BENEE, who has always been outspoken on the importance of mental health, has released a single specifically designed to reduce anxious feelings.
The alternative pop artist worked with leading neuroscientists at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) to create “BAGELS”, which uses musical elements that relax the nervous system, modify brain activity and ease feelings of anxiousness.
Neurological testing conducted on teenagers and young adults discovered that listening to BENEE’s new track lowered levels of ‘state anxiety’, the type of short-term anxiety people experience in stressful situations. “Bagels” was also found to calm brain activity in the frontal and parietal lobes, the areas often associated with regulating emotions and the fight or flight stress response.
BENEE was very excited to create her new single alongside producer Josh Fountain and the AUT scientists. “I’ve always seen music as a kind of therapy, but it was fascinating to learn why certain sounds move your mood,” she says. “”BAGELS” was a totally different creative process for us: every aspect, from the beat, the natural soundscape and harmonies, to the subtle message in my lyrics, “you are not alone,” is designed to take away feelings of anxiousness.”
BENEE has also collaborated with Youthline on the single, with all income generated from streaming of “BAGELS” going to the New Zealand mental health charity.
“I’ve huge respect for Youthline’s work so it’s been awesome to partner on this track, to show young people that it’s ok to talk about mental health, and to provide them with another tool to try when stressed,” she adds. “We all need to find what helps us, and one way I find calm is swimming at the beach and having a bagel – I’ve made a nod to this in the song, and obviously its title.”
You can see if BENEE’s new track calms your anxiety below. “BAGELS” follows BENEE’s first single of 2023, “Green Honda”, which took its name from the car the singer once received from her grandmother.
For Australian BENEE fans, they can catch the singer at Surfers Paradise this September at Springtime 2023. Matt Corby, Bag Raiders, Babe Rainbow and many more also feature on the festival lineup.
BENEE’s “Bagels” is out now.