This Is Why Music Is Good For Your Mental Health According To Scientists
Does listening to and playing classical music benefit the brain? Though much is still unknown, James Goodwin says there is plenty of evidence to suggest a strong connection between music and mental health
Music is a key part of the balance of the mind and may be one of the greatest healing factors for our stressed-out brains and minds. But before we look at mental wellbeing, and moreover the health of our brain and the part that music may play, we must look at the evolutionary evidence which places music centrally in the development of our human brain.
What Has Science Showed Us About Musics Potential For Brain Health
First, we must define it. Over 1.5 million years, evolution has contrived three vital brain functions to work together seamlessly: executive function, or our ability to think and reason social cognition, which enables us to interact successfully with others and emotion regulation, through which we generate our sense of well-being.
As a member of the expert music group convened in 2020 by the Global Council for Brain Health, among the many issues discussed I was struck particularly by two of them. The first was that music is unique in simultaneously engaging more areas of the brain than any other activity of daily life. The regions include those parts of the brain involved in hearing and listening, movement, attention, language, emotion, memory and thinking skills and, uniquely, all four lobes of the cerebral hemispheres and the brain stem. Music not only engages multiple parts of the brain but helps them work together. Playing and listening, the members concluded, is indisputably a powerful way to stimulate your brain and gives the brain a total workout.
Secondly, the neuroscientists in the meeting repeatedly said that they werent able to answer with certainty the many claims that are made about music and the brain because of the absence of a critical mass of scientific research. But there are many things we can say with certainty.
Why Music Is Good For You
The importance of listening to music for students a subject of debate for decades, with divergent views being raised. There is a position that listening to music can be distracting when studying, and ought to be avoided. However, studies have started to show that music can actually facilitate studying, improving brain function and task performance. In this article, look at why college students should consider listening to music as they study or work on assignments.
Read Also: What Channel Is Iheart Awards On
A Different Sort Of Tree House
Starting from scratch might mean just taking a walk in the woods. A tree stump might just be laying around begging for a second life as a mouse dollhouse. This house by Maddie Brindley can be found complete with instructions at Mads Mouse House on WordPress with more information about the craftsman.
It Helps People With Dementia
If a loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimers, it is well worth noting the studies showing how music can help them to regain memories and enormously improve their quality of life. Watch the video here of a man who was brought back to life by listening to music he loved in the past. If your loved one was particularly fond of any music, classical or non, they can be enormously helped by listening to the same music. The explanation is that because music affects many parts of the brain, it can reawaken those parts of the brain not affected by dementia. This is especially true when the music is linked to a particular event or memory. It is fascinating to read the book by the late neurologist Oliver Sacks called Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain which explains the phenomenon and recounts many moving stories.
People with Alzheimers disease and other dementias can respond to music when nothing else reaches them. Alzheimers can totally destroy the ability to remember family members or events from ones own lifebut musical memory somehow survives the ravages of disease, and even in people with advanced dementia, music can often reawaken personal memories and associations that are otherwise lost.- Oliver Sacks
Also Check: How Does The Family Plan For Apple Music Work
Why Is Dancing Good For Your Brain Health
Dancing also provides an indirect way in which music leads to better brain health. In scientific studies, dancers themselves report multiple cognitive benefits of their activity. Moreover, an astonishing study in 2003 at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine showed that of many different types of physical activities, only dancing was associated with a reduced risk of dementia. Another study, this time in Germany, gave us a clue as to how: dancing was associated with increased hippocampal volume and with the production of a brain protein, BDNF, which stimulates the growth of new brain cells.
Makes Us More Productive
Whether you work in an office environment, a factory or outside, music can make you much more productive at work, allowing you to get more done in less time.
Music improves concentration and focus, enabling you to stick with the job at hand until completion. Similar to the way music makes us exercise harder, longer and with greater motivation, that same musicwith a fast or upbeat melody or soundtrackcan really get us moving in a positive direction while on the job.
And because music is also an enemy of stress and anxiety, people are generally happier at work when music is being playedand happy employees are typically more productive than their stressed-out counterparts.
Read Also: How To Stream Music On Apple Watch
Proven To Ease Student Stress
In the middle of a busy semester, students stress runs high. This is the perfect reason to review your class notes with music playing, it is proven to help reduce stress! The University of Maryland Medical Center reveals that students should listen to music. Music is an effective stress reducer in both healthy individuals and people with health problems. Research finds that listening to soothing music can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels in heart patients . This statement reveals the powerful effect songs alone can have on the human body. So, power on the radio to help combat stress before heading to a study session.
