While listening to music is an age-old remedy to unwind and destress, combining music with auditory beat stimulation can help reduce anxiety in some patients, according to a recent study. 

Conducted by Frank Russo and Adiel Mallik of Canada’s Ryerson University, the study was published in PLOS One, an open-access journal.

The study was conducted on a sample size of 163 anxiety patients via an at-home session consisting of pink noise, music, and auditory beat stimulation. 

For each patient, an artificial intelligence software, known as LUCID, was used to create music on the basis of the patient’s music preferences and emotional state. 

Playing in one or both ears, the auditory beat stimulation comprised multiple combinations of tones to trigger responses of brain activity. 

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All patients were required to download a mobile application, close their eyes, and listen to the auditory session. 

During the session, a significant reduction in physical symptoms of anxiety was observed in patients who tuned into music and auditory beat stimulation, compared to those patients who listened to pink noise. 

Lower levels of cognitive state anxiety were also observed in participants who listened to music and auditory beat stimulation. 

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“With the pandemic and remote work, there has been a remarkable uptick in the use of digital health tools to support mental health. The results of this clinical trial indicate great promise for the use of digital health tools, such as LUCID’s digital music therapy, in the management of anxiety and other mental health conditions,” said the authors of the study.

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“The findings from this research are exciting as they indicate that personalized music shows great promise in effectively reducing anxiety in specific segments of the population that suffer from anxiety. Hopefully, with additional research, we can help build a solid evidence base which further supports the use of personalized music as an additional tool in the clinician’s toolbox that can be used to help reduce anxiety in the patient population,” they added.