From reducing pain and anxiety to boosting happiness and motivation, music can positively affect our physical, mental, and emotional health in a myriad of ways. This is also the reason that music therapy has a firm, established place in today’s medical model.
In this blog, we will discuss a few reasons to incorporate (more) music into your life.
Key Benefits of Listening to Music
1) Greater Heart Health
According to research, listening to music can make our hearts healthier. The sound processing starts in the brainstem – the part of our brain also responsible for regulating our heart rate and respiration.
Due to this connection, listening to music can lower heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.
2) Improved Mood
Studies suggest that, when we listen to music, our brains produce the feel-good neurotransmitter called dopamine.
Valorie Salimpoor, a McGill University neuroscientist, injected eight music-enthusiasts with a radioactive substance that attaches to the neurotransmitter dopamine. These eight participants then listened to their favorite songs, and their PET scans revealed the production of large amounts of dopamine. This dopamine production caused the subjects to feel positive emotions like joy, happiness, and excitement.
So, the next time you need an emotional lift, get a natural high by playing your favorite tunes.
3) Lower Stress
Where listening to music increases dopamine production, it has the opposite effect on the stress-hormone called cortisol. This is a crucial finding, since stress is responsible for almost 60% of all disease and illness.
When dealing with a particularly stressful day, turning on the radio for a bit may do you a world of good. If possible, tap your feet and sing along to the music to maximize the calming effect of the music.
4) Improved Memory and Learning
Research shows that music can aid in learning and recalling information, but it depends on whether you are a musician or not and how much you like the music in question. In a study, participants memorized Japanese characters while listening to music that either sounded neutral or positive to them.
The results revealed that professional musicians learned better while listening to neutral music but tested better with positive music. Non-musicians, meanwhile, learned better while listening to positive music, but tested better with neutral music.
Make sure to incorporate music into your next test-preparation strategy.
5) Reduced Pain
Research conducted at the Drexel University revealed that pre-recorded music and music therapy relieved pain more effectively in cancer patients compared to conventional treatments. Studies have also shown that music can lower pain in geriatric care and intensive care patients – as long as the music is meditative, classical, or of the patient’s choosing.
In conclusion, music is often seen as a source of entertainment, but it is so much more than that. It has tremendous therapeutic qualities and can work wonders for our health, happiness, and wellbeing.
And the best part? You can reap all these amazing benefits by incorporating just a few minutes of music into your daily life.