Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Madrid Cuevas Msc PhD. Written by: Ben Gillett MSc. Updated: 7 October 2021
Music has great benefits for your mind and your overall health. It can help lower your heart rate, reduce blood pressure and decrease levels of hormones associated with stress. What's more, it can do all these things without you needing to make a conscious effort.
Meditation is a practiced mindset helping you to be present and in the current moment. It is a great skill to learn to help reduce stress, lower anxious thoughts and feel less overwhelmed. Meditation is also an excellent tool for connecting to your body, feeling grounded, and regaining focus. There is no "right" way to do meditation. There are hundreds of tools and techniques to help guide your meditation practice, but it's ultimately up to you and what helps you feel the calmest and maintain a consistent practice. If you connect well with music, then meditation music may be the perfect tool for you.
There is good evidence that music can help to lower heart rate, reduce blood pressure and decrease levels of hormones associated with stress. Research shows that instrumental music without lyrics and a slow tempo tends to have the greatest effect. Find out more in Effects of music interventions on stress-related outcomes: a systematic review and two meta-analyses.
What is Meditation Music?
Meditation music is music designed to help with the practice of meditation. Typically it is instrumental music which does not contain lyrics or prominent melodies which could be distracting. Meditation music often involves soundscapes and ambient music.
What are the Benefits of Meditation Music?
Meditating with music may feel more accessible than meditating in silence. With the benefits of music and something to listen to other than your ruminating thoughts, meditation music can help you focus on the present moment. Well chosen meditation music has many potential benefits:
Help you feel calmer and more relaxed
Make meditation easier than sitting in silence
Bring you to the present moment and feel more aware
Fall asleep faster and have better sleep quality
Give you cues for breathing exercises
How to Meditate with Music
Here are some tips for settling into a meditation music practice:
Select music that you find relaxing and calming.
Sit or lay down in a comfortable position.
Bring your attention to the music. Notice the sound of the music and how your body feels. If other thoughts come up, let them go and bring your attention back to the music.
Continue to bring your attention back to the music until you finish the piece(s) of music you selected to practice to.
How Do I Get Free Meditation Music?
All Harmonic Breathing tracks are entirely free. Listen to them here on our website, Spotify, Apple Music or your favourite music service. We offer a range of tracks with different music and nature sounds.
What Kind of Music is Good for Meditation?
Although everyone is different, a few key types of music tend to work best for meditation music. Research indicates that music without lyrics and which has a slow tempo tends to work best.
Ambient music is a type of music which focusses on the tone and atmosphere over traditional music structure and rhythm. It's formed from instrumental sounds, and does not tend to have lyrics. Its often formed from layers of sounds and tends to promote feelings of calmness in the listener.
Binaural beats are created when you hear two tones with slightly different frequency in each ear at the same time. Your brain perceives this difference in frequency as a 'binaural beat'. Some research suggests that binaural beats can be helpful in reducing anxiety and improving sleep. A 2019 systematic review of 22 studies found that there is a significant link between listening to binaural beats and reduced anxiety - Efficacy of binaural auditory beats in cognition, anxiety, and pain perception: a meta-analysis. Some research indicates that listening to a 6 Hz binaural beat induces similar activity in the brain to meditation - Brain Responses to a 6-Hz Binaural Beat: Effects on General Theta Rhythm and Frontal Midline Theta Activity.
Nature sounds can be very helpful in promoting relaxation, as research has shown. Humans have a deep connection to nature and the world around us, so it makes sense that we find calm and peace in listening to the rain or hearing waves crash along a shoreline. There is evidence that listening to natural sounds, such as the sounds help recovery from stress - Inducing physiological stress recovery with sounds of nature in a virtual reality forest - results from a pilot study.
Infrasonic bass is a form of very deep bass, which when played back through a haptic speaker on the body can induce additional feelings of relaxation. Limited research suggests infrasonic bass may be helpful in increasing sleep quality and reducing perceived pain - The effect of low-frequency sound stimulation on patients with fibromyalgia: A clinical study.
Harmonic Breathing music blends all of the above elements together, bringing the relaxation benefits of each into each piece of music.
How Do You Start Meditation For Beginners?
There are many ways to begin your meditation journey. Meditation at its core is when you actively focus on the present moment, letting go of the past and future. There are many ways to meditate.
One approach some people find is an easy way to start is to meditate whilst listening to music, and perhaps combining this with some deep breathing. Read our sections above on 'How to Meditate with Music' and 'Breathing to Meditation Music' for a couple of easy approaches to beginning meditation.
Music Guided Breathing
If you're familiar with diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing techniques, you'll know that it helps give your nervous system and brain a signal that you are safe and can relax. These exercises can also help you sleep better.
You can combine a diaphragmatic breathing exercise with meditation music by syncing inhales and exhales with the music. Breathing along with meditation music gives your brain something to focus on and may help limit the amount of distracting thoughts you have.
Harmonic Breathing music tracks are designed with easy-to-follow sounds so you can breathe along with the music. As you listen, you’ll hear rising and falling notes. These notes act as a guide to inhale on the rising notes and exhale on the falling notes. You’ll also hear some breathing in at the start of the music, which acts as a guide for you to follow.
More Benefits with Less Effort
Combine meditation music, binaural beats and nature sounds with the benefits of paced breathing. Harmonic Breathing guides you to breathe at the optimal slow pace for relaxation. Try it - its free.
"This is amazing! It was remarkable how quickly my breathing pattern set itself to the music, without having to think about it. I can drop two apps off my phone now and get rid of a load of notifications that I haven't meditated for 3 months!"
Tom - Crieff, UK