Welcome to the Chill Factor, home of the most relaxing songs on the radio. Every week on radio stations around the world, Colin Hanslip takes you on a musical journey through some of the most chilled out tunes ever recorded, from laid back pop songs, touching on Jazz, the more mellow side of dance music right the way through to New Age music. Click on the pictures to the right to see some Chillout videos, or press play below to listen to some of the programme.
The most relaxing songs on the radio
The Chill Factor is all about the songs that will help you get totally relaxed, from acoustic versions of songs you know through to some seriously chilled out instrumentals. Whether it's Van Halen, Kylie Minogue or David Gray, if there is a chilled out version of their songs, we will play it. Of course we also feature a number of tracks from artists best known for mellow material as well, such as Enya, Dido and Eva Cassidy.
On the air
The Chill Factor can be heard on many stations around the world, both online and on FM, including these stations:
Gateway FM, broadcasting to Basildon and East Thurrock in Essex, on 97.8FM and at www.gateway978.com.
Cando FM, broadcasting to Barrow In Furness in Cumbria, on 106.3FM and at www.candofm.co.uk.
Erewash Sound, broadcasting to the borough of Erewash in Derbyshire, on 96.8FM and at www.erewashsound.com.
Forest FM, broadcasting to Verwood and East Dorset, on 92.3FM and at www.forestfm.co.uk.
Hospital Radio Basingstoke, broadcasting to the patients of the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital on 945AM and at www.hrbasingstoke.co.uk.
Radio Plus, broadcasting to Coventry on 101.5FM and at www.radioplus.org.uk.
Rag FM, broadcasting to Raglan in New Zealand on 107.7FM and at www.ragfm.com.
Vibes Essex UK, based in Essex and broadcasting to the world at www.vibesessex.com.
Hope FM broadcast the Chill Factor from 6-8pm on Sundays, across Bournemouth on 90.1FM and at www.hopefm.com.
Hebden Radio play music you love from Yorkshire and broadcast the Chill Factor from 10-midnight on Sundays at www.hebdenradio.co.uk.
Radio Broadgreen serves the patients of the Broadgreen Health Park in Liverpool, and online at www.radiobroadgreen.com between 8 and 10pm Saturdays and Sundays.
Listen to the show
The programme happened entirely by accident. My "day job" at the time involved working in the control centre of a train operating company, and shifts that had me working any time of any day. Therefore, it was impossible for me to do any live radio programmes on a regular basis, as my hours varied from week to week. In January 2006, Skyline Community Radio was taking to the air for the first time in Hampshire, and they did not have enough presenters to fill the schedule. As I had provided their IT systems and website, and knew the station manager from a previous station we had worked on, I agreed to provide him with a weekly pre-recorded programme of chillout music and that is how the Chill Factor was born. To be fair, the programme is very loosely based around another programme also called the Chill Factor that a friend of mine had done on a regional radio station based on the south coast of England, and he had suggested all along that I should continue the tradition he had started, so thanks for that Gary!
This picture was taken in my flat in Gosport, Hampshire, where I lived between 1999 and 2007, where the programme was first recorded (did I mention I record the Chill Factor at home?). The programme is put together using a wonderful piece of software called Myriad which allows me to give certain stations a customised part one of the programme where I mention their name, while providing a generic version for other stations where I don't. The software also means I can leave it running, recording a total of three and a half hours of audio every week, which often happens while I am asleep! If you would like to have the programme on your radio station, please use the contact form below, and I will let you have the download details.
This programme is all about Chilling Out, Chillaxing, Relaxing, Destressing, or however you prefer to describe getting your body into an unwound state. The music played in the Chill Factor should do a lot of the hard work for you, as it is designed to help you unwind, but these relaxation exercises will also help you to gain a far more relaxed state.
The first exercise takes about 15 minutes. If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, try it after you have gone to bed. With practise, you may find yourself falling asleep before you get to the end! Begin by lying down on your back. Say out loud or think “I tense my forehead muscles”. Tense them as hard as you can, pausing to focus on the tension, then say or think “I let go and relax”. Exhale and relax the muscles. Some people find it helps to visualise all the tension being released in the exhalation. Repeat this for the eyes, the jaw, the tongue, the neck, and shoulders; travelling down the body to your arms, fists, your chest, stomach, buttocks, thighs, calves and feet.
Finally tense your whole body, and release the tension. You will eventually, with practise, be able to achieve a state of deep relaxation. Lie there, breathing slowly and deeply from the abdomen – keep a check on areas that tension may sneak back to (these are often the hands, neck, eyes and shoulders). During this part of the exercise, you might like to visualise yourself in a favourite place – at the seaside, in the country, anywhere that you find peace and beauty.
Do this whenever you feel tense, or once a day. The state of deep relaxation is rarely felt by most people and it is well worth doing daily. With practise, you will slip into a very relaxed state as easily as your favourite garment.
The second relaxation technique is a breathing exercise. It will help you find out if you are breathing deeply, from the abdomen, or shallowly from the upper chest. It takes about a minute, reduces tension and should be done once a day. As this exercise involves holding your breath, if you have any medical conditions such as asthma or a heart condition, please seek the advice of your doctor before attempting it, and if you feel any ill effects during it, please stop immediately.
To do this exercise, stand erect or lie down, with your hands splayed open above your abdomen. Breathe in deeply – the spaces between your fingers should open even more. Take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, then exhale deeply and thoroughly. Try breathing in for a count of six; hold for a count of two; then exhale fully, using your abdominal muscles to really push the air out, strongly but steadily. Try to ensure that your exhalation is almost twice as long as your inhalation.
With practise you will find that your ordinary breathing during the day will be slower and more even. This is another good one to do in bed if you have trouble sleeping. You may like to visualise all the tension of the day leaving your body with each exhalation. It might help to visualise this as a dark colour that leaves your body. This should be replaced with a golden, rose colour which leaves you feeling relaxed and warm.