You don't have to go to a resort or a spa to relax: classical music can help you take the stress out of everyday chores and routines. Here are ten times when music by your favorite composer can help you breathe a little more easily.
Cooking can be a fun and creative activity, especially if you're making something special, but it can be stressful too. Getting into a relaxed zone while trying out your Julia Child skills can help immensely with the experience — not to mention the final product. Turn on La Boheme and you'll find that you can take a little bit more time with the whole process. There's no reason to hurry up. If guests arrive before the food is done, they can enjoy the music too while you wait for your perfect souffle to rise.
Journaling can be a great way to reflect on what's going on in your life and open up channels of creativity that you didn't know were there. Having a bit of classical music as background will help you get in the right mood to spend some time putting your thoughts down. Maybe a little Debussy on a rainy afternoon, or some Beethoven if you want to really go deep. Whatever music you choose, allow the sounds to get you to a place where you don't have to worry about who might read it — it's for yourself, after all.
Yoga and meditation
Yoga is a great way to get centered, but taking classes can often be a strain on the wallet. Instead, try doing your asanas at home, where you can skip the new age music and play what you like. A little Chopin can help you get into the groove, allowing you to breathe deeper and hold each of the poses for a little bit longer. You can use classical music for other types of meditative practices too: Tai Chi, Xi Gong, or any sitting or kneeling type of meditation you prefer.
Having a serious conversation
Perhaps you have a disagreement with your significant other, or you need to talk to a parent about difficult issues. Maybe you've been avoiding talking to your friend because you're worried about talking about a particular topic. Let classical music be your aid. Choose calming music — something Baroque, perhaps — to lighten the air. It can help keep the conversation amicable.
There's absolutely nothing worse than sitting in bumper to bumper traffic with no sign of relief. "Where are all these people going?" you think. "Is there a game or something?" Never fear, Gregorian chants are here. No, really. Just get some ancient Medieval vocal music and it will do wonders for your nerves.
While gyms usually pump up the latest Top 40 music to get you motivated, there's something to be said for choosing classical music instead when you're sweating on the treadmill or lifting weights. Sure, you'll want something upbeat, like Mozart or Bach, but these types of composers can get you just as motivated as Taylor Swift. Besides, classical music can help clear your thoughts and bring an element of relaxation to your workout.
These days, we read on our computers, our phones, our tablets and other devices in little spurts of content from all over the internet. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to sit down and actually open one of those books that have paper inside. Classical music can help. Step away from the computer, turn off your phone, and reconnect with the pleasure of reading the old-school way. A little chamber music can be just what you need to take 30 minutes and do something for your brain and spirit.
Cleaning the house
There's no reason doing your weekly clean-up has to be an exercise in drudgery. Why not put a little spring in your step while mopping the floors? A little Tchaikovsky can go a long way to make your experience more enjoyable. Don't be surprised if you start waltzing with your broom.
Doing taxes (and other difficult things)
There's loads of research that shows that classical music can help with your concentration, so you'd be a fool not to turn it on when you're crunching numbers during tax season or studying for a big exam. It'll help you focus during those stressful moments, giving you an added tool in completing difficult tasks.
Going to sleep
There's pretty much nothing worse than insomnia. When things are stressful in your daily life, your sleep cycle can be affected. Enter classical music. Find some nice piano sonatas or string quartets. Listening to classical music gives you something to do to stave off the boredom while you're lying there, but it also helps your body relax into deep breaths as well. Keep the volume at a low volume, just enough to help you drift off to sleep.