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.