It’s the Most Relaxing Song Ever and It Can Do This …

It's the Most Relaxing Song Ever and It Can Do This ...

It’s official, and it’s backed by science: There is a song that now enjoys the title of being the most relaxing song ever produced.

Studies have consistently shown that music can have an enormous impact on emotional and physical health, positively affecting performance, mood, self-expression and self-esteem. 

Sound therapists and Manchester band Marconi Union teamed up to produce the quintessential relaxation track using proven elements of scientific theory. The song they created is ‘Weightless’ and research by the British Academy of Sound Therapy found that it was able to lower blood pressure, slow heart rate and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) at unprecedented rates.

Weightless’ is eight minutes long but the ride is a blissful one.

Feelings of euphoria and comfort are created by deliberately chosen gaps in the notes. The song features guitar, piano and electronic samples of natural landscapes and other elements that have been scientifically proven to induce relaxation. 

It begins at 60 beats per minute then gradually slows to around 50, at which time the listener’s heartbeat automatically falls into line with the beat. This process is known as entrainment and it takes about five minutes for this to start, explaining why the song had to be a reasonably lengthy one. According to Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, the gentle slowing brings calm to the body, shifting the heart, respiration, blood pressure and brainwaves into a deeply relaxed state.

The absence of repetitive melodies prevents the brain from trying to predict what comes next, allowing the brain to essentially ‘switch off’.

Studies found that ‘Weightless’ was 11% more relaxing than any other song, outdoing the likes of Mozart, Enya and Coldplay. The song dropped overall anxiety rates by 65%, bringing participants to a level 35 % lower than their usual resting rate. The relaxation effect was evident even though participants were given a stressful task to complete in within a stressful time constraint.

Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, Director of Research at Mindlab International, who conducted the study, explained the research showed that, ‘Weightless was so effective, many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous.’

The song was found to be more relaxing than a massage, a walk or a cup of tea.

The top 10 list of most relaxing songs is:

  • 1. Weightless (Marconi Union)
  • 2. Electra (Airstream)
  • 3. Mellomaniac (DJ Shah – Chill Out Mix)
  • 4. Watermark (Enya)
  • 5. Strawberry Swing (Coldplay)
  • 6. Please Don’t Go (Barcelona)
  • 7. Pure Shores (All Saints
  • 8. Someone Like You (Adele)
  • 9. Canzonetta Sull’aria (Mozart)
  • 10. We Can Fly (Café Del Mar).

Click here to listen to ‘Weightless’.

See you in 8 minutes – maybe – if the beats haven’t taken you somewhere lovely.

[irp posts=”890″ name=”Rethinking Stress: How Changing Your Thinking Could Save Your Life”]

12 Comments

Diane

I love the list of most relaxing songs! I can’t wait to listen to them and download !

Thank you again for another helpful article!

Reply
Marilena Voce

Thank you for your easy read on anxiety. I have a 12 year old son who suffers from anxiety which triggers his facial ticks. He has low self asteem because of both. It is both painful and at times frustrating to watch him go through it. As a mom I feel useless at times. I find your information to be very helpful. I will especially try the music part.

Thank you very much for sharing.

Reply
heysigmund

You’re welcome. I’m pleased you’re going to share some of the information with him. It’s awful when you can see your kids really struggling with something and you can’t do anything to help them. You’re doing a great job. Your son is so loved – I can hear that from your comment. Counselling might be an option for you if his self-esteem continues to suffer. He will get through – just keep loving him as you are and supporting him as you do.

Reply
Kathy Dolianitis

Please look at the website on Music Therapy from the American Music Therapy Association. It will share with you about music therapy and just how long this has been used in our country. First came about after the second WW and helped with veterans were experiencing PTSD and veterans after the war and other feelings that they were experiencing.
Music is a wonderful tool to use. I have never heard the term sound therapist, but the correct term usually to use is music therapist.

Reply
Robert Forster

I have suffered anxiety with panic and depression for about 40 years. My daughter was getting married and I wanted to say a few nice words and send her on her way, but I couldnt as I was. I started everything at one time, asprins every day for some time, breathing exercises even at night if I woke, self hypnosis, meditation, exercise and more. I then went on a course in speech making only to realise that the anxiety had gone after approx. 6-8 months. I held a speech for my daughter at her wedding and felt great about it. It was one of the great experiences of my life….nothing is impossible.

Reply
Annette

Just tried to listen to that “weightless” music, was so weird and notr relaxed at all. I felt tensing up, so I stopped. At least I have learned to stop and not endure if something supposedly relaxing does not relax me at all like I used to.

Reply
Jennifer

The same thing happened to me. Then 2 years later I tried again and realized it’s supposed to be this way. The change happens gradually. The music aligns with your heartbeat. As the music slowed down guess what happened next? ????

Reply

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Anxiety has a way of demanding ALL of the attention. It shifts the focus to what feels scary, or too big, or impossible, or what needs to be avoided, or what feels bad, or what our kiddos can’t do. As the grown ups who love them, we know they are capable of greatness, even if that greatness is made up of lots of tiny steps, (as great things tend to be).
Physical activity is the natural end to the fight or flight response (which is where the physical feelings of an anxiety attack come from). Walking will help to burn the adrenalin and neurochemicals that have surged the body to prepare it for flight or fight, and which are causing the physical symptoms (racy heart, feeling sick, sweaty, short breaths, dry mouth, trembly or tense in the limbs etc). As well as this, the rhythm of walking will help to calm their anxious amygdala. Brains love rhythm, and walking is a way to give them this. 
⠀⠀
Try to help your young one access their steady breaths while walking, but it is very likely that they will only be able to do this if they’ve practised outside of an anxiety attack. During anxiety, the brain is too busy to try anything unfamiliar. Practising will help to create neural pathways that will make breathing an easier, more accessible response during anxiety. If they aren't able to access strong steady breaths, you might need to do it for them. This will be just as powerful - in the same way they can catch your anxiety, they will also be able to catch your calm. When you are able to assume a strong, calm, steady presence, this will clear the way for your brave ones to do the same.
The more your young one is able to verbalise what their anxiety feels like, the more capacity they will have to identify it, acknowledge it and act more deliberately in response to it. With this level of self-awareness comes an increased ability to manage the feeling when it happens, and less likelihood that the anxiety will hijack their behaviour. 

