52 Songs About Breathing

Updated on February 24, 2020
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Take a deep cleansing breath and celebrate the life-sustaining need to breathe. Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about heavy breathing, calm breathing, taking one's breath away, and feeling breathless.
Take a deep cleansing breath and celebrate the life-sustaining need to breathe. Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about heavy breathing, calm breathing, taking one's breath away, and feeling breathless. | Source

Just Breathe

Do you ever wonder why people advocate, "Just breathe"? You might think that it's senseless advice. However, what they're not articulating is that breathing and well being are intimately connected. Change one and you can impact the other.

Breathing is a key bridge between the mind and body. It calms the brain, regulates blood pressure and heart rate, and influences emotion, memory, and awareness. When you're feeling anxious, angry, or frustrated, calm yourself with slow and steady breaths. Feeling passionate, gobsmacked, or celebratory? Your breathing reflects your mood.

Take a deep cleansing breath then make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about breathing. We have a long list to start you out.

1. "Breathe" by Faith Hill

In the afterglow of their physical union, a woman embraces her lover, mesmerized by his breathing in this Grammy Award-winning love song from 1999. Magic floats in the air between them, and they meld into one. The need for words has disappeared. The tune not only hit the top of the country charts but also crossed over to the mainstream pop chart, including the US Billboard Hot 100 decade-end chart.

2. "Every Breath You Take" by The Police

Here's a creeper who is probably doing some heavy breathing as he keeps watch on his ex-girlfriend's every move from afar. Rolling Stone named "Every Breath You Take" to their list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."

Sting wrote this 1983 new wave song during a dark personal time after he separated from his first wife, and he knew the emotionally intense song would become a hit. The Grammy Award-winning hit describes a narrator who embarks on an aggressive surveillance campaign of his ex-girlfriend. Although it's a stalking song (before we culturally recognized stalking as a thing) some couples misinterpreted the meaning and used it as their wedding song. Now that's awkward!

3. "Breathin'" by Ariana Grande

Anxiety disorders such as PTSD, phobias, or social anxiety affecting one in five Americans. Recognizing this, Ariana Grande gives a nod to all those who suffer from anxiety in this 2018 internationally successful pop hit. The song's narrator notes that when your whole world is spinning, you feel the sky is falling, and everything feels so overwhelming, there's only one thing to do: Just keep breathing. Grande has publicly acknowledged on social media that she lives with both depression and anxiety.

4. "Breathless" by The Coors

This internationally successful 2000 pop hit is considered the signature song of the Irish group, The Coors. It depicts the delicate dance of seduction between two people who long for one another emotionally and physically:

So go on, go on
Come on leave me breathless
Tempt me, tease me
'Till I can't deny this
Loving feeling
Let me long for your kiss
Go on, go on
Yeah, come on.

5. "Breathe Deeper" by Tame Impala

Psychadelic pop artist Tame Impala offers up this 2020 tune with a message. The song narrator provides reassurance that he's in control of his own emotions. He says that when he's feeling tense, he breathes deeper so he can better face life. Then he recommends breath control as a means for others to get through stressful life events they may be facing. Come on! You've got this! Just breathe a little deeper and let the relaxation wash over you.

6. "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin

Sexual tension is building between partners in this love theme from the 1986 movie Top Gun. The couple engages in a slow-motion game of seduction. As attraction intensifies, they don't hesitate to take it further. One lover beckons the other to take their breath away. Oh, my!

7. "Last Breath" by Plain White T's

The guy in this 2010 rock tune is ready to call "uncle." With his last breath, he just wants to surrender to the emotional beating his significant other is giving him. He's good for her, he's good to her, but she's breathing down his neck and suffocating him. It's killing him, and he wants the fighting to disappear so normalcy can return.

8. "Alive" by Sia

The narrator in this 2013 pop song was born with a one-way ticket to a bare and broken place. The narrator recognizes that she has made some poor choices and has endured personal suffering because of it, however, she has made it through the worst. Having learned how to survive when life hurls roadblocks her way, she is still alive and breathing, now wiser for the experience. The woman has emerged out of the shadows of her past.

She now triumphs in her struggle by taking ownership of her demons, as they have made her the gritty person that she is. Although the song was written for Adele, both she and Rihanna declined it. If you're facing hardship in your life, keep breathing and make a playlist of songs about survival and perseverance in the face of challenge.

