Every morning, I wake up, make coffee, feed the dog, check on my garden, then settle on the couch and listen to one album.
Each day. Uninterrupted.
Pitchfork released a list of 50 Best Ambient Albums and I'm currently on #40 (Max Richter's whopping 8 hour record called Sleep). But why I intend to listen to all 50 albums is to allow more time to discover new music (or to listen to old music new to me).
According to this article by John Hopkins Medicine, "listening to music reduces anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory."
Neat, huh? Interestingly, music "unlocks" my brain sometimes. When I'm creatively stuck, for example, listening to ambient music sparks new energy or activity within me. Why is this?
“Music is structural, mathematical and architectural. It’s based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it,” notes one otolaryngologist.
In other words, music is a workout. Wanna try it? Pitchfork has an extensive library of Best Albums lists. Pick a genre and listen to an album before starting the day or during a long walk or before going to bed.
From the 9 ambient albums I've listened to thus far, Bing & Ruth's Tomorrow was the Golden Age is my favorite. It's dreamy and piano-y in all the right ways.