As you might have experienced one time or another, music can lift your mood. But what about music for anxiety? There appear to be a considerable amount of interesting findings on the benefits of music, which I’ll discuss in this video and article.

A team led by Prof. Daniel J. Levitin of McGill University’s Psychology Department has been able to show that playing and listening to music has clear benefits for both mental and physical health.

Professor Levitan indicates “But even more importantly, we were able to document the neurochemical mechanisms by which music has an effect in four domains: management of mood, stress, immunity and as an aid to social bonding.”

This work consisted of a review of 400 papers on the subject of the neurochemistry of music.  Some key findings with regard to the benefits of music were:

  • improving the body’s immune system function
  • reducing levels of stress
  • found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety prior to surgery.

Actually one modality of wellness is called Music Therapy.

The Canadian Association of Music Therapy indicates that Music Therapy can be helfpul for a number of conditions, but not limited to the following:

  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • AIDS
  • Autism and other Pervasive Development Disabilities
  • Critical Care
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Emotional Traumas
  • Geriatric Care
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Mental Health
  • Neonatal Care
  • Obstetrics
  • Oncology
  • Pain Control
  • Palliative Care
  • Personal Growth
  • Physical DisabilitiesTop
  • Speech and Language Impairments
  • Substance Abuse
  • Teens at Risk
  • Victims of Abuse
  • Visual Impairments

Quite an impressive list for certain.  You can visit the website and see a complete bibliography list of all the studies that CAMT cites.

I would not suggest that music for anxiety and panic attacks as a “cure-all”.  However this information suggests that music could be very helpful for your mental health.  Knowing that you are doing something beneficial for your health can be very calming and make you feel good.  However it is key to make sure that you are tackling your anxiety and panic attacks with evidenced based practices.   I would encourage you to maybe consider music as an adjunct to the evidenced based techniques.


References (Music for Anxiety)

Canadian Association of Music Therapy. Music Therapy.
Retrieved July 15, 2013 from:

 McGill University. Major Health benefits of music uncovered: The neurochemistry of music.
Retrieved July 15, 2013 from: