Winston Aldworth 's Opinion

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: International earspace

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Spotify has made a playlist to help relax flyers.Photo / Thinkstock
Spotify has made a playlist to help relax flyers.Photo / Thinkstock

I'm a little fussy about the music I listen to.

So when Spotify announced a playlist of tunes designed for air travel, I rubbed my ears in disbelief. You see, their list included Enya's Orinoco Flow, and if I'm ever forced to listen to that ditty at 30,000 feet, my fellow passengers better hope there's a tooled-up US Federal Marshal on board, because I'd sooner storm the cockpit and take us all down than sail away, sail away, sail away ... But I'm a bit funny like that. Like I say, I'm a little fussy about my earspace.

Spotify reckon they have science on the side of their playlist. They commissioned Dr Becky Spelman, from the Private Therapy Clinic in London, to devise a low-tempo playlist to soothe anxious flyers.

Adele's first-class tune Someone Like You is, says Spotify, "very close to the optimum bpm of around 60 - the perfect pace for slowing down breathing associated with fear and anxiety".

Here's their full "Calming Music to Fly to" playlist:

Someone Like You - Adele
Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) - Enya
Piano on The Beach - Liborio Conti
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major - Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus
Better Together - Jack Johnson
Pure Shores - All Saints
Buffalo Soldier - Bob Marley
Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Paradise - Coldplay
As I Lay Me Down - Sophie B. Hawkins
Inside Out - Britney Spears
Ignition - R Kelly
Flaws and All - Beyonce
The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
Space Oddity - David Bowie

Dr Spelman comments: "Travel anxiety is caused by irrational thoughts where the threat is exaggerated and inappropriate. Music that stimulates both the logical left and emotional right sides of the brain is said to stimulate the limbic system, which processes negative memories and emotions, which in turn helps people think in a more balanced, rational way supressing anxiety."

The good sports at Spotify have also sent me a playlist for anxious fliers to avoid. We'll print it next week, and we'd also love to hear from you about your favoured flying tunes.

- NZ Herald

Winston Aldworth

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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