Scientist compiles the best playlist for tripping on 'magic' mushrooms

  • 05/12/2017

A scientist at John Hopkins University has turned his intellect to compiling the best playlist to guide patients through a strong psychedelic trip.

Inverse reports Dr Bill Richards has been working on using psilocybin, the active chemical in "magic" mushrooms, to help patients in a variety of ways, from feeling less depressed during cancer treatment to quitting smoking.

The results themselves are promising and now Dr Richards is focussing on ensuring the participants in his research are relaxed and feel safe during the experiment.

A big part of this is the playlist, designed specifically to guide research volunteers through a powerful trip, it rises to a crescendo and then gently brings the participant back to reality.

Listeners won't find many popular psychedelic songs in the playlist though, Dr Richards has designed it to focus more on the orchestral to avoid distraction from the experience.

Vivaldi, Brahms and Bach feature right up until the end of the playlist when lyrics are gently introduced at the point listeners would be coming down from their trip.

"Except in the final phase, I tend to avoid music with words in the language of the volunteer, so as to discourage the rational mind from following the content of the words," Dr Richards told Inverse.

The human voice, as a solo or choir, can be very supportive, even maternal, but it is received as "another instrument of the orchestra".

Dr Richards chose a classic for the final song though, bringing listeners out of their trip with 'What a Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong.