The Song Recommended by Experts to Calm Your Anxiety is Surprising Effective

If you've ever felt that music helps calm your mind, you’re right. There's a study that backs it up.

Feeling Anxious? Listen to this song
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“Like being chased by a tiger, but without a tiger.” That's how the poet Beatriz Sevilla described "anxiety," which is helpful, since we often don’t know how to define it. I like to think about her phrase from time to time when I think about anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), generalized anxiety disorder affects 7.7 million adults in the U.S., which means that 3.1% of the population feels like they're running away from a tiger.

Those numbers don't tell the whole story, though. There are many more people who live with anxiety. Social anxiety disorder, for example, affects 7.1% of the U.S. population. And if we counted all the moments when the tentacles of this illness twist people inside out, the numbers would be almost infinite. The ADAA itself states that everyone experiences stress and anxiety at one time or another.

That’s why it’s essential to learn how to manage anxiety to ensure we can go on with our daily activities and lives, as well as be productive.

For that reason, many researchers are obsessed with studying anxiety. In fact, there are scientists looking for simple, accessible, and affordable ways to control anxiety, such as songs.

Songs can help us relax, even if they're less effective than therapy or drugs. I know this seems strange, but a team from the University of Pennsylvania has confirmed that music is good for anxiety. They've even found a specific song that relieves it.

The research. The scientists chose 157 patients for their study and played songs such as “Someone Like You” by Adele, “Porcelain” by Moby, and “Canzoneta Sull’aria” by Mozart. All of the songs chosen were calm, and all, as expected, produced a sense of tranquility in the participants.

However, Marconi Union’s “Weightless” was way more effective than all the others.

According to the biometric data collected, experts found that the song reduced anxiety by about 6% more than the average of other techniques that they analyzed, such as massages. Furthermore, the results were 11% better compared to the other songs the researchers analyzed.

Why “Weightless”? It’s not clear. The song lasts about eight minutes and features soft and quiet piano and guitar chords. It has no choruses or repeated sections. Honestly, everything I’ve read about it is speculative. The exciting thing is that music seems to help us in times of anxiety, making it a fantastic tool for people that struggle.

Whether we use "Weightless" or another song to realx—of course, this isn't a substitute for therapy, medication, or anything else—music should be part of our daily lives.

Image | Martino Prietropoli

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