Stress is as pervasive as the air we breathe. It can be incredibly difficult to avoid. But, you don't need to run from it, and nor do you need to attend a stress management seminar to manage it. When things get difficult at work, school or in your personal life, there are many techniques that will help calm your nerves. Yet, there's one science-backed technique that is sure to work: listening to the most relaxing song known to man.
Sound therapies have long been a popular way of relaxing and restoring health. Indigenous cultures have used music to enhance their well-being to improve health conditions. In light of this, neuroscientists out of the UK have specified which tunes have the most calming effects.
The study was conducted on participants who attempted to solve difficult puzzles as quickly as possible, while connected to sensors. The puzzles induced a certain levels of stress. Participants listened to different songs while researchers measured their brain activity as well as their psychological states which included heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing.
According to Head of Research Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson from Mindlab International, the song 'Weightless' produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date. Results showed that listening to 'Weightless' (have a listen to this wonderful track below) resulted in a 65% reduction in the participants' overall anxiety and 35% reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.
The group that created the song 'Weightless' - Marconi Union, intentionally produced the song to induce a state of relaxation. They did so in collaboration with sound therapists, creating carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms and bass lines to help slow a listener's heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Stress has been found to increase potential health risks like, heart disease, obesity, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma and others. Furthermore, in another more troubling study conducted at Harvard and Stanford, it's been shown that health issues from job stress alone may cause more deaths than diabetes, Alzheimer's or influenza.
So, to keep your mind and body healthy, it's essential that you give them a rest every so often. Music is a great way to ease the pressure off things that can make your stress levels spike. So plug in your earphones, lie down and enjoy the world's most relaxing tracks below:
Note: The study found that upon listening to the track, 'Weightless', many women reported feeling drowsy. It's therefore recommended that you do not play this song while driving as it could be dangerous.
The top 3, most relaxing songs:
3. Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) by DJ Shah
2. Elektra by Airstream
1. Weightless by Marconi Union