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  • Writer's pictureDustin Chan

Finding Catharsis: Simple Remedies for Stress and Anxiety

Updated: Jul 3

Anxiety and stress are prevalent issues affecting a significant portion of the population today. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4% of the global population experience a form of anxiety disorder. With close to 301 million people in the world reported to have an anxiety disorder in 2019, it stands as the most common of all mental disorders. 

Everyone is susceptible to anxiety, and those living with elevated levels of anxiety disorders often experience fear and worry that is both intense and excessive. Although highly effective treatments for anxiety disorders exist, less than a quarter of those afflicted receive any treatment for various reasons, such as social stigma, lack of awareness of its implications and lack of access to the necessary help and support.  

While often overlooked, anxiety disorders can lead to more severe mental health problems, potentially interfering with daily activities, and impairing a person’s family, social, school or working life. 

Everybody needs time dedicated to healing and mental health preservation, and everyone deals with stress differently in their own ways. Even simple remedies or routines at home have been shown to be effective in mitigating symptoms of mild anxiety and stress.  

Fortunately, catharsis—an emotional release—can be a powerful remedy for stress and anxiety. Engaging in activities that promote catharsis can help maintain our mental health and improve our overall well-being. Numerous studies have shown that activities such as listening to music, watching films, and reading can significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels. 

The man who moves a mountain,  

begins by carrying away small stones” 


At The Last Straw, we would like to emphasise the significance and importance of maintaining a healthy state of mind. We believe in the power of taking small steps. Hence, we would like to share some of the escapes that help us relieve stress and boost our mood: 

Music for the Heart 💖

Good music can move both your soul and your body. It is hard to fathom that something as simple as a good song can significantly impact your mood. Some research suggests that it might even make you healthier. While music can be a source of pleasure and contentment, there are many other psychological benefits to it as well. 

Music is a beautiful and transformative tool that can promote emotional health, help us cope with stress, and boost our psychological well-being. It is remarkable how melodies and rhythms can touch our hearts and soothe our minds. Researchers have discovered that selective music therapy methods can be a safe and effective method for treating various disorders, including depression. 

We want to walk alongside you on your journey to better mental health by sharing a playlist of music and songs that bring us relief and comfort. These are the melodies that boost our spirits, the songs that calm our anxieties, and the tunes that bring a sense of peace to our lives. We hope they can do the same for you. (We also highly encourage you to create a playlist tailored to your own preferences!) 

Films for Comfort 🫂

If you have had a tough day at work and find it hard to shake off your thoughts, it can take an incredible toll on you. Your mind keeps drifting back to work, no matter how much you try to distract yourself. So, what can you do? Perhaps watch a movie or binge watch some TV shows? 

Psychological research and therapists agree that watching movies can be one of the most effective ways to cope with anxiety or depression.  

Engaging in activities you enjoy, like watching movies, can offer numerous benefits. It can boost your mental well-being, relieve stress, and strengthen your connections with those around you. 

Here are some movies and TV shows that we often turn to when we need a mood lift. We hope they can bring you some comfort and joy too! 

Books for the Soul 📚

Books have an extraordinary power to make us feel deeply, evoking everything from joy and wonder to sorrow, fear, and anger. This emotional journey helps us build resilience, preparing us to face life's challenges with greater strength. Moreover, immersing ourselves in diverse stories fosters empathy, allowing us to connect with people from diverse cultures and experiences through the magic of storytelling. 

When it comes to stress relief, there is nothing quite like escaping into the enchanting world of a delightful book. It can slow down your time, relax your mind, motivate you, or transport you away from the stresses of everyday life. By diving into a story, you give your mind a chance to compartmentalise and focus on something other than your worries. 

Remarkably, studies show that just six minutes of reading a day can transform your well-being. It can improve your sleep quality, reduce stress levels, and sharpen your mind. Reading strengthens the neural circuits and pathways in our brains, while also lowering heart rate and blood pressure. 

The beauty of engaging with stories beyond our own experiences is that it nurtures a profound sense of human connection. It allows us to step into others' shoes and see the world through their eyes, deepening our empathy. This often leads to stronger, more meaningful relationships and a shared understanding that transcends our differences. 

In a world where we often feel disconnected, books can be a lifeline, bringing us closer to ourselves and to each other. Through the simple act of reading, we find solace, understanding, and a richer sense of humanity. 

Some avid readers on our team have compiled a list of books that have helped us get past our hardest times and have motivated us over the years.

Incorporating these cathartic tips into your routine can help you manage stress and anxiety, promoting better mental health, recuperation, and recovery. Remember, it is important to find what works best for you and be available for these moments of emotional release. 

Whether it’s through music, films, or books, there are countless ways to find relief and joy in everyday life. Take care of your mental fortitude, because after all, a healthy mind is the foundation of a happy life. 



It's important to understand that the suggestions provided here are not intended to be clinical treatments for mental health symptoms. If your symptoms begin to interfere with your daily life, seeking help from a mental health professional is highly recommended. A professional can evaluate which methods may be appropriate for your lifestyle and environment to determine their suitability for addressing your specific needs

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