10 Christian Songs That Relieve Anxiety and Bring Peace
What Do the Scriptures Tell Us About the Comforting Power of Music?
I'm assuming that many of you, like me, have experienced the calming power of music in your lives. Music has a miraculous way of touching the soul and reaching parts of us that often can't be reached in other ways.
Unfortunately, I know very well what it feels like to be so overcome by anxiety (sometimes seemingly for no reason) that it becomes difficult to breathe or your heart starts to race.
Anxiety is overwhelming, and at times it can make you feel absolutely helpless, but my rock in the storm of worry and stress is the knowledge that I am a daughter of God, and He is in charge.
I've found that music has a miraculous soothing effect on my soul, and sacred music in particular has been my healing balm time and time again when weighed down by difficult trials.
Psalms 77 is a beautiful chapter that describes the anguish that we all feel in our lives at times, but it also teaches us about the peace and comfort we can find in the Lord.
One verse in particular talks about choosing to seek solace in song.
Psalms 77:6 says, "I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search."
This psalmist knew that when consumed by worry and stress, there is power in turning to song.
I hope these songs that have been such a blessing in my life, will serve as blessings and tender mercies in your life as well.
For your convenience, I've included video links to the songs, so you can easily listen to them and see which ones speak to your heart the most.
Comforting Song #1: Just Be Held
Have you ever experienced one of those times when it feels like your whole world is falling apart all around you?
What if we adopted that perspective in our every day lives?
No matter what we're going through, the overall experience is an example of the world falling into place, not falling apart at the seams.
I don't know about you, but for me that thought takes a lot of stress out of any stressful situation.
The song goes on to say, "stop holding on, and just be held."
Too often, we feel like we're holding on with all the strength we have, and it's just not enough. In these situations, it is often more effective to let go of our worries and let our Heavenly Father hold us in his loving arms.
Comforting Song #2: Be Still My Soul
"Be Still My Soul" is a powerful hymn that touches me on so many levels. The words are beautiful and comforting, but even without the words, the beautiful chords in this song are so moving.
I remember falling in love with this hymn one Sunday as we sang it at church and a few chords of the song literally gave me goose bumps. I was in my early teens at the time, and this hymn quickly became one of my favorites.
I love all hymns, but this one is something special. Just listen to it, and you'll know what I'm talking about.
If your soul feels restless, this song will bring in the stillness and peace that you yearn for.
Comforting Song #3: Exhale
Difficulty breathing and tightness in the chest are some of the most common symptoms of anxiety. Trust me, I've experienced plenty of both.
Have you ever noticed that when you are in a stressful situation you breathe more shallowly or maybe even hold your breath not breathing at all?
Don't worry, if you have. You're definitely not the only one.
What a great reminder that we are here to share the grace and love that's been so freely given to us. Give this song a listen, and I know it will calm your troubled heart.
Comforting Song #4: Breathe
Alma 7:11 says, "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people."
Our Savior has already suffered everything that we will ever suffer.
Holding on to our worries doesn't take them away from him, because he's already experienced them, and it certainly doesn't make things any easier for us.
We might as well hand our burdens of worry over to our loving Savior and breathe easily knowing that we are not the ones in charge.
We were never meant to carry our burdens alone. That's why our loving Heavenly Father gave us his beloved son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior.
Comforting Song #5: Where Can I Turn for Peace?
I always loved the hymn, "Where Can I Turn For Peace," and when I heard the background story about why it was written, it became even more dear to my heart.
This song was written by two women who collaborated on it together. Emma Thayne, who wrote the lyrics, had a daughter who suffered from a mental illness and was struggling with eating disorders.
Coincidentally, Joleen G. Meredith, who wrote the music for this hymn suffered from the same mental illness as Thayne's daughter. The two women nicknamed this hymn, "the mental illness song."
While, the time period that this was being written definitely could have been stressful for Thayne as she watched her daughter go through these difficult trials, she was at peace, because she always knew where to turn for solace.
All of us feel mentally, emotionally, or spiritually broken from time to time, and this is a great song for those times when you are looking for a little bit of peaceful light and hope at the end of the tunnel.
Comforting Song #6: Sparrows
I have a tendency to overthink and worry about nearly everything. Worrying is incredibly draining, and it steals joy from a lot of otherwise wonderful experiences.
This song reminds me that worrying isn't going to help anything and that I don't want to "worry my life away."
After all, "even the sparrow knows" better than to waste a perfectly good life away by worrying about everything that might possibly happen.
This song refers to Matthew 10:28-31 which talks about how valuable sparrows are to the Lord and how much more valuable we are in comparison. It tells us that we don't need to worry, because the Lord is keeping track of every last hair of our heads.
Comforting Song #7: Consider the Lillies
"Consider the Lilies" is another song that I fell in love with the first time I heard it just because the music was so calming and spoke to my heart. Once I paid attention to the lyrics, I loved it even more.
The message is along the same lines as the message of "Sparrows." The lilies don't worry about how they're going to grow or what they're going to look like. They just contently live their lily lives.
How much more joy and peace would we get out of our lives if we chose to live them to the fullest of our abilities instead of worrying about what's going to happen from day to day.
What if we were more like the lilies, contently swinging with the punches and assuming that God has our best interest in mind?
Calming Song #8: The Lord Is My Shepherd
I always thought "The Lord is My Shepherd" was a pretty song, but it wasn't until I sang it for my voice lessons and took time to really pay attention to the words and meaning behind it that it found a tender spot in my heart.
The symbolism in this song is beautiful. We are the sheep, and Christ is the shepherd. He provides for our needs and takes us to the greenest pastures.
That being said, we've all heard the saying that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Sometimes we just need to trust that we are in the best place for us even if it seems like we're sitting in the middle of a thistle patch.
The Lord is our shepherd, and he will lead us to the best possible situation for us as long as we are willing to trust and follow him.
Comforting Song #9: Thy Will Be Done
This song has made me cry, so many times, but sometimes when we're feeling overwhelmed and anxious, it's because there's a lot of emotion built up inside that just needs to be released, and crying can be the perfect medicine.
This song is perfect for those times, because it's real, it's raw, and it's sincere. It's just what I need to hear when I need to let my emotions flow.
It helps me to really open up to my Heavenly Father about how I'm feeling, and give my burdens to the Lord. After all Doctrine Covenants 25: 12 says, "the song of the heart is a prayer unto the Lord."
Crying through this song has helped me to relieve a lot of stress, but even through the tears, I hear the many humbling truths in this song, and it calms my heart.
Like Hilary Scott says in this song (which is about her experience having a miscarriage by the way), "sometimes I've gotta stop, remember that you're God, and I am not."
Comforting Song #10: Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
What can I say about this song that you don't already know? is a classic, and this particular version is so powerful that it touches my heart in a special way every time I hear it. It's another one that is absolutely and completely soul soothing for me. Amazing Grace
There are a lot of different kinds of chains that can bind us in this life, and for me anxiety is one of those strong chains that I want to be free of.
I'm so grateful that as I turn my life more fully over to my Savior, he can take away those chains that bind me.
I can be carefree and happy knowing that my Savior is on my side and everything will work out in the end.
Which of these songs is your favorite?
© 2016 Rebecca Young