34 Best Songs About Breathing – So, First Take A Breath

The cycle of breathing accompanies us our whole life, like day and night, high and low tide, winter and summer.

We have compiled the best songs about breathing for you. So now you can enjoy these timeless songs without having to spend hours researching them.

From now on, every time you hear one of the following songs on the radio, in a movie or in a playlist, you can use the opportunity to become aware of your inhaling and exhaling.

1. Breathe (Rap Version) - Blu Cantrell

The song „Breathe" by Blu Cantrell featuring Sean Paul is about a difficult relationship with many conflicts. 

The artists sing about their love, breaking up and making up, and wonder if they need some time alone, so they can breathe, to save their relationship.

In the British tabloid Metro, singer Blu Cantrell was asked if she expected the success of the single "Breathe" in the UK. Her answer was:
"No, but I was very happy about it. It’s a really great song and I’m just glad people picked up on it."[1]

2. Take My Breath Away - Berlin

The band Berlin was not even set from the beginning for the song. At first Martha Davis, the singer of the band The Motels, sang the song, but the producers finally decided on Terri Nun, the singer of Berlin.[2]

3. Every Breath You Take - Police

In 2021, in a study of 4 million Spotify songs, a team of Danish researchers found that the musical characteristics of the song "Every Breath You Take" by Police were optimally balanced.

Lead researcher Ole Adrian Heggli Heggli describes it this way: "It's a medium tempo. It's a bit groovy, but not too much groovy. It doesn't have any loud surprises. And it's all over just a very pleasant, perhaps even a bit bland song."[3]

4. Just Breathe - Pearl Jam

In a 2009 interview with the American music magazine Billboard, Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam, revealed about the genesis of the song "Just Breathe.":

"It was a shorter song, and then I wrote a bridge to it while the other guys were working on something else. It was like our own little Brill Building at the warehouse."[4]

5. The Trick is To Keep Breathing - Garbage

The American band Garbage drew inspiration for the song from the novel "The Trick Is To Keep Breathing" by Scottish author Janice Galloway.

In an article about the band Garbage, The Telegraph wrote about the song:
"...to contemporary classics of Scottish feminist literature (the burning-chrome languor of The Trick Is to Keep Breathing, named after Janice Galloway’s first novel)".[5]

6. Lose My Breath - Destiny's Child

Destiny's Child got support from Jay-Z, among others, for the recording of the single "Lose My Breath". Beyoncé said in this regard about Jay-Z:
"I told him we heard this crazy track and it's going to have everyone losing their breath, and he was like, 'I got it, [singing] "Can you keep up?"'[6]

7. Breathe Me - Sia

Sia's song "Breathe Me" accompanied the closing scene of the American TV series "Six Feet Under."
"..."Breathe Me," the delicate and haunting track that accompanied Six Feet Under's climactic final scene."[7]

8. Pneuma - Tool

About the meaning of the song "Pneuma", Tom Moon said in an NPR review about the album "Fear Inoculum" by the band Tool: "That song's called "Pneuma," after the Greek term for spirit or soul."[8]

The Greek word pneuma can also be translated in English as "breathed air", "breath".

9. Breathing - Jason Derulo

In March 2012, Jason Derulo's single "Breathing" reached #28 on the weekly Pop Airplay Chart by Billboard Magazine.[9]

In the official music video for the song you can see the singer's lungs with the help of computer or video effects. It looks like Jason Derulo's upper body is transparent and you can see his lungs (computer animated) directly.

10. Breathe - Prodigy

In addition to numerous international chart successes in 1997, Prodigy's song "Breathe" made it to #64 on SPIN's "The 79 Best Alternative Rock Songs of 1997" list.[10]

11. Take My Breath - The Weeknd

A review on the track "Take My Breath" references The Weeknd's single "Blinding Lights," released about two years earlier, and the Canadian singer's renewed collaboration with the two producers:

"“Take My Breath” captures the same high as 2019’s “Blinding Lights,” reuniting him with the track’s producers, Max Martin and Oscar Holter."[11]

12. One Last Breath - Creed

The fact that the music video for the song "One Last Breath" by the American band Creed has a surreal touch is no coincidence.

Because it turns out that both the singer of Creed and the video director have a high regard for the painter Salvador Dali.[12]

13. Breathe - Fabolous

Unmistakably, the single "Breathe" by American rapper Fabolous samples the Supertramp song "Crime of the Century."[13]

In 2004, Fabolous made it to #10 on the Billboard Top 100 with the track.