9. "Still Breathing" by Green Day

For some people, ugly realities are all life seems to dole out. The guy in this 2016 rock ditty is scared to death to live because it hurts so much. Feeling numb, all he can hope to do is breathe to merely survive.

The narrator identifies with people who are desperate, just existing, and not truly living. These include the following:

  • a drug-addicted junkie getting his last fix
  • a gambler betting his last dime away
  • a fatherless son
  • a single mother barely keeping it together and
  • a returning soldier who narrowly escaped harm when he walked across a landmine.

Life isn't always pretty or fair. Sometimes the best we can hope for is to continue breathing.

Did You Know? 9 Facts About Breathing

Newborns breathe about 30-60 times per minute, whereas adults breathe 12-15 times per minute.
In most people, the right lung is slightly larger than the left lung to accommodate the heart.
Mouth breathers tend to have more sore throats, illnesses, and ear infections. The reason for this is that the nose has not first filtered the air first.
If the surface of your lungs was laid out flat, it would be the size of a tennis court.
The lungs are the only body organs that can float in water.
People who breathe more quickly are often overweight. Breathing slowly and taking longer breaths reduces appetite.
Although the average adult can hold their breath for less than 1 minute, there are some people (typically free divers) who can hold their breaths in excess of 20 minutes.
Mouth breathing can contribute to bad breath, a misaligned bite, sleep apnea, snoring, changes in facial structure, a lisp, a shrinking jaw, worsening symptoms of chronic diseases, and nighttime urination.
About 85% of people breathe out of one nostril at a time. People exhale through one nostril for up to four hours then switch (called “nasal airflow cycles”). The cycles are affected by posture or congestion..

10. "Breathe" by Michelle Branch

Following an argument with her partner, the woman in this 2003 pop tune has spent the last hour driving around. She tries to self-comfort by holding her breath and counting to ten. This centers her, allowing her to know that everything is alright between her and her lover. Hey, whatever works.

11. "You Take My Breath Away" by Queen

If you've ever met someone who instantly turned your life upside down in a good way, then you can identify with this 1976 rock song. Freddie Mercury wrote it about his female lover, Mary Austin, whom he lived with for six years. They maintained a lifelong friendship until his death in 1991.

The narrator describes how it was love at first sight. His love interest looks into his eyes and reduces him to tears, destroys his mind, and makes him lose all control. He professes his love and proclaims his deep and abiding commitment:

I could give up all my life for just one kiss
I would surely die
If you dismiss me from your love
You take my breath away.

12. "Hold My Breath Until I Die" by Tegan and Sara

The girl in this 2019 alternative rock song reassures herself, "Oh, if I hold my breath until I die, I'll be alright." She has missed an opportunity to confess her crush, instead denying her feelings and misleading him that it's someone else she likes. Instantly she regrets not revealing the truth.

13. "Take My Breath Away" by Alesso

From the dance floor to the bedroom the narrator in this 2016 electronic number is lighting up the sexy factor with her partner. Teasing ecstasy, she wants to show him how he takes her breath away.

14. "Take a Breath" by Jonas Brothers

Throughout life, people change, promises are broken, and disappointments inevitably happen. This 2007 pop song recommends when you feel your world is spinning and life has punched you in the gut, just pause and take a breath. Don't overthink or over-dramatize it. You'll be okay. This moment will pass.

15. "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing" by Shania Twain

Heartbroken and still vulnerable, the woman in this 2002 country ballad is struggling to recover. Addressing her ex, she puts on a brave face and claims to be doing well, feeling both positive and alive. The narrator asserts that she has moved on, hasn't cried over losing him and certainly hasn't looked back on their breakup in regret.

She doesn't even get the words out when the truth betrays her:

And it only hurts when I'm breathing
My heart only breaks when it's beating
My dreams only die when I'm dreaming
So, I hold my breath, to forget.

Thematically, you might notice a peculiar similarity to Dwight Yoakum's country hit, "It Only Hurts When I Cry."

16. "I Can't Breathe" by Parker McCollum

The guy in this 2017 country ditty is caught in a no-win situation, and he is fraught with concern over the fate of his love relationship. The job he enjoys takes him on the road, away from the one he loves. Whether he is at home or away, he can't be in both places. He misses both and tries to keep his romance together, however his significant other accuses him of lying and doesn't answer his calls. It hurts so much he can't breathe.

