You know the feeling of being stuck, overwhelmed, having panic and anxiety attacks? I feel you. And might have some ideas about how music can help you when you panic or feel anxious.
Some might be obvious, others – silly. But trust me – if not for the music and my coping mechanisms connected to it – you wouldn’t be reading these words from me now.
Finding your way
I am a sensitive person (some say oversensitive or too emotional). Often I get overwhelmed by things going on around me, even if they don’t really affect me directly. Lately – as I guess all of us – I get very anxious very often. Especially at night.
I’m sure many of you can relate to that. The anxiety comes at nights when I can’t find much support from others. Music became my secret weapon. Maybe some of my ways to use it against panic will become yours.
Calming sounds don’t have to be calm
Whenever I start feeling “this kind of” nervous at night or during the day, I try to dive into calming music first. It doesn’t mean that I play a “soothing sounds” playlist on Spotify. It can be helpful, but it doesn’t work on me.
I search for rock tunes. Or music with a strong beat. These are my “soothing sounds”: Kellermansch “Mediocre Man”, Get Your Gun “Call Me Rage” and The Floor Is Made Of Lava “All Outta Love”. If I need to hear a good, strong beat – I turn on “Moan” by Trentemoller (the concert version with amazing drum solo) or WhoMadeWho performance of “Satisfaction” at Roskilde Festival in 2011. The more vivid the songs, the better. They really turn my focus to the beat, the guitars, and I forget the anxiety.
Finding a type of music that is calming for you is the key. It doesn’t have to be a “yoga” playlist, but, of course, if it is – great! You found your anti-anxiety music kit!
Dancing your panic away
Often when I’m starting to feel more and more panicked and stuck, it helps me to put headphones on and to randomly pick up tunes to dance to (since last week my no. 1 “dance your panic away” track has been the new MATTIS’ song “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” and MATTIS songs in general).
Getting out of bed and dancing in my apartment as if I am at a night club, having the best party of my life, is great for my head. If you have never tried dancing at home alone, you are missing out! Do it (perhaps to the Go Go Berlin live-streamed DJ set.)! There is an incredible feeling of freedom when you can dance like nobody is watching, because, actually, nobody is watching!
When you are stuck in your apartment (because it’s middle of the night and you’re in your pyjamas – or not – naked dancing is also recommended) this form of movement can really help to not to feel so stuck.
Playing Band Hero in your head
Now, this might sound odd, but when neither listening to music nor dancing helps, my ultimate weapon against anxiety is turning myself into a rock star. I set up my fictional stage in my mind and think of myself as the frontwoman of a band which gives its biggest concert. I think of how would it look like; imaging the stage set up, clothes, moves, instruments, melodies, audience reactions and all of the things that I’d say from the stage. An imaginary guitar or piano solo is an essential part.
Sometimes I imagine having guests on stage and, for example, performing “Miles and Miles” with Turboweekend, or being a second singer of Nelson Can. When my mind dives into figuring it all out, it forgets about all the worries and flood of questions and insecurities.
Being your own “Band Hero” star is real fun and weirdly satisfying. Try it sometime. It might help with anxiety, as well as make you learn something about yourself and your creativity (which I am sure can surprise you).
Stay in touch
Music cannot stop us from feeling bad or anxious. However, it can help us when we are lonely and unable to connect with others (not necessarily because we don’t have anyone, but because we are far, they are offline, or simply because we can’t find the strength to reach out).
At the end of the day, the most helpful thing is to feel the support of your close ones. However, sometimes sharing your struggles even with close friends is hard, as you might not find the right words to seek support. At such times music can help as well. It is possible to connect through talking about music, sharing songs or discussing a crush on a band or an artist. We don’t always have to actively talk about difficult things. Sometimes all we need is simply to forget about them.
Whenever you feel like it – Good because Danish Team is always here to chat about music with you, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are dealing with at the moment. We all became friends through music and we are all always eager to talk about it with you (and, perhaps, to hear about your last performance for an imaginary audience of Roskilde Festival!).
Madness for calmness – music to beat anxiety 👇