Benee releases new science-based song to calm anxious thoughts

Wed, May 24

Kiwi musician Benee has released a new song that uses science to help calm young listeners' anxiety.

The track, called Bagels, was made in collaboration with mental health charity Youthline and AUT neuroscientists.

Musical elements incorporated into the song are identified specifically to "relax the nervous system, modify brain activity and ease feelings of anxiousness", and testing found listening to Bagels lowered young peoples' levels of "state anxiety".

That's the type of short-term anxiety people experience in stressful situations.

The song also calmed listeners' frontal and parietal lobes, which are associated with regulating emotions and stress response.

"I've always seen music as a kind of therapy, but it was fascinating to learn why certain sounds move your mood," Benee said.

She told Breakfast this morning that she was "instantly pretty keen to do it" when Youthline contacted her with the idea.

"It's a great cause," Benee said, adding that she had "for sure" not done anything like it before.

"I hope that people can get something out of it."

Producer Josh Fountain said "it was definitely a bit of a different way of working", collaborating with scientists.

"It kind of had to be a little bit more abstract, but still feel like a Benee song," he said.

"That was the whole goal, I think, to try and make something that still lived in the Benee world."


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