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