Music to Sooth Anxiety
Music as a way to change or influence emotions is not new and has been used in a number of ways for thousands of years. In fact, with no guidance at all, you may have found that there are certain types of music or songs that can make you feel happy, energized, or even cry.
There is relatively new research around a song was created specifically to sooth anxiety. The band, Marconi Union, worked with a sound therapist to use scientifically proven methods to create a relaxing tune (see the article in The Telegraph covering this information here). Since the research findings were shared in 2011, multiple sites and news sources have shared the information due to the astounding effects that the song has had on reducing anxiety.
As reported by article the purposefully created song, Weightless, was determined to be the most relaxing song in the world. In fact, it is so relaxing that researchers adamantly warn listeners to avoid the song while driving due to many listeners experiencing drowsiness from the calming tune.
Although the number of individuals included in the study was small, 40 women, they all reported a significant reduction in anxiety (approximately a 65% reduction) following listening to the song and an 11% increase in reduction in anxiety above the other songs included in the study that have been known to reduce anxiety.
The song was noted to begin at 60 beats per minute and gradually fall to 50 beats per minute and the listener's heart rate begins to follow. A lower heart rate leads to a decrease in blood pressure and this is helpful to create a feeling of calm. This combined with other principles for relaxation through sound, is what causes the drop in anxiety according to the article.
The outcomes of the research study are compelling. Although this was just one small study, research around sound's effect on emotion is not new is well-substantiated. Take a listen to the song and see if you find it to be relaxing as well.
Below is Marconi Union's song and accompanying video, Weightless.
Photo by Docteur Dylan Cozian
Picture Credit: Flickr