Music can be a great way to relax. But not just any song will do. According to research, specific tunes can make you feel anxiety-free and happy. The right music can help you stay focused and upbeat no matter what day you’re having. It can also help you fall asleep fast.
Music can make us feel a certain way. It can make us feel happy, sad, excited, and even relaxed. Certain types of music have been scientifically proven to induce relaxation. In addition, music can have a beneficial impact on our brain functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing stress hormones.
If you want to relax, you need to listen to calming music. That’s a given. But what kind of music do you choose? Do you hear the same songs repeatedly, or do you look for new material that provides a similar type of relaxation?
Some songs have been proven to help people relax and de-stress – but only if you haven’t heard them before. Listening to familiar songs can increase your stress levels because songs get stuck in your head, increasing cortisol levels and making it harder for you to relax. Therefore you need to listen to songs that you may not be familiar with so they don’t get stuck in your head, and you can sleep, relax, or de-stress.
In this guide, we will discuss music and its relationship to relaxation and de-stressing and recommend the top 10 most calming music tracks to help you relax.
- Does Music Help You Relax and De-stress?
- What Is the Best Type of Music to Listen to for Relaxation and a Stress Relief?
- The Top 10 Calming Music Tracks to Help You Relax and De-stress
- Marconi Union, "Weightless"
- Airstream, "Electra"
- DJ Shah, "Mellomaniac (Chillout Mix)"
- Enya, "Watermark"
- Coldplay, "Strawberry Swing"
- Barcelona, "Please Don't Go."
- All Saints, "Pure Shores"
- Adele, "Someone Like You"
- Mozart, “Canzonetta Sull’aria”
- Cafe Del Mar, "We Can Fly"
Does Music Help You Relax and De-stress?
Music is a simple pleasure that everyone enjoys. Whether you like to listen to music while you’re relaxing, working out, or even while driving, music puts you in a better mood. But if you want to use music as a tool for relaxation, it’s essential to know why and how it works.
Music triggers your autonomic nervous system (ANS). Your ANS controls involuntary processes such as blood pressure and your heartbeat. It has two parts: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which speeds up your heart rate and prepares you for action, and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which slows down your heart rate and conserves energy.
Music can trigger different responses in your ANS. For example, a fast tempo can lead to increased heart rate and respiratory rate caused by the SNS being activated. This is also known as the “fight or flight” response because it prepares you to take action. It’s useful when you need to be alert or focused, such as studying or working on a project.
Listening to relaxing music changes your brainwaves from the stressful, alert beta waves to alpha waves. This is the same state of mind you’re in when you take a nap or meditate, and it’s very beneficial for your health.
Since ancient times, music has been used for many purposes, including healing and relaxation. Today, research confirms these uses, as well as some other benefits. For example, listening to music can tremendously relax our minds and bodies with prolonged, quiet classical music. In addition, this type of music can have a therapeutic impact on your brain functions, decrease heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease stress levels.
What Is the Best Type of Music to Listen to for Relaxation and a Stress Relief?
Music is a potent stress-reliever. As a result, music therapy is a growing field used to help patients with everything from post-traumatic stress disorder to dementia.
There are many types of music you can use to relax. Some people find classical music calming, while others enjoy the sounds of jazz or pop. You might also consider spa music, specifically designed to help you relax.
Music That’s Soothing or Inspirational
If you’re feeling stressed or having trouble focusing, try listening to music that soothes or inspires you. This type of music may also help you focus and improve your mood by reducing any negative feelings and enhancing positive ones.
Lyrics That Inspire or Motivate You
Sometimes inspirational songs can make you feel happy and motivated and help reduce feelings of stress.
Music with a Slower Tempo and No Lyrics
Because lyrics can sometimes be distracting, some people prefer instrumental songs without any words. This type of music can help you relax, calm down, and even relieve stress — just as long as it has a slow and steady beat that doesn’t change much throughout the song.
Songs That Remind You of Pleasant Memories
Songs you associate with happy moments in your life. Music is one way we create memories for ourselves, so songs you associate with positive times in your life are likely to bring up those emotions again when you listen to them.
