Once in a while, we all feel the need to relax and music appears quite often as an obvious way to calm our nerves. A group of neuroscientists eventually worked on this phenomenon and they created a playlist composed of the 10 most relaxing songs in the world.
Using sound as a therapy is commonly thought to be an effective source of relaxation but it all depends on the songs you decide to use. So what are the most relaxing songs in the world? British neuroscientists conducted a research to find out the answer for Mindlab International, a company which « uncovers behavioural and subconscious consumer insight that transforms the effectiveness of your marketing. »
For this study, participants were connected to sensors and they had to solve complicated puzzles quickly. This difficulty induced a certain level of anxiety and by allowing them to listen to a few songs, researchers could measure their brain activity and physiological states (heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure).
For Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International, one song particularly stood out thanks to its relaxing power. The song is « Weightless » by a band from Manchester called Marconi Union. It reduced by 65 percent the participants’ anxiety and it substantially lowered their usual physiological resting rates by 35 percent. It is a quite striking result, especially when compared to the reduction induced by other songs which only reached 11 %. In fact « Weightless » was composed by the band just for the study and Marconi Union did really make sure to get perfectly arranged harmonies as well as rhythms and a bass line that would help to lower the listener’s heart rate, blood pressure while lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Actually the song is so effective that Dr David Lewis-Hodgson even said that « many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous. »
You can find a playlist with all the songs they used for the study on Spotify.