Need to Relax? Play this Tune.


| 2 Comments
I'm not a person that tends to deal with their stress very well. When I'm really stressed out, instead of working through my issues and figuring everything out, I usually sit on the couch with a bag of peanut M&Ms and watch episodes of How I Met Your Mother on Nexflix. I've been working on getting through my stress in more productive (and unfortunately less delicious) ways, and I figured music could help me out. When I started looking for some "relaxing" music, I found this article from the Daily Mail, which says that scientists have supposedly found the most relaxing song ever.

The song is called "Weightless" by Marconi Union, a band from the United Kingdom. It's 8 minutes of weird, flowing noises that for some reason I associate with the sounds a baby would hear in the womb? I know, I don't know where that came from, but take a listen and see for yourself.



 
Womb sounds, right?! Regardless, the studies done with this song and the level of relaxation it can cause are apparently so convincing that people driving have been advised not to listen to it because it could impair their ability to drive safely. The study even found that the song was more relaxing than a walk, a cup of tea, or a massage. After listening to it, I'm not entirely convinced. But it did get me thinking: how does music relax us?

How Music Affects the Body
What I found was really interesting. Apparently, music effects us both emotionally and physically. The rhythms and beats in music have immediate effects on our body. The first thing that happens is our heart rate begins to decrease, which begins the relaxation process. Our muscles relax and loosen, our breathing slows, our thoughts clear, and sometimes our blood pressure can even decrease. Listening to music can also result in  an increase in the level of the hormone serotonin, which is the "happy" hormone in the body. But what's the best type of music to increase these effects?

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What Music is Best for Relaxation?
Obviously, this differs for everyone. Music that is relaxing to one person may not be to another, but there are certain aspects of music that could be considered to be more relaxing. Usually, music that is slower in tempo and has a lot of repetitive notes tends to be the most relaxing. Genres like classical, instrumental and jazz are among the most popular for relaxation. 

I know I'll definitely try to keep the M&Ms in the closet and just put on my headphones next time I'm stressing out big time. What about music makes you relax, and what's your favorite type to de-stress to?

2 Comments

Music is awesome indeed. Is there any possibility for music to have the opposite effect though? I like listening to music whenever I'm working out or running and it helps me run that little bit faster and longer, is this due to the relaxation effect or is there something about it that releases some sort of hormone that gives you energy and/or makes you more alert?

I kind of wrote about the same thing, saying music helps out with just about everything. I came across an article that explains music can actually help out with healing/curing Parkinson's and brain damage. I also found out that music causes the brain to release Dopamine which has a similar effect as Serotonin. Music is a crazy thing.
Check out my post!

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