Songs That Reduce Your Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
The same study found that listening to music decreased the heart rates and blood pressures of participants exposed to noise pollution during their commute to work. It also helped lower their stress levels overall.
The Top 10 Calming Music Tracks to Help You Relax and De-stress
In a world that moves at a mile a minute, it can feel like there’s no time to stop and take a breath. Many of us are constantly juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities — from work to school, family time, and other commitments. Stress is also on the rise, with some studies showing that 80-percent of Americans face physical or emotional stress daily.
There are plenty of methods for reducing stress, including yoga and meditation. But some people find relief in music. One study found that listening to soothing music decreases the stress hormone cortisol levels by up to 14-percent.
Whether you’re looking for something upbeat or calming, we’ve rounded up some relaxing songs to help you de-stress!
Marconi Union, “Weightless”
Marconi Union, a group of three Manchester music producers and composers, collaborated with sound therapists to create the song. The band wanted to explore the relationship between music, space, and environment.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-listen-to song that’s not too repetitive or upbeat, this could be for you. “Weightless” was dubbed the most relaxing song on Earth by The British Academy of Sound Therapy because it slows your heart rate, reduces blood pressure, and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The song has an interesting effect on you as a listener. It starts slow and builds momentum as it progresses, then slows down and becomes repetitive toward the end.
Airstream is the musical project of British composer and producer David A. Stewart, who recently released his first album in 23 years. The self-titled record has a wide range of styles, with sounds that range from dreamy to earthy to pop.
Electra is a perfect song for your most relaxed moments, as it has a slow pace and calming lyrics. The song features a woman singing in what sounds like Japanese, but the lyrics are invented words. The electronic sounds and the singer’s voice harmonize perfectly to give a feeling of peace. You’re almost tempted to close your eyes and fall asleep by the end of the song.
If you are looking for a more modern take on relaxing music, this is it. Airstream uses electronic sounds that provide a calming effect.
DJ Shah, “Mellomaniac (Chillout Mix)”
This song takes place in the key of A Minor, which is a very relaxing key.
It’s not just the key that makes for a relaxing song. The rhythm of the music can also have a soothing effect. The tempo of this song is 100 BPM, which is a little bit slower than the average walking speed. This gives the music a more relaxed feel, similar to strolling on the beach.
The hazy sound of the steel drum also adds to the chill vibe of the song.
Many other elements make this song soothing, but one of my favorites is the rainstick. It’s an instrument that sounds like rainfall and has been used as a relaxation tool for centuries. Unfortunately, you don’t hear it often in Western music because it’s not very popular, but it’s a beautiful instrument.
Enya has been called the “Queen of New Age Music,” and it’s easy to see why. The Irish singer-songwriter has a soothing voice that’s helped her sell over 75 million records worldwide, and many of her songs have a slow tempo that’s perfect for bedtime listening.
“Watermark” has a beautiful yet concise arrangement, with a subtle chorus of human voices. Layered with the chorus is a synthesizer accompaniment that creates white noise, proven to induce tranquility. So save yourself the money on a white noise machine and listen to this song.
Coldplay, “Strawberry Swing”
The first song on the list with lyrics, “Strawberry Swing,” is an outstanding track for a fun and relaxing vibe. Coldplay is a British brand that has been around since the mid-90s. They’ve produced hit after hit. They have six studio albums and more than 50 singles. If you’re on Spotify, you can listen to their entire discography for free.
When the song begins, you’ll find that it’s pretty soothing. Coldplay has a unique sound, and “Strawberry Swing” is an excellent example of why they have become so popular. The music video is also pretty cool and features Chris Martin (the lead singer) in a dream sequence-type adventure.
This track has two meanings: The first meaning is that you should “go with the flow” no matter what happens to you in life because everything will turn out fine if you relax and let nature take its course. The second meaning is that sometimes things don’t work out as planned, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t meant to happen anyway (i.e., an unexpected turn of events can still lead up somewhere good).
Barcelona, “Please Don’t Go.”
