Listen up, chill out
Music is a science-backed way to slay stress. But when it comes to relaxation, all songs are not created equal.
It’s no secret that listening to music can affect your mood. The perfect jam can give you the energy to crush a workout, get you pumped for an evening out, or help you wind down at the end of a long day. Now, researchers have gone a step further and identified what might be the most relaxing song ever.
The song is “Weightless” by Marconi Union (not Mozart—surprise!). Sound therapists helped create the song, incorporating rhythms designed to slow your heart rate and reduce stress hormones. “Weightless” is so soothing that researchers recommend not listening to it while driving, as you might fall asleep at the wheel.
In one study, listening to “Weightless” reduced participants’ anxiety by 65 percent. (The sample size was quite small—just 40 women—but it’s still a pretty neat finding.) We could delve deeper into exactly why this is the most relaxing song; for example, your heart rate may gradually slow to match the song’s 50 beats per minute. But we’ll let the tune speak for itself.
In addition to “Weightless,” researchers identified nine other songs that make for ideal chill-out music. Here’s the top-10 list, all ready to be played on repeat. Enjoy! (Just not while driving …)