14. Breathing - Kate Bush

An online article by the British online culture magazine Far Out from 2022 says, among other things, about the meaning of the song "Breathing" by British singer-songwriter Kate Bush:

"Being born would mean being forced to breathe radioactive air, making the child the perfect way for Bush to explore the debate surrounding humanity’s subconscious desire for self-destruction."[14]

15. Breathe (2 AM) - Anna Nalick

Billboard Magazine, in a 2018 online article about Anna Nalick (the article also includes an interview with the American singer-songwriter), describes the widespread popularity that her debut single "Breathe (2 AM)" instantly achieved.

Anna Nalick revealed in the Billboard interview about the ups and downs in her life: "That was part of the time away: I had spent years telling people to just breathe, and I was suffocating."[15]

16. Breathe - Midge Ure

"Breathe" is a 1996 single release from the album of the same name by Scottish singer-songwriter Midge Ure.

About two years after its release, the song was used as background music for a TV commercial for the Swiss watch brand Swatch.

In 2018, "Breathe" appeared on the album "Orchestrated", on which songs previously released by Midge Ure and Ultravox were re-recorded with orchestral accompaniment. 

In an "Orchestrated" review, pop culture online magazine PopMatters wrote: "Ure’s solo single “Breathe” is even more playful here with its plucked strings and falsetto chorus."[16]

17. Breathin - Ariana Grande

The real story behind the song "Breathin" by American singer and songwriter Ariana Grande is very serious and personal. 

In an article published by the American online magazine Teen Vogue, the author wrote about the song, among other things:
"Though Ariana has yet to confirm this theory, she has spoken in the past about how "Breathin’" is an extremely personal song that addresses her struggles with anxiety after the 2017 Manchester attacks."[17]

A key message in the song is how important it is to consciously keep breathing when you overcomplicate things and all seems to be getting out of hand.

18. Breathe - CamelPhat & Cristoph feat. Jem Cooke

The dance tune "Breathe" from 2018 is the result of the collaboration of the British producer team (more precisely, producer duo), the English DJ Christoph and the British singer Jem Cooke.

The cover of the single features an X-ray image of human lungs.

A music news article in American Billboard magazine about Eric Prydz' remix of the track says of the original, unmixed version:
"The original tune “Breathe” is deliciously haunting and invigorating with sensuality. It’s a driving house groove built from fuzzy synth rhythms and ambient strings over a steady tempo."[18]

19. Breathe - Télépopmusik

French music project Télépopmusik released the single "Breathe" in 2002. The song was performed by Scottish singer-songwriter Angela McCluskey.

In an interview with Electronic Groove, an online magazine for dance and electronic music, Christophe Hetier (Télépopmusik) revealed how the idea for the song's title came about:
"So she came to Paris and we were recording in the studio, smoking loads, and Angela, who doesn’t smoke, simply couldn’t stand it. ‘I cannot breathe!’ she exclaimed."[19]

20. Breath of Life - Erasure

The official Erasure website has a "Behind the Scenes" article about the music video shoot for the song "Breath of Life" by English synth-pop duo Erasure. The track was released as a single in 1992.

Vince Clarke reveals in the article that the video shoots for the singles were somehow not his thing and "Breath of Life" was one of the last music videos in which he participated:
"Since then I’ve been in a couple, but when I decided that I didn’t want to do videos anymore, ‘Breath Of Life’ was the last straw!"[20]

21. Breath of Life - Florence + The Machine

The soundtrack of the American movie "Snow White and the Huntsman" (released in 2012) features the Florence + The Machine song "Breath of Life".
On the 2012 digital deluxe edition of the Florence + The Machine album "Ceremonial" the song appeared as a bonus track.

In a 2012 article in the pop culture online magazine E! Online, the following was written about the song:
"Well, the song is certainly haunting enough—what with those ominous drums beating at the beginning—and we cannot imagine a more perfect match than Flo's grandiose voice and the gritty fairy-tale film."[21]

22. Still Breathing - Green Day

For the song "Still Breathing" by the American rock band Green Day, there are two official videos on YouTube, including a lyric video. The single was released on November 12, 2016.

In an interview with the American Internet radio station iHeartRadio, the band Green Day revealed their favorites on their album Revolution Radio. Among the favorites is "Still Breathing":
"'Still Breathing' definitely hits home and puts my heart in my throat."[22]

23. Breathe (In The Air) - Pink Floyd

Jazz was the music genre that provided an inspiration for composing the Pink Floyd song "Breathe (In The Air)".

Strictly speaking, it was the opening track "So What" from the Miles Davis album "Kind of Blues", which he recorded together with jazz artists John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Bill Evans.

Former Pink Floyd member Richard Wright revealed this song inspiration in the TV music documentary "Classic Albums" (Season 6 Episode 2).[23]

24. Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull

Next in our song list about breathing we have Jethro Tull, another popular progressive rock band.