Music is a way to process emotions and strengthen their resolve with being overwhelmed. People often turn to the music they can relate to as it helps them deal with stress in this way. So, if university life has got you feeling a bit down, dazed or distracted then it might be a good idea to put some music on. Not only will it help you concentrate on your studies, it will also help keep stress at bay and put you in the learning mood.
Reasons Why Lofi Study Beats Are Good For You
What is lofi study beats? And why should you care? Heres five good reasons you should care and get your daily dose of lofi study beats and chillhop. We recommend listening to our beautiful playlist while reading this: LoFi Goosebumps by Beatoscope
Reason 1: It helps you calm down and relax
Smooth beats with elegant piano loops or soothing atmospheric textures help you relax after a long day at work. Even at work it can help you stay focused and relaxed. Thousands of students worldwide listen to lofi study beats everyday. So instead of listening to boring ambient music, you get to listen to sweet hip hop beats with that relaxing extra on top.
Reason 2: Its good for the heart, mind and soul
Lofi study beats mostly have a slow tempo, usually they are between 60 and 90 BPM. Similar to reggae music its capable of slowing down your pulse and therefore calm the heart, body and soul. Smooth, relaxing music is healthy. This is pretty much how music therapy works. Our cells vibrate similarly to the vibrations of acoustics. So if you enjoy good lofi study beats your mind, body abd soul will react positively
Reason 3: It challenges your ears in a subtle way
Reason 4: You can listen to it anytime and anyplace
Those chillaxing hip hop beats can be found everywhere in the online world, from youtube to spotify, radio stations to DJ mix sets. All you need is an internet connection and youre ready to go and enjoy some lofi study goodness.
Also Check: Does Fitbit Play Music
Proven To Improve Brain Functions
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to listen to music during a study session is because music is proven to help improve cognitive performance. Basically, music helps your brain function! Background music may enhance performance on cognitive tasks. One older study found that listening to music allowed test takers to complete more questions in the time allotted and get more answers right. More recent research suggests that whether or not music improves cognitive function depends on whether the music first improves a persons emotional state . If you want to improve brain performance while studying, evidence now shows that you must first improve your emotional state by listening to music that you enjoy!
Musical activity serves as a cognitive exercise for the brain which trains it for more challenges in the future. Therefore, people who have musical training early on, specifically before age seven, have healthier brains and are less likely to suffer from debilitating diseases like Alzheimers or Dementia. But you dont have to wait for a certain age before benefitting from music. Regardless of whether youre a freshman or senior, you can start exercising your brain now, simply by having your favorite device and earphones handy for any study session.
When To Get Help
If you feel like you need to rework some of your habits around music but are having a hard time doing so, working with a therapist can be a big help.
A therapist can help you better understand what drives your behaviors around music and come up with healthier ways to address them.
Say you use music to relieve persistent anxiety, but your reliance on music is causing problems in your relationship. A therapist can help you address the causes of your anxiety and find other ways to cope with symptoms in the moment.
Read Also: Invite Apple Music Family
Music Helps Alzheimers Patients Remember
The past, which is not recoverable in any other way, is embedded, as if in amber, in the music, and people can regain a sense of identity. Oliver Sacks, M.D.
A non-profit organization called Music & Memory helps people with Alzheimers Disease and other age-related dementias remember who they are by having them listen to their dearest songs. The awakening is often dramatic. For example, after Henry listens to music from his era, this wheelchair-bound dementia sufferer who can barely speak sings Cab Calloway songs and happily reminisces about his life .
Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of Geriatrics at the University of California at the Irvine School of Medicine, explains that because music affects so many areas of the brain, it stimulates pathways that may still be healthy.
One in three seniors die with Alzheimers Disease or another dementia, so odds are you know someone who has it. To connect with loved ones who suffer from age-related dementia, try playing some of their best-loved music.
You Rely On Music To Manage Your Emotions
Music is often deeply emotional. It can convey an almost endless range of feeling.
Its often used as a coping strategy for anxiety or stress. Many people report improvements in mood and motivation after listening to energizing music. It may even help you express emotions and find deeper insight.
Still, it wont get to the heart of whats causing your distress.
Keep in mind that listening to music that matches your mood can also intensify that mood for better or worse. Sometimes this can help.
Sad breakup songs, for example, might help you work through your feelings after romantic disappointment. On the other hand, they might also have the opposite effect and prolong your feelings of sadness and grief.
