Hey, y’all! I’ve been down in Nashville, Tennessee for a conference and the twang has kind of stuck. Nashville is known as Music City, USA, and while I was there I couldn’t help but have music on the brain. I thought about my favorite CDs to listen to back home in Jersey and came up with a few to share that are great for relaxation. The benefits of listening to music cannot be underestimated. Music has been the go-to modality for thousands of years for restoring centeredness, joy, and calm. It’s unfortunate that in the hustle-bustle world we live in, taking time to listen to music just for its own sake isn’t always doable. But we should try. Soothing and enjoyable music has numerous emotional, physical, and mental health benefits.
- Music can help your mind disengage from the world, creating a mental-emotional space for contemplation and self-reflection.
- Music can relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Music is closely tied to emotion in the brain and can provide a therapeutic means of confronting feelings of pain and sadness.
- Music’s rhythm feeds the sensory and balance systems and helps to “calibrate” the nervous system; it can help us better handle social cues and stress (in children and adults).
- Music has been proven to be effective at boosting the immune system.
Here are some favorites: Danny Wright is known for his gentle, inspired music that touches and heals the soul. He has published over two dozen well-received albums in various genres, from Broadway classics to New Age compositions. I enjoy Moods of Indigo and recommend it as a good starting point for discovering Wright’s work. The Strong Institute of Santa Fe has created a unique method of therapy called Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention, which provides research-based therapeutic music CDs that use rhythm “to stimulate and synchronize the nervous system.” I often recommend the CD Calming Rhythms to help reduce anxiety, soothe meltdowns, and help wound-up kids with general relaxation. Also, the CD Sleep Rhythms helps to calm children and ease them into a deep sleep. These REI CD’s work great for adults, too, by the way. What’s your favorite music to listen to when you want to relax or fall asleep? Please share in the comments section or email me at Miriam at otthrive dot com. Photo credit (guitar): Coward Lion