I’m often coming across tips for relaxing in magazines or online, which might include things like… make yourself a cup of herbal tea, take a warm bath, practice some deep breathing and… listen to some classical music. For someone who hasn’t had much exposure to classical music, this advice could potentially lead to anything BUT a relaxing experience…especially if they decide to push play on Mozart’s Serenade No.13 in G Major (sounds like it should put you to sleep right….wrong!). There are numerous suggestions on Spotify for “relaxing music” but from what I’ve investigated, a lot of these classical pieces will not lull someone into a peaceful state of bliss.
Here are some tips to help you select some “actually” relaxing classical music – 1. Look for pieces of music with the words “ADAGIO”, “LARGO” or “LARGHETTO” in the title. These are all Italian terms meaning “slow”. To aid relaxation, it is advisable to listen to music between 60-70 BPM (beats per minute) – the natural resting heart rate.
2. Avoid pieces with the words “ALLEGRO” OR “VIVACE” in the title. These are terms meaning “fast”!
3. You might have a better chance of finding some music to relax you if you look for composers from the Romantic Period, such as Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin or Liszt.
4. If a well-known piece of classical music raises negative associations for you, turn it off! For example, Beethoven’s ‘Fur Elise’, might transport you back to a rather unenjoyable piano lesson as a child.
5. Similarly, if a piece of music induces feelings of sadness in you, skip to the next one. Many classical pieces are composed in a minor key, which is often associated with feelings of melancholy. Look for pieces in major keys, for a more comforting experience.
6. Pre-listen to some pieces…before you settle in to your bed or comfy chair. Many pieces of music are written in “movements” which means there might be a sudden change in the dynamics and/or tempo… beware!
To make it easier, I’ve created a playlist on Spotify of “Actually Relaxing Classical Music”. But of course, all music choices are up to the discretion of the listener. We all have different tastes and associations. Find something that works for you personally….and if that’s Mozart’s Serenade No.13 in G major, then go for it!
Check out our Spotify Channel- MouthWorks- Actually Relaxing Classical Music