The Study and the Song
According to a study commissioned by Radox, a UK manufacturer of relaxing bath products, the British ambient music band Marconi Union and sound therapists have created the best music for relaxation ever created. The study featured music from artists as diverse as Adele and Coldplay and genres from classical to techno. This study basically looked at every form of music known to man to find the most relaxing song.
The winner, “Weightless,” is an interesting mix of underlying bass tones, rhythms, frequencies, whooshing sounds, and note intervals that relaxes its listener like no other tune can, apparently.
A continuous rhythm with a tempo comparable to a human heart’s 60 beats per minute (BPM) causes the listener’s brainwaves and heart rate to slow to that tempo. Total synchronization occurs in a process known as “entrainment.” It takes at least five minutes for your body to be entrained by any particular piece of music. The song itself is just over eight minutes long (the whole Weightless album is just over 42 minutes long, and there’s an extended version looping for 10+ hours on Youtube), which you can check out below.
Mindlab International, the organization that conducted the research, found that “Weightless” reduces anxiety by 65% and even decreases physiological resting rates by 35%. This song can relax you so much, in fact, that it’s recommend you not listen to it while you are driving because you may fall asleep at the wheel!
The study found that this song is more relaxing than a massage, a walk, or a cup of herbal tea. As Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, a scientist with Mindlab International says, “‘Weightless’ induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested. Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.” That’s partly why this song works so well to calm people down.
My own personal experience
In my own personal experience, I can say that this is definitely the most relaxing song I’ve ever heard. The first time I listened to it, I found the droning bass tones somewhat annoying, and I didn’t think it was really going to work to relax me. I didn’t fall asleep, but I did notice that when I tried to stand up after I finished listening to the song I was completely unable to. I mean, I couldn’t get my legs to work at all at first, and when they finally did they felt like jelly. I would say I was almost fully relaxed — and I didn’t even listen to the song all the way through the first time!
Then, a few days later, I took my Chromebook to the daycare where I worked so I could play the extended version on Youtube during naptime. This particular day, the kids (a classroom full of two year olds) had been running me ragged, and I was ready for a break, as in a quiet naptime. Several of these kids have a hard time settling down, and some wake up screaming soon after naptime starts. Still, I thought it was worth a try.
I was not disappointed. That day, I (and the kids) was (were) rewarded with TWO HOURS OF UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP TIME! Well, I didn’t sleep; the kids slept. I just got to enjoy the quiet. Nobody fought; nobody fussed. They all just slept. It was musical magic!
I was in another class with slightly younger children (about 18 months old) some time after that, and I thought I would try this song out with them. Yes, it worked like a charm again! The next day, I didn’t play the song, and everybody was up within an hour. They were fussy and cranky because they didn’t get their nap out, and I was completely convinced that “Weightless” has to be played during every naptime from now on.
Now, you may not have a room full of screaming toddlers you’re trying to get to go to sleep, but maybe you do have one or two. Or maybe you’re having trouble sleeping yourself. This song may be just what you need to finally settle down and get a good night’s sleep. It can’t hurt, right? And it’s most certainly worth a try.
Americans spent over $40 billion on sleep aids in 2015, and within the next two years that figure’s expected to go up to over $50 billion. Why spend money on sleep aids that may or may not work (and upon which you may grow dependent) when you can listen to some super soothing music for free, or at least very cheaply, if you choose to buy the song or album? In my experience, “Weightless” really works wonders. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Try it our for yourself today.
the 10 most relaxing songs ever
“Weightless” not your style? Don’t worry about it. Here’s the full list of the 10 most relaxing songs, just in case you want to check them all out:
So, if you’re feeling particularly stressed out (or if you’re having trouble sleeping), take a listen to one or more of these songs. You’re sure to find something that will relax you. And if you want to find even more ways to relieve stress and anxiety, you might want to check out this post.