Flying is never easy. Even the most seasoned traveller gets a little nervous when they have to board a giant flying machine and crowd into a tiny seat next to a complete stranger. We’ve all been there. The shortness of breath, the clammy hands, your heart beating out of your chest… Anxiety. It’s no fun. But there are ways to calm it down. Studies have shown that music can actually change the pattern of our brainwaves, easing anxiety and helping to avoid panic attacks. Whether you’re in for a short two-hour flight or going overseas, these songs will help you beat the airplane jitters.
10. “Someone Like You” by Adele: This song’s soft rhythmic verses lead up to an intense chorus. Getting lost in the emotion of the song can help distract your mind and calm your nerves. I’m pretty sure listening to Adele sing the phone book would do the same thing.
9. “Let it Be” by The Beatles: Ok, the lyrics may be a little obvious as to why this one made the list, but it’s not only the song’s message that can be soothing. The gentle piano melodies can actually help slow the heartbeat and set your mind at ease.
8. “Watermark” by Enya: Enya’s music has been used in spas and medical offices for years because of her mystical, calming voice and symphonic sounds. Close your eyes and picture waterfalls and gently flowing green meadows, you’ll be in relaxing bliss in no time.
7. “The Scientist” by Coldplay: This song is soft and melodic with gentle falsetto vocals. The piano is a nice edition for calming effects. Actually, many of Coldplay’s songs would do the trick.
6. “High and Dry” by Radiohead: Radiohead’s some times nonsensical lyrics paired with intense instrumental background tend to take your brain on a fantasy journey. Listen to Radiohead and you won’t even notice take off, you’ll be too busy taking off to a magical musical journey in your head.
5. “Clare de Lune” by Claude Debussy: This is one of the most beautiful piano pieces ever written. Piano in any song can be soothing but this masterpiece will help you softly drift away.
4. “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John: This classic is not only melodic and calming, it’s iconic. Soon you’ll be passionately singing along. Maybe everyone will join in and you and your fellow passengers can recreate the famous tour bus scene in “Almost Famous”.
3. “Breathe Me” by Sia: The vast vocal range and clear tone of Sia’s beautiful voice make almost all of her tracks relaxing. She takes listeners on a journey with her vocals and lyrics, particularly in this song.
2. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac: Stevie Knicks’ rough, deep tone with the melodic intricacies of “Landslide” makes this song a top choice for easing anxiety. Float away with Knicks’ one of a kind sound.
1. “Weightless” by Marconi Union: Now with this one, you don’t have to take my word for it, there’s scientific proof that this song will ease anxiety. According to Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International, this song produces a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date. It was actually created for the purpose of calming your mind. Marconi Union worked with sound therapists to carefully arrange harmonies, rhythms and bass lines to help slow your heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. In fact, it’s so powerful at calming your mind and body, that driving is not recommended while listening to this song. Flying is ok, as long as you’re not the pilot.
So there you have it, the top ten songs for reducing flight anxiety. Bring your most obnoxiously large headphones, load up your listening device (when the flight attendants say it’s safe to of course) and float away to lala land. You’ll be landing and fighting for first dibs at the overhead compartments before you know it. Safe travels.
About the Author:
Jessica Kane is a writer for SoundStage Direct, the number online source for the best vinyl records and turntables.