Stress is a universal language. All of us experience it. Some experience stress everyday, some rarely, some in small increments, while some in giant tidal waves. Either way, no one is exempted from stress.
Here are 21 Best Songs About Stress that may pull you out of your dark hole or at the very least, these songs have the power to make you feel less alone.
Table of Contents
- 21. Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis
- 20. AntiHero by Taylor Swift
- 19. Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
- 18. Kill Bill by Sza
- 17. Hey Jude by The Beatles
- 16. Lovely by Billie Eilish, Khalid
- 15. Scared to Be Lonely by Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa
- 14. Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers
- 13. Idontwannabeyouanymore by Billie Eilish
- 12. Killing Me Softly With His Song by Fugees
- 11. Aqueous Transmission by Incubus
- 10. Disturbia by Rihanna
- 9. Breathin by Ariana Grande
- 8. Break Your Heart by Barenaked Ladies
- 7. You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette
- 6. Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor
- 5. Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
- 4. I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt
- 3. Someone Like You by Adele
- 2. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
- 1. Hurt by Johnny Cash
21. Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis
Back in 2007, Leona Lewis surprised everyone with this hit song entitled Bleeding Love.It is featured in her album Spirit, and was written and produced by Ryan Tedder. A good chunk of the world’s population can relate to this song because it talks of a toxic, stressful relationship that she could not free herself from. All her friends and loved ones are convincing her to make better choices but she still keeps holding on to this harmful entanglement. It’s a horrible kind of love, one that makes you bleed.
20. AntiHero by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift released her album entitled Midnights during the pandemic, year 2022. What a gift it is to all of us, especially to her loyal fans, who call themselves Swifties. This pop song, Antihero was written by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff. It’s a unique song that addresses and admits fault. Yes, when we feel stressed, sometimes there’s really just something wrong with us. And guess what? There’s something wrong with everyone. The Swifties participated in the #TSAntiHeroChallenge. They admit their mistakes and quirks unashamedly – and that’s absolutely okay.
19. Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
Christina Perri is well known for her song A Thousand Years which sings about an eternal kind of love. The first song that made her famous though was a song of pure stress and heartache. This song was featured in So You Think You Can Dance back in 2010. She recorded an Extended Play or EP entitled The Ocean Way Sessions in the same year and a studio album called Lovestrong in 2011. Both featured this song Jar of Hearts.
18. Kill Bill by Sza
Inspired by the movies Kill Bill 1 & 2, Kill Bill by Sza follows the same theme of exacting revenge through violent killings. Her album SOS was released in 2022 which this song is a part of. Stress and trauma cause a person to commit or even imagine committing such heinous acts. This is a part of the human psyche that can be explored. It’s unfathomable but real.
17. Hey Jude by The Beatles
The Beatles are absolute musical icons during their time and beyond. They are celebrated to date and their songs are still well-known across generations. Hey Jude is one of their biggest hits and people have always found comfort in hearing this song. There are many speculations as to whom this song was dedicated to. Some say it is for John Lennon’s son but there seem to be some lines not applicable to his age then. John Lennon said in an interview that Paul McCarthy wrote this for him. Whoever this song is for, it remains a song for coping through life’s stress.
16. Lovely by Billie Eilish, Khalid
Billie Eilish, Khalid, and Billie’s older brother Finneas O’connel wrote this song together. It is featured in Billie Eilish’s album “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.” It is a chamber pop ballad that is a depressing song that sticks with you. This song’s music video features both Billie Eilish and Khalid locked in a glass box, singing but staring blankly, looking listless. Stress has overcome them entirely.
15. Scared to Be Lonely by Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa
Some people deal with stress by fulfilling the need to be with someone. Some people are scared to be alone so they stay in grim relationships just to be with someone. This techno/pop song sings about such people. There’s a partnership that has lost its respect for each other but is struggling to just stay together to avoid facing the problem head on. This song is found in Martin Garrix’s and Dua Lipa’s albums, namely The Martin Garrix Collection and Dua Lipa: Complete Edition
14. Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers
Released back in 1971, this R&B, Blues song is part of Bill Withers’ album with the same name. It is a story of a man who was left behind by his loved one. Without his beloved, his house is not a home and sunshine does not chase the darkness away. Only stress and sadness can be heard in every line of this song.
