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Listen carefully

There's a difference between hearing and listening. Listening to music in the right way will take you away from your stressful thoughts. Choose a relaxing place where you can sit comfortably, or lie down. Turn on the music. Become aware of the silence behind the music and then let yourself become absorbed in the 'shapes' of sound against this canvas of silence. This is a meditation in itself, allowing your mind to become detached from your current stresses and anxieties.

Sing along

Of course, the most powerful music of all is the sound of your own voice. Singing is great, whether or not you can sing 'in tune'. Sing or hum along to your favourite tunes. Join a choir, chant, attend a voice workshop. There are many opportunities to use your voice.

Choose what's right for you

Music is a very personal thing: a song can evoke all kinds of memories in one person, and leave another cold. So only you know the perfect music for you. As we've seen, the best chill music has simple harmonies in major keys, usually to a rhythm of around 60 heartbeats a minute. Music with a lilt in it is very calming, such as Strauss's Blue Danube! The best thing to do is to make your own chill tape or CD, with all your favourite tracks. Many computers these days allow you to compose your own CDs.

Here are some of our favourite relaxing CDs.

  • Siddha Yoga
  • Gregorian chant
  • Steven Halpern
  • Strauss
  • Beethoven
  • J. S. Bach
  • Narciso Yepes
  • Vivaldi
  • Albinoni/Pachelbel
  • Boy Ge Mendes
  • Air
  • Andreas Vollenveider