We all know that stress is bad for our health. But, do you know how to properly manage it?
When things get difficult at school, at work, or in relationships, you can use as many tricks, tips, and techniques to calm your nerves and ease your anxiety.
Recently, science has revealed a research backed stress remedy that all of you music lovers will appreciate: make a playlist of the 10 songs find to be the most relaxing on earth.
Sound therapies have long been popular as a way of addressing mental / physical issues, relaxing, and restoring health. For centuries, indigenous cultures have used music to enhance well-being and improve health conditions.
And now, thanks to neuroscientists out of the UK, we know which tunes give you the most bang for your musical buck.
For the study, participants were connected to sensors and asked to solve difficult puzzles while listening to specific songs. The puzzles were designed to induce a certain level of stress, and researchers measured brain activity as well as physiological states that included heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing.
The overarching goal of the study, conducted by Mindless International, was to identify the top song for stress relief.
According to neuroscientist Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, the top song produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date.
You may be surprised to learn the result.
“Weightless” by Marconi Union.
If you haven’t heard it, you should.
The study showed that listening to “Weightless” resulted in a striking 65% reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35% reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.
Scientists found this result to be remarkable.
Equally remarkable is the fact the song was actually constructed to do so. The group that created “Weightless”, Marconi Union, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Alleviating stress is imperative as it exacerbates the risk of health issues like heart disease, obesity, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, and more. Furthermore, advancements in science and technology have shed new light on the risks associated with stress. Perhaps most poignantly, a recent paper out of Harvard and Stanford found health issues from job stress alone caused more deaths than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza.
In this age of constant bombardment, the science is clear: if you want your mind and body to last, you’ve got to prioritize giving them a rest. Music is an easy way to take some of the pressure off of all the pings, dings, apps, tags, texts, emails, appointments, meetings, and deadlines that can easily spike your stress level and leave you feeling drained and anxious.
So don’t drive while listening to these, but do take advantage of them:
- “We Can Fly,” by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)
- “Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart
- “Someone Like You,” by Adele
- “Pure Shores,” by All Saints
- “Please Don’t Go,” by Barcelona
- “Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay
- “Watermark,” by Enya
- “Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix),” by DJ Shah
- “Electra,” by Airstream
- “Weightless,” by Marconi Union
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