Fearful fliers likely already know the power music has in calming nerves, but Spotify has now created a list of optimal songs for curing flying anxiety.
The company hired anxiety psychologist Dr. Rebecca Spelman from the Private Therapy Clinic in London to decide which songs helped calm nerves. She found that songs with a tempo of 67 beats per minute and harmonious tones were the best.
Spelman said people often synchronize their breathing to the songs they listen to, so listening to a song with a low amount of beats per minute results in a lower breathing pace. That, in turn, lowers heart rate and blood pressure and reduces anxiety.
She found that listening to tracks that stimulate both sides of the brain, while using headphones and closing your eyes, can help with anxiety.
"Music which is harmonious and emotive is generally regarded as the best at achieving this type of stimulation, which induces Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)," she said. "This tried and tested method was originally developed for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is incredibly powerful at calming and relaxing the mind and body."
With her research and knowledge, Spelman created a playlist consisting of songs perfect for calming nerves.
The song that won as the most calming was Adele's 'Someone Like You,' as it has 60 beats per minute. Spelman said the pace of the song is efficient at slowing down breathing associated with fear and anxiety. It also soulful and harmonious, helping stimulate both sides of the brain.
"Travel anxiety is caused by irrational thoughts where the threat is exaggerated and inappropriate. Music that stimulates both the logical left and emotional right sides of the brain is said to stimulate the limbic system, which processes negative memories and emotions," Spelman said, "which in turn helps people think in a more balanced, rational way, suppressing anxiety. 'Piano on The Beach' by Liborio Conti works using this method of music therapy but must be listened to with headphones to be effective."
Here is the full Calming Music To Fly To Playlist
- Someone Like You – Adele
- Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) – Enya
- Piano on The Beach – Liborio Conti
- ·Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major (“Elvira Madigan”) K. 467 – Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus
- Better Together – Jack Johnson
- Pure Shores – All Saints
- Buffalo Soldier – Bob Marley
- Scar Tissue – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
- Paradise – Coldplay
- As I Lay Me Down – Sophie B. Hawkins
- Inside Out – Britney Spears
- Ignition – R Kelly
- Flaws and All – Beyoncé
- The Christmas song – Nat King Cole
- Space Oddity – David Bowie