2011 study into music and relaxation has resurfaced online in recent days, with many music fans sharing a song dubbed the ‘most relaxing ever’.
The track is called Weightless, and was created by Manchester trio Marconi Union, who worked in collaboration with sound therapists to create a piece of music that would help slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
For the study, commissioned by bubble bath brand, 40 women were monitored to determine their levels of stress while listening to a number of pieces of music.
Weightless was determined to be the most effective at reducing stress – so much so that one neuropsychologist urged people not to listen to it while driving.
Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, said: “The song makes use of many musical principles that have been shown to individually have a calming effect.
“By combining these elements in the way Marconi Union have has created the perfect relaxing song.
“It contains a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50.
“While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat.
“It is important that the song is eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur.
“The fall in heart rate also leads to a fall in blood pressure.
“The harmonic intervals – or gaps between notes – have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort.
“And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next.
“Instead, there are random chimes, which helps to induce a deeper sense of relaxation.
“The final element is the low, whooshing sounds and hums that are like buddhist chants.
“High tones stimulate but these low tones put you in a trance-like state.”