5 on the 5th: Five Soothing Music Albums to Help You Relax

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On the fifth day of each month, 5 on the 5th shares five of something that I like or recommend to readers. Whether it’s five items that share a common theme, or five reasons why I like the topic at hand, this monthly meme gives us an opportunity to talk about other subjects that aren’t normally discussed here at the blog. 

I have pretty eclectic tastes when it comes to music: symphonic metal, progressive rock, singer-songwriter, classical crossover… And over the past couple years, new age and instrumental music has woven its way into my iTunes library. While I can understand why some people would find this genre “boring,” I’ve grown to love it. New age instrumentals are now my go-to music picks when I’m working on blog articles – and they’re immensely helpful for meditating, stress relief, or winding down at the end of the day.

So, for today’s 5 on the 5th, I’d like to recommend Five Soothing Music Albums to Help You Relax, complete with links to each CD’s Amazon page and song clips on YouTube. If you like keyboards, acoustic guitars, and nature sounds, perhaps one or more of these gems will be perfect for playing in the background or for lulling you into a calmer, more peaceful state.

Deuter Dreamwaves

Dreamwaves by Deuter

One of the world’s best-selling new age musicians, Chaitanya G. Deuter blends Eastern and Western music styles to create a hypnotic, mystical music style that’s a favorite among yoga instructors, Reiki practitioners, massage therapists, and other medical and spiritual healers. Play any of Deuter’s albums, and you’ll hear keyboards and synthesizers mingling with a wide range of string, wind, and percussion instruments from all ethnic backgrounds. Dreamwaves in particular is a “greatest hits” CD, compiling songs from several Deuter albums released in the 2000s. If you like what you hear on this album, you’re bound to fall for his other works as well.

Recommended Tracks: “Escape from Gravity,” “Temple of Silence” (feat. Annette Cantor), “Lovesong From The Mountains,” and “Earth Shadow”

Native Spirit 2-CDs cover

Native Spirit: A Relaxing Flute Collection by Dan Gibson

This two-CD collection from Dan Gibson’s Solitudes series (consisting of Native Spirit and Mystic Sky) features Native American flutes and acoustic guitar with the gentle sounds of nature. Bird calls, insects, trickling water, calm winds… If the simple pleasure of lying in a meadow and watching clouds roll by was set to music, it would sound like this. The first CD (Native Spirit) also includes piano, cello, light percussion, and vocal chants. It’s soothing in a different way than Deuter’s music, while grounding listeners in the tranquil beauty of the natural world and the ancient cultures who still worship it today.

Recommended Tracks: From CD 1 – “Great Spirit,” “The Wise One,” and “Song of the River”; from CD 2 – “Mystic Sky,” “In the Misty Rain,” and “Waves in the Tall Grass”

Ocean Dreams cover

Ocean Dreams by David Arkenstone

I’ve confessed to being a Cape Cod girl, but I’ve always been an ocean lover in general. So, when I came across this instrumental album by David Arkenstone, I just had to pick it up. 😉 Ocean Dreams combines lilting piano, synthesizer, and acoustic arrangements with ocean surf and seagull calls. What’s neat about this album is that each song has a distinct “personality.” For example, “The Secret Cave” sounds like the kind of guitar song you’d hear while walking Florida’s beaches, with minimal percussion that gives it a swaying rhythm. “Swirling Pools” is all tidal synthesizers, and “Wind in the Waves” conjures images of leaping dolphins and (of course) sea breezes teasing your hair and clothes. It’s such a lovely, nostalgic CD that it’s now the first thing I play at my day job each weekday morning.

Recommended Tracks: “Along the Shore,” “Swirling Pools,” “Wind in the Waves,” and “The Secret Cave”

Serenity Cd cover

Serenity by David Lyndon Huff

I found Serenity at a gift shop a couple years ago and was grateful I bought it on a whim. It’s in a similar vein to Ocean Dreams, marrying water sounds from nature with atmospheric, ethereal harp pieces. Pianos and synthesizers also play along, but the soft, rhythmic plucking of harp strings takes center stage. If you like that instrument, or if you find ocean waves, flowing streams, and falling rain peaceful, Serenity will be a welcome addition to your collection.

Recommended Tracks: “Prayer of Serenity,” “Spirit Song,” “Peaceful Light,” and “Center of the Soul”

Tranquility CD cover

Tranquility by David Lyndon Huff

Originally I was avoiding listing two albums by the same artist… But David Lyndon Huff’s instrumentals are pure magic. So, I couldn’t not include Tranquility. This album comes from the same series as Serenity, but has a different ambiance. Instead of a harp, the piano is the musical centerpiece, giving each song a lyrical cadence. Keyboards, synthesizers, and limited soft percussion also drift in, with the sounds of streams, chirping crickets, and rowing paddles in the water book-ending each track. A lovely, refreshing choice for the soul.

Recommended Tracks: “Fresh Air,” “Daydream,” “Mountain Journey,” and “Nightwinds”

What kind of music helps you relax? Do you have any CDs to recommend? Or, do other kinds of activities help you wind down after a long or stressful day?

