We live in a world of pings, pokes, dings, alerts, notifications, emails, appointments, meetings and deadlines each one of these are known to spike up your cortisol level (nature’s built in alarm system). To make things worse you have the Coronavirus, the stock market free fall, crypto market fall and erosion of jobs.
Prolonged high levels of Cortisol can cause stress which can make its way as misdirected anger, increase risk of heart disease, depression, gastrointestinal problems and more.
A recent paper by Harvard and Stanford found job related stress alone causes more deaths than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza.
Now what do we do? Sure we have quite a few ways to play tic tac toe with stress and win but I am here to talk about one that can fit in your pocket, Music Therapy which has been used for centuries by indigenous cultures to enhance well being or let in the right spirit for a fight.
Where words fail, music speaks --- Hans Christian Andersen
Dr. David Lewis Hodgon of Mindlab conducted a research by subjecting puzzle solvers to different kinds of music and then measuring their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate (physiological states). The winner he found was “Weightless” by Marconi Union it was so good at stress reduction that it was able to cause a 65 % reduction in anxiety and 35 % reduction in their usual physiological resting states.
The song was actually constructed in collaboration with sound therapists with masterly arranged bass lines, treble reduction, rhythms and harmonies to help reduce cortisol and slow down the listeners heart rate, blood pressure thereby reducing stress.
Word of Warning from Dr. David : Do not drive while listening to “Weightless” as it is known to reduce heart rate and breathing to a level that can cause sleepiness which could be dangerous behind the wheel.
So here is the list of 9 tracks sorted in order of maximum stress reduction (this is not a driving playlist)
- “Weightless,” by Marconi Union
- “Electra,” by Airstream
- “Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix),” by DJ Shah
- “Watermark,” by Enya
- “Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay
- “Pure Shores,” by All Saints
- “Someone Like You,” by Adele
- “Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart
- “We Can Fly,” by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)
I could not get past 5 for the first time without falling asleep on my chair :).