17. "American Oxygen" by Rihanna

From an immigrant's perspective, Rihanna describes in this 2015 hip-hop number how hard Americans work to achieve our dreams. A passion to succeed, to make something of ourselves, is endemic of the American people, and the relentless pursuit of our goals is as important to us as breathing. Rihanna is originally from Barbados.

"Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?" - Mary Oliver, American poet
"Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?" - Mary Oliver, American poet | Source

18. "The Breath You Take" by George Strait

This 2010 country song is about making the most out of life and finding true meaning:

Life's not the breaths you take
But the moments that take your breath away.

The tune describes a father carving out the important time to attend his son's baseball game. Later in life, he visits his son when his granddaughter is born. Then his son, in turn, is present when his father takes his last breath. Half of life is about showing up.

19. "Keep Breathing" by Ingrid Michaelson

Trouble is brewing on the horizon in this 2006 alternative rock song. As much as the narrator wants to save the world from the insanity that threatens to swallow it whole, events are overwhelming for her. Her fragile coping methods involve stabilizing her breathing, closing the blinds, and trusting that there are others who can join in the fight for good. Fans of Grey's Anatomy may recognize the song from the television show.

20. "One Last Breath" by Creed

Christian rock group Creed offers up this 2002 ditty about a desperate man going nowhere in his life. He's trying to escape what torments him as he endeavors in vain to hold on to what he cares about. As he faces an increasingly desolate fate, the narrator expresses remorse for the mistakes he has made in his life, and he cries out to heaven for help. Unable to save himself, with his last breath he seeks spiritual intervention.

"Inhale the future; exhale the past." - unknown
"Inhale the future; exhale the past." - unknown | Source

Even More Songs About Breathing

Year Released
21. Breath
Nelly Furtado
22. Don't Hold Your Breath
Nicole Scherzinger
23. Breath
Pearl Jam
24. I'll Hold My Breath
Ellie Goulding
25. Harder to Breathe
Maroon 5
26. Take a Breath
27. Burning Bright (Field on Fire)
Nine Inch Nails
28. My Last Breath
29. Take a Breath
David Gilmour
30. Breathless
NIck Cave & The Bad Seeds
31. Lose My Breath
Destiny's Child
32. Barely Breathing
Duncan Sheik
33. Breathe (2 a.m.)
Anna Nalick
34. Breathing Underwater
Emeli Sandé
35. Breathless
Corinne Bailey Rae
36. Undertow
37. Breathe In, Breathe Out
Chris Cagle
38. Breathe You In
Dierks Bentley
39. I Can't Breathe
Bea Miller
40. Breathe
Taylor Swift
41. Breathing
Jason Derulo
42. Catch My Breath
Kelly Clarkson
43. Breathe Me
44. Breathe In, Breathe Out
Matt Kearney
45. Breathe Again
Toni Braxton
46. Breath Again
Sara Bareilles
47. Breathe on Me
Britney Spears
48. Breathe No More
49. Just Breathe
Pearl Jam
50. How Do I Breathe Without You?
51. You Take My Breath Away
Rex Smith
52. Breathe Slow
Alesha Dixon
Know a song about breathing that should be on this playlist? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 FlourishAnyway


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    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      2 days ago from USA

      Rajan - Thank you for stopping by. Between Black Lives Matter and the virus, breathing has received such attention. Of course, people with asthma and other conditions already do not take it for granted. Have a wonderful, stress-free weekend and breathe easy.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 days ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      No wonder so many songs have been written about breathing and breath considering it is one of the many constant activities we are doing without any effort on our part. Some amazing facts about breathing I never knew. Thanks for sharing.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      3 months ago from USA

      Peg - Glad you enjoyed this. It does bring back the memories! Stay safe and healthy!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      3 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Thanks for the trip back in time with the Top Gun clip and "Take My Breath Away." Ah, memories. Exploring some of the other tunes now.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      3 months ago from USA

      Tamara - Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your kind words.

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image


      3 months ago from Uninhabited Regions

      A concise and complete song list of one of our most important roles, in life: Breathing.

      All of your song lists are extremely impressive!


    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Mark, I appreciate your reading. Have a wonderful week.

