And no, it’s not Master of Puppets. In fact, it’s the opposite of that.
Everybody manages stress differently. Some people exercise, others practice the art of mindfulness with meditation or a yoga class. Some people stress eat (not recommended). Some ignore it and hope it goes away (again, not recommended). And some listen to relaxing music. You might be aware that music therapy has been proven to be effective for stress management, but did you know that neuroscientists have determined the most relaxing song?
The song is ‘Weightless’ by English ambient music band, Marconi Union. UK neuroscientists from Mindlab International conducted a study in which they instructed participants to solve difficult puzzles while they were attached to sensors. While the puzzles raised the participants’ stress levels, scientists measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Dr David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International explains that “‘Weightless’ produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date,” as it dropped the participants’ anxiety rate by 65 percent.
So how does it work? Lyz Cooper, the founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, reports, “The song contains a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50. While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match the beat. It’s a phenomenon called ‘entrainment’.This reduction in heart rate leads to a reduction in blood pressure.”
Cooper says that the gaps between the notes “have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort. And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to switch off because you are not trying to predict what is coming next.”
The song was actually created for the purpose of stress reduction. It was a collaboration between the band and a group of sound therapists. If you would like to test music therapy, you can listen to Mindlab International’s full playlist on Spotify.
You can click below to listen to the song: