Reduce pregnancy stress by listening to what scientists are calling the most relaxing song ever
Many of us already know that stress during pregnancy can negatively affect your baby. “When the mother is stressed, several biological changes occur, including elevation of stress hormones and increased likelihood of intrauterine infection,” Dr. Pathik Wadhwa of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine tells WebMD. “The foetus builds itself permanently to deal with this kind of high-stress environment, and once it’s born may be at greater risk for a whole bunch of stress-related pathologies.”
How music helps stress
It’s been well-documented that soothing music can do wonders for stress. According to several studies, music can significantly lower pain and anxiety during labour, which is why plenty of women today choose to play music in the delivery room. Thus, listening to calming music should also be beneficial for pregnant women.
If you’re looking for music to de-stress, there’s no better place to start than with a study that set out to find the most soothing tunes. Inc reports that a team from Mindlab International led by Dr. David Lewis Hodgson had participants solve difficult puzzles as quickly as possible while connected to sensors that measured their heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing. As they solved these difficult puzzles, they listened to different songs, and found that one certain song actually reduced overall anxiety by a whopping 65%: Marconi Union’s “Weightless”.
Listen to it here:
Says Dr. Lewis-Hodgson of the top track: ”’Weightless’ was so effective, many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous.”
“Weightless”, which was first released in 2011, is such an effective soothing song because it was made precisely to do so. To create the song, Marconi Union collaborated with sound therapies to create harmonies and rhythms that would slow down the listener’s heart rate and lower the stress hormone cortisol. The song was so effective that Time Magazine even named it as one of 2011’s 50 Best Inventions.
“It was fascinating working with a therapist to learn how and why certain sounds affect people’s mood,” Richard Talbot of Marconi Union told The Telegraph. “I always knew the power of music but we have previously written using gut feeling.”
Here are the other songs that the researchers found most relaxing, in a Spotify playlist:
If you need even more relaxation, you can listen to a 10-hour version of “Weightless” here: