Better than Medicine: 5 Stress-Free, Cure-All Songs

Sound waves have been scientifically proven to affect emotion, improve cognition and reduce anxiety. Perhaps Bob Marley said it best: “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Check out these 18 stress-relieving, pain-reducing tracks that manifest that maxim.


1. Snow and Lights-Explosions in the Sky

This emotive, instrumental track is the sonic version of abstract art–it leaves much to the interpretation of the audience. This daydreaming anthem is ideal for listening to while sick in bed or decompressing after a long day. Explosions in the Sky has described their music as “cathartic mini-symphonies”–it’s ambient and expansive, almost orchestral.

2. About You-XXYYXX

Young DJ Marcel Everett, better known as his stage name XXYYXX, compares his unique, heavily R&B-influenced, slow-motion electronica to “doing drugs on a freeway—underwater.” “About You” loops a hauntingly beautiful but unintelligible hook and alters the speed, pairing it with a chilled out, bass-heavy backbeat. The slow-motion beat and soft rhythm will slow down your heart rate and reduce feelings of anxiousness.


3. So Post All ‘Em-YACHT

Vamped vocals, a tribal drum loop and a catchy yet soothing hook make this a go-to track to reduce stress and anxiety and alleviate everything from nausea to neck pain. Does a midterm study-a-thon have you feeling overwhelmed? Take a break and chill out to the calming cadence of YACHT.

4. It Rained the Whole Time –Shlohmo

Electronic music producer Shlohmo utilizes subtle samples and patterns, avant-garde beats, nostalgic guitar riffs and innovative synth textures to create minimal, lo-fi electronica. Play this track when you want to unwind. You’ll forget all about that headache or back pain in no time.


5. London in February-Coastal

Aptly named, Coastal’s “London in February” captures the tranquility and stillness of a rainy day. This short but soothing song incorporates slow, swaying guitar riffs, a soft piano harmony and a down tempo drum beat. Play this track when you need a few minutes to slow down and de-stress.

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