I once struck up a friendship (why is it that the gay nurses are so easy to talk to???) with a nurse, who told me that certain music was believed to have an effect on brain waves, i.e. if the bpm (beats per minute) was of a similar frequency to natural brain waves they would affect a sympathetic response....want me to have a look around to illustrate what I mean?
Some 14 years when I first accepted that something was wrong and sought help (albeit with my arm up my back from my wife!) I had 4 - 1 hour visits from a CPN who listened and gave me some relaxation tapes, they did in fact work and brought a sense of calm or realism back to me. Since then I have done quite a few courses whereby the course started with a 5 minute relaxation technique which very similiar to the tapes, these were great as it awakened the (my) mind to be more receptive to the course. I have a number of tapes and CD's which I drop in and out of, shamefully really as they do do me a lot of good - more than I give them credit for.
They never stopped my depression cycles, but they did help to ease me from some of the worse moments.
In a nutshell - I think meditation/relaxation WORKS!
It may be just a case of trying to go too far down the line too early.
I have been a music lover all my life, there are certain strands and sections of music that I can listen too over and over again, there are others that excite me and others that soothe me. No matter what gendre of music you like there will always be types that will do the same for you. Maybe starting by listening to those first will put you on the right track.
I have listened to some meditation which involves the use of 'mantras' I agree that some people just break out laughing - even on some of the courses I attended there were people who ended up having to go out until they stopped! Maybe it is that they have not understood what a mantra actually is/does - have you ever come across someone who is - well - obnoxious and muttered under your breath B*****d - B*****d etc, and did it not have a little thereputic effect on you? - it is exactly the same with a mantra, you just have to find the 'word' that you can relate to at that particular time.
I have known people who have calmed down by walking in the park and forcing themselves to listen and identify the sounds around them - it worked for them similiar to a relaxation CD
Maybe some or none of this will work for you, but at least it is fun trying
This is not relaxation music as such, but it is something I always recommend. It it the most uplifting piece of music I have ever heard. Even in my deepest pits it has the ability to pull me back up. On the other hand it also has the ability to make you cry, but as a release, not in a bad way.
The artist is Constance Demby, the album Novus Magnificat or thru the stargate. Her work is available from iTunes or her web site.