April doesn’t just bring showers, it’s also National Stress Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to learn the ways to ensure that stress doesn’t rain on your parade.
On paper, it may be easy to disregard stress (after all, doesn’t everyone have it?), but the fact of the matter is, it’s a major issue. Studies have found that stress, whether it be related to work or other life factors, including depression, can lead to early death.
There’s a variety of ways to manage and deal with stress, but one of our personal favorites—and one that has proven benefits—is through the power of music. In fact, the National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded in a 2013 study that, “music listening impacted the psychobiological stress system.
The study also found that “Listening to music prior to a standardized stressor predominantly affected the autonomic nervous system (in terms of a faster recovery) and to a lesser degree, the endocrine and psychological stress response.”
In 2018, PsychCentral declared that music “can act as a powerful stress management tool in our lives.” The article also states that slow and classical music can relax both our minds and bodies. This got us thinking about how to incorporate stress relief music into your daily life.
In honor of Stress Awareness Month, you can create playlists that are solely for relaxing music for anxiety. For instance, you can play these while you take your morning shower, while you’re driving into—or home from—work (traffic, who?) or when you need something to fall asleep at the end of a long day.
Create a playlist with bona fide chill-out artists like Nora Jones, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Enya, D’Angelo, or whatever musicians float your gently rocking boat. After all, it’s about what makes you feel the most at ease.
Of course, if the idea of making a stress relief music playlist stresses you out, popular digital music services like Spotify and Apple Music have them on the ready for you. Spotify, for example, has a nearly four-hour playlist called Relaxing Classical, with songs from calming legends like Mozart, Bach, and Chopin.
In addition to relaxing music for stress relief, you can incorporate apps into your daily routine. There are great (and free!) stress relief apps available, including Headspace and the aptly-named Calm. You can use these apps for guided meditations or if you just need help through stressful situations, such as studying.
By incorporating stress relief through relaxing music into your life, even for just a few minutes a day, you’ll notice how it helps you in ways both big and small.