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Top 7 CDs for Relaxation and Stress Relief

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Updated April 30, 2011

Music can be a powerful tool in relieving stress, and can be used in several ways. Here I’ve included a (lucky) seven-item list of some of the best CDs to use for relaxation and stress relief, with tips on how to use various forms of music to relieve stress in different ways.

1. Best of Silk Road, by Kitaro

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!
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2. In My Time, by Yanni

For soothing tension, this is one of the best albums I’ve heard. The songs are beautifully played on the piano with orchestral backup, no 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, uplifting quality that’s great for stress reduction.
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3. Monkey Business by The Black-Eyed Peas

I know, it’s not your typical relaxation music. But 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. What I love about these tunes is that their subtle nuances mixed with a high-energy beat make them seem to get better with repeated listenings. (Not suitable for small children.)
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4. Songs About Jane, by Maroon 5

This is a nice mix of songs, some upbeat, some more mellow, all musically well-put-together. With the smooth vocals and great blend of orchestration, this is a fabulous mix of songs to throw on while cooking and dinner, entertaining guests or just to provide some nice background music as go about your day.
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5. 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 of my very favorites to savor over dinner.
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6. 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.
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7. 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.
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