Hands up if you've noticed energy levels skyrocket as soon as you hear pumped-up music in the gym ? That's because, as any Olympic athletes locked into their pre-match headphones knows, music significantly impacts our performance. Slowing down and calming the beat also has the power to restore balance, unlock or redirect energy and combat stress. Classical music, in particular, has been proven to be the best option when it comes to your peace of mind (for one thing, your mind is less likely to 'go anywhere' if there are no lyrics to trigger memories or associations).
So it's no surprise to learn from a new study that listening to Bach has surged in popularity among stressed-out millennials. The research by the Royal Albert Hall and global music streaming service Deezer showed a spike in the numbers of people in their 20s and 30s listening to classical music. The research showed a 270 per cent rise in streaming of Deezer's most popular classical playlist in the last six months, with the under-35s accounting for 43 per cent of listeners. Princess Princess Eugenie's wedding in October 2018 had a lot to answer for; she walked down the aisle to Bach and several other works by the Baroque composer, including Ave Maria, were performed before and during the ceremony. Exam season too saw a spike, with 20 per cent more 18 to 25-year-olds turning to classical music during May and June.
It's been well studied that listening to Mozart - another composer of the Baroque style - can increase brain wave activity and boost memory. As far back as 1993, the 'Mozart Effect' was found to have shown significantly increased spatial reasoning skills for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
According to a Newsmax Health study , people who listened to around 30 minutes of classical music a day had an extremely positive effect on stress hormone levels and blood pressure compared to those who listened to pop music. The classical music "notably lowered blood pressure and heart rate", as well as levels of cortisol. Organisation guru, Marie Kondo, even admitted to playing classical music before going to bed to wind down.
There are plenty of other sound therapy alternatives too. Binaural beats (a type of sound-therapy, where the right and left ears listen to two slightly different frequency tones, yet perceive the tone as one and which you can find all over YouTube and Spotify) is said to combat stress and anxiety, increase focus and concentration and promote deeper meditation. Scientists found that when you listening to it, regulates your arousal levels.
Sound baths too are another stress-busting trend. They have been popping up in yoga studios all over town and are an ancient practice that uses instruments that are rich in "harmonical frequencies" to help you calm down. Jasmine Hemsley, a London wellbeing and nutrition expert launched Sound Sebastien with Toni Dicks in 2016, a pop-up that offers soothing sound baths using crystal singing bowls. The concept was designed for stressed city dwellers who feel the effects of burn out.
Personally, I find gong baths a little unnerving, but classical music something that works for me, especially when I'm feeling the effects of a stressful week.
At GTG, we're also fans of Soul Medicine , a type of vibrational music pioneered by Ila Apothecary founder Denise Leicester, who is also a yoga teacher and an expert in meditation. Its special '432 resonance', has been shown to be the resonance of the universe in scientific studies , and we can confirm that listening to the beautiful spa-like sounds on a loop in the office makes us feel preternaturally peaceful.
We have our very own office Spotify playlist for those days when we need a little bit of zen in our lives and have also sourced the internet's top five classical music downloads. Enjoy!
1. Air on a G string by JS. Bach
2. Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie
3. La Valse d'Amelie by Yann Tiersen
4. Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
5. Wiegenlied by Johannes Brahms
Find a crystal-healing sound bath at www.soundsebastien.com .