Hear “Weightless,” the Most Relaxing Song Ever Made, According to Researchers (You’ll Need It Today)

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):

  1. Mar­coni Union and Lyz Coop­er – Weight­less
  2. Airstream – Elec­tra
  3. DJ Shah – Mel­lo­ma­ni­ac (Chill Out Mix)
  4. Enya – Water­mark
  5. Cold­play – Straw­ber­ry Swing
  6. Barcelona – Please Don’t Go
  7. All Saints – Pure Shores
  8. Adelev­Some­one Like You
  9. Mozart – Can­zonet­ta Sull’aria
  10. 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.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

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

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Comments (12)
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  • Randy says:

    “Adele — Some­one Like You” does­n’t seem to be in the playlist…

  • Dennis says:

    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.

  • Jonathan Collins says:

    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!

  • Josh Jones says:

    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.

  • Dana Pyzik says:

    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 …


  • spiro ilo says:

    Well, you gonna need much more than this if you keep the same polit­i­cal views. :)

  • Shannon says:

    I actu­al­ly found it to be very relax­ing.
    I need­ed this. Ty.
    Too many haters in this world right now.

  • Shaun says:

    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.

    Stay strong.

    We shall over­come.

  • Elena says:

    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

  • Caspar Addyman says:

    Hi guys,

    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,

  • Don says:

    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

  • mary says:

    This is love­ly by any stan­dard. Thank you for shar­ing it here. M

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