13. Idontwannabeyouanymore by Billie Eilish
Released in 2017, under her album Don’t Smile At Me, idontwannabeyouanymore is a dark, depressing song that Billie Eilish personally wrote. It is a confession of how she actually feels. This is a distressing song filled with self doubt, even self hate. People feel this once in a while and an artist like Billie Eilish was able to put into words and music what stress and depression really looks like upclose.
12. Killing Me Softly With His Song by Fugees
This soul pop song tells a story of a woman who is in love with a musician that seems to sing songs about her. Sadly, her love is unrequited. She keeps listening to his songs no matter how painful it is to feel rejected. Unrequited love is one of the major causes of stress, self doubt and depression.
11. Aqueous Transmission by Incubus
From their 2001 hit album, Morning View, Aqueous Transmission is an alternative rock song with dreamy melodies that truly make you feel like you’re floating off somewhere, perhaps a mystical river. The song seems to be relaxing but the lyrics tell a story of being left alone by a lover, hence not knowing what will happen if the singer will survive this ordeal or just “drift into the unknown.” Relaxing tunes, stressful story.
10. Disturbia by Rihanna
Disturbia is a part of Rihanna’s album Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded. This album came out in 2008. The pop dance song is pretty much an explanation of someone who is losing grip of her mind. It has an eerie music video showing Rihanna with a group of crazies. Stress does this to people.
9. Breathin by Ariana Grande
During times of stress, trauma or extreme discomfort, the first thing a person needs to do is breathe deeply. This regulates the person and gives something to focus on so the body won’t go into shock. Ariana Grande sings about breathing through the hardships. This helpful pop song came out in 2018 under her Sweetener album.
8. Break Your Heart by Barenaked Ladies
This song is not one of Barenaked Ladies’ top hits but it hits right on the spot of a hurting heart. The song deals with the stress of loving someone, not wanting to be with them, lying that you do, and the cowardice of it all. This alternative song was released in 1996 under the album Born on a Pirate Ship.
7. You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette
This alternative rock song was released in 1995 under Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little PIll album. It is an angry song that confronts an ex lover who caused so much stress, pain, and suffering. This was personally written by Alanis Morissette with Glen Ballard.
6. Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor
This dispiriting song came out in the 90s, 1990 to be exact. It sings of how ugly and useless everything turned out after the singer lost her beloved. Stress creeps and seems to darken and take over everything. This song is featured in Sinead O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got album and is a song that might as well be a breakup theme song.
5. Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
This song is as straightforward as its title. It gives crucial advice to anyone who is contemplating giving up on life not to let go. No one is spared from hardships. Each and every person in this world has problems and no one has an absolute idea what another person is going through. This song was targeted to be received by a younger audience but it proved to resonate among most age groups. This alternative rock song was released in 1993 under R.E. M.’s album Automatic for the People.
4. I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt
Unrequited love is such a painful kind of love that it inspires artists to write and sing about this dreadful experience. It is so stressful that it throws the person into deep sadness and loneliness. This song was released in 1991 under the album Luck of the Draw. Recently, Adele sang this song in one of her concerts.
3. Someone Like You by Adele
Heartache queen Adele is widely known for her powerful voice that belts out such raw and painful songs that she wrote herself. Someone Like You is a song that wishes to convey a message to a former beloved who has since moved on. She begs her ex lover not to forget her. You can just imagine how stress washes through her. This terribly sad pop song is included in Adele’s album 21 which was released last 2011.
2. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
This song is indeed a masterpiece. It is always listened to by people who are overcome with stress and troubles. Others listen to this as they remember their loved ones who passed on. Bittersweet and powerful, this is a song of hope and overcoming. Since hope is achieved through the stress of hardships, this song will always have some pain mixed with its beauty. This song was released in 1970 under Simon and Garfunkel’s album with the same name as the song.
1. Hurt by Johnny Cash
This is an absolute sorrowful song that Johnny Cash covered before his death. Incredibly touching, hauntingly beautiful, it gives a new meaning to the song. From the original message of addiction, stress, self-harm, and depression as performed by Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash in his advanced age sings about a man in his twilight years, with all his regrets bared for everyone to see, seemingly bidding goodbye.