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This song is so damn relaxing, you can’t listen to it while driving

This song is better than Valium!

Weightless is an eight-minute tune specifically designed to lower the listener’s blood pressure and heart rate. Its soothing electronic samples and dreamy rhythms reduce stress and anxiety so effectively you apparently shouldn’t play it while operating heavy equipment or driving.

The British Academy of Sound Therapy is a private organisation that has been conducting research on how to improve health and wellbeing with therapeutic sound and music since 1994.

They partnered in 2011 with Manchester trio Marconi Union to create what experts are considering the most relaxing song ever made. The song even got featured among Time Magazine’s list of best inventions of that year.

In a study commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa, researchers from Mindlab International found the song could be more relaxing than a cup of tea or a massage.

A group of 40 women were given puzzles to complete against the clock in order to induce stress and anxiety. Various songs were played while researchers monitored their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and brain activity.

The study found Marconi Union’s song 11 per cent more relaxing than any other song, going so far as to make many of the women “drowsy” right there in the lab.

“It was fascinating working with a therapist to learn how and why certain sounds affect people’s mood. I always knew the power of music but we have previously written using gut feeling,” said Richard Talbot from Marconi Union.

Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy unveiled the inner workings of the tune.

“[Weightless] 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 takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur. And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next.”

The melody is replaced by random chimes that help induce deep relaxation, with the final blow provided by low whooshing sounds and hums reminiscent of Buddhist chants.

“High tones stimulate but these low tones put you in a trance-like state,” Cooper adds.

So here it is. Does it work on you?


About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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