This eight minute song is a beautiful combination of arranged harmonies, rhythms and bass lines and thus helps to slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress. The song features guitar, piano and electronic samples of natural soundscapes.
A study was conducted on 40 women, who were connected to sensors and had been given challenging puzzles to complete against the clock in order to induce a level of stress. Different songs were then played, to test their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and brain activity. The results showed that the song Weightless was 11 per cent more relaxing than any other song and even caused drowsiness among women in the lab. It induced a 65 per cent reduction in overall anxiety and brought them to a level 35 per cent lower than their usual resting rates.
According to Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, the song has been created using various scientific theories and make use of musical principles that are known to have individually calming effects. Hence these elements have been combined together by Marconi Union to make the perfect relaxing song ever. The song comprises of a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50. Thus, while listening to the song, your heartbeat automatically comes to match that beat. She even adds that it is necessary for the song to be eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for entertainment to occur. The gaps between the notes have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort. In addition, there are no repetitive melodies in the song which allows one’s brain to completely switch off since one is no longer trying to predict what is next. The random chimes in the song help induce a deeper sense of relaxation and the final element in the song is the low, whooshing sounds and hums, those like the Buddhist chants.
Moreover, sound therapies have been used for thousands of years to help people relax and improve health and well-being. Among indigenous cultures, music has been the heart of healing and worship. The song, weightless is ideal for unwinding and putting an end to a stressful day.
According to Dr David Lewis-Hodgson, from Mindlab International, which conducted the research, this song induced the greatest relaxation, higher than any other music tested till date. In accordance to the Brain imaging studies, music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions. The song Weightless can make one drowsy and hence should not be heard while driving.
Richard Talbot, from Marconi Union, was fascinated to work with a therapist to learn how and why certain sounds affect people’s mood. Though he always knew the power of music, they had previously written songs using only their gut feeling.
The study conducted by bubble bath and shower gel firm, Radox Spa found the song was even more relaxing than a massage, walk or cup of tea. According to Cassie Shuttlewood, from Radox Spa, it is understandable not to spend hundreds of pounds on massages, spa weekends and yoga retreats to reduce stress levels.