The last few months have been rough (think life-saving surgery-level rough) and I have been going down avenues of self care at an intensity that my mind and body have never needed before.
Which is where I discovered this study done by neuroscientists on relaxing music. Or, more specifically, the 10 most relaxing songs in the world.
Right on top? Marconi Union’s 8 minute trance-inducing tune, Weightless, which lowered participants’ over anxiety by a phenomenal 65% and led to a 35% reduction in their physiological resting rates.
A state of relaxation and self-care that no massage, aromatherapy or nature walks have ever achieved. Even amongst the leagues of relaxing music, Weightless has been found to be 11% more relaxing than previous contenders like Mozart and Adele.
Why is Weightless the most relaxing song in the world?
It’s all down to science and neurotherapy intertwined with the ancient art of music, which has been used as a means of healing by indigenous populations for centuries.
Weightless was actually created by Marconi in conjunction with sound therapists in search for relaxing music.
The song starts off at 60 beats per minute, gradually falling to 50 beats over the first five minutes. This gentle shift creates the ideal tempo to slow down the listener’s heartbeat, blood pressure, respiration, brainwaves and levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) to create a state of calm.
Weightless also combines musical instruments like the piano and guitar with notes found in nature that have been scientifically proven to promote feelings of comfort, relaxation and euphoria.
Equally importantly where its top position amongst the annals of relaxing music is concerned, the song is constructed without any repeating melodies. This allows the brain to switch off and not keep trying to predict what comes next.
Finally, the 8-minute track closes off with low notes, whooshing sounds, hums and chants inspired by Buddhist intonations, which send you into an almost trance-like state.
In short: Relaxing music that can actually make you feel drowsy, according to Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, Director of Research at Mindlab International, who recommends you stay away from it while driving.
Does Weightless work as relaxing music?
Understood about 30% of all that science? Me too.
Still, it really seems to be doing something to my head every time I listen to it — especially when I do it with eyes closed. Sort of like my body is becoming lighter or fuzzier or floaty or… something… .
Definitely interesting and worth listening to on repeat. Tonight. Again. Because I really, really, really, really need to switch off my brain and go to sleep.
And just in case you were wondering, here’s a complete list of what are considered the most relaxing songs in the world.
1. Marconi Union — Weightless
2. Airstream — Electra
3. DJ Shah — Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)
4. Enya — Watermark
5. Coldplay — Strawberry Swing
6. Barcelona — Please Don’t Go
7. All Saints — Pure Shores
8. Adele — Someone Like You
9. Mozart — Canzonetta Sull’aria
10. Cafe Del Mar — We Can Fly