Don’t Miss: How To Add Music To Fitbit Versa
Singing Is A Natural Anti
Singing is known to release endorphins, the feel-good brain chemical that makes you feel uplifted and happy. In addition, scientists have identified a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus, which responds to the frequencies created by singing. The response creates an immediate sense of pleasure, regardless of what the singing sounds like. Not only that, but singing can simply take your mind off the days troubles to boost your mood.
Music Strengthens Learning And Memory
Music is the language of memory. Jodi Picoult
Researchers discovered that music can help you learn and recall information better, but it depends on how much you like the music and whether or not youre a musician. Subjects memorized Japanese characters while listening to music that either seemed positive or neutral to them. The results showed that participants who were musicians learned better with neutral music but tested better when pleasurable music was playing. Non-musicians, on the other hand, learned better with positive music but tested better with neutral music.
Memorize these results. You now have a strategy to study more effectively for your next test.
Also Check: How To Play Music On Xbox One From Phone
Music Plays A Part In Substance Use
Substance use enhances the experience of listening to music for some people. Maybe a couple drinks helps you loosen up and dance at a live show. Or ecstasy makes you feel like youre mentally synced up with the DJ.
Occasionally using substances while enjoying a deeper connection to music isnt necessarily a problem, but its something to be mindful of.
Again, this doesnt necessarily mean music is bad. In fact, most study participants also said music played an important part in their recovery.
But these findings do suggest music could potentially play a part in problematic substance use.
If you find yourself drawn to a specific type of music that also triggers a desire to use substances, consider taking a closer look at this connection.
Unless listening to music is having a negative impact on your life, theres no reason to cut back.
If youre looking to make some changes, though, consider these strategies.
Singing Broadens Communication Skills
According to an article in The Guardian, singing to babies helps prepare their brains for language. Music is just as important as teaching reading and writing at a young age to prevent language problems later in life. If you enjoy writing your own lyrics, honing this talent can improve your ability to communicate in different ways!
Read Also: Gift A Playlist On Itunes
Why Christmas Music Is Good For You
- Post comments:
Christmas music is in the air and it started playing long before December. Some complain about Christmas music starting in October and November. But there are plenty of others who enjoy it.
Why? Because contrary to what some people say, Christmas music is a good thing.
There are articles that have the audacity to say that listening to Christmas music is bad for a persons mental health. I think thats ridiculous so I had to read these articles to find out why they were saying that.
Why do they say Christmas music bad for someones mental health? Because people are stressed around the holidays.
Really? They are blaming Christmas music for peoples stress?
People are stressed for many reasons around the Chrismas holiday. People are stressed when its not the Christmas holiday. Their reason why Christmas music is bad is flawed.
Christmas music is not only a good thing, but its also good for you and Ill share some with you to prove my point.
Music Is One Of The Most Powerful Forms Of Expression
With the power of music, you can stand up for what you believe in, you can express yourself in ways that words just don’t allow you to, and you can illicit hundreds of different emotions from people with the music you play . Music is not only powerful, but is one of the safest, healthiest outlets for intense emotion and can often be used as an aid for those suffering from mental illnesses. Don’t worry if you can’t say it, just play it! Sometimes music is more efficient at expressing what you’re thinking than you are.
Recommended Reading: Add Music To Fitbit Versa
Singing Improves Mental Alertness
Improved blood circulation and an oxygenated blood stream allow more oxygen to reach the brain. This improves mental alertness, concentration, and memory. The Alzheimers Society has even established a Singing for the Brain service to help people with dementia and Alzheimers maintain their memories.
Music Can Help Manage Pain
Research has shown that music can be very helpful in the management of pain. One study of fibromyalgia patients found that those who listened to music for just one hour a day experienced a significant reduction in pain compared to those in a control group.
At the end of the four-week study period, participants who had listened to music each day experienced significant reductions in feelings of pain and depression. Such results suggest that music therapy could be an important tool in the treatment of chronic pain.
A 2015 review of research on the effects of music on pain management found that patients who listened to music before, during, or even after surgery experienced less pain and anxiety than those who did not listen to music.
While listening to music at any point in time was effective, the researchers noted that listening to music pre-surgery resulted in better outcomes. The review looked at data from more than 7,000 patients and found that music listeners also required less medication to manage their pain. There was also a slightly greater, though not statistically significant, improvement in pain management results when patients were allowed to select their own music.
Read Also: Fitbit Versa Music Transfer