Phobia was released on August 8, 2006 and quickly sold out at major retail chains such as Best Buy and Target. The album sold 131,000 copies in its first week, which made it the fastest selling and highest charting Breaking Benjamin album (until 2015's Dark Before Dawn), hitting number two on the US Billboard 200. This is the first studio album Chad Szeliga recorded with the band. The intro track features the sound effects of an airport, namely a flight attendant announcing standard safety procedures and the sound of an airplane making its ascent, alluding to Benjamin Burnley's fear of flying, hence the inspiration for the album name, Phobia.
The album re-entered the US Billboard 200 at number 38 on May 5, 2007 with its reissue. On May 21, 2009, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA.
Corey Apar of AllMusic views the album as consistent with their past material, concluding "Phobia will not win over any skeptics still holding out on the band, but for those already happily settled in the Benjamin camp, it makes for another satisfying listen."
"Unknown Soldier" was about a man struggling through two wars and wanted to end them.
"You" was played live for the first time during an all acoustic set at Concert for a Cause IV in April 2007, while the band was still in the recording process. In an interview, Burnley revealed that he had mistakenly forgotten the second verse of the song during the set.
"Topless" is an old fan favorite, written and performed before the band had even released their debut album Saturate, in 1998 when the band first formed and was originally called "Top of the World". It has been heavily changed since then.
"The Diary of Jane", and "Breath" were covered by a classical cover quartet tribute band called Vitamin String Quartet, and the covers of those songs appear on the albums Strung Out – the String Quartet Tribute and Hard Rock Hits, Vol. 4.
According to lead singer Benjamin Burnley on the Phobia DVD, the track "Evil Angel" was one of the first songs he wrote for Phobia.