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Using Music for Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Music can be a powerful tool for relaxation and stress reduction

Don’t you love that feeling you get when you hear a great song and your worries seem to melt away with every beat of the drum or sweet melody? Music has the power to lift moods and boost productivity as well as helping us unwind and destress. There is scientific proof that music is a great tool for improving moods. What are the effects of music on moods when it comes to relaxing?

Listening to music has been shown to reduce the levels of stress hormone cortisol. In a study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2013, sixty women, between the ages of 20 and 30, were evaluated to see how music affected their stress levels. They were broken into three groups and were subjected to a series of stressful tests. The tests involved a mock interview, public speaking, and being asked to complete math problems in front of a group of people. Before the stress tests, one group listened to classical music, a second group listened to water sounds, and a third group did not listen to anything. The group that recovered the fastest from the stress test was the group that listened to classical music.

Any kind of music can be relaxing, depending on individual preferences, but sometimes songs are created specifically for relaxation. A group called Marconi Union created a song, called “Weightless,” that has been deemed the “most relaxing tune ever” by scientists. Scientists subjected 40 women to a stress test where they had to put together puzzles while listening to a set list of songs. They were connected to sensors that checked their vital signs. “Weightless” was the most relaxing of the songs listened to and reduced anxiety in the women by 65%. Other songs in the list included Enya’s “Watermark,” “Please Don’t Go” by Barcelona, and “Strawberry Swing” by Coldplay.

Listening to music throughout your day and incorporating it into your routine will help you lower your stress levels. Listening to music on your commute, meditating, or dancing can help you destress after a long day. If you need inspiration or a place to get started, Spotify has a lot of playlists for relaxation and meditation as well as playlists curated for helping you get a good night’s sleep. Choose a playlist, grab your headphones, and let the music melt your stress away.

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