Their 1971 track "Locomotive Breath", Ian Anderson revealed in an interview with Grammy.com (official website of the popular annual American music Grammy Awards), is mainly about the negative effects of overpopulation:
"But if there's one thing I think "Locomotive Breath" is about, it's more about population growth rather than anything else."[24]

The song "Locomotive Breath" appeared on the 1971 Jethro Tull album "Aqualung". The album title also has something to do with breathing just because of its word meaning. Because aqualung is a breathing apparatus used by divers.

25. Breathe (Taylor's Version) feat. Colbie Caillat - Taylor Swift

The track "Breathe" by Taylor Swift featuring Colbie Caillat was originally released back in 2008 and was re-recorded in 2021 for Swift's album "Fearless (Taylor's Version)". The new song title for the re-recording is "Breathe (Taylor's Version)".

In October 2022, the American music magazine Rolling Stone published a ranking of all 129 Taylor Swift songs. The song "Breathe" (Ft. Colbie Caillat) appeared in the list on position 184.[25]

26. Breathe In - Frou Frou

The British electronic duo, consisting of Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth, had their biggest chart success in the UK with the 2002 single "Breathe."

The single made it to number 44 on the official UK Singles Chart in July 2002.[26]

In the music video for the track, singer Imogen Heap is seen riding a streetcar.
Short life clips are shown of some of the passengers, some of which are very challenging.

27. The Air That I Breathe - The Hollies

One of the most famous songs by the British band The Hollies is "The Air That I Breathe" from 1974. 

In the UK singles chart, the track made it to the very top at number 2, and in the American Billboard Hot 100, it made it to number 6.

The track is again an example of how cover versions can become more popular than the original. Why? „The Air That I Breathe“ was recorded in the year 1972 by Albert Hammond for his debut album "It Never Rains In Southern California", about two years before The Hollies version. Albert Hammond has co-written the song with Mike Hazlewood.

The song is about how sometimes all you need is the air to breathe and love for another person. The song was written in the first person perspective.

Far Out Magazine's article "Why does Radiohead song 'Creep' credit Albert Hammond Sr?" states: "Later, though, Hammond explained that Radiohead was honest about their track’s relation to ‘The Air That I Breathe’."[27]

28. Exhale - Whitney Houston

In 1995 and 1996, the single "Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)" became an impressive chart success for Whitney Houston, reaching #1 on the official singles charts in the following countries: USA (Billboard Hot 100), Canada ('Canada Top Singles' by RPM Magazine), Spain (AFYVE).

The song is featured on the soundtrack to the movie "Waiting to Exhale", in which Whitney Houston starred. Scenes from the movie "Waiting to Exhale" were incorporated in the official music video.

An 1995 article in the American daily newspaper "The Morning Call" states about the film "Waiting to exhale":
“Waiting to Exhale,” which opens today, stars Houston and Angela Bassett in a romantic comedy about four African-American women holding their breath, i.e., “waiting to exhale,” until the right man comes along."[28]

29. Breathe Again - Toni Braxton

Already with the second single "Breathe Again" from her debut album, the American singer Toni Braxton was able to take off and place herself in the front positions in important international single charts (Billboard Hot 100, UK Single Chart, etc.) in 1993.

The American daily newspaper Los Angeles Times noted about the songs "Seven Whole Days" and "Breathe Again" on her eponymous debut album: "Where Braxton seemed most convincing the first time out in songs, such as “Seven Whole Days” and “Breathe Again,” where she was a victim of romance, she now injects key songs on “Secrets” with a bold, sometimes demanding attitude."[29]

30. Breathe - Faith Hill

On October 4, 1999, barely three months before the turn of the millennium, the single "Breathe" by American country music artist Faith Hill was released. The track appears on her eponymous album "Breathe" and is the lead single.

Asked about who she thinks of when she performs the song, she said in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian: "I ask who she has in mind when she sings it? 'My husband, of course,' she giggles."[30]

31. Respiration - Blackstar ft. Common

The track "Respiration" by Blackstar featuring Common from the year 1999 is the second single release from the album of the same name. Blackstar is an American rapper duo.

One definition of respiration according to the Merrriam-Webster Dictionary is: "a single complete act of breathing."

Read about the Blackstar ft. Common hip-hop song "Respiration" in the Vol. 6 No. 2 (2019) issue of Urban Education Research and Policy Annuals: "On the 1998 hip-hop classic titled Respiration, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Common give a vivid account of life in the urban complex - New York City."[31]
A note from us: Possibly "Urban Education Research and Policy Annuals" does not refer to the release year of the single "Respiration", but to the release of the album "Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star", on which the single appeared. Or the year of the release of the album and the single were interchanged. Because the album was released in 1998 and the single in 1999.

