Stressed cows produce less milk. The solution? R.E.M.’s hit “Everybody Hurts,” at least according to a study by the University of Leicester. It’s not just the perfect song for an angsty ’90s montage; it helps cows relax and release more oxytocin, which is central to milk production. Slow jams boosted milk output by 3 percent, researchers found, which might not sound like a lot — but every little bit helps, right?
In light of the news that “consistent and calming” tunes help cows most, Modern Farmer compiled a suggested playlist to loosen up your livestock:
What a Difference A Day Makes, Aretha Franklin
Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel
Moon River, Danny Williams
Perfect Day, Lou Reed
Oronoco Flow, Celtic Woman
When creating your own moo-worthy mixtape, keep in mind that genre is less important than beat, according to Leanne Alworth of the University of Georgia. (She suggests easy listening or new age.) Cows are NOT fond of throbbing dance hits — or Willie Nelson, for some reason. So turn off the Skrillex and put on some Enya!
Milking to Music, Modern Farmer.