In terms of which songs can help ease those feelings of anxiousness, Chaudhary points to classical tunes. Classical music, she says, is extremely mathematical — each rhythm and harmony has a specific ratio and rule — and your brain thrives off of that order. “When you’re exposing your brain to things that are orderly, your brain itself becomes orderly,” Chaudhary says.
It’s a phenomenon called brain trainingwhere your brain naturally synchronizes to a specific rhythm: “When your brain enters into that entrainment, the neurons synchronize, and they become more efficient. It’s really a mathematical principle,” she says.
Of course, each culture and tradition has its own version of classical music. For example: “Some of the ancient musical traditions were extremely mathematical,” Chaudhary says. “From the way that they were chanted to the tone, everything had such a specific rule to it.”
One chant, in particular, she says, is extremely beneficial for calming anxiety: Om, Aim, Namaha. (Listen to the episode to hear her pronunciations, or here’s a helpful video.) “You can simply say it out loud at first for 20 minutes a day, then eventually it gets softer and softer, and you just repeat it gently in your mind. Within 20 minutes, you’ll notice a reduction in your anxiety, she explains.