Live Well

Effective Ways Music Benefits Body and Mind

You know that feeling you get while blasting your favorite summer song with the windows down in the car, the wind blowing through your hair? That’s the power of music has on your mood. To a lesser extend, dancing around to a lively tune at the end of a stressful work week or bawling your eyes out to a slow jam that you and your ex used to dance to is the same thing. There’s little doubt that music is a powerful influence over our mood.

Here are a few ways music promotes emotional health and well being:

1. Music reduces anxiety and depression
A body of research published by the World Journal of Psychiatry considers music a powerful means to treat dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, as well as reduce anxiety, depression. Researchers found that music therapy, particularly meditative and classical tunes, offered significant benefits on mood with little to no negative side effects. Whereas techno and heavy metal jams had the opposite anxiety-inducing effects.

2. Music helps manage chronic pain
A 2012 study published by the National Institutes of Health touted music as a effective pain management method. The study monitored the effects of music therapy on a group of 1,810 fibromyalgia patients. Findings showed that when patients listened to music for just an hour per day for a duration of 4 weeks, pain response and depressive thoughts greatly diminished.

3. Music boosts memory
Have you ever wondered why students listening to music while they study? You might think music blasting from ear buds is distraction, despite claims that it actually helps with memory retention. A study conducted by scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, in Munich, Germany noted that musically-trained students were prone to learn and perform higher on tests when they listened to non-distracting music. For instance, when attempting to learn and retain a new language, students who sang the words and phrases, retained more of the foreign language.

4. Music promotes quality sleep
Have you ever been tempted to turn off the television and listen to Bach’s Symphony in G Minor a few hours before bedtime? Maybe you should. According to findings from a study conducted by researchers at the Semmelweis University’s Institute of Behavioural Sciences, in Budapest, Hungary, college students who listened to classical music before bed for a duration of 3 weeks, sleep better, and suffered fewer sleep disruptions, and even claimed to completely overcome their previous insomnia.