How To Use Calming Music for Stress Relief and Better Sleep

During stressful times (looking at you, 24-hour news cycle), calming music can help soothe your spirits. The unwind-worthy music channels on SiriusXM, featuring ambient sounds, down-tempo instrumentals and meditative melodies, can promote a feeling of relaxation and tranquility. Instead of pulling out your hair, pull out your streaming device and listen to the Relax collection on the SXM App now. Whether you’re keeping warm in your living room or on your way to work, this exclusive collection — which includes the popular app-only channels Tranquil, Spa Instrumental and Yoga — provides a serene musical backdrop to your everyday life.

Scroll down to read about the best ways to listen to all of the music channels listed below, and start your relaxing sonic journey by clicking here:

Stream SiriusXM Relaxing Music Collection

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Reduce Anxiety & Pain

Stress creates cortisol, a hormone that tells your body when you’re in danger or need to be on high alert. But being under constant stress and therefore creating consistent high cortisol levels can lead to health problems like increased anxiety and depression. A 2021 study published in Brain Sciences showed that adults who listened to music both at home and in a laboratory setting had reduced cortisol levels. Similarly, music has been shown to reduce chronic pain, likely through “distraction, relaxation, [and] positive emotion,” according to Scientific Reports. Consider incorporating calming music during these parts of your day to encourage similar feelings.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

After a stressful or taxing day, it can be hard to unwind enough to fall asleep at night. But researchers at Stanford University confirm that music with slow beats or Nature soundscapes “encourages the slow brainwaves that are associated with hypnotic or meditative states,” which may help you get some much-needed shuteye. Try breaking away from TV, computer, and phone screens and listen to calming music instead before bed to promote restfulness.

Decompress While Cooking & Eating

The fulfillment we get from food isn’t all that different from the fulfillment we get from music. A study in Nature Neuroscience showed an increase in dopamine in the brain with music listeners that’s similar to the way we feel after satisfying a food craving. It makes sense to listen to relaxing music while cooking and eating, relieving stress and doubling up on that feeling of satisfaction.

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De-Stress At Work

If you can listen to music throughout your workday, ambient tones and meditative melodies might help keep work-related stress at bay. But even catching a few minutes of calming music could provide some relief. A study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing looked at how first-line nurses relax while on break. They found that “compared with chair rest, participants had a lower perceived stress level, cortisol, heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and higher finger temperature while listening to music.”

Take It Easy In Transit

Before you even get to work, set the tone for the day with your music choice. You can make those minutes sitting in traffic or on the train really count by streaming calming music and taking your mind off your stressors. Then, at the end of the day, a choice of calming music will help take you away from the loud noises of public transportation and unwind after the workday so you can go home and make the most of your time off.

Channels in the Relax Collection

The Sleep Channel on SiriusXM

Drift off to meditative melodies and relaxing rhythms any time of the day.

Distract your mind with beats from instrumental and chill indie, hip-hop and R&B songs.

Find your chill from the ’90s and 2000s.

Experience ambient, binaural beats and electronic sounds.

Transport yourself to the serene atmosphere of your favorite spa.

Enjoy music made especially for meditation.

Imagine yourself relaxing poolside at a chic hotel with downtempo rhythms and melodic deep house beats from artists like Kygo, Moby, Robin Schulz, Chris Malinchak and Disclosure.

Let the ivories tickle you with instrumental, piano-only music.

Zone out to a vibe with smooth, melodic hip-hop instrumentals and lo-fi beats.

Selected by Krishna Das, named the “Chant Master of American Yoga” by the New York Times, this music transports listeners to a deeper place where they can quiet the mind and open the heart. Features music from eastern and western spiritual traditions and a diverse range of legendary and present-day artists.

Relax with instrumental, smooth and contemporary jazz.

For more information about SiriusXM’s channels, click here.

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