BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America; they cost America more than $42 billion annually; anxiety is caused by risk factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and personal life events; but, only about one-third who suffer from anxiety receive treatment. Yoga, meditation and creative outlets are usually sought out to lower anxiety, but the real solution may be music.
Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. have been studying the effects of music on anxiety. Through trial and error, they have found a song that reduces anxiety by up to 65 per cent. According to the study, participants had to solve complex puzzles that created anxiety and stress because of their difficulty. During the puzzle, researchers measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate. This is when they discovered the holy grail of music: ‘Weightless.’ This song was found to not only reduce anxiety, but it also reduced physiological resting rates by 35 per cent.
The connection that ‘Weightless’ has to reducing anxiety is no mistake. According to Inc, the song was created by the group Marconi Union in collaboration with sound therapists in order to help anxiety-related disorders. Through the careful construction of the harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines, the song is meant to slow listeners’ heart rates, reduce their blood pressure and the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, will lower.
With anxiety more prevalent than ever, and a main cause of other health issues (weight gain, insomnia, depression, heart issues), any type of cure is happily welcomed. Music is a simple way to relieve some of the anxiety from your everyday life, and a remedy that has been used for decades.
Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International said, “‘Weightless’ was so effective, many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous.”
Listen to the eight-minute track below.