About Music For Wellbeing


Music can help you change the way you feel.

From Mozart to Marvin Gaye, and from Metallica to Mongolian voices, here you can listen to playlists to lead you from one state of mind and body to another in the way that you choose.

The playlists are created to calm you down, enliven you, or offer self-care and self-management of your mood and feelings. There are also videos with music to offer support for breathing and exercise.

First you need to tell us what you feel and what you need, by clicking on one of the links on the Music & Video page. This will take you to a page where you can choose what kind of music you want to listen to, or which videos you want to watch.

Wellbeing Diary

The Wellbeing diary is a part of a research project that uses a wellbeing evaluation model developed by Northumbria University researchers (ethics approved, ref. 23709) to encourage awareness of physical and emotional experience, sense of meaning and connection to others, mapping the feelings of your immediate experience.

Your participation will involve reflecting on your present experience. It will prepare to connect to yourself prior to listening. It only takes a few minutes to complete.

You will develop understanding of how listening to music influences your mood and state of being. You will have the opportunity to review your diary and reflect. We will use the data to further finetune the playlists for optimum impact on the listener’s wellbeing.

In order to do this it is important that you fill in the wellbeing diary before listening to the playlist and again after listening to the playlist. The impact of the music is then evaluated as the difference in emotional state, and state of wellbeing, relevant to your immediate experience.

If you would like to help us improve the quality of music self-care, and are ready to contribute, please follow the links to the Wellbeing Diary before and after listening.
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Discover the science

The playlists are curated by health care professionals and others, using X-System, which analyses music to predict its effects on health and well-being, and how it may help change your mood and feelings.

X-System uses a model of the musical brain and body to predict the level of relaxation or excitement of a piece of music (CA) , and how positive or negative a mood or emotion it may make you feel (V).

X-System uses the principle of “entrainment” to lead you from where you are to where you want to go, step by step. So it is best to listen to whole playlists at a time. The more you skip tracks, the more you will reduce the effects of the playlists.

You can learn more about how X-System works, the technology, and its basis in medical evidence at x-system.co.uk.

Below is a summary of the practice and research underpinning the music wellbeing pages, the bio-psycho-social model for music and wellbeing.

Bio-psycho-social model

Music may promote wellbeing in many ways – from listening to music that relaxes, enlivens, motivates or consoles us, to deep breathing and slow movement. Here we show how these activities relate to a model of how music affects our bodies, minds and relationships with others:

Bio-psycho-social model for music and wellbeing


In recent years there has been a significant growth in the biological, psychological and social sciences of music, as well as in music-medicine. The model is based on frequently replicated, peer-reviewed studies in established scientific and medical journals as well as Cochrane reviews and other meta-analyses. This raft of knowledge also forms the basis for X-System.

If you are a healthcare professional or simply interested in exploring the biopsychosocial model further, you can discover more in our free online course.
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Meet The Team

  • Robert Ashcroft

    Robert is the former CEO of PRS for Music, the UK’s leading copyright collection society. He is a co-founder and chairman of X-System, runs his own consulting business and sits on the board of a number of technology start-ups.

  • Dawn Bailey

    Dawn Bailey is an Online Trainer for Recovery College Online, at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV). She also runs a Singing for Wellbeing group for students and staff at ARCH Recovery College in Durham.

  • Claire Chapman

    Claire Chapman is Recovery Colleges Manager at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV). She has worked in mental health since 1994, and as a qualified social worker since 1999.

  • Garry Elvin

    Garry Elvin is a Principal Lecturer in the department of Computing and Information Sciences at Northumbria University, UK. His work focuses on social computing applications and mental health.

  • Angela Kennedy

    Clinical psychologist, who is Trauma Informed Care Lead at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust and Mental Health Lead for North of England Clinical Network, NHS England.

  • Nóra Kertész

    Social anthropologist and folk dancer, whose main interest is in social identity and its relationship to music and dance.

  • David Lee

    David Lee is a mathematician and psychologist, who studies movement control in everyday actions, speech and music. He is Emeritus Professor of Perception Action and Development University of Edinburgh, and inventor of general tau theory of movement control.

  • Nigel Osborne

    Composer and aid worker who has pioneered methods for using music to support victims of conflict. He is Emeritus Professor of Music and Human Sciences University of Edinburgh, Consultant to Peking University, and co-inventor of X-System.

  • Paras Patel

    Senior Researcher on the Trauma Informed Care Programme at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. He completed his PhD in Psychophysiology, understanding the link between the heart and brain and how this can impact wellbeing. He developed an integrative framework for the holistic assessment of wellbeing which included both objective and subjective measures and tested using a variety of interventions including music.

  • Laurie Rauch

    An adjunct lecturer at the University of Cape Town in Neurobiology of Exercise and Sports Medicine, who supervises PhD and Masters students and is a co-director of the Calm Foundation.

  • Chirine Riachy

    Senior Research Assistant at Northumbria University where she received her PhD in computer vision and machine learning . She is interested in interdisciplinary research that uses Artificial Intelligence to solve real-world problems.

  • Paul Robertson

    The late Professor Paul Robertson was leader of the Medici String Quartet, Professor of Music and Medicine at the Peninsular Medical School, Fellow of Green Templeton College Oxford, and Associate of the Royal Society of Medicine. He is co-inventor of X-System.

  • Marianne Sice

    Musician/interdisciplinary artist studying a Masters in Creative Arts Practice at Newcastle University. She is passionate about helping people through music, arts and creativity and is a Young Trustee at Sage, Gateshead.

  • Petia Sice

    Petia Sice, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the School of Computing and Information Sciences at Northumbria University, UK. Her work focuses on design of evidence based approaches to the study and evaluation of human systems wellbeing, acknowledging the interrelationship between the physical, mental and societal dimensions of human experience.

  • Yilun Shang

    A mathematician who has research interest in the field of complex networks and systems. He is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Northumbria University.

  • John Turner

    John makes software and games in Edinburgh, including working on all parts of X-System.

  • Jonathan Walton

    Musician, programmer and mental health support tutor, with a background in languages and ethnomusicology. Formerly CEO of language learning startup Tonguesten.

  • Mike Waters

    X-System CEO, who has 40 years of experience in technology businesses, working with global high tech companies and supporting and leading University spin-outs.

  • Corinna Zink

    Corinna is a data analyst, who studied business administration in Cologne before completing a Masters in Information Science at Northumbria University and working with the NHS.

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