Music for Relaxation and Meditation
Music has personally always been a way for me to escape from the loudness of the world. Especially with the stress of the pandemic and online classes, listening to music has helped tune into myself while tuning out the rest of the world. Beyond offering an escape, music acts as a huge comfort for whatever mood I am in. Whether I am happy and want upbeat vibes, or I am stressed and need mellow tunes, I can always find music to match my energy and emotions. The science behind music and mental health is evident: listening to music can lead to lowered blood pressure, higher neural function, and the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine that greatly impact one’s mood. It is no wonder, then, that we can utilize music to help in our daily struggles with mental health and stress!
Taste in music is entirely subjective, so a listener’s reaction to the sounds may elicit different reactions. However, research has shown a commonality between certain types of music and the reduction of stress. Both classical music and jazz music have proven effective in reducing levels of stress in test subjects who were about to undergo surgery. Another study revealed “that Native American, Celtic, Indian stringed-instruments, drums, and flutes are very effective at relaxing the mind…Sounds of rain, thunder, and nature sounds may also be relaxing.” These calming sounds create a chemical response in the brain that mimics the same calming effect within the mind.
However, if this music isn’t your favorite, almost any song will create a response in your body that will alleviate negative emotions. Whenever I feel stressed, I turn on my “mellow-vibes” playlist that consists of artists such as Lorde, Billie Eilish, and Phoebe Bridgers. These women’s voices make me feel less alone in my stress. Their serene, sometimes haunting, lyrics bring me tranquility as I work. On the other hand, my dear friend listens to intense Rap music when she is stressed because the music can dull out the sound of her overwhelming thoughts. Again, one’s reaction to music is subjective, but the science behind calming music and stress relief is undeniable.
Furthermore, listening to soft background sounds can be incredibly beneficial in mediation practices. Practicing deep breathing and listening to serene music can help alleviate stress. Listening to music “can help you calm your physiology without making a conscious effort, and that can alleviate stress from your mind. Music can also lift your mood, slow your breathing, and create other stress-inducing changes.” The combination of tranquil music, focussed breathing, and concentration can have amazing outcomes for stress relief. Here at NYC Nature, H.O.P.E, we want to help you find your inner calm through guided meditations and stress relieving music playlists! We would love to hear what types of music you use to destress or boost your mood. Until then, we are attaching a playlist that is subject to growth with your suggestions, be sure to check it out!
Written and Created By Cristina Gutierrez