When we think of ways to improve our mental health, music is often one of the first things that comes to mind. Countless studies have shown that listening to and playing music has a host of benefits for our brains and overall mental well-being. In this post, we’ll explore some of the ways that music can benefit our mental health, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving cognitive function.
So if you’re looking for an easy way to boost your mood and feel happier, listen to some music.
Music can reduce stress and anxiety
Listening to calm, relaxing music can help to lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In one study, patients who listened to 30 minutes of relaxation music before surgery had less anxiety and pain after their procedures than those who did not listen to music.
Music can improve sleep quality
If you have trouble sleeping, try listening to calm, mellow music before bedtime. Studies have shown that people who listen to 45 minutes of relaxing music before going to sleep fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly than those who do not listen to music. Additionally, music can help to reduce symptoms of insomnia by promoting relaxation.
Music can boost mood and happiness
Studies have shown that listening to music can increase levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Additionally, music can help to reduce symptoms of depression by promoting positive emotions and providing a distraction from negative thoughts. Listening to upbeat, happy music can also improve your overall mood and sense of well-being.
Music can improve cognitive function
Numerous studies have shown that listening to music can benefit cognitive function in a variety of ways. For example, music has been shown to improve memory, attention span, and reaction time. Additionally, research has also demonstrated that playing a musical instrument can enhance executive function (the ability to plan, organize, and complete tasks).
Music can increase physical endurance and performance
Listening to music can help to increase physical endurance by providing a distraction from fatigue and boredom. Additionally, music has been shown to improve athletic performance by enhancing motivation and focus. In one study, cyclists who listened to music while pedaling on a stationary bike rode faster and longer than those who did not listen to music.
Music can reduce the perception of pain
Studies have shown that listening to music can help to reduce pain perception by providing a distraction from the pain itself. Additionally, music has been shown to release endorphins (the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals) in the brain, which can help to further relieve pain.
Music can promote social bonding
Listening to music with others can help to promote social bonding and feelings of closeness. Additionally, playing music in a group setting can help to improve teamwork and communication. In one study, children who participated in a group drumming intervention showed increases in social skills and cooperation.
So there you have it: seven mental health benefits of music. Next time you’re feeling down or stressed, put on your favorite tunes and let the music work its magic!