With 1 in 4 people suffering from anxiety and depression over the Christmas period, Leith has teamed up with Salford’s GAS Music to transform old Christmas songs into upbeat tracks, in an aim to lift people’s spirits.
Research has found that listening to too much Christmas music can actually exasperate feelings of anxiety and depression.
However, it has been proven that other types of music, specifically the hip-hop genre, can be used to combat mental health problems.
78% of people use music to improve their mood when feeling anxious, and up to 88% use it to help with their depression.
Because of this, Salford’s GAS music has teamed up with Leith, to create Christmas songs that are set to 432 Hz, which is a frequency that has been said to relive anxiety and calm the mind. This is in aid of Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest independent music therapy charity.
The new track, called ‘Have Yourself A Mindful Little Christmas’ also features old interviews with psychiatrists and people living with depression, which will hopefully encourage others to speak out about their feelings.
Greg Ownes, from GAS Music, said: “We produce tracks that people ask us to make, and it’s a very, very awarding job, I’m very lucky to have it.
“I actually didn’t know about Nordoff Robins until the end of the process. I only really knew the creative director, John McPartland, who reached out to me via Whatsapp, saying ‘can you help me and the agency I’ve just moved to, in working on this project about mental health at Christmas?’
“John said that this is a prime time for people to be a little bit melancholy, because we’re in a festive celebratory season.
“This year and last year in particular, of course it has not been that easy to be celebratory or festive because we’re kind of ensconced in this pandemic, its really hard to eat, drink and be merry when we’re in the middle of a crisis.”
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Greg explained how the track wasn’t too hard to make, since they were mixing a classic carol, and not a famously well known Christmas song that would have been expensive to get copyright for.
“We used what sounds like a sample of an old orchestra recording of ‘God Rest You Merry Gentleman’, but that is not actually an old recording. It’s something that we made in our studio, in about half an hour.
“One of the producers who works with me, called Aron Bentley, he chopped up that sample and set it to a beat, and then he passed it back to me, and I arranged it with John in the studio.
“The interesting thing to talk about, is the fact that Christmas is a festival that happens in the middle of the darkest season anyway. That’s the point of it. That’s why we put lights on the trees, that’s why the festival has always been about finding hope in dark times. That’s exactly what it’s about.”