What songs are the best songs for performing CPR? High-quality CPR requires performing around 100-120 CPR compressions per minute to keep the blood flow undisrupted. If you’re combining the “hands-only” CPR with the “mouth-to-mouth” technique, it goes 30 compressions and 2 breaths before continuing.
However, regardless of whether you include rescue breaths or stick to “hands-only” CPR, fast response and 100-120 compressions per minute are absolutely necessary. It’s vital to keep up the rhythm as the pace of the compressions is very fast. Some AEDs have a built-in metronome that could help you maintain the compression rate. In the case where access to an AED is limited, there are songs whose beat matches that of the heartbeat.
Here is our list of common songs to perform CPR to that can help you stay on beat.
What’s The Ideal CPR Tempo?
From the recommendations today, the universally agreed upon compression rate is 100-120 per minute. This wasn’t always the case, as back in the 1960s, the recommended rate was only 60.
The ideal number of compressions while resuscitating a cardiac arrest or a suffocating victim was reached when comparing study results of EMS and medical personnel performing CPR in a pre-hospital environment, where the procedure is monitored, and the medical team counts each movement.
In the study, CPR was performed in silence and when listening to Disco Science (a 105 bpm song) and An Achy Breaky Heart (a 120 bpm song).
The study has proved that, on average, a regular human being needs more than 100 compressions per minute to have a chance to re-activate the heart’s regular tempo, which is ideally beating 60-100 times per minute.
This is also the same recommendation listed in the guidelines on CPR made by the American Heart Association. This means that when performing CPR, you should try to keep up with the rapid tempo because only that ensures an effective response and life-saving performance.
10 Songs That Can Save a Life
Maintaining a persistent beat is hard enough even for musicians, which is why they use a metronome – a device that helps them maintain the music tempo. AED devices usually come with built-in metronomes and audio cues to help CPR givers keep up with the compression rates. Similarly, some music hits with a tempo above 100 bPM (like the disco era hits) can help maintain the rhythm when performing chest compressions during CPR.
To keep up with the tempo, the New York Presbyterian Hospital has created a very helpful Spotify playlist of the best songs to play when performing CPR on a victim. The created playlist currently counts 57 music songs, but it has evolved constantly since its first day of creation.
Here is one of the most used and oldest songs when performing CPR.
- “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce and Jay-Z
The popular 2003 megahit by Beyonce and her spouse (then-boyfriend) Jay Z topped music lists across the globe. With a 99 bpm, this song is only slightly slower than the recommended beats when performing CPR, but it can still help you keep up the tempo.
- “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira
This danceable song has a tempo of 100BPM, which is ideal for performing CPR. Music can positively influence a muscle or movement reaction in comatose patients, so suggesting a certain body movement can be sub-mentally understood as a command, elevating the possibility of the person’s retrieval to a normal state of consciousness.
- “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen
This 1980 disco-fun beat may not sound as energetic as the previous songs, but it has a faster tempo of 110 BPM – hitting the middle recommended sound tempo for performing effective CPR.
Ironically, though the meaning and interpretation of this song’s title represent the death of someone, usually a soldier, the song has an uplifting rhythm and is popular on the CPR playlist.
- “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
This song can be used as a sub-mental mantra because repeating the words “I Will Survive” can positively affect the patient, aside from the uplifting and fast 117 BPM tempo.
Studies suggest that clinical hypnosis and self-healing methods can significantly heal serious diseases when we alter our consciousness and enter our sub-conscious levels, where thoughts, manifestations, and sometimes, psycho-somatic pain and diseases are rooted.
When someone suffers a cardiac arrest or suffocation, they are in a similar comatose state of consciousness. This is why the song can have a positive influence on both the person performing CPR as well as the victim.
- “Baby Shark” by Pinkfong
Implementing the concept of sub-conscious influence on the human mind with babies can be rather difficult since they can’t fully understand words and sentences. Thus the Baby Shark song with a fast 115 BPM is highly appropriate when performing CPR on babies or infants or any other 100+ BPM song that the child is familiar with.
- “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cindy Lauper
The popular 80s song is one of the fastest songs on this list, with a BPM of 120. It has an Allegro tempo, which literally means fast.
And fast, aside from being precautious and punctual (positioning the hands exactly on the center of the person’s chest), is necessary for performing CPR with a high possibility of survival.
- “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees
Once again, the name of this song is as appropriate for CPR, as much as its dynamic tempo of 104 BPM.
It’s vital that the victim is alive and stable at least until a response team comes to the site or he safely reaches a hospital environment, which can take up to 17 minutes or more, considering the time of transport, the location of the victim, and the traffic.
- “Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash
There are many interpretations of the correct BPM at which this original single by Johnny Cash should be played. There are the possibilities of 99, 106, and 116, which all fit inside the gap of the recommended range of movement tempo when performing proper CPR compressions.
- “Work It” by Missy Elliott
With a tempo of 102 BPM, Missy Elliot’s popular hit also found its place on the Spotify playlist for performing CPR. The lyrics boost the CPR performer to “keep working it,” while the song’s duration also finds an appropriate place when answering the need for fast but also continuous movements during the CPR performance.
- “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
The song we all know by heart has a BPM of 101, but its positive influence of the background choirs and double vocals plays a significant role in elevating the thoughts and moods of the unconscious victim and the CPR performer.
Wrapping Up: Best Songs For Performing CPR
In the past, a metronome was used to measure the beats per minute while performing CPR. Nowadays, we have modern-day devices, digital clocks and stopwatches, and medical equipment which is technologically advanced and pre-set to account for these things. Getting a hold of an AED can help you keep up the tempo, as they have auditory signals to help you out.
If you do not have access to an AED, using a song to keep your tempo is your second-best option. The Spotify list is a medically correct and has plenty of songs whose bpm fit the suggested range of chest compression rates.