There’s truth to the quote by William Congreve, “Music has charms to sooth the savage breast.” Whatever life has thrown your way that day, you know that you can let it all slide once you hit your front door. Music therapy has been effective in a number of other applications—palliative pain management in cancer patients; emotional stabilization for patients who suffer from mental difficulties, both organic and psychological; and mood stabilization for those under emotional or psychological stress. Most of us are on pretty familiar terms with the last application, and often “self medicate” in a chronic fashion. If you’re looking for some personal musical therapy to take the edge off a grueling day, check out these albums for your own post work ritual.
Bob Marley and the Wailers—Legend (1984) from Island Records
No matter what your personal taste in music happens to be, this compilation album of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ best work is top notch for chilling out after a hard day. It contains many songs that have been popularized in mainstream culture through many movies and television shows. When you listen to this, you’ll recognize many of the songs, and even find new favorites. Any time is a good time for Bob Marley’s comforting ad soulful voice. Take the opportunity to relax to this incredible album.
Audioslave—Audioslave (2002) Epic
The debut album of this amazing supergroup fronted by Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and several members from Rage Against the Machine, it consistently provides a gritty, musically satisfying, and complex way to unwind after a hard day on the job. This album is filled with tracks that will leave you deeply introspective and yet completely relaxed, whether you seek decompression and relief via meditation or an ice-cold beer.
Bach Cello Suites
For something completely different, go old school—no, really old school—with some of the most soothing and beautiful music from the Baroque period. J.S. Bach, not to be confused with his talented children, was a prolific composer and responsible for the original definition of Awesome when it comes to music that lightens your mood and enlightens your brain. This collection of compositions features a single cello, without an accompanying orchestra, and can be set as soothing background music to any activity after a grueling day at work. You don’t have to be a classically trained musician to appreciate beautiful, complex, and relaxing music.
Maynard James Keenan has a well-deserved reputation for complex and thought-provoking composition as the front man of the band Tool. While any of their albums suit to create a mood that is both intellectually tense and extremely relaxed, Lateralus possesses a number of songs that serve the end of unwinding especially well. The album caries the listener on a musical journey that begins with full intensity and mellows as the album evolves. The musically complex, deeply satisfying composition creates the perfect background for laying aside the cares of the day and rediscovering how it feels to be a human being. So put this album on, make some dinner, and spend some quality time with yourself.
Jason Kane’s expertise on kicking it is a result of years and years of hard work and perseverance. He gets all of his vinyl records from SoundStage Direct.