Empathic people love music. It is a balm for their sensitive soul. Listening to it, playing it, admiring it. Music can wash over and nurture you. It can elevate your spirit.
I am excited to share my favorite music recommendations for empaths with you. I hope the music I’ve selected will uplift, inspire, and soothe you, as it does me. Perhaps it will trigger your creativity, dreams, healing or connection to the great Mystery.
Music therapy has been used to treat depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Neuroscientists have found that tranquil music increases positive emotions and stimulates dopamine, the brain’s pleasure hormone–and that highly sensitive people may respond to music similarly to how they experience empathy.
Let yourself dance to the music, meditate to it. Let it lift you up beyond the details of everyday life to the realm of inspiration and the muse.
Enya Patricia Brennan is an Irish singer and songwriter. Born into a musical family and raised in the Irish-speaking area of Gweedore in County Donegal, Enya began her music career with her family’s Celtic folk band Clannad in 1980. Listen to Boadicea from The Best of Enya Album
Kitaro is a Japanese recording artist noted for his electronic-instrumental music, and is often associated with and regarded as one of the most prominent musical acts of new-age music. Listen to The Best of Kitaro
3. Deva Premal
Deva Premal is a singer known for introducing Sanskrit mantras into the mainstream. Her meditative, spiritual music—composed and produced with Prabhu Music—puts ancient Tibetan and Sanskrit mantras into contemporary settings. Listen to Deva Premal Mantra
Simrit Kaur, is a singer/songwriter born in Athens, Greece. She moved to the southeast in the United States as a toddler and currently resides in California. Listen to her The Song of Bliss
5. Composer Léo Delibes
Clément Philibert Léo Delibes was a French Romantic composer, best known for his ballets and operas. His works include the ballets Coppélia and Sylvia and the opera Lakmé. Listen to his The Flower Duet
6. Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion. Listen to his Complete Goldberg Variations
7. Tina Malia
Tina Malia is a singer and songwriter who has distinguished herself in styles ranging from pop to world devotional to electronic. Her artistic perspective embraces many of the world’s musical cultures, languages and spiritual traditions. Listen to her Sita Ram – Bridge to Vallabha
8. Ludovico Einaudi
Ludovico Maria Enrico Einaudi OMRI is an Italian pianist and composer. Trained at the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, Einaudi began his career as a classical composer, later incorporating other styles and genres such as pop, rock, folk, and world music. Listen to his song Le Onde
9. Norah Jones
Norah Jones is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist—and the daughter of the great Sitar player Ravi Shankahr. She has won nine Grammy Awards and has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. Billboard named her the top jazz artist of the 2000s decade. Listen to the Best of Nora Jones Album
10. Snatam Kaur
Snatam Kaur Khalsa, is an American singer, songwriter and author. Kaur performs Indian devotional music, kirtan, and tours the world as a peace activist. The surname “Kaur,” meaning “princess,” is shared by all female Sikhs. Listen to her Sacred Chants
11. Krishna Das
Krishna Das is an American vocalist known for his performances of Hindu devotional music known as kirtan. He performed at the 2013 Grammy Awards, where his album Live Ananda was nominated for a Best New Age Grammy Award. Listen to his Om Namah Shivaya.
12. Singh Kaur
Singh Kaur was a new-age music composer, vocalist and instrumentalist. With her angelic voice and haunting melodies, Singh Kaur was a pioneer in the growing genre of Western interpretations of Indian chanting music. Listen to her This Universe
Wah! is a U.S. band that performs and produces music for the new-age and yoga market. The female lead singer Wah! and the band’s name are synonymous. Listen to their Wah! SAVASANA – Opening
14. Donna De Lory
Donna De Lory is an American singer, dancer and songwriter. Part of a musical family, De Lory has been performing since a young age. Her voice can be heard on albums by Carly Simon, Alisha and Madonna to name a few. Listen to her In The Sun from the Unchanging Album
47 thoughts on “Top Music Recommendations for Empaths & Sensitive People”
Radiohead is a band that has expressed the overwhelming nature of life in its relation to technology, government, and society. Singer Thom Yorke, more specifically, provides his own take on pre- and post- millennial dread. While often seen as sad and depressing, Radiohead’s music resonates for many people.
Joni Mitchell’s HEJIRA.
Pablo Casals’s Bach concertos.
Odetta’s AND OTHER AMERICAN BALLADS.
Shirley Horn’s HERE’S TO LIFE.
Billie Holiday’s SONGS FOR DISTINGUÉ LOVERS.
