Tag Archives: music science

UK Neuroscientists Identify Most Relaxing Tunes

Studies from Harvard and Stanford found that health issues resulting from job stress cause more deaths than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza. One easy and inexpensive way to help manage stress is to listen to music. UK neuroscientists have identified specific tunes that are the most efficient stress relievers.

In the study, participants listened to music while attempting to quickly solve difficult puzzles that caused stress measured through brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing. Of the tested music, the song “Weightless” produced the greatest state of relaxation, reducing overall anxiety by 65% and physiological resting states by 35%.

This is not surprising since the song by Marconi Union was created with the collaboration of sound therapists and includes carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and base lines designed to slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower the stress hormone cortisol.

Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International says “Weightless” was so effective that it made people drowsy and probably shouldn’t be listened to while driving. The other songs that made the list were:

10) “We Can Fly,” by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)

9) “Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart

8) “Someone Like You,” by Adele

7) “Pure Shores,” by All Saints

6) “Please Don’t Go,” by Barcelona

5) “Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay

4) “Watermark,” by Enya

3) “Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix),” by DJ Shah

2) “Electra,” by Airstream

1) “Weightless,” by Marconi Union