In 2011 Radox Spa, a British company which sells shower gels, commissioned the band Marconi Union, the sound therapist Lyz Cooper, and researchers at The Mindlab to create “one of the world’s most relaxing musical tracks.” The song was tested on participants who were hooked up to biofeedback machines, monitoring things like their heart rate and breathing patterns while listening to the song. According to the researchers, the tune was found to be more relaxing physiologically than a massage. The main technique is the use of a slow, steady beat which imitates a heart beat. It starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to 50 bpm throughout the course of the piece–in theory, causing your own heart rate to slow down in response.
Some are skeptical and claim that it’s simply a PR stunt with no real basis in science. You be the judge! Take a moment for yourself to close your eyes and listen to a few minutes of this ambient music and see what you think. The music you find relaxing is ultimately a subjective experience based on the kinds of sounds you find enjoyable, your resting heart rate, and all kinds of other small things that speak to you as an individual listener.