Thanks, Dr Orloff…
I just figured out I am an empath. I have been so worried about my daughter being one I neglected to look at myself. Having exposed her to 25 years of 2 narcissist husbands, my hyper vigilance as a empath is mostly about survival. The music section here is the first thing I went to. After hearing Dr Judith Orloff on coast to coast last night leads me to the Survival Guide book. Thank you!
Judith, your books have helped me so much. I am a musician, and answered yes to all of your empath questions.
I have been in more relationships with narcissists than I care to count.
Praying I am finally free with boundaries and self respect intact.
My last record was mostly a catharsis with a malignant narcissist.
I have plenty of records left, because of the shutdown-couldn’t go on tour.
Happy to send you one, and anyone who can’t afford it, please let me know…
Just want to help those in a similar situation.
Blessings to all and thanks.
Wow! I was already attracted to half the artists listed here a long time ago! I have many of their works and yes, they as well as many others I can list have a profound effect! I was pleasantly surprised to see this list.
Music is literally my life’s blood. If I don’t hear music for more than one day, I start to have trouble breathing. I found that I listen to music with my whole body, not just my ears. It’s weird, I am sensitive to pace, rhythm and timing. I even hear music in languages.
I only fairly recently discovered Ludovico Einaudi, surprisingly powerful music!
I had the honor of meeting Tina Malia some 9 years ago or so. I volunteer worked at a radio station as a Music Director/Associate producer (dream job) at the time. She was a guest one day that my supervisor brought as she wanted me to meet her, I did not know who she was at the time.
Turns out that Tina Malia is a real empath! The second we met there was energy, we connected straight away without saying a word. I will never forget that day, a lot happened!
During the interview sprinkled with a couple acoustic songs, she kept looking over at me as if to try to send a message or something. She had recently written her song called “Isis” and at one point in the interview, live on air, she dedicated it to me before playing it! I went down like a ship anchor to the floor, I was just a pile of mess at that point! My boss was witness. Tina got a tiny bit emotional towards the end of the song and said “oh wow”. At that point my boss wrapped up the interview knowing I was now useless and Tina was not going to be able to go any further either. Major energy happened and my boss was sensitive to energy as well (although not an empath).
A CD of Murray Perahia’s Goldberg Variations got me through a year when I was flooded with trauma memories and had a newborn. Something about Bach “orders ” me on the inside.
These days I have a 1970s/80s playlist with music like John Denver, the Eagles “take it easy”, REM “find the river”, other songs with words that calm me down.
Enya music was playing non stop during my 12 hour labour with my now 30 year old son who is an empath himself. I found it so soothing, & then played it for him as he fell asleep for many years during his childhood.
Absolutely loved ‘The Pearl’ by Harold Budd & Brian Eno for many years, and in more recent years ‘The River’ exquisite piano and cello music by David Darling & Keith Bjornstad
LANA DEL REY IS CALMING !!!
Just wanted to add Gary Stroutsos, Rakesh Chaurasia, R. Carlos Nakai, and Acoustic Jazz band ‘Oregon.’
Thank you so very much. I am familiar with some of these wonderful musicians and also
love Andrea Bocelli. Always grateful to you for sharing your wisdom.
Ahh so much great work and many wonderful musicians. See some favorites yet many I am not familiar with so look forward to listening to many of these new artists as well. Thank you Judith for sharing this list! Music is powerful and can help heal, soothe and express our emotions, thoughts snd feelings. I grew up listening to music 24/7 for background music as my mother would always have relaxing music on which was really amazing to do when I look back. She too knew how music plays a role in our lives and well being. The right music can enhance or add to our well being and quality of life. ❤️ Melissa
Try this one:
“Peace Piece” by jazz pianist Bill Evans from his 1959 album ‘Everybody Digs Bill Evans’
I love “The Pearl” and think Harold Budd is a great artist – good choice. Brian Eno also has a few of his own releases that I like.
Stunning collection of music, thank you Judith.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful music list🙏Also I would like to recommend Ash ❤️ (live for Beirut, 58 min.)
Thank you for this list.!
I just love listening to Boney James play the sax.
Many of these artists are already on my list. Some of Patti Griffins music is on there as well. Her song “Heavenly Day” is wonderful as is much of her music
Thanks for the recommendations, I lnow and love most of those too. Also one of my best is Lucinda Drayton, also known as singer in Bliss. A magical voice, here’s a taster
I also love the soothing voice of Phil Collins. It has always lifted my spirits 🙏💗
Thank you so much, Judith. I found your list at the time that I was pondering which new, relaxing music to find. I only really know Enya’s music, and love it. I have heard of some of the others. I am very much looking forward to exploring others you have suggested, especially the chanting. Much love, Christina 🙏💗
I would also add Lisa Thiel!
I really love her Quan Yin album.
