Keep Calm: The Spotify Playlist That Is Scientifically Proven to Eliminate Stress and Anxiety
Listen to the most relaxing soundtrack known to man
What’s in a tune?
You don’t need researchers to tell you that music is a powerful tool for you to believe it. Beyond its ability to help you mend a broken heart, subconsciously compel you to shop more at the mall or get you in the zone while you work out, music by itself is a form of therapy.
Getting into the scientific nitty-gritty, music has been founded to have a hold over the body and mind as it has a direct impact on the psychobiological stress system. It has the power to improve cognitive functions and emotional processes and even boost the immune system: “Listening to and playing music increase the body's production of the antibody immunoglobulin A and natural killer cells—the cells that attack invading viruses and boost the immune system's effectiveness,” reported McGill University neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin. “Music also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”
With more and more studies churning out data that stress indeed is the silent killer in the modern age (Case in point: Health problems associated with job-related anxiety account for more deaths each year than Alzheimer's disease or diabetes), there’s no better time to use music to your advantage. Here, the ultimate track to take that stress away that you can instantly save on Spotify:
In 2011, British ambient band Marconi Union collaborated with sound therapists from the British Academy of Sound Therapy to produce “Weightless,” the now famous track created with a scientific formula in mind: It begins with a rate of 60 beats per minute and gradually slows down to 50 beats per minute, causing a drop-in blood pressure and ultimately lowering stress levels easing anxiety.
Dubbed “The Most Relaxed Track on Earth,” the end goal of the composers was to induce a sense of biting sleepiness among listeners. “The harmonic intervals—or gaps between notes—have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort. And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next,” said founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, Liz Cooper. “Instead, there are random chimes, which helps to induce a deeper sense of relaxation. The final element is the low, whooshing sounds and hums that are like Buddhist chants [that] put you in a trance-like state.”
To test this, the folks at MindLab International conducted a study wherein participants were tasked to solve a puzzle while listening to music. Researchers measured changes in the heart rates, blood pressure and breathing patterns. Of all the tracks tried and tested in the study, “Weightless” proved to be the most relaxing song in the lineup, reducing anxiety in participants by up to 65%.
Now, keep calm and listen to “Weightless” by Marconi Union along with other soothing tracks from the playlist below. A fun yet alarming fact to keep in mind though: “The eight-minute track is so effective at inducing sleep, motorists have now been warned they should not listen to it whilst driving.”