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Guest blogger Stephanie Keltner shares the health benefits of listening to relaxing music.
For many of us, a day wouldn’t be complete without music. Whether you wake up to it, pass time at work listening to it, or even play a soothing song or two for your sleeping baby, music plays a role in nearly every part of our waking lives.
And whether you like Mozart and the classics, alternative, jazz, acoustic or anything in between, the benefits for listeners go far beyond an improved mood. From better blood flow and brain development and even improved math and reading skills, music has truly amazing “powers.”
There are few things more important for a successful, peaceful day than a solid night of sleep. Unfortunately, countless people struggle with insomnia, racing thoughts and other intrusions that make drifting off anything but easy. Luckily, if you’re struggling to catch some ZZZzzzs, listening to soothing, classical music before bed has been shown to effectively treat insomnia and help you sleep more soundly—without having to use pills, medications or other medicinal measures.
There are few things more stressful than a visit to the doctor or hospital, getting sick or struggling with an ailment. However, with the help of music, your perceived intensity of pain is dramatically lowered, making even the toughest times a little bit easier to bear.
…And Increased Pleasure
As an added bonus, listening to music we particularly enjoy releases dopamine, a very powerful neurotransmitter that “produces a pleasant sensation in our brains, contributing to experiences as pleasurable as eating food or making love,” according to one study. And all those good feelings help to relax your breathing, your heart rate, and even lower your blood pressure thanks to enhanced blood vessel function. Your entire body loves music!
More Brain Power
If you’re one of those who have been gifted with a musical ear, there have been numerous studies done proving that your time spent playing musical instruments actually improves spatial-temporal reasoning and communication skills, too. Even more encouraging is that it has been found that simply listening to music can still provide many of these brain-boosting effects; specifically, better interconnection between both our left and right hemispheres, which helps communication between neurons in the brain run more smoothly. So what does that mean, exactly? You can expect increased reading and literacy skills, better spatial-temporal reasoning, better mathematical abilities, higher emotional intelligence, and general learning abilities. What’s not to love about that?
With the “power” to make you more relaxed, happy, pain-free, and a better learner to boot, there’s no reason to stop the music any time soon. If you’re looking for a way to shake up your usual playlists, or simply try out something new, we’ve put together some of our favorite songs that can help you relax, recharge, and dispel the stress of your day, every day.
(In fact, the first 10 are scientifically proven to be the most relaxing songs in the world, in order of most relaxing to least.) Here’s to living a more relaxed, peaceful and stress-free life—and letting music help us to achieve it. Happy listening!
- “Weightless” Marconi Union – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfcAVejslrU
- “Airstream” Electra – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbHZ8VVhb94
- “Mellomaniac (Chillout Mix)” DJ Shah – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcRXlM6edrM
- “Watermark” Enya – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiFTXckh0zU
- “Strawberry Swing” Coldplay – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3pJZSTQqIg
- “Please Don’t Go” Barcelona – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COqx-TCxrSk
- “Pure Shores” All Saints – https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=RDdVNdTXEJv1A&v=dVNdTXEJv1A
- “Someone Like You” Adele – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQl3WQQoQ0
- “Canzonetta Sull’aria” Mozart – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rguiOWLm1tg
- “We Can Fly” Café Del Mar – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkODGzPlfzA
- “Music for Airports” by Brian Eno – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KGMo9yOaSU
- “Gymnopedia” by Erik Satie – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al5U1WJ48rM
- “Kaidan Suite Trailer” by Kitsune – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSjvbx7dEWU
After studying journalism and art at the University of Iowa, Stephanie has spent her time writing, editing and creating everything from corporate e-books and branded white papers to e-mail blasts, blog posts and features in beauty magazines. Currently, she’s been able to use and grow her creative skills in her role as a Marketing Manager and freelance writer. For more from Stephanie, visit her website or connect on LinkedIn.