10 Benefits of Music
Huey Lewis and the News sang about the ‘Power of Love’, while Michael J Fox gave us an unforgettable movie scene. As a young boy, what they gave me was the power of music. At the time, I was unaware of exactly what was going on, however, the buzz was insatiable. In this blog we uncover some of the mysteries of what music does to our body’s, it’s powers and why it is so beneficial.
1.Music Makes You Happy
This benefit needs no introduction and we imagine will be very familiar amongst readers. Anyone else had ‘goosebump moments’ when listening to your favourite tune? There is a natural chemical reasoning behind the magic and that is your brain releases dopamine, during the listening experience, which is a neurotransmitter that leads to increased feelings of happiness, excitement & joy. Kick back and listen for 15 minutes of your favourite artist to get your natural high!
“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”
- Music Reduces Depressions
As we just discovered, music affects our hormones and produces dopamine, which acts as a natural antidepressant. What we didn’t mention is it also releases norepinephrine, which evokes feelings of euphoria.
More than 350 million people suffer from depression around the world, and 90% of them also experience insomnia. The above research also found that symptoms of depression only decreased in the group that listened to classical or relaxing music before going to bed.
Another study demonstrated that certain types of music can be beneficial to patients with depressive symptoms. Interestingly, while meditative sounds and classical music increased positive moods, techno and heavy metal brought people down even more.
- Music Lowers Stress & Improves Health
So, while you have your dopamine getting you high, your also have your favourite tunes busy at work decreasing the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, counteracting the effects of chronic stress. Stress is a killer, responsible for 60% of all our illnesses and disease.. Furthermore, if people actively participated in making music by playing an instrument or singing, studies have shown a boost in their immune systems compared with people who just listen.
So readers, sing in that shower, play air guitar on your tennis racket and crank up to your favourite song.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music”
– Billy Joel
- Music Improves Performance in Running
Run, Forrest, Run! Marcelo Bigliassi and his colleagues found that runners who listened to fast or slow motivational music completed the first 800 meters of their run faster than runners who listened to calm music or ran without music. Imagine if Forrest had a set of headphones in with his his favourite songs.
- Music Increases Verbal Intelligence
A study showed that 90% of children between the ages of 4 and 6 had significantly increase in verbal intelligence. after only a month of taking music lessons, where they learned about rhythm, pitch, melody, and voice. The results suggest that the music training had a “transfer effect” that increased the children’s ability to comprehend words, and even more, explain their meaning.
Another study showed similar results in musically trained adult women and children that outperformed a group with no music training on verbal memory tests..
- Music Reduces Pain
Research has found that music therapy and pre-recorded music reduced pain more than standard treatments in cancer patients. Further research discovered that music can decrease pain in intensive care patients and geriatric care patients, however, the music selection had to be either classical pieces, meditative music, or songs of the patient’s choosing.
- Music Helps You Eat Less
Finally, a musical diet 😉 Research has shown, when playing music and softening the lighting during meal time, fewer calories were being consumed along with a heightened enjoyment of meals. If your looking to lose a few kilos or impress a hot date and your cooking skills need every advantage you can get, dim the lights and play some music.
- Music Elevates Your Mood While Driving
Music is tackling road rage, one song at a time. Research that has come out of the Netherlands has found listening to music while driving can positively impact your mood. This in turn leads to safer more calm driving as opposed to those not listening to music. If your getting frustrated in peak hour traffic next time, turn up your favourite song and sing along for instant relief and a safer drive home.
- Music Helps You Sleep
Many times I have listened to music while going to bed and have been out like a light. A study has shown that people who listen to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes before going to bed slept significantly better than students who listened to an audiobook or did nothing from their usual bedtime routine. Well, roll over Beethoven and catch some much needed zzz’s.
“Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.”
– Ludwig van Beethoven
- Music Can Improve Learning And Memory
How many times have you had to sing something if you want to remember it?
Research has discovered music can in fact help you learn and recall information better, however, its success does depend on how much the listener likes the music and if they are a musician or not. Subjects memorized Japanese characters while listening to music that either seemed positive or neutral to them.
If you are a musician, neutral music will help you learn better, however, music you enjoy will get you there even faster. Non-musicians will learn better with positive music, however, neutral music tested even better. Either way, whether you play or not, music offers you an advantage.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Painted Sound blog on the benefits of music and got some great take-aways from it.
What was your favourite benefit?
Are you going to do anything different in regards to music?
What’s your favourite driving song?
Stay tuned for more.
For the love of music,