Science Says Listening To This Song Will Reduce Stress By 65%
Whether it’s a round of Sigur Rós, Mozart or AC/DC (hey, you do you), there’s well documented evidence that suggests listening to music can help reduce stress and help you chill out after a particularly crazy day. Now, thanks to science, we’ve found one particular song that’s said to be a serious stress-buster.
It’s called “Weightless” by Marconi Union and thanks to new research, it’s proven to reduce stress and anxiety by a whopping 65% – all in the space of eight minutes and nine seconds.
Dr David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International conducted the groundbreaking research over in the UK. The study was conducted on participants who attempted to solve rather difficult puzzles as quickly as possible while connected to sensors. The puzzles were purposely designed to induce a certain level of stress, with participants listening to different songs while researchers measured brain activity and their physiological states (heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing).
“Weightless” proved to be the winner, producing a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date. The song lulls listeners into such a state of euphoria (there was even a 35% drop in participants’ usual physiological resting rates) that Dr Lewis-Hodgson advises against listening to it while driving because it made some participants drowsy.
So how exactly does one song create such a reaction? It’s all got to do with tempo. The song starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually decreases to 50 beats per minute – during the course of the study, researchers found that the listener’s heart rates would gradually come to match the beat of the song.
It’s able to be this successful because the song was actually constructed to do so. The artists, Marconi Union, collaborated with sound therapists to carefully arrange harmonies, rhythms and bass lines that can slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower the stress hormone cortisol.
It’s officially the most relaxing song possible.
Rebecca Russo is a freelance writer, editor, community radio dabbler, occasional hiker and celebrity autobiography enthusiast. She has written for online publications including Junkee, AWOL, Fashion Journal and Tone Deaf. Find her online here.