Oh – and did you notice something that all of today’s featured musicians have in common besides their music genre? 😉

16 thoughts on “5 on the 5th: Five Soothing Music Albums to Help You Relax

  1. I mostly write to music, so I was interested to hear your choices for when you are writing your blogs, which must take a fair amount of concerted effort, given the length and quality of each article. They are all very relaxing, and beautifully produced – which always makes a difference to me. I particularly liked ‘Great Spirit’ by Dan Gibson. Presumably you listen to different stuff when writing your novels? I have several instrumental composers I love to listen to – Mike Oldfield, whose output over the years has accompanied most of my novels – if I had to choose a favourite album, it would be either Hergest Ridge or Amarok; Vangelis, whose Heaven and Hell album is great when I want an otherworldly vibe to my writing and Voices is also a real favourite and Joceyln Pook, whose album Untold Things is so beautiful and spiritual, I always come back to it when I need stimulus or encouragement:).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah! Yeah, it really helps to have this kind of music playing in the background when I’m blog-writing. It keeps me focused and relaxed at the same time. 🙂

      And yes, when I’m novel-writing, the music selection is very different: film soundtracks! TKC wouldn’t be what it is now with Howard Shore, Hans Zimmer, Alexandre Desplat, and Harry Gregson-Williams. I might go into more detail in a future Chronicle if people are interested in learning about the book’s playlist.

      I haven’t heard of any of the artists or albums you mentioned… But I just found Mike Oldfield’s Amarok on YouTube, so I’ll have to give it a listen. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice, I need to build up my collection of “relax music” again. These days I mostly listen to soundtracks (movies and games) to chill out, though for pure relaxation I used to listen to this Australian composer named Tony O’Connor. He does new-age and instrumental music, and a lot of his stuff has cool tribal vibes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Sara! These are fantastic! I’m always looking for music to help me fall asleep… this fits the bill! I don’t mean that to sound like “god that’s boring”, but rather as the highest praise! “Music to fall asleep to” has to resonate with the deepest, stillest parts of your soul, don’t you think?!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re welcome! And don’t worry, I take the “helping one fall asleep” comment as a compliment. Especially since I know the feeling – I’ve used a couple of these CDs to help me fall asleep sometimes. 😉

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  4. Such fantastic suggestions that I fell asleep while writing this comment 😉
    I was familiar with the names of all of these, and I listen to David Arkenstone, but his was the only one I had previously listened to.
    As for what I listen to when I relax, it really depends on my mood. If I’m driving home late from work and want to wind-down (but NOT fall asleep), I usually turn on something I can dance to. If it makes me happy but keeps me awake, we’re good. (Fitz and the Tantrums = always a good choice)
    If I’m not driving, I go for Enya, Secret Garden, and sometimes The Green Children. If I want to fall asleep, I can fall asleep with blaring metal on my headphones. Even screamo won’t stop me.

    Great recommendations, and I enjoyed listening to them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahaha! I’m glad you liked these picks, though. David Arkenstone has a couple other nautical-themed instrumental albums for the same collection, and I might look into those at some point.

      “If I want to fall asleep, I can fall asleep with blaring metal on my headphones. Even screamo won’t stop me.”

      Really? Wow. Metal usually excites me too much to help me fall asleep…

      I actually need to get some Enya CDs at some point. I like every song of hers I’ve heard so far; I just haven’t taken the initiative to buy her complete albums yet. Do you have any recommendations?

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      • Ooh, yes, I love her older albums “The Celts” and “Paint the Sky With Stars.” Her “Best of” Album is pretty good too, as it has some of her more pop stuff mixed in. “A Day Without Rain” and “Amarantine” are both lovely, but more pop than Celtic (unlike the first two I named off). I’d say that Enya’s earlier stuff is more like her sister Moya Brennan’s (from Clannad) stuff. I don’t know if you have a Spotify account or not, but I think you can listen to most of Enya’s complete albums on there. I typically use Spotify to figure out which music to purchase, and which music to just throw on a playlist 🙂

        I’m serious about sleeping. If I am really tired, nothing can stop me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll have to check out all of those albums, then. *lol* I do have a Spotify account, but I’ve only been on there once or twice and really haven’t figured it out how it works. I bet I could find a number of tracks (or complete albums) on YouTube and go from there.

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  5. I haven’t delved into this genre of music, but this sounds interesting. Calming soundtrack pieces bring me peace. There’s something about music that has no words that calms me.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve listened to some Huff and Arkenstone tracks, and I really like Nightwinds and Serenity Prayer. Their music is nice to unwind at the end of the day, especially when my brain won’t calm down, lol. Secret Garden is one I’ve started listening to, as well. I don’t have any other soothing music on my playlist yet.
    I’m actually looking for some good pan flute music, and harp music, but without tribal sounds mixed in. Most flute music I come across is tribal in some way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll have to check out Secret Garden at some point. David Arkenstone covered one (or two?) of their songs on his Celtic Garden CD, but otherwise I’m not that familiar with their music.

      Hmmmmm. I haven’t come across any non-tribal flute music yet. But in terms of harp music, if you like what you heard on Huff’s Serenity CD, that’s a good choice. A few other songs from that album are YouTube, too, besides the ones I shared here.

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