“Please Don’t Go” is a song by Barcelona-based alternative rock band The Pinker Tones. It is the third track from their second studio album, Wild Animals. The single was released in Spain in 2003. In addition, it had a limited release in the United States on February 1, 2005, as part of a Spanish music compilation called Nacional Records Presents Red Hot + Lisbon.
The song has been featured in several films, including Shall We Dance? (2004), Without a Paddle (2004), A Lot Like Love (2005), and The Break-Up (2006). It has also appeared on television series episodes such as One Tree Hill, Malcolm in the Middle, and Gilmore Girls.
It’s a sad song that makes you think about someone you love. The imagery and words make it easy to connect with the emotions in the music. It’s a breakup song that makes you think of your last relationship or maybe an ex-lover. Something about a soft voice singing a sad song tugs at your heartstrings.
All Saints, “Pure Shores”
All Saints were often dismissed as an also-ran girl group when they first came out in the late 1990s, but this song from their second album, “Saints & Sinners” (2000), proved that they could produce credible music. Moreover, it was a massive hit in the wake of the success of that movie and its soundtrack.
The female vocal quartet had previously released more upbeat singles, but the song was their first foray into the increasingly popular genre of dream pop. The song also introduced them to a whole new audience in 2000 when it was featured in the soundtrack of “The Beach.”
According to yoga practitioners, you can be alert and relaxed at the same time, which is the optimal state. So even though it is uplifting and groovy, it deserves a spot on the most relaxing songs list.
Adele, “Someone Like You”
Adele’s “Someone Like You” is a classic breakup song. It’s about a woman who has found out her ex-boyfriend sees someone else, and she can’t seem to get over it. The lyrics are sad, but the way Adele sings them makes this song so emotional.
This song is about heartbreak, and Adele shows her ability to sing in many octaves. She has a beautiful voice that can carry a tune that will let you emotionally invest in the song. This is why she is one of the best-selling artists of all time.
The song begins with a beautiful melody, but the music becomes much more intense when she sings the chorus. The combination of Adele’s voice and this emotional shift creates an effect that makes people highly sensitive to their surroundings. However, the emotional impact can be so significant that they feel relaxed afterward.
Mozart, “Canzonetta Sull’aria”
Mozart’s musical compositions have been extensively studied, and this particular song is unique in that it was composed initially for two sopranos and a tenor. In addition, the singers are accompanied by violins, violas, and cellos, similar to the later “The Magic Flute” — another of Mozart’s most famous works.
If you’ve ever watched the hit movie The King’s Speech, you’re familiar with the calming effects of classical music. When Prince Albert (later King George VI), played by Colin Firth, is trying to overcome his stutter, he is encouraged by his speech therapist to listen to classical music. So he finds a recording of Mozart’s “Canzonetta Sull’aria” and listens to it at every opportunity. The soothing effects of this music help him significantly reduce his stutter and effectively become king.
In the opera Marriage of Figaro, this song is sung by a soprano and mezzo-soprano. It is one of Mozart’s most well-known compositions and is often performed as part of concerts. The lyrics are in Italian, and the song was sung between two female characters in the opera. Its title translates to “Canon on the Air.”
Cafe Del Mar, “We Can Fly”
The popular chillout destination Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza, Spain, has a music label that releases several compilation albums each year. The original songs on these albums are created by artists aiming to capture the spirit of the cafe and its patrons.
The music played at the cafe is known as chillout or downtempo, which generally features electronic music with a smooth, calm sound. However, some tracks may have vocals or even live instruments.
“We Can Fly” is one of many great tracks featured on Cafe Del Mar compilations. It’s a song by artist Rue Du Soleil that’s less well-known than many others on this list, but it fits our criteria and should help you chill out at work or home.
The song “We Can Fly” by Röyksopp is a short and sweet track that features some smooth vocals and a catchy piano riff. The production is clean, with the instruments all blending nicely. The bass line is nice and warm, and it complements the track well.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-listen-to song that’s not too repetitive or upbeat, this could be for you. On the other hand, if you like a good white noise song, this one will be right up your alley. It’s a great tune to listen to while you work, and it will help you stay focused for hours and hours.