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Relaxing spa music therapy for stress relief rain

Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.

Research confirms these personal experiences with music. Current findings indicate that music around 60 beats per minute can cause the brain to synchronize with the beat causing alpha brainwaves (frequencies from 8 – 14 hertz or cycles per second). This alpha brainwave is what is present when we are relaxed and conscious. To induce sleep (a delta brainwave of 5 hertz), a person may need to devote at least 45 minutes, in a relaxed position, listening to calming music. Researchers at Stanford University have said that “listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.” They noted that music is something that almost anybody can access and makes it an easy stress reduction tool.

So what type of music reduces stress the best? A bit surprising is that Native American, Celtic, Indian stringed-instruments, drums, and flutes are very effective at relaxing the mind even when played moderately loud. Sounds of rain, thunder, and nature sounds may also be relaxing particularly when mixed with other music, such as light jazz, classical (the “largo” movement), and easy listening music. Since with music we are rarely told the beats per minute, how do you choose the relaxation music that is best for you? The answer partly rests with you: You must first like the music being played, and then it must relax you. You could start by simply exploring the music on this web page. Some may relax you, some may not. Forcing yourself to listen to relaxation music that irritates you can create tension, not reduce it. If that happens, try looking for alternatives on the internet or consult with Counseling Service staff for other musical suggestions. It is important to remember that quieting your mind does not mean you will automatically feel sleepy. It means your brain and body are relaxed, and with your new calm self, you can then function at your best in many activities.

Experiment now. Experience a “sound bath” and let the music carry you away

The links below each open relaxing musical selections in YouTube.

A Moment of Peace Meditation
Aneal & Bradfield, “Heaven and Earth Spirits” track from Life & Love). Lovely contemporary piano music with accompanying instruments and nature scenes.

Echoes of Time
C. Carlos Nakai from the Canyon Trilogy. Serene Native American flute music, with a picture of Nakai backlit by the sun at the Grand Canyon.

The Winding Path
Ken Kern from The Winding Path. Highly rated, beautiful piano music with accompanying instruments with pictures of exquisite flowers and plants.

Classical Indian Music for Healing and Relaxing
Gayatri Govindarajan, “Pure Deep Meditation” track. Lovely and rhythmic music played on the veena, the most ancient of the Indian plucked-instruments, with nature scenes.

Angels of Venice
Angels of Venice from Music for Harp, Flute and Cello. Classical with 3 instruments with nature pictures.

Earth Drum
“Spirit Vision,” (David & Steve Gordon. Serene and lovely contemporary Native American informed-drumming music utilizing Taos Log Drum and Incan Pan along with other instruments and ocean/forest nature scenes.

Buddha Spirit
Aneal & Bradfield from Light & Love. Reflective but strong contemporary music utilizing various instruments and occasional humming voices with colorful oscillating fractals

Spa Relaxing Music
Tranquil contemporary instrumental with piano and a fixed candle light.

Relaxation Music: 1-Hour Meditation Candle
Serene contemporary instrumental with piano and one flickering candle.

Sleep Deeply
Dan Gibson. Nature sounds and instrumental, tranquil sleep music.

Marconi Union. The sounds on this video are carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines that help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower levels of the cortisol stress hormone.

During stressful times (looking at you, 24-hour news cycle), calming music can help soothe your spirits. The unwind-worthy music channels on SiriusXM, featuring ambient sounds, down-tempo instrumentals and meditative melodies, can promote a feeling of relaxation and tranquility. Instead of pulling out your hair, pull out your streaming device and listen to the Relax collection on the SXM App now. Whether you’re keeping warm in your living room or on your way to work, this exclusive collection — which includes the popular app-only channels Tranquil, Spa Instrumental and Yoga — provides a serene musical backdrop to your everyday life.

Scroll down to read about the best ways to listen to all of the music channels listed below, and start your relaxing sonic journey by clicking here:

Stream SiriusXM Relaxing Music Collection

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Reduce Anxiety & Pain

Stress creates cortisol, a hormone that tells your body when you’re in danger or need to be on high alert. But being under constant stress and therefore creating consistent high cortisol levels can lead to health problems like increased anxiety and depression. A 2021 study published in Brain Sciences showed that adults who listened to music both at home and in a laboratory setting had reduced cortisol levels. Similarly, music has been shown to reduce chronic pain, likely through “distraction, relaxation, [and] positive emotion,” according to Scientific Reports. Consider incorporating calming music during these parts of your day to encourage similar feelings.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

After a stressful or taxing day, it can be hard to unwind enough to fall asleep at night. But researchers at Stanford University confirm that music with slow beats or Nature soundscapes “encourages the slow brainwaves that are associated with hypnotic or meditative states,” which may help you get some much-needed shuteye. Try breaking away from TV, computer, and phone screens and listen to calming music instead before bed to promote restfulness.

Decompress While Cooking & Eating

The fulfillment we get from food isn’t all that different from the fulfillment we get from music. A study in Nature Neuroscience showed an increase in dopamine in the brain with music listeners that’s similar to the way we feel after satisfying a food craving. It makes sense to listen to relaxing music while cooking and eating, relieving stress and doubling up on that feeling of satisfaction.

Related: Stay in the zone with these feel-good channels perfect for working remotely

De-Stress At Work

If you can listen to music throughout your workday, ambient tones and meditative melodies might help keep work-related stress at bay. But even catching a few minutes of calming music could provide some relief. A study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing looked at how first-line nurses relax while on break. They found that “compared with chair rest, participants had a lower perceived stress level, cortisol, heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and higher finger temperature while listening to music.”

Take It Easy In Transit

Before you even get to work, set the tone for the day with your music choice. You can make those minutes sitting in traffic or on the train really count by streaming calming music and taking your mind off your stressors. Then, at the end of the day, a choice of calming music will help take you away from the loud noises of public transportation and unwind after the workday so you can go home and make the most of your time off.

Channels in the Relax Collection

The Sleep Channel on SiriusXM

Drift off to meditative melodies and relaxing rhythms any time of the day.

Distract your mind with beats from instrumental and chill indie, hip-hop and R&B songs.

Find your chill from the ’90s and 2000s.

Experience ambient, binaural beats and electronic sounds.

Transport yourself to the serene atmosphere of your favorite spa.

Enjoy music made especially for meditation.

Imagine yourself relaxing poolside at a chic hotel with downtempo rhythms and melodic deep house beats from artists like Kygo, Moby, Robin Schulz, Chris Malinchak and Disclosure.

Let the ivories tickle you with instrumental, piano-only music.

Zone out to a vibe with smooth, melodic hip-hop instrumentals and lo-fi beats.

Selected by Krishna Das, named the “Chant Master of American Yoga” by the New York Times, this music transports listeners to a deeper place where they can quiet the mind and open the heart. Features music from eastern and western spiritual traditions and a diverse range of legendary and present-day artists.

Relax with instrumental, smooth and contemporary jazz.

For more information about SiriusXM’s channels, click here.