Acute Stress Recovery Through Listening to Melomics Relaxing Music: A Randomized Controlled Trial


Nordic Journal of Music Therapy




Daily life entails having to cope with many stressful situations. Although stress-related reactions could sometimes provoke impairments in physiological processes due to the frequency of exposure or the stress burden of the event, physiological recovery after coping with stressors is highly implied in the aversive consequences of stress. To analyze the effects of listening to relaxing music (generated by the Melomics computer system) on the cardiovascular recovery and subjective feelings of anxiety after undergoing an acute-stress episode, a double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in healthy adults (N = 24; M = 23.05 years, SD = 2.97). Participants reported their levels of psychiatric symptomatology and anxiety and were then exposed to a stress induction protocol. Afterward, they underwent a period of recovery where they would be exposed to either a relaxing music track or silence, depending on a random assignation. Heart-derived functioning and self-reported anxiety were monitored throughout the study stages. All the participants showed stress-related reactions throughout the study stages, as it was shown for the study outcomes. Regarding the effect of listening to music, participants who listened to relaxing music during the recovery stage showed higher levels of sample entropy than controls, highlighting a large effect size on this difference (η2partial = .59). Relaxing music promotes more adaptive emotional regulation after coping with an acutely stressful event. This study aims to shed light on the actual effects of music interventions, and encourage the use of music-based interventions on health services.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Coping; Emotional Functioning; Heart Rate; Music and Relaxation Psychiatric Symptoms; Receptive Music Methods; Relaxation; Self-Report Measures; Stress; Vital Signs

Indexed Terms

Stress; relaxing music; heart rate variability; entropy; Physiology; Listening; Computer music; Statistical analysis; Anxiety; Recovery (Medical)

Study Type

Randomized Controlled; Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type