Music is powerful. It can compel you to feel certain emotions, which is why filmmakers choose their scoring carefully for specific scenes. Even in crowded public places, the right kind of music can move people from different walks of life to sing in harmony. And when you play relaxing music, it may calm your anxieties and allow you to fall asleep like a baby.
The Best Music for Stress Relief
But what is the best music to relieve your stress?
What may sound “relaxing” to you may not be as peaceful as you think. For example, you may enjoy putting your feet up, drinking a cup of hot tea and reclining to Enya, but your spouse may find the layered, airy voices and atmospheric music distracting. Peaceful music can be subjective. Someone who prefers heavy metal may find the breakneck speed of this genre soothing, like a mind massage before getting to work.
But science has come up with a list of music designed to soothe the mind and engage the soul. And it’s led by this eight-minute, instrumental track created with insight from sound therapists:
According to a study from Mindlab Laboratory, Maconi Union’s “Weightless” promoted greater relaxation levels by 65 percent, more than a massage could induce. Participants of the study also reported an 11 percent increase in relaxation when listening to “Weightless” in comparison to the other tracks used. Incidentally, the tracks included classical, pop, and ambient music.
Listed from high to low, according to their relaxation score, the following tracks were found to be better at relieving stress than a cup of tea, a walk outdoors, and a video game:
“Electra” by Airstream
“Mellomaniac” by DJ Shah
“Watermark” by Enya
“Strawberry Swing” by Coldplay
“Please Don’t Go” by Barcelona
“Someone Like You” by Adele
“Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart
Other types of music can soothe the mind and soul so much that it puts you to sleep — good, quality sleep.
Music to Sleep By
Music intervention may be better at helping you sleep than prescription medicines. And according to a study, classical music tops the list of the best music to sleep by. Rock, pop, jazz, and acoustic genres follow. A small portion of participants even lists metal and house as relaxing sleep music.
You can use the above list to prepare for sleep. Since those tracks affect the parasympathetic nervous system, they’ll also likely make you want to snooze.
Alternatively, click on the following ambient tracks, ranging from an hour to eight hours, for a night (or day) of restful sleep:
“Somnium” by Robert Rich
“Sleep Deeply” by Dan Gibson
“Sunset” ( from “Sleep Better”) by Tom Middleton
“Sleep” by Liquid Mind
“Sleep” by Max Richter
Picking the right music is half the battle against insomnia or poor sleep. You need to create the right setup to set your brain to a delta brainwave of 5 hertz, which is the perfect frequency for inducing sleep. How do you set your brain for that frequency?
You need to get into a relaxed state for at least 45 minutes. So prepare your bed, maybe take a warm bath, put on some comfortable clothes, and lie in a position that lets your body just melt into the bed (or couch).
Music has the power to move you. Numerous studies along with anecdotal stories have proven this concept. You need only to experience the collective spirit of people singing along to a popular band or artist’s song during a concert, and you’ll recognize its pure potency and sheer influence. So instead of relying too much on prescription medication for some kind of therapy, why not give relaxing music a go?
When these troubling times bring you more stress and sleepless nights, click on a track from this list and let the music bring relief and calm.