We’re always flicking through our music selection looking for something to match our mood. Sometimes we need loud and ranty, sometimes we need upbeat and energetic, and sometimes we just need a background hum to help us switch off.
If you’re struggling to switch off at the moment, you’re in luck: the internet has just rediscovered a song developed with sound therapists for the sole purpose of aiding relaxation.
And an accompanying study claims it’s the most relaxing tune available – reducing anxiety in the test group of listeners by a huge 65%.
The eight-minute track, which you can listen to in the video below, is called Weightless and is by Manchester-based band Marconi Union.
It was found to lower the heart rate, which reduces blood pressure, in turn affecting the body’s production of stress hormone cortisol.
As telegraph.co.uk reports, Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy said the length of the song is significant, and that sound therapy has been used for “thousands of years to help people relax and improve health and well-being”.
She explained: “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.”
She added that the intervals between notes had been specifically chosen to “create a feeling of euphoria and comfort” and that the lack of a repetitive melody allows the listener to switch off, rather than consciously engage with the tune.
Cooper said the “low, whooshing sounds and hums”, reminiscent of Buddhist chanting, helped induce a “trance-like state.”
Weightless won out against music from the likes of Mozart, Coldplay and Adele, actually making some of the 40 women tested feel “drowsy” – leading to advice from researchers that it should be avoided when driving.
Commissioned by Radox Spa, the study involved the women’s stress levels being monitored via sensors as they completed challenging puzzles, then were played different songs.
As the track was created in 2011, we're not entirely sure why it's suddenly doing the rounds again, but anything that helps us get valuable shut-eye is all right by us.
Listen to the song below: