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Every Patient Has a Playlist


By Scott LaFee   |   May 01, 2017

​A few years ago, researchers at Mindlab International, a promotional firm that specializes in “neuromarketing solutions,” identified what it described as the “most relaxing tune ever recorded.” The track by Marconi Union is called “Weightless.”

The wordless “Weightless” features guitars, piano and an electronic sampling of natural soundscapes, though some sound like they’re on a different planet. It’s eight minutes long, though there’s also a 10-hour version.

The Mindlab folks said their small study found that “Weightless” was 11 percent more relaxing than other songs tested on a group of women, reducing resting heart rates 35 percent. Some women dozed off.

“Weightless” won’t have that effect on everybody, but there’s plenty of empirical evidence to show that music can be good for the heart, measurably lowering blood pressure and slowing heart rate. Musical therapy is widely used to treat patients with everything from Alzheimer’s disease to chronic pain issues.

Heart album cover

Every patient has a playlist. Here’s ours: 19 heart-healthy songs we think mellow the mood and mend the muscle:

  1. "If" by David Gates and Bread
  2. "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison
  3. "Fragile" by Sting
  4. "Staying Alive" by Bee Gees
  5. "To Build a Home" by The Cinematic Orchestra
  6. "Breathe Me" by Sia
  7. "Dancing Queen" by ABBA
  8. "Yesterday Once More" by The Carpenters
  9. "You Wish" by Nightmares on Wax
  10. "Home" by Zero 7
  11. "Summer Wind" by Madeleine Peyroux
  12. "Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens
  13. "All I Need" by Air
  14. "Asleep on a Sunbeam" by Belle & Sebastian
  15. "Ishq" by Bhakti
  16. "Rhubarb" by Aphex Twin
  17. "Hey Soul Sister" by Train
  18. "Walking in the Air" by Chloe Agnew
  19. "Dreamboat Annie" by Heart