Music can provide an escape from boredom from the uncertainty of the moment. It can tap into your past memories, and it can fuel your ideas. Regardless of your taste in music, it conveys emotions and connects you with where you came from, where you've been and where you are now. But did you know about the healing power of music?
5 Ways Music Can Benefit Your Health
- Music can boost the immune system. Researchers from Sussex University and Max Planck Institute found that playing uplifting dance music for at least 50 minutes a day decreases levels of stress hormones which can weaken your immune system. These findings demonstrate how music can be used to help patients in recovery. In patients with debilitating mental diseases like Alzheimer's or dementia, music can have similar effects. A great example of this can be seen in the film 'Alive Inside'. It shows the astounding way music can affect perception and mood. It's deeply moving and you should absolutely watch it.
- Music keeps your brain healthy. In a recent study released in the Canadian Psychological Journal, researchers provide evidence showing the benefits of music development of speech in at-risk children. Musical training is thought to improve functions of the nervous system by focusing attention on sound or sense of hearing. The added improvements in processing sounds can help to improve language and understanding during the critical stages of child development.
- Music makes you happy. When Pharrell William’s song ‘Happy’ was released this past summer, I thought was a little silly. But then I thought about how certain music makes me feel happy or pumped up and listened to the song with an open mind. The realization is that the song ‘Happy' is a celebration of happiness and finding such feeling every day, wherever you may be. There is evidence from studies that shows that music taps into our brains and causes it to release dopamine, the feel good chemical. Dopamine is a hormone that ignites emotions like joy, excitement etc. It’s a high that is similar to the way we feel after sex or from enjoying some really good chocolate. On the other hand, music that has a slow tempo [like the titanic theme song] is more likely to lead to feelings of sadness. Now you have a good reason to break out your dancing shoes!
- Music can reduce anxiety and depression. Drexel University researchers noted that cancer patients who either listened to music or worked with a music therapist showed reduction in anxiety, better blood pressure and improved mood. The dopamine released can also ease pain, uplift mood and essentially improve your quality of life (unrelated to living standards, which is predominantly influenced by income).
- Good music improves sleep quality. Stress and anxiety are so prevalent in all of our lives, but for some it can be especially overwhelming. Considering that uplifting music has the ability to positively affect us, research shows that listening to music at various times promotes better sleep quality and in some cases, might effectively help those with trouble sleeping.
So break out your music player and rock out with some uplifting music. It just may be what you need right about now.