Call up someone and ask them how they are doing and the response will often be: "I'm stressed out." This seems to be an especially common condition in workplaces where employees are working long hours under pressure. But not just there. Stress has become a universal part of living.

Still, there are things we can do to calm ourselves — from attention practices such as meditation and yoga to other kinds of nurturance. In the pamphlet accompanying this 74-minute compilation of classical compositions, Dr. Andrew Weil notes:

"The word stress comes from the Latin word that gives us the word strict, which originally meant 'narrow' or 'tight.' You can think of stress as the discomfort caused by forces that limit your freedom and movement."

Weil has teamed up with producer and sound researcher Joshua Leeds to bring us this soothing CD. The classical music was selected for its ability to reduce physical tension, chase away anxiety, and lead to inner calm. The seven pieces, performed by the Apollo Chamber Ensemble, include music by Bach, Debussy, Brahms, Mozart, Chopin, Schubert and Dvorak. Joshua Leeds states:

"The gentle music on Relax & De-Stress is psychoacoustically designed to sooth the body's primary pulses — heart rate, brainwaves, and breath. Over the course of sixty minutes, a sonic progression takes place: tempos slow, orchestration is reduced, and melodic complexity is simplified . . . The music on Relax & De-Stress purposefully becomes very slow and easy — sonic manna for a fatigued nervous system."

Go easy, play the music, and let it seep into your body as a healing balm.