15 Best Songs For Your Mental Health, According to Science

Music, a universal language, has long been associated with profound effects on our emotions and psyche. Numerous studies have highlighted its therapeutic potential, showcasing its myriad benefits for mental health.

Not only does it play a pivotal role in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, but it also significantly uplifts mood and fortifies self-esteem. Recognizing its healing properties, professionals have integrated music therapy as a legitimate treatment modality for diverse mental health disorders.

The spectrum of music genres is vast, and while many can be therapeutic, certain genres and specific songs stand out for their scientifically proven positive impact on mental health. A compilation of 15 such songs, backed by research, can serve as a testament to music’s transformative power in fostering mental well-being.

Here are those songs:

  1. Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
  2. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
  3. Imagine by John Lennon
  4. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
  5. Lean on Me by Bill Withers
  6. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
  7. Dancing Queen by ABBA
  8. Happy by Pharrell Williams
  9. Let It Be by The Beatles
  10. Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo
  11. You’re Not Alone by Olive
  12. Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
  13. Fix You by Coldplay
  14. Rise Up by Andra Day
  15. I’m Yours by Jason Mraz

Each of these songs, in their own unique way, resonates with listeners and provides solace, inspiration, and healing.

Therapeutic Effects of Music

Therapeutic Effects of Music

Music, a timeless and universal art form, has woven itself into the very fabric of human existence. From ancient civilizations using rhythmic chants for rituals to modern societies streaming melodies for relaxation, music has always been a potent tool for healing and transformation.

Its profound effects on mental health are backed by a plethora of scientific research, underscoring its therapeutic potential. Delving deeper into its therapeutic attributes:

Reduction of Stress and Anxiety

One of the most recognized benefits of music is its ability to alleviate stress and anxiety. When we listen to music, our brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.

This release can lead to a significant decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. The calming effect of slow-tempo music, especially genres like classical or jazz, can further induce relaxation by slowing down the heart rate, reducing muscle tension, and lowering blood pressure.

Such physiological changes provide a respite from the constant state of ‘fight or flight’ that stress often induces.

Mood Enhancement

Mood Enhancements

Music’s ability to regulate mood is unparalleled. Depending on the listener’s choice, it can serve as a source of solace, joy, nostalgia, or motivation.

Upbeat and rhythmic tunes, such as pop, dance, or certain traditional beats, can invigorate and elevate one’s mood, making one feel more energetic and positive. Conversely, slower-tempo music, like ballads or instrumental compositions, can provide a soothing backdrop for introspection and relaxation.

Boosting Self-esteem and Cognitive Development

Engaging with music goes beyond passive listening. Actively participating in musical activities, be it singing in a choir, playing an instrument, or even attending music classes, can instill a sense of achievement and purpose.

Mastering a musical piece or successfully playing an instrument can significantly boost self-esteem and confidence. Moreover, learning music has been linked to enhanced cognitive abilities, such as better memory, attention span, and even spatial-temporal skills.

For children and adolescents, in particular, musical training can aid in academic achievement and social skills.

Enhanced Social Connection

Enhanced Social Connection

Music has the power to bring people together. Group activities like singing in a choir, attending concerts, or simply sharing music playlists can foster social connections, reduce feelings of isolation, and promote a sense of community.

Sharing musical experiences can lead to deeper emotional connections and understanding between individuals.

Facilitating Emotional Expression

Often, when words fail, music speaks. It provides an outlet for emotional expression and introspection. Composing, playing, or even just listening to a particular song can help individuals process complex emotions, deal with trauma, or find closure.


Why are these songs considered to be the best for mental health?

The songs on this list have been scientifically proven to have a positive impact on mental health. They have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression; improve mood; and boost self-esteem.

How can I find the best songs for my mental health?

The best way to find the songs that work best for you is to experiment and see what you enjoy. Listen to different songs and see how they make you feel. Pay attention to the lyrics, the melody, and the rhythm of the songs.

Choose songs that you find meaningful and enjoyable.

Can listening to music help me with my mental health condition?

Listening to music can be a helpful addition to treatment for mental health conditions, but it is not a substitute for professional mental health care. If you are struggling with a mental health condition, it is important to seek help from a qualified therapist or counselor.

How often should I listen to music for my mental health?

There is no set answer to this question. Some people find that listening to music for a few minutes a day is helpful, while others find that listening for longer periods of time is more beneficial. Experiment to find what works best for you.

What if I don’t like any of the songs on the list?

If you don’t like any of the songs on the list, don’t worry. There are many other songs that have been shown to be beneficial for mental health. Experiment and find songs that you enjoy.

Final Words

In conclusion, the realm of music is vast and diverse, offering a plethora of songs that can have therapeutic effects on mental health. While the mentioned songs are backed by research, individual preferences play a crucial role in determining what resonates most.

It’s essential to explore different genres, artists, and melodies to discover what truly speaks to your soul. Music’s power lies not just in its rhythm and lyrics but in the personal connections we forge with it.

By immersing oneself in tunes that evoke emotion and meaning, one can significantly enhance mental well-being, finding solace, inspiration, and joy in the melodies that surround us.