Listening to music

A lot of young people we spoke to said listening to music helped them manage their feelings in several different ways:

  • Listening to music you know you enjoy to help improve your mood
  • Listening to music really loudly to release built up tension/anger
  • Listening to music similar to the emotion you’re feeling to release pent up emotions
  • Listening to music that is the opposite to what your feeling e.g Calming music when you are feeling anxious to help soothe yourself

I love movie soundtracks

Have you tried listening to the Spotify mood playlists? They’ve got one for all different emotions as well as ‘focus’ and ‘chill’ for if you are working and relaxing.  

Some of the Centre's staff have put together a playlist of music that lifts their spirits which you can listen to by clicking here or on the picture below.  We apologise in advance for our poor taste.  Have a better playlist? Send us the link and description of why you like and we may add it to the page instead.


What young people have told us:

'I think it helped because it removed me from the issues which were bothering me. I was able to just enjoy the music rather than having to think about anything else.'

'Whilst listening to music, I can get lost in the songs I love and forget about whatever stress or worry I may be feeling.'

'Give this a go! Even if you don't think it will help that much, you might as well try as this is an easy way of distracting yourself and so if it works, is easy to access. I also find singing and or dancing along is also great!'

'Focus on other things takes the mind to beautuful place.'

'It helps me lift my mood and forget about the worries or stresses in life.  It makes me want to sing and dance and gives me a sense of freedom and happiness.  Music helps to soothe and calm my anxiety as well.'

'Music is so broad and you can always find songs for whatever you need. You can play chill songs to calm you down when you are anxious, you can play upbeat songs to cheer you up, you can find a song that relates directly to your emotions to help you work through them etc.'

'I just love listening to music, and focusing on it. I usually daydream while I listen to it, and, like in TV shows and stuff they have music in the background of it, create scenes and situations and play them out. It also helps when I'm writing.'

'I get really worried sometimes of what other people think of me and other mental health issues but listening to music helps me to take time for my self and to escape that world of worry.'


There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.

Did this activity help your mental wellbeing?

If yes, why do you think it helped?

What would you say to other young people who are thinking of trying this?

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