We all know that our favorite music makes us feel good, but many assume that the connection is just in their imaginations. The truth is, studies show that music actually can improve your health both mentally and physically in a number of ways. What follows are five scientifically-backed medical benefits of music.
This health benefit is one that you may already have discovered for yourself—music actually does help reduce stress. Music is soothing, and relaxing music can trigger your brain to release calming chemicals and reduce the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. This holds true whether the stress is acute (such as stress before going to the dentist) or long-term. Reducing stress also improves your physical health.
Surprisingly, the stress-relieving benefits of music also help reduce sensations of pain. When you feel calmer, you subsequently feel less pain. Music therapy can be especially helpful for individuals who suffer chronic pain or those in need of end-of-life care. Joining in with the music-making process is both life-affirming and a welcome relief.
Another aspect that contributes to the medical benefits of music are the vibrations caused by sound. Music is all about rhythm, and studies show that exposure to certain rhythms and musical vibrations can help different regions of the brain communicate better with each other, which can alleviate the symptoms of certain chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and fibromyalgia.
It’s no secret that music can make your workouts less boring, but studies show that listening to music can actually improve your workouts. Fast music makes you run or cycle faster and harder, while your favorite tunes provide a needed distraction so you can exercise for longer periods of time. As an added bonus, new research suggests that listening to music during recovery can even help you recover faster.
Mental Health Boost
Music’s benefits to mental health go beyond stress reduction. Relaxing music such as classical and slow music can help you put yourself into a meditative state, which has been shown to ease anxiety and depression. Music is also a good mood-booster in general, with individuals reporting that it helps them feel more self-aware and in a better mood. While taking valuable rn to bsn classes, students can use music to relieve stress and lift their spirits.
Music is a scientifically-backed resource to improve your health. Its medical benefits include stress relief and reduction of pain, alleviating the symptoms of chronic conditions, improved fitness, and better mental health. Take the time every day to listen to music and your health will thank you.