32. Breathless - The Corrs

The single "Breathless" released in 2000 by the Irish pop rock band The Corrs led to major international chart success.
In the American Billboard Hot 100, they were able to record their biggest chart success with this track, and in the UK Singles Chart they were even able to ascend the throne of the charts for a week at number 1.

A The Guardian article about Andrea Corr, lead singer of the Irish family band The Corrs, says of the song: "Breathless ... is further evidence that the Corrs have hit on an aural signature, an immediately identifiable sound that has just enough space for melodic innovation each time it is unfurled anew."[32]

A good two decades later, in 2021, American singer-songwriter Caroline Polachek released a cover version of "Breathless", numerous online entertainment and music magazines reported on it.

33. Catch My Breath - Kelly Clarkson

"Catch My Breath" is a 2012 single by American singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson, recorded especially for her best of album "Greatest Hits - Chapter One".

Kelly Clarkson about the meaning of "Catch My Breath"

This song represents who I've been, what I've felt, and where I'm headed as not only an artist but as a 30 year old that is now smart enough to know that it's time to stop, catch my breath, and be proud of not only what has been accomplished but of all the people that have helped me become the woman I am today.[33]

Kelly Clarkson - Singer-Songwriter

34. Breath - Neue Grafik Ensemble

"It all starts, it all ends with breath", with these words the song "Breath" by the band Neue Grafik Ensemble feat. JJ Akinlade ends. We took these profound words as an opportunity to conclude our song list with this track.

"Breath" is the fourth track on Neue Grafik Ensemble's second album "Foulden Road Part II" .

The North American online music magazine "Earmilk" wrote about the song: "Proceedings take a more reflective turn on “Breath,” as muted piano chords and wistful double bass drink together in solidarity, taking in the metamodern poetry of JJ Akinlade, allowing a short break for people to search metamodern."[34]

It's not a breathing song but ...

Finally, I have a band for you that doesn't fit into this list by song title, but by band name.

It's the English band Breathe, who made it to number 2 in the American single charts, the Billboard Hot 100, with their single "Hands to Heaven" at the end of the 80s (August 1988).[35]


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[2] Simpson, D. (2020, November 16). How we made: Take My Breath Away, the Top Gun theme tune by Berlin. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/nov/16/giorgio-moroder-take-my-breath-away-top-gun-how-we-made-berlin-tom-cruise, para. 9

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[16] Whitelock, E. (2018, July 27). Midge Ure’s ‘Orchestrated’ Is a Career-defining Performance, PopMatters. PopMatters. https://www.popmatters.com/midge-ure-orchestrated-review-2583505876.html, para. 4

[17] Weiner, Z. (2018, September 5). Ariana Grande Fans Think They Found a Secret Message in “Breathin’”. Teen Vogue. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/ariana-grande-secret-message-breathin, para. 4

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[20] Smith, M. (2020, January 31). A BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT THE MAKING OF ERASURE’S ‘BREATH OF LIFE’ VIDEO. ERASURE | Official Website. https://www.erasureinfo.com/behind-the-scenes-breath-of-life-video/, para. 8

[21] Casablanca, T., & Boone, J. (2012, April 26). Snow White and the Huntsman Soundtrack: Is Florence + the Machine Team Kristen Stewart or Charlize Theron? E! Online. https://www.eonline.com/news/311901/snow-white-and-the-huntsman-soundtrack-is-florence-the-machine-team-kristen-stewart-or-charlize-theron, para. 6

[22] Mastrogiannis, N. (2016, October 1). INTERVIEW: Green Day On “Revolution Radio” | Music You Should Know. iHeartRadio. https://www.iheartradio.ca/news/interview-green-day-on-revolution-radio-music-you-should-know-1.1977717, para. 9

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[25] Sheffield, R. (2022, October 26). All 229 of Taylor Swift’s Songs, Ranked. Rolling Stone. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/taylor-swift-songs-ranked-rob-sheffield-201800/breathe-ft-colbie-caillat-2008-194977/

[26] FROU FROU | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company. (n.d.). https://www.officialcharts.com/artist/12076/frou-frou/

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[28] Morning Call - Staff Report. (2021, October 3). WHITNEY HOLDS HER BREATH HOUSTON TAKES THE PLUNGE AGAIN WITH ‘EXHALE’ ROLE. The Morning Call. https://www.mcall.com/1995/12/22/whitney-holds-her-breath-houston-takes-the-plunge-again-with-exhale-role/, para. 6

[29] Coker, C. H. (2019, March 5). Taking a Deep Breath, Again - Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1996-06-16-ca-15430-story.html, para. 10

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