Thank you again Dr. Orloff!
Dead Can Dance and Lisa Gerrard would also fit nicely in this list. Exceptional range, depth and sonic resonance.
Thank you. Bach is my favorite and will check out the others.
I am grateful for your kindness in sharing the best music for Empaths and Highly Sensitive people. Now I have a wonderful variety of music to enjoy. I would have never discovered all that you have shared. THANK YOU
I’m an enormous fan of Michael Hammer’s music. It has an amazingly powerful effect in the aura and brings me in contact with a whole other dimension of myself.
Thank you. I listen to hours of music every day via headset–including six of those on your list– and almost always while I’m doing tasks that require little concentration.
I’m convinced I would be far less centered and content if I had to radically reduce my daily absorption of exquisite sounds.
Glad to see that some others have discovered the remarkable Ludovico Einaudi
So very thoughtful and generous. Thank you with deep appreciation.
Love many of these! I also recommend Deuter (his Sound of Invisible Waters his the most healing piece ever), David Wahler, Peter Kater, & Adam Bauer. Thanks for some new ideas!
I have always loved Kitaro, but he went on the back burner for many years…thanks for reminding me.
I would add Manose Singh, an incredible flutist from Bhutan who travels sometimes with Deva Premal. Truly healing.
Benjy Wertheimer and his wife Heather are the best! https://shantalamusic.com/
I love Wah! also.
You may also love Carrie Grossman. She puts song to mantras and is absolutely beautiful!
Thank you for this list! I will look into them all. I’m not sure of the criteria but I also love voice of Eva Cassidy.
I go straight to healing frequencies on Youtube. And currently, I find Pink Floyd oddly soothing
If you are more inclined towards the genre of rock/blues try JJ Cale. His first album “Naturally” is a great place to start. The first track “Call Me The Breeze” is guarenteed to lift your spirits and anyone else’s in the room. Pretty sure he was also an empath.
The front man for Pearl Jam – Eddie Vedder is another empath (I think). His song “Drifting Away” from the “Lost Dogs” album is a real gem.
David Sylvain from the now defunct group Japan is another, he made a superb album called “Secrets of the Beehive” though it is not necessarily rock/blues.
And finally for the ultimate in pure ambience style music, where there is just a candle in the room for light try “The Pearl” a Harold Budd/Brian Eno collaboration with Daniel Lanois.
Steely Dan for me!
I own CDs by some of these. Especially love Deva Premal. I went to one of her concerts a few years ago here in Austin. I couldn’t live without music. Yoyo Ma on the cello is transcendent.
Thank you for sharing! This is a wonderful and healing list of music to listen to.
I agree with numbers 1,3 and 6. I look forward to checking out the others. Thank you thank you!
Great list. BEAUTIFUL CHORUS is another lovely addition.
Thank you for sharing your favourite music.🙏
With any contest the sanskrit chants are the most powerful on me maybe because I passed 20 years of my life chanting and meditating in between my 20th and my 40th years… Although I am not doing it any more with my actual Master they are so powerful on me especially the Gayatri montra and the Om namah suivant of Krishna Das, it makes me fly, go into the space…as if I was getting out of my body.
TheMusiqaa sacred chants were less powerful on me.
Then the most stronger were the pianos pieces, of Johann Sébastien Bach and of Ludovico Enaudi… a bit surprising as I did not expected to be so receptive to classical music. I felt as if I was diving into water, into a deep ocean of relaxation and peace…
I also loved loved the song of Norah Jones, it as a very warming, conforting and coocooning effect on me.
In fact I listened to all the pieces while driving back home after a long day and even if I didn’t listened to the full pieces and coud not be fully attentive to the musics as I was driving…when I arrived at home I felt so much physically relaxed, washed from tensions, mental switched off and the energetic body much more vibriting..!
Powerful indeed!!! I didn’t expect such result! It’s a waouh effect indeed!!!
Thank you for the experience ! 🧡
Enya my fav use for my hospice patients.
I love and am familiar with all but a couple on this list! Now I have some great new music to discover. Thank you Judith! 💕
Thank you so much for sharing this list! Ilisten to several of these and You’re so right. All my life I’ve said that music is like breathing to me, cannot live without it.. need it in my life daily. My kids and I are all HSP empathy as well as vocalists and musicians. They’ve said the same thing about music.
Thank you for the work you do, the books you’ve written that were the portal to me understanding myself so much better and seeing that I wasn’t crazy or “too sensitive”– really life changing and the enlightened information you share! 🙏🌞🥰
This is so wonderful, thank you. I do have a deep connection with music. I actually host a radio show on my local public radio station. So grateful, thanks for sharing with us, the beautiful universal language of music.