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      4 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Great topic and well done. I didn’t know how big the lungs were if stretched out. Amazing. Considering how important breath is, it’s no wonder that so many songs have been written about it. Thanks, Flourish

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Lora - Thanks for reading! Doing the research made me cringe about mouth breathing. Yikes.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      4 months ago

      Not only wonderful songs that you select in this playlist but some great facts about breathing that I didn't know, Flourish. I certainly didn't know those facts about mouth breathing and I didn't know that there are some people who can hold their breath for 20 minutes. I think we all need to slow down a bit and take deeper and slower breaths for our health! And while we do that we can listen to these great songs. You have now made me much more conscious of my breathing. Thanks!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Raymond - I'm glad you enjoyed this. Have a terrific weekend!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Eddy - Glad to see you back. Thanks for stopping by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Linda - Thanks for the warm thumbs up. There are some topics that have challenged me greatly, but most are a lot of fun. I haven't run out of topics yet!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Eric - Glad to see you here.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I am now practicing some breathing exercises and so this is timely. I will take the time to listen to all these songs.

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 

      4 months ago from The Netherlands

      I enjoy reading how you approach music and interpret the songs.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      4 months ago from Wales

      Loved this one. Great research and some great songs. I now look forward to reading your other hubs on this theme.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I am amazed that you never run out of ideas for your playlist articles, Flourish. I'm impressed by the number of songs about breathing that you knew or discovered!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I just took out my hymnal. It is where I read the music and that act is a breathing exercise. Yoga is my breathing center. I like all these songs, now I know why. Thanks. I think I will go sigh, 20 times.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Dora - I'm glad you found some of these song messages inspiring. There are some wonderful quotes available about breathing. I wish I could have included many of them as well.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Peggy - I appreciate your kind words. Glad you enjoyed this.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Heidi - Yay, someone else recognizes the Rex Smith song! I find that the older I get, the more it's like getting lost in the deep woods of cultural history, haha. And you're right about Air Supply! They may have missed an opportunity with that. Thanks for reading. Have a great rest of your week!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      4 months ago from Chicago Area

      Was wondering if the Rex Smith tune would make the list. Only reason I remember that is because my sister played that album a lot back in the day.

      And it's interesting that the group Air Supply had no breathing tunes. Hmm.

      Anyway, great list. Hope you're having a great week so far!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I enjoyed your facts about the lungs. Amazing! My two favorite songs in the videos were "Every Breath You Take," and "Take My Breath Away." You continually come up with the most interesting song lists!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Whole new take on breathing. Didn't realize that it made its way into so many musical creations. I like the messages in George Strait's song.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Devika - Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Kari - I appreciate your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Bill - Glad you liked this. Some topics are easier than others. This almost fell from the sky. Have a great week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Linda - As long as I'm still breathing, things are ok. Hope you are doing well in your corner of the world as well.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Liz - Some topics are harder than others. This was surprisingly easy. One song led right to another.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Bill - I didn't have you for a Faith Hill fan, but that's great! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you're doing great today.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Ann - Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the information in the table as well as the songs.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from USA

      Pamela - Thanks for reading, listening along, and commenting. I figured breathing is something basic we all do and why not do a playlist about it? Have a great week!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      4 months ago from Ohio

      I would never have guessed there were so many songs about breathing. The facts were interesting. I learned that the surface area of our lungs is the size of a tennis court. That is amazing!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Wow Incredible write up here about the songs and other facts too. Enjoyed reading so much about the songs Breathing.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      4 months ago from Massachusetts

      Another amazing list, Flourish. Only you could find 50+ songs about something like breathing. The first song that came to mind was definitely Faith Hills, "Breathe". The 9 facts about breathing are fascinating - the size of a tennis court? Amazing.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      4 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Happy Tuesday Flourish. It's amazing how something "as simple as breathing" affects our emotions as all of these songs describe. This is a great playlist. I'm amazed at how many of them I know. Glad you included Toni Braxton--she's always been one of my favorites.

      I'm happy to see you here and pray you are well.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      The Top Gun theme was first to come to mind for me. But I had no idea that there were so many songs with this in the title. You have done a great job putting this hub together.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I had this one in five seconds flat...Faith Hill...BOOM!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 months ago from SW England

      Love the Coors and Faith Hill. Both dramatic and melodic.

      You've got a great list here, as always and I like the incidental information about the impact and importance of breathing.

      Another great musical hub!


    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Breathing is a clever topic and I would not have thought there was this number of songs. I listened to some I was not familiar with and really liked everything I heard. These songs are really good,


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