IF THERE’S ONE PLACE I know I can relax, it’s between my headphones.
Specifically, a pair of Klipsch Image S4’s — by far the best $70 investment I’ve ever made — but that’s another story.
What’s important right now is the song “Weightless,” by British ambient artists Marconi Union. It was written in conjunction with sound therapists from the UK, and was played to a group of 40 women where it was found to be more effective at helping them relax than songs by Enya, Mozart, and Coldplay, among others.
Okay, so maybe the sample size isn’t particularly large — but, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. And in this case, the pudding is super-gravity-defying noises that literally take your world from 60 to zero in about 4.7 seconds.
According to this ShortList article, “Weightless works by using specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener. A continuous rhythm of 60 BPM causes the brainwaves and heart rate to synchronise with the rhythm: a process known as ‘entrainment’. Low underlying bass tones relax the listener and a low whooshing sound with a trance-like quality takes the listener into an even deeper state of calm.”
Yeah, whatever. All I know is that I’ve listened to a decent amount of guided meditations and spiritual new-agey relaxation sounds, and this one seems to really trump them all. Of course, to really get the full effect, you need to lie or sit down in a comfortable position where you won’t be bothered, turn off your damn cell phone, yadda yadda, just do it already. It’s basically an hour’s worth of napping condensed into about nine minutes.
Hilariously enough, this study was commissioned by the bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa, and it found that “Weightless” is even more relaxing than a massage, walk, or a cup of tea.
I really can’t imagine what it would be like to listen to this song, on a walk, while getting a massage and drinking tea. Listen to Weightless here.