Want to Relax This Weekend? Cue Up Some Reggae

A fast, fun fact for this Friday: When you’re contemplating a playlist to help de-stress and slash anxiety, aim for about 60 beats per minute. Turns out, that sort of mellow rhythm is most conducive to really chilling out.

And guess what kind of music very often clocks in right around 60 BPM? Reggae, mon!

I found this out during a recent overnight getaway to The Lodge at Woodloch, a divine destination spa in Pennsylvania.  While there, I was chatting with the director of spa treatments, Amanda Claybaugh—who, judging from the awesome spa services, knows a thing about helping people relax. We got to talking about stress and what can help people dial it down (besides the usual suspects of breath work, lavender pillow sprays, meditation, green tea, etc)…and she mentioned how music can help and that the most stress-reducing stuff comes in at 60 beats per minute. Then she noted that one need not listen to only soporific Enya or slow classical music to sync up with that beat—citing reggae as a great alternative.

And later, when I fired up some reggae on my iPod, I realized that indeed, almost all of the songs were coming in at about that rhythm! Sixty beats per minute is also right about where many people’s resting heart rate lies, which makes even more sense.

So, if you’re feeling frazzled, open up iTunes and consider a few Bob Marley tracks just what the doctor ordered.