Music to Help You Relax and Relieve Stress

If you are juggling several things at once, you likely feel stressed and anxious throughout your daily life. Learning coping strategies can help you manage your symptoms in a healthy manner. Music can be a powerful tool in relieving stress and can be used in several ways. Here is a list of seven CDs that are useful for relaxation and stress relief, with tips on how to use various forms of music to relieve stress in different ways.


Best of Silk Road by Kitaro

Young woman relaxing with headphones at home

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This is a great mix of soothing, but energizing music that's perfect for stress relief! The synthesized instrumentation gives it an eastern feel that’s perfect for yoga practice. Light some candles, burn some incense and feel the tension leave your body.


In My Time by Yanni

For soothing tension, this is one of the best albums possible. The songs are beautifully played on the piano with orchestral backup and do not have any vocals. You can use the music to add some soothing color to your drive to work, transforming your commute into a special experience and making road rage a thing of the past. These songs have a calming, contemplative and uplifting quality that’s great for stress reduction.


Monkey Business by The Black-Eyed Peas

While it's not your typical relaxation album, this high-energy hip-hop mix transforms the task of cleaning into a fun, high-energy activity more akin to a party than a chore. Feel the tension leaving your body while you create a more nurturing environment to come home to, both worthy stress management goals. These songs are unique in that their subtle nuances mix with a high-energy beat to make them seem to get better with repeated listenings. (Not suitable for small children.)


Songs About Jane by Maroon 5

This is a nice mix of songs, some upbeat, some more mellow, but all musically well-put-together. With the smooth vocals and a great blend of orchestration, this is a fabulous mix of songs to throw on while cooking and serving dinner, entertaining guests or just to provide some nice background music as go about your day.


Vivaldi's Four Seasons by Music for Relaxation

Studies show that listening to classical music while eating causes people to eat less, savor their food more, digest more easily and attain other health benefits. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is one classic that can make a workweek dinner an experience.


A Day Without Rain by Enya

Her beautiful, ethereal voice over the gentle orchestration makes Enya a favorite for stress reduction. The calm pace of the music, with romantic and pastoral themes, is perfect for someone wanting soothing music for more active listening, rather than mere ambiance. Fill up a bubble bath and throw on some Enya, and the day’s stress will seem like a distant memory.


Pachelbel's Canon With Ocean Surf

You may not know Pachelbel by name, but you’ve almost certainly heard his work! His classical melodies add magic to wedding ring commercials everywhere and are the epitome of soothing classical music. This album has the sounds of ocean surf mixed in, which is perfect for the practice of mental imagery or meditation and can also soothe you to sleep.

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD
Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.