Anti-Anxiety Playlist

Anti-Anxiety Playlist | Kimberly Hetherington | Art Therapy with Kimberly

If you get anxiety and find your mind racing and whirling around like a broken ferris wheel, listen to this playlist.

Set yourself up first: light some candles, turn off the lights and slip yourself into your bubble bath. Leave the music playing in the background.

Or listen to this while you paint or walk. Fit it to your own self-care routine.

It starts off slow to get your heart rate down and then progresses on to more upbeat. If you’re in the bath just be careful you don’t fall asleep!

I promise you it’ll be hard to leave this playlist feeling stressed.


  1. Gravity – John Mayer

    I love everything John Mayer, I could list about 10 songs that have genuinely lifted me through some horribly dark times of my life. This song in particular feels like valium seeping through my ears, that guitar at the beginning. Makes me weak in the knees….

2. Better man – Paolo Nutini

Paolo Nutini was introduced to me by my old Scottish flatmate. He’s since become one of my all-time fav’s, he has such a cool, unique edge to his music. This song feels like such a beautiful tribute to a woman who has pierced his heart and has made him want to be a better person.

4. Ray La Montagne

Ray La Montagne is always good for rainy day, introspective music. I used to listen to him a lot when I lived in Ottawa and felt like my world was spinning out of control. His voice is so just calming. No matter what you’re doing you can’t help but feel at ease when he sings to you…

5. Arms of a woman – Amos Lee

The peaceful rhythm of this song reminds me of the gentleness that so many of us share. It reminds me of that pure, unconditional love I felt as a child. It reminds me that all of us can have this peaceful effect on other people who are suffering.

6. Song on the beach – Arcade Fire

If you’ve seen ‘Her’ you’ll know the scene of this movie. It’s when Joaquin Phoenix is laying on the beach and Scarlet Johansson (the OS) plays a song to encapsulate the moment of them on the beach. He asks her what it is and then starts to slowly scan his eyes across the shore. It just makes me melt…

7. Porcelain – Moby

This is of course the classic entry scene in ‘The Beach’. One of my all-time favourite movies. I think the song and that scene are fused permanently in my mind. Whenever I hear it, I just picture white sand and a crystal blue beach… a utopia.

8. Om – Hippie Savage

This is the sort of song you’d listen to when you’re laying in shavasana. It just sends you’re mind off in a beautiful dream.

9. Ong Namo – Snatam Kaur

I heard this song at the end of a yoga class and felt so unbelievably at ease. It’s so uplifting and relaxing, I listen to it now when I’m at work and can feel stress seeping into my neck. It’s one of my favourite songs ever.

10. Wait – M83

This song feels like a dream. I took a series of shots from the window seat of a plane, this song feels exactly like this to me, floating above the clouds…

11. BØRNS – Clouds

This song feels like the delirium you enter when you’ve first fallen in love. It’s when the world feels brighter, colours are more vivid and the world becomes sublime.

12. Sparks – Coldplay

This song feels sad in a way but I find songs that make me feel sad somehow simultaneously make me feel better. I suppose it’s because when I hear them I remember that I’m not the only one struggling, it makes me feel connected.

13. High and Dry – Radiohead

I remember listening to this song on long bus rides home from college when I lived in Ottawa. I used to walk to the very back of the bus, put my knees up against the seat in front of me and fade into my own world. It was a 45 minute bus ride on the 111 route, it was actually the highlight of my day to have an extended period of “me time”. I did not use it to study my course material, it was pure day dreaming.

14. Spirit Bird – Xavier Rudd

The classic Byron Bay music, the kind of music that connects you to the environment and reminds you to treat every creature on earth with loving compassion. We all deserve this.

15. Wasting Time – Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson is king of chilled out laid-back music that makes you want to start a bonfire and hug your friends.

16. Breathe – Telepopmusik

A lively and bubbly song that picks up your spirits and reminds you that you can get by anything if you just breath.

1 Comment

  1. Gosh thanks Kimberley Listened to Robert Reich and felt all sharing and futuristic. Drank a bottle of wine with Jeanke talked to Kiev half a world away Ha funny thing the Radiohead High and Dry with the rain thing was so much like Heaven by the Psychedelic Furs from our past. Quack like a duck I guess best of everything to you

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