Created by BENEE.
Backed by science.

Listen to Bagels, the song designed to help ease anxious feelings. And remember, if you ever need to talk to someone about how you're feeling, Youthline's there to support you.

Stream now Contact Youthline

Check out the music video

Stream here:

Music meets science

Scientifically designed

BENEE and her producer, Josh Fountain, collaborated with neuroscientists from Auckland University of Technology (AUT) to create the track using musical elements that have been scientifically shown to reduce anxiety, like the key of C major, 60-80bpm, 4/4 time with limited syncopation and AABA structure.

Scientifically tested

Before the song was released, AUT carried out neurological and physiological testing on 18–25-year-olds to measure how their minds and bodies responded to hearing the track. Results showed listening to Bagels shifts young people into a calmer state, helping to ease anxious feelings. 

A video to match

In partnership with one of Aotearoa's top animation companies, the music video for Bagels was also created with anxiety-relieving science in mind. The video uses visual elements (such as continuous eye movement from left to right, which is a feature of EMDR therapy) that are designed to create a relaxing experience for viewers.

Go behind the scenes

Check out the video to see the full story of how BENEE came on board to support Youthline and hear from the team about how Bagels was produced and tested.


What do ASB and Youthline hope Bagels will achieve for our rangatahi?

Youthline research found mental health to be one of the main issues young people in New Zealand are faced with today and anxiety among rangatahi is increasing.

We know there's no single solution to responding to anxiety but see this track as adding to the range of wellness resources young people can use to help when they're feeling anxious, such as around exams, before a tough conversation, or on a crowded bus. By making this available for free, we hope to reach as many young Kiwi as possible, continuing the kōrero on mental health and letting them know how this track can help. 

What is the science that went into the song?

Music can be a powerful brain stimulus, as listening to it can activate different neural networks. When it comes to reducing anxiety, scientific research has shown that musical cues like the key of C major, 4/4 timing with limited syncopation, AABA structure, and 60-80 bpm can have a profound effect.

How was Bagels tested and what did the results show?

Scientists from AUT's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience tested the track on 30 people aged 18-25 reporting mild to moderate anxiety symptoms. 

Participants had their brain activity measured through electroencephalogram (EEG) testing while listening to six songs, including Bagels. Participants also rated their emotional response to the music and how each song affected anxious feelings.

Brain activity recordings containing more than 10 billion readings of participants' brain and automatic nervous system changes were captured, making this a highly robust and unprecedented neurological assessment of a song's ability to manage anxiety.

Published in pre-print journal, bioRxiv, and submitted to the esteemed peer-reviewed journal Psychophysiology, key findings from the research include:

  • Reports of anxious feelings immediately after listening to Bagels were 5.1% lower than the gold standard of relaxation music Weightless.
  • Bagels reduced brain activity in participants, indicating the song's ability to soothe the mind.

How is ASB supporting Youthline?

Along with enabling Youthline's collaboration with BENEE, which will spotlight youth mental health and help more young people take some time for their mental health, ASB is supporting Youthline through:

  • More trained counsellors on Youthline's Helpline.
  • A new mental wellbeing leadership programme for secondary schools - the Youthline Leadership Connect Programme - currently being piloted in a number of secondary schools.

ASB appointed Youthline as the official charity partner of the 2023 ASB Classic, and ASB also supported Youthline with a significant TV and social campaign to boost awareness of Youthline's Helpline.

All proceeds from streaming Bagels will go to Youthline and supporting the work they do. 

Where can I find mental health help and support?