feels like to be overwhelmed and stressed and the difficulty of asking for help. This feeling is an experience that many anxiety sufferers can relate to. Despite the heavy subject matter, the music is playful and an iconic example of folk rock.


“In My Blood” – Shawn Mendes

“In My Blood” is the lead single of Shawn Mendes’ third studio album, Shawn Mendes. In the pop rock song, Mendes describes his experiences with anxiety, making it the first time he publicly discussed his mental health struggles. 

The song may is a ballad that starts slow and acoustic but then develops with drums, electric guitars, and more vocals. Throughout, the lyrics describe feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. 


“In The Garage” – Weezer

“In The Garage” is a single from rock band Weezer’s debut studio album, known as Weezer and the Blue Album. This 1994 album contains elements of alternative rock, emo, pop rock, and geek rock genres. 

“In The Garage” is not the only song on this album that discusses anxiety, but it stands out as the most descriptive. The song discusses social anxiety and how being in the garage is a safe space away from stress. 


“Lovely” – Billie Eilish feat. Khalid

“Lovely” is the lead single from American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and R&B pop singer Khalid’s 2018 soundtrack album for the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why: Season 2. This song is a chamber pop ballad that describes the stories and experiences the two artists have with depression. 

The lyrics describe feeling trapped in depression, and the melancholy music provides support through its slow tempo and languid instrumentation. Even though much of the song dwells on depression, stress, and other mental health issues, some lyrics point to hope. 


 “Paranoid” – Black Sabbath

“Paranoid” is the first single from Black Sabbath’s second studio album, Paranoid, which came out in 1970. Originally written as an afterthought for the album, the piece is one of the songs about being overwhelmed with life and wondering if negative feelings will continue. 

The lyrics describe what it feels like to be paranoid and overwhelmed by stress. The speaker in the song struggles to enjoy life because they can not experience happiness. Try listening to this song the next time you feel stressed and know that others can relate.


“Rose-Colored Boy” – Paramore

“Rose-Colored Boy” is the fourth single from American band Paramore’s fifth studio album, After Laughter, which came out in 2018. The song fits into pop rock, synth-pop, and new wave genres.

The lyrics for “Rose-Colored Boy” discuss faking happiness when stressed or sad. These sentiments go along with a danceable tune and seemingly upbeat music. As a result, this song is ideal if you want to get out of a funk. The music video companion to “Rose-Colored Boy” explores the themes of stress, loneliness, and sadness even further.  


 “Save Myself” – Ed Sheeran

English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s third studio album’s deluxe edition, released in 2017, features the song “Save Myself. ” Although the song was never a single, it still made it on the UK Singles Chart.

Known for his R&B, pop, and soul music, “Save Myself” describes Sheeran’s need to save himself after giving so much energy to others that he has none left for himself. Anyone who has ever felt down can relate to this song and its message about the importance of self-care.


“Shake It Out” – Florence + the Machine

“Shake It Out” is a gothic pop song and the first single from Florence and the Machine’s second studio album, Ceremonials which came out in 2011. With organ chords that sound both optimistic and sad, the lyrics are full of cliches and manage to be uplifting and mournful simultaneously. 

Vocalist and primary songwriter for the band, Florence Welch, describes the song as a tribute to shaking off her regrets. The song touches on feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as memories that can haunt a person. Most of the song focuses on getting away from such negative emotions. 


“Stressed Out” – A Tribe Called Quest feat. Faith Evans

“Stressed Out” is the second single from A Tribe Called Quest’s fourth album, Beats, Rhymes and Life, which came out in 1996. The song features R&B singer Faith Evans in the chorus, and it fits into the East Coast hip hop genre. 

A Tribe Called Quest focuses their lyrics on everyday stressors. However, Evans provides a hopeful counterpoint. Her words convey that despite stressors, “we’ve gotta make it.” 


“Stressed Out” – twenty one pilots

American music pair Twenty One Pilots released “Stressed Out” as a promotional single from their fourth studio album, Blurryface, which came out in 2015. The song has alternative hip hop, rap rock, and psychedelic rock elements and peaked at number two on the Hot 100 chart.

This song describes the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood and the stress, anxiety, and self-doubt accompanying growth and maturity. Besides capturing those anxieties, this song also delves deep into childhood nostalgia and pressures relating to making money as an adult. 


“The World At Large” – Modest Mouse

“The World at Large” is the third promotional single from American rock band Modest Mouse’s album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News. Beginning with guitar chords that set the mood, the lyrics express the meaning of moving on. 

The lyrics to “The World at Large” also discuss intrusive thoughts, depression, and stress and what it’s like to get stuck in an anxious rut. Though this song may not be as hopeful as others on this list, it can provide listeners with a cathartic camaraderie.  


 “Trouble” – Hamish Anderson

Australian solo artist Hamish Anderson sings and plays the guitar in “Trouble.” A classic blues song with a touch of pop infused throughout the melody, this song is a perfect choice for wallowing.

“Trouble” describes what it feels like when difficult emotions overwhelm you, as well as the loneliness that those experiences can cause. The song does not necessarily offer solutions to the “trouble,” but it offers a great tune for a song about being overwhelmed with life.


“Unwell” – Matchbox 20

The single “Unwell” from American rock band Matchbox Twenty’s third album, More Than You Think You Are, came out in 2003. Lead singer and songwriter Rob Thomas wrote the lyrics to discuss feeling upset and isolated to assure listeners they are not alone.  

This song describes what it feels like to experience stress or other mental health concerns. “Unwell” conveys how the effect of anxiety on sleep and how negative thoughts can manifest from seemingly nowhere.


“Waving Through a Window” – Dear Evan Hansen

Finishing the list of best songs about being stressed is a song from a Broadway musical. Written by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, “Waving Through a Window” appears in the first act of Dear Evan Hansen and the 2021 film adaptation of the play. 

In this song, Evan Hansen, the musical’s protagonist, describes his mental health problems and how he feels ostracized at his high school. The lyrics describe feeling anxious and depressed. The singer is unsure about anyone who cares that he experiences such emotions, and he wonders if he will ever grow beyond his current existence. 

Final Thoughts

Songs about being stressed, feeling anxious, and crumbling under pressure serve a purpose for the artist and the listener. Writing and performing these pieces provide a valuable therapeutic experience for the artist; hearing the song can make listeners feel less alone in their emotions.

So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, check out any of these songs about stress and pressure to know you’re not alone in your feelings.

Writer

Ivan Yaskey is a Philly-born EDM and synthpop enthusiast and interviewer who recently relocated to beautiful Boston, MA.

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