Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and focus better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower pace can calm your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel calm while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.
Research confirms these personal experiences with music. Current findings show that music of about 60 beats per minute can cause the brain to synchronize to the rhythm that causes alpha brain waves (frequencies of 8 to 14 hertz, or cycles per second). This alpha brain wave is what exists when we are relaxed and aware. To induce sleep (delta brain wave 5 hertz), a person may need to spend at least 45 minutes, in a relaxed position, listening to relaxing music. Researchers at Stanford University said that “listening to music appears to be able to change brain function to the same degree as medication.” They noted that music is something that almost anyone can access, making it an easy stress-reduction tool.
So, what kind of music reduces stress the best? Little wonder that Native American, Celtic, Indian strings, drums and flutes are very effective at relaxing the mind even when played moderately loud. The sounds of rain, thunder and nature sounds can also be relaxing, especially when mixed with other music such as light jazz, classical (the “largo” movement) and easy listening music. Since with music we are rarely told the beats per minute, how do you choose the right relaxation music for you? The answer is partly up to you: You have to like the music being played first, and then let it relax you. You could start by just exploring the music on this website. Some may relax you, others may not. Forcing yourself to listen to relaxing music that excites you can create tension, not reduce it. If this happens, try searching for alternatives online or consult the Advisory Service staff for other music suggestions. It’s important to remember that quieting your mind doesn’t mean you’ll automatically feel sleepy. It means your brain and body are relaxed, and with your new calm self, you can then function at your best in many activities.
Experiment now. Experience a “sound bath” and let the music take you away
The links below each open relaxing music selections on YouTube.
A moment of Peace Meditation
Aneal & Bradfield, track “Heaven and Earth Spirits” from Life & Love). Wonderful contemporary piano music with accompanying instruments and nature scenes.
Echoes of Time
C. Carlos Nakai from Canyon Trilogy. Peaceful Native American flute music, with an image of Nakai backlit by the sun at the Grand Canyon.
The winding path
Ken Kern from The Winding Path. Beautiful high score piano music with accompanying instruments with images of fine flowers and plants.
Classical Indian music for healing and relaxation
Gayatri Govindarajan, track “Pure Deep Meditation”. Beautiful and rhythmic music was played on the veena, the oldest of the Indian plucked instruments, with scenes of nature.
Angels of Venice
Angels of Venice from music for harp, flute and cello. Classic with 3 instruments with images of nature.
“Spirit Vision,” (David & Steve Gordon. Serene and lovely contemporary Native American updated drumming music using Taos Log Drum and Incan Pan along with other instruments and ocean/forest nature scenes.
Spirit of Buddha
Aneal & Bradfield from Light & Love. Reflective yet powerful contemporary music using various instruments and occasional humming voices with colorful oscillating fractals
Spa Relaxing Music
Quiet contemporary instrumental with piano and steady candlelight.
Relaxation Music: 1 Hour Meditation Candle
Serene contemporary instrumental with piano and a flickering candle.
Dan Gibson. Nature sounds and organic, relaxing sleep music.
Marconi Union. The sounds in this video are carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass that help slow the listener’s heart rate, lower blood pressure, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.