The 2000s pop hit scientifically proven to relax your brain

Imagery: Unsplash

Words: Emma Vidgen // @emma_vee

 
Imagery Unsplash / Jakob Owens

Imagery Unsplash / Jakob Owens

 
 

What is the most relaxing music for your brain? Is it what you hear playing in yoga studios? Or the gentle faux waterfall sounds favoured by spas and massage therapists? Maybe it’s just us, but generic “relaxation” music often has the opposite effect.

Neuroscientists decided to solve the problem once and for all with a study into how the brain responds to different music. Participants were connected to sensors and ask to solve challenging puzzles.

 
 
Image: 20th Century Fox

Image: 20th Century Fox

 
 

The winner was a song written purely with relaxation in mind, but the part of the study we got most excited about was that All Saints so-bad-it’s-good classic “Pure Shores” came in at number six! Blame it on a case of very severe noughtstalgia but we were pretty stoked to get the green light from scientists to crank this baby up.

There were a few other familiar faces making the top 10 like Coldplay and Adele (check out the full list below), but nothing gives us all the feels quite like those first few bars of Pure Shores (seriously how did they capture the sound of water SO WELL!).

 
 
 
 

THE SONG THAT TOPPED THE LIST

The winner was a song you’ve probably not heard, called “Weightless” by Marconi Union, and was specifically written in collaboration with sound therapists with a goal of slowing down your heart rate and reducing stress hormone cortisol.

The study found the song does just that. In fact they did such a good job that researchers from the study warned listening to it while driving may be dangerous. We gave it a spin (you can listen for yourself below) and we can pretty confidently say we won’t be tempted to crank it up in the car any time soon.

 
 

Pure Shores on the other hand is now back on top of our “embarrassing songs to sing in peak hour traffic” playlist. And if anyone gives us a hard time about it we’re looking forward to telling them it’s an act of self-care backed up by science. Hell, we might even have to rewatch the movie – surely peak Leo is just as good for our health too?

 
 
 
 

 

THE MOST RELAXING SONGS FOR YOUR BRAIN ACCORDING TO NEUROSCIENTISTS

 

 1. "Weightless," by Marconi Union

2. "Electra," by Airstream

3. "Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)," by DJ Shah

4. "Watermark," by Enya

5. "Strawberry Swing," by Coldplay

6. "Please Don't Go," by Barcelona

7. "Pure Shores," by All Saints

8. "Someone Like You," by Adele

9. "Canzonetta Sull'aria," by Mozart

10. "We Can Fly," by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)

 
 
WELLBEINGEmma Vidgen