Shakespeare once said, “if music be the food of love, play on.” It turns out that music fuels more than just love. It can do a lot of great things for our health as well.
Most of it has to do with how our brains react to music, but that doesn’t make it any less incredible. Music has already been shown to be effective at aiding with serious, sometimes even terminal illnesses.
More research is being done all the time,
We’ll go into more detail about all the ways music can boost your health in the paragraphs below.
1. It Can Make You Happier
We’ve all had those days where everything goes wrong and we listen to music to cheer ourselves up. It turns out that there’s a scientific reason for this.
Studies have shown that music directly affects the amygdala, which is part of the body system responsible for emotions. What role it plays in this system isn’t totally understood.
We do know that our brains respond to music by releasing dopamine, the chemical responsible for joy. Addiction works in much the same way, meaning that we can quite literally get high off music.
We don’t grow tolerant of music, though, so we can’t get addicted to it in the traditional sense.
2. It Increases Endurance
We often hear of people having a ‘workout mix’ that they listen to while exercising. They claim the music energizes them and makes them want to get up and move.
This works in a few different ways. Faster music can sync with our heartbeats, which delivers more oxygen to our bodies. In addition to that, music interacts with our brain and produces endorphins, hormones responsible for our ‘fight or flight’ response.
It’s the endorphins that help produce the hyper, pent-up feeling that makes us want to move. As if that weren’t enough, our limbic system, which our amygdala is part of, helps control fatigue and music can reduce it. This allows us to exercise for longer periods of time without getting tired.
In this way, music can quite literally boost your health.
3. It Helps Control Stress
Not only can music make us less tired, but it can also cause us to be less stressed out. This is because music lessens the amount of Cortisol that we have in our bodies.
Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for stress. Listening to music lowers it and making music may lower it even more.
Either way, less stress is definitely a good thing. It slows aging and greatly reduces our risk of illness.
4. Music Can Lessen Pain
It has been found that music can dull pain. This has a lot to do with its role in reducing stress.
Stress and pain are very closely linked to how our body creates them, so when one is lessened or disrupted the other soon follows. Much like with exercise, the type of music we listen to matters.
Music the patient likes seems to work well, but certain others work as well. It has also been found that calming or upbeat music, such as classical or music used in meditation, works well. Music that is about being happy works as well.
5. It’s a Sleep Aid
If you’ve been having trouble sleeping or are worried that you’ll be up half the night, music may help. Classical music, in particular, has proven very effective as a sleep aid.
If you want to listen to classical music, may we recommend using earbuds? It will allow you to hear your music at a higher volume without disturbing anyone. Click for more info on various sets of earbuds.
The rise of the internet and other devices has caused us to lose sleep. On average, we are getting less than 7 hours per night, which is down two hours from a century ago.
It seems like this benefit of music is needed now more than ever.
6. It Can Reduce Our Food Intake
A study has been done where dim lights and soft music were put on while people ate. As a result, people ate their food more slowly.
It’s a known fact that it can take up to twenty minutes for our brains to comprehend that we’re full. It is during these twenty minutes that most overeating takes place, so the slower we eat, the less we eat.
This may be a neat trick to try if you’re trying to lose weight.
7. It Can Affect Memory and Learning
The jury is still out on this one, at least in some respects. We know that listening to certain music can help people remember better and score higher on tests.
What we don’t know is how this works, especially given the results. Researchers asked a group of people, half of them musicians, to listen to a series of songs.
They were then asked to choose a few songs that sounded happier and a few that sounded neutral. They were then asked to study a group of Japanese characters and take a test on what they remembered.
While they performed these activities, happy or neutral music would be played. The musicians tended to do better at studying when neutral music was played but tested better with happier music.
Those who weren’t musicians were better at studying when happy music was played but tested better with neutral music.
8. Music Can Help Treat Depression
Here’s one that may not come as a surprise. Music can affect depression symptoms.
Yet again, classic and meditative music are the best options, since research has shown that they can reduce symptoms of depression. Other studies have concluded that heavy metal music can help with mental health as well.
Of course, there are more ways to improve your mental health than just listening to music. Here are some others.
9. Improves the Health of the Elderly
A big fear among those with older relatives is that they’ll start showing signs of Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another serious condition that can affect the elderly. The good news is that music can help prevent this.
Just as music can help younger people improve their cognition and memory, it can do the same for seniors. While it’s by no means a cure, those with Alzheimer’s and similar conditions have shown less severe symptoms when subjected to music therapy.
How Can Music Boost Your Health?
There seems to be no limit to the number of ways music can boost your health. You can strengthen and recover your memory and intelligence with music. It can lower or stress and improve our mood, sometimes even helping with symptoms of depression.
Music can ease pain and make us less tired, or more tired under certain circumstances. We may even eat less with the help of music.
If you want more health and lifestyle advice, please visit our site. We can tell you about more things that help improve your emotional and mental health.