Are current events stressing you out a little? Now more than ever, we need creative ways to slow down and chill out in the face of all the collective anxieties that seem to be never-ending. Better yet, here is an entire playlist... brought to you by... well, science!
Neuroscientists out of the UK have identified not just the type of music best for reducing anxiety and stress, but also specific songs. Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson wanted to find the number one song for relaxation with scientific certainty. His research team hooked the participants up to sensors that measured brain activity as well as physiological states such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, etc. Then they gave them a series of difficult puzzles to solve as quickly as possible with different songs playing in the background. The difficulty of the puzzles created a certain amount of stress, and different music was played to determine how it would impact that stress.
Tried against music by the likes of Enya, Adele, and Mozart, Marconi Union’s “Weightless” was found 11% more relaxing than the next best performing song. “Weightless” was found to reduce overall anxiety by a measure of 65% and lowered resting rates by an average of 35%.
Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson said that Weightless was so relaxing that many of the participants became drowsy. "I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous," he said.
If you're looking for a few tracks to add to your "relaxation" playlist, here are the top ten most relaxing songs the research team identified.
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
Check out Happier Hour with Einstein and the full-color companion Gratitude Journal