Photograph by: Troy Stoi

Anxiety disorders consistently rank among the most common, affecting 18.1% of adults in the U.S. Despite the frequency of anxiety and stress disorders, however, many people still struggle to deal with anxious feelings as they arise.

Recently, scientists have been looking into the effects of music on people experiencing stress. In this research, it was found that a specific song could reduce anxiety by up to 67%.

Scientists and mental health organizations are well aware of the positive effects of music. Morgan Leets, the Youthline Coordinator at Lines for Life, a non-profit network of crisis and suicide lines based in Oregon, stated that: “When talking to folks who are in crisis, we have found that music can be incredibly helpful for those who are struggling with anxiety, or just a stressful day. A lot of people mention that it is their preferred self-care activity.”

Surely, many of us are familiar with the notion of aural methods of relaxation, from dedicated relaxation-playlists, to white-noise machines. What many of us are unfamiliar with is the science of these processes.

This phenomenon is rooted in the behaviour of brainwaves. According to The University of Nevada, Reno, musical pieces that have a tempo of around 60 beats per minute can cause the brain to produce a brainwave associated with relaxation. Other combinations of music and relaxed behaviour can reportedly induce sleep.

While music is not necessarily the end-all-be-all of stress reduction, the correlation between music and relaxation certainly brings new light to the study and treatment of anxiety and similar mental health issues.