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12 Reasons You Should Listen to Music for Relaxation

by | Jan 2, 2020 | Creative Relaxation, Music for Relaxation | 0 comments

Updated Sep 8, 2022

Music is a therapeutic tool that speaks all languages. Its accessibility gives it universal familiarity. Music’s power to influence at an individual level also garners sacred reverence in many cultures.

One of my favorite uses for music is relaxation. It works quickly to this effect without feeling repetitive or boring – common excuses for abandoning other habitual relaxation activities.

In a society that encourages pill popping and other quick fixes to remedy the aftermath of unrelenting pressure, music stands out as a cure that doubles as a reward. Not many people look forward to swallowing a knuckle-sized sedative. Compare that to the number of people, including yourself, who look forward to listening to music.

With over 95% of Americans listening to it every day, music has evolved into an essential part of life. Since this love of music lasts a lifetime, it holds amazing potential for motivating musical and non-musical achievements alike.

Woman listening to music through headphones

Listening to music is a common daily habit for most Americans.

Even when you don’t actively seek out music, it surrounds you. Do you notice it in your favorite store or restaurant? Do you feel its effect in the background of your favorite streaming series, podcast, or YouTube video? Do you ever catch yourself humming mindlessly? The absence of music would make for an unbearably dull existence!

How Relaxation Music Works its Magic

Over the centuries, every aspect of life has been documented through lyrics or instruments. But music’s capabilities stretch far beyond a potent outlet for self-expression. Decades of research only scratches the surface of understanding the spectrum of music’s effects on the human brain and body. With every new discovery, music appears more impressive, useful, and even indispensable for health and wellness.

Relaxing music activates your parasympathetic nervous system, or the body’s rest-and-recover process. Specifically, the music triggers these 12 significant responses:

    1. Stress hormone production stops
    2. Concentration increases
    3. Perceived pain level drops
    4. Ability to cope with physical or emotional discomfort increases
    5. Sleep comes more quickly and easily
    6. Positive emotions reoccur with the same music in the future
    7. Feelings of contentment intensify
    8. Dopamine (the reward endorphin) ramps up circulation
    9. Heart rate slows down
    10. Respiratory rate decreases
    11. Muscles relax
    12. Racing, anxious thoughts subside

Pick Your Genre for Musical Relaxation

Not just any music serves up the previously listed effects. Browse the curated playlists below. All of the music adheres to clinical music therapy standards for relaxation. In other words, I’ve hand-picked each piece on a playlist based on the musical characteristics that make it therapeutically relaxing. Notice that the calming effect of music isn’t limited to any single genre.

Enjoy your next listening experience!

Brazilian Guitar for Relaxation

Classical Music for Relaxation

Soothing classical music featuring piano and string selections. Relax to pieces by Debussy, Handel, and more.

Country Music for Relaxation

A mix of country, bluegrass and folksy blues. Featuring the catchy fingerpicking and slide stylings of the Country Dance Kings, Martin Simpson, and more.

Game Soundtracks for Relaxation

Soothing background music from your favorite video games to promote calm and put your mind at ease. Featuring soundtracks from L.A. Noire, World of Warcraft, and more.

Irish & Celtic Music for Relaxation

Calming Irish and Celtic music featuring harp and other traditional instruments instruments from the Isle. Showcasing artists such as Room 217, Enya, and more.

Movie Soundtracks for Relaxation

Background music from your favorite classic movies. Featured soundtracks include Puzzle, Moana, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, and more.

Native American Flute for Relaxation

Traditional Native American flute music to soothe and focus your mind. Featuring artists such as Wind Weaver, Keith Bear, Mary Youngblood, and more.

Nature Sounds for Relaxation

Let the sounds of nature de-stress you and enhance your focus. Featuring the music of ocean waves, bird songs, gentle rain, and more.

New Age Music for Relaxation

Ethereal, modern (often digitally-enhanced) music pieces to soothe away stress and anxiety. Showcasing masters such as Enya, Ottmar Liebert, Liquid Mind, and more.

Rock Music for Relaxation

Who says rock music can’t be relaxing? Find your chill zone with artists such as Van Halen, Jeff Beck, The Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, and more.

Spa Day Music for Relaxation

Plan the perfect home spa day, complete with calming music. Featuring Elevie, Deuter, Daniel Kaede, Liquid Mind, and more.
Picture of Brenna Liebold from The Balanced Introvert

Meet Brenna

I’m a music therapist, dog mom, nature enthusiast, business owner, introvert, sleep and stress management coach, and research lover on a mission to help you remove stress as a barrier to better health, greater happiness, and more meaningful connections with the people and passions that make life exciting.