Now - let’s give their awareness some muscle. If they are experts at what their anxiety feels like, they are also experts at what it takes to be brave. They’ve felt anxiety and they’ve moved through it, maybe not every time - none of us do it every time - maybe not even most times, but enough times to know what it takes and how it feels when they do. Maybe it was that time they walked into school when everything in them was wanting to walk away. Maybe that time they went in for goal, or down the water slide, or did the presentation in front of the class. Maybe that time they spoke their own order at the restaurant, or did the driving test, or told you there would be alcohol at the party. Those times matter, because they show them they can move through anxiety towards brave. They might also taken for granted by your young one, or written off as not counting as brave - but they do count. They count for everything. They are evidence that they can do hard things, even when those things feel bigger than them. 

So let’s expand those times with them and for them. Let’s expand the wisdom that comes with that, and bring their brave into the light as well. ‘What helped you do that?’ ‘What was it like when you did?’ ‘I know everything in you wanted to walk away, but you didn’t. Being brave isn’t about doing things easily. It’s about doing those hard things even when they feel bigger than us. I see you doing that all the time. It doesn’t matter that you don’t do them every time -none of us are brave every time- but you have so much courage in you my love, even when anxiety is making you feel otherwise.’

Let them also know that you feel like this too sometimes. It will help them see that anxiety happens to all of us, and that even though it tells a deficiency story, it is just a story and one they can change the ending of.
During adolescence, our teens are more likely to pay attention to the positives of a situation over the negatives. This can be a great thing. The courage that comes from this will help them try new things, explore their independence, and learn the things they need to learn to be happy, healthy adults. But it can also land them in bucketloads of trouble. 

Here’s the thing. Our teens don’t want to do the wrong thing and they don’t want to go behind our backs, but they also don’t want to be controlled by us, or have any sense that we might be stifling their way towards independence. The cold truth of it all is that if they want something badly enough, and if they feel as though we are intruding or that we are making arbitrary decisions just because we can, or that we don’t get how important something is to them, they have the will, the smarts and the means to do it with or without or approval. 

So what do we do? Of course we don’t want to say ‘yes’ to everything, so our job becomes one of influence over control. To keep them as safe as we can, rather than saying ‘no’ (which they might ignore anyway) we want to engage their prefrontal cortex (thinking brain) so they can be more considered in their decision making. 

Our teens are very capable of making good decisions, but because the rational, logical, thinking prefrontal cortex won’t be fully online until their 20s (closer to 30 in boys), we need to wake it up and bring it to the decision party whenever we can. 

Do this by first softening the landing:
‘I can see how important this is for you. You really want to be with your friends. I absolutely get that.’
Then, gently bring that thinking brain to the table:
‘It sounds as though there’s so much to love in this for you. I don’t want to get in your way but I need to know you’ve thought about the risks and planned for them. What are some things that could go wrong?’
Then, we really make the prefrontal cortex kick up a gear by engaging its problem solving capacities:
‘What’s the plan if that happens.’
Remember, during adolescence we switch from managers to consultants. Assume a leadership presence, but in a way that is warm, loving, and collaborative.♥️
Big feelings and big behaviour are a call for us to come closer. They won’t always feel like that, but they are. Not ‘closer’ in an intrusive ‘I need you to stop this’ way, but closer in a ‘I’ve got you, I can handle all of you’ kind of way - no judgement, no need for you to be different - I’m just going to make space for this feeling to find its way through. 

Our kids and teens are no different to us. When we have feelings that fill us to overloaded, the last thing we need is someone telling us that it’s not the way to behave, or to calm down, or that we’re unbearable when we’re like this. Nup. What we need, and what they need, is a safe place to find our out breath, to let the energy connected to that feeling move through us and out of us so we can rest. 
.
But how? First, don’t take big feelings personally. They aren’t a reflection on you, your parenting, or your child. Big feelings have wisdom contained in them about what’s needed more, or less, or what feels intolerable right now. Sometimes it might be as basic as a sleep or food. Maybe more power, influence, independence, or connection with you. Maybe there’s too much stress and it’s hitting their ceiling and ricocheting off their edges. Like all wisdom, it doesn’t always find a gentle way through. That’s okay, that will come. Our kids can’t learn to manage big feelings, or respect the wisdom embodied in those big feelings if they don’t have experience with big feelings. 
.
We also need to make sure we are responding to them in the moment, not a fear or an inherited ‘should’ of our own. These are the messages we swallowed whole at some point - ‘happy kids should never get sad or angry’, ‘kids should always behave,’ ‘I should be able to protect my kids from feeling bad,’ ‘big feelings are bad feelings’, ‘bad behaviour means bad kids, which means bad parents.’ All these shoulds are feisty show ponies that assume more ‘rightness’ than they deserve. They are usually historic, and when we really examine them, they’re also irrelevant.
.
Finally, try not to let the symptoms of big feelings disrupt the connection. Then, when calm comes, we will have the influence we need for the conversations that matter.

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