LoveYourBrain Tip: How To Choose The Best Music For Relaxation

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MUSIC FOR RELAXATION

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BRAIN HEALTH | 10.24.2016 | BY MARCIE HERNANDEZ

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This week’s Tip from our Community comes from Marcie Hernandez, a Neurologic Music Therapist based in Vermont, who has offered her expertise at our annual LoveYourBrain retreat.

“If you're feeling anxious or you're having trouble sleeping, listening to relaxing music is a good way to calm your mind and body.  With so many options available online, however, sometimes finding the best music to fit your needs is tougher than it seems.  As a general rule of thumb, the best music for relaxation should be at a tempo of 60-80 beats per minute (bpm).  This tempo matches the average heart rate at rest, and helps to slow down your breathing as you try to relax. It is also a good idea to avoid music with lyrics, as these can be distracting. Try to find music with 1 or 2 instruments, as well. Sometimes complicated arrangements with many instruments can be just as distracting as words.  Lastly, stay consistent with the music you choose and practice listening to your relaxation music on a regular basis, even when you're not in a state of high arousal.  This will help to create a natural association for your body to relax when you begin to listen to the music you've chosen. Happy listening!”

A TBI survivor who has attended our retreat can attest to the power of music for relaxation.  He says “I do this most nights as I’m falling asleep:  I listen to violins and other simple, classical music.  It helps me relax, and ultimately sleep”.