The Most Relaxing Music Ever Recorded

By Laurie Kay Olson / Inventor Spot

If there is one thing that most of us could use, it is something to help us relax and let go of the stress of our daily lives. Many of us turn to music to help us in this endeavor. Scientists are now saying that the song "Weightless" by Marconi Union is the best thing for us and is the most relaxing piece of music ever recorded. Take a listen and judge for yourself.

The song, created by the band from Manchester, England, is a carefully arranged series of rhythms and harmonies that help reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and lower the stress hormone cortisol. The group worked together with sound therapists to come up with a soothing tune that slows breathing and lower brain activity.

The science didn't stop there. Scientists put together a test group of 40 women and elevated their stress levels by having them complete timed puzzles that were challenging. They were then exposed to a variety of music, including Enya, Mozart, and Coldplay, as well as the song by Marconi Union. Their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and brain activity were all monitored while they listened to the different music.

The studies determined that "Weightless" was 11% more effective than all competitors and even made many of the women feel sleepy. The music created a 65% reduction in anxiety and a 35% reduction in the women's resting heart rates. Both of these numbers fall well within the range of making them statistically significant.

Sound therapy has been used for thousands of years to help people relax and improve health. Sound and music has also often been central to cultural unity and spiritual connection. Music impacts very deep levels of the brain, not only those areas associated with processing sound, but also those that connect with emotion.

Music therapy is becoming a more regular part of both medical and psychological treatment in a variety of venues, including medical hospitals, cancer centers, schools, alcohol and drug recovery programs, psychiatric hospitals, and correctional facilities.

"Weightless" features "guitar, piano and electronic samples of natural soundscapes." The music begins with a sustaining rhythm of 60 beats per minute and eventually slows to around 50. There is no repetition of melody which allows the brain to switch off by not anticipating the next part of the music. The length of the piece is also important since it takes five minutes for the process of entrainment to occur. This allows your heart rate to slow to match the beat of the music.

Because the song makes people drowsy, it is not recommended that it be listened to while driving. However it is an excellent tool to help you unwind at the end of a stressful day.

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