As I write this, it’s election night, and I do not need to tell you about the thick haze of fear in the air. I have already had a couple friends ask me about resources for meditation and relaxation. I’m no expert, but I have looked into various ways to deal with stress and hypertension. Meditation tops my list (and those of many mental health professionals). At a very close second place: Music.
We’ve brought you many meditation resources in the past (see here, here, here, and here). And we’ve pointed you toward four hours of free original meditation music to help you “not panic,” courtesy of Moby. We’ve also brought you music to help you sleep, from composer Max Richter and many others. Now, we bring you what “a team of scientists and sound therapists” claim is “the most relaxing song ever,” as Electronic Beats informs us. You can hear the track, “Weightless”—by Manchester band Marconi Union and Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy—above.
The song’s relaxing properties supposedly work “by using specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener,” writes ShortList. I’ve had it on repeat for an hour and will testify to its efficacy. So can 40 women who “found it to be more effective at helping them relax than songs by Enya, Mozart and Coldplay.” In this experiment and others, says UK stress specialist Dr. David Lewis, “Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.”
Emotions—fear, rage, and disgust—are running wild nationwide. Justifiable or not, they can wreak havoc on our mental and physical health if we can’t find ways to relax. “Weightless,” reports The Telegraph, “induced a 65 per cent reduction in overall anxiety and brought [study participants] to a level 35 per cent lower than their usual resting rates.” That’s no small change in attitude, but if you find this atmospheric track doesn’t do it for you, maybe try out some other tunes from the research team’s top 10 list of most relaxing (hear them all in the playlist above):
- Marconi Union and Lyz Cooper – Weightless
- Airstream – Electra
- DJ Shah – Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)
- Enya – Watermark
- Coldplay – Strawberry Swing
- Barcelona – Please Don’t Go
- All Saints – Pure Shores
- AdelevSomeone Like You
- Mozart – Canzonetta Sull’aria
- Cafe Del Mar – We Can Fly
And then, again, there’s Moby’s four hours of ambient sounds, Max Richter’s eight-hour Sleep, the work of German ambient composer Gas, and hundreds of other supremely relaxing pieces of music to bring your stress levels down to manageable. Maybe keep some relaxing music on hand for extra-stressful moments, and as always, don’t forget to breathe.
Moby Lets You Download 4 Hours of Ambient Music to Help You Sleep, Meditate, Do Yoga & Not Panic
Music That Helps You Sleep: Minimalist Composer Max Richter, Pop Phenom Ed Sheeran & Your Favorites
How a Good Night’s Sleep — and a Bad Night’s Sleep — Can Enhance Your Creativity
Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness
“Adele – Someone Like You” doesn’t seem to be in the playlist…
The “thick haze of fear”, rage and disgust you describe are the emotions I felt in 2012 when Obama won a 2nd term.
Why does Openculture repeatedly alienate half its readers by taking such pointed political sides?
The web site is a daily visit for me, the educational links are great and the reads are usually interesting. But I grow weary of being insulted regularly by your contributors because I’m a conservative.
I’d be surprised if the author is not in the fetal position, sucking his thumb, listening to Enya records, while repeating to himself “Its all just a dream…” Couldn’t be happier with the results of the election. I didn’t cry to mommy when Obama won, I went on with life. Man up!
I didn’t mention a candidate’s name in this piece. No winner had been announced when I wrote this. But thanks so much for sharing your very important feelings, Dennis and Jonathan.
I didn’t find the song very relaxing. I actually had to shut it off because I started getting heart palpitations and anxiety. I guess what is relaxing for some has the opposite effect for others . . .
Well, you gonna need much more than this if you keep the same political views. :)
I actually found it to be very relaxing.
I needed this. Ty.
Too many haters in this world right now.
Thanks for the calm.
We must not lose hope.
Solidarity with all who oppose Trump from Scotland.
America’s priority must now be to minimise the damage from Trump’s term. Protest by any means against constitutional assault, environmental damage and nuclear war.
We shall overcome.
Has anyone put out an album with the top 10 most relaxing songs, yet? Hint, Hint, Open Culture! I love you guys and say so openly and often on Twitter. I still consider you among my best internet finds of all time. Let the haters hate. Ignorance breeds ignorance, so what are they doing on the most brilliant and creative site out there, anyway? Go troll Fox News w/your hate speech. The rest of us are over it and we come here to escape discussions about politics. Now, back to my Q about an album of the most relaxing songs, ever…lol. ~ Elena
Thanks for sharing this I had encountered it before. I’m a psychologist and I have just done something similar but different.
I’m a baby psychologist, working together with my college Lauren Stewart who is a professor of the psychology of music we helped Imogen Heap write a scientifically-tested happy song for babies :)
You see a mini documentary about the process and hear the song here
Love to know what you all think,
I came here by chance in hopes I would find something that could be helpful to my insomnia issue that I have dealt with my entire life. Regardless of who I might of voted for is not relevant to the problem I suffer from. It would be safe to say at this point for me that the riots and destruction of peoples property are more disturbing than who won the election. If I am willing to except the results of an election that didn’t go my way then as a citizen why shouldn’t I expect the same from others. I have never understood why some feel the need to be negative and then preach against the very thing that obviously lay dormant in their heart. I will find another site….. Thank You
This is lovely by any standard. Thank you for sharing it here. M