7 Ways Music Benefits Your Health

7 Ways Music Benefits Your Health

When we feel happy, we turn music on. It makes us feel even happier. When we feel sad, we turn music on. It relaxes us and connects us with our emotions. Music touches people’s souls and has been around forever.  Knowing all this makes you wonder – what is it about music that affects us so much?

Music affects us in so many ways. Studies show that music can fend off depression, improve blood flow, lower stress hormones, and even improve recovery after surgery!

If you are interested in learning what music can do for your health and how it does it, here are some of the health benefits it offers:

1. Music Improves Your Communication Skills

Peter Brown, a teaching expert at Scholar Advisor says: ‘’It’s no wonder why music is so widespread in the education of children today. Its benefits are so numerous, it would be a disaster if a child didn’t get any music education in their early development.’’

Studies have shown that music stimulates the brain and helps improve both visual and verbal skills.

A month of musical training performed on children aged four to six resulted in an improved ability to understand and explain the meaning of new words. This study combined training in pitch and rhythm, voice and melody, as well as some basic musical concepts.

Another study showed that children aged eight to eleven who are involved in music classes develop a higher IQ verbally, as well as a greater visual ability.

2. Music Affects Your Emotions

Music has great power. It can change our feelings instantly and reflect them all at the same time. This is why we listen to happy music when we want to be positive, and find comfort in sad melodies when we feel blue.

Listening to music can hit you in many ways. It can make you feel pumped up, excited and happy. The right music causes the brain to release a hormone called dopamine, which is also referred to as the “feel good” chemical.

Have you ever noticed how young children get excited when they hear their favorite songs or start dancing to a happy melody? Notes and melodies have great powers, even for those who don’t understand it yet or have no music education.

This phenomenon has been researched time and time again. In fact, a study showed that a fast-paced melody made people feel happier, and slow-paced music in a minor key led them to feel sad.

3. Music Keeps the Brain Healthy

Listening to music has other benefits for our brains in addition to boosting our verbal and visual skills. Musical listening, playing and even training have been shown to keep the brain healthier, especially in old age. Since this is considered an exercise for the brain, people who listen to music often are prone to having better mental sharpness and memory as they age.

Depending on the severity of brain damage, music can even help people regain their memory. It is used as a rehabilitation tool after brain surgery, since listening to songs and melodies can draw on  past memories. The sounds and rhythm in music remain in our brains for a long time, even if the rest of the memory is somehow lost.

4. Music Strengthens Your Heart

Music is known to strengthen the heart by releasing endorphins in our brain. Endorphins improve the vascular health, which is why some doctors use music as a part of the recovery process in patients who have suffered from a heart disease.

The results are amazing. Women and men who were exposed to music soon after a type of cardiac surgery experienced less pain and felt less anxious than those who rested without listening to any music whatsoever.

‘’Music isn’t just great for the ear and the mood, it is also great for the heart. Hospitals from all around the world use it to treat their heart patients. It is a kind of a weapon against heart troubles, and one that helps you recover from them once they happen.’’ – says Jeremiah Eagle, an aussiewritings.com expert.

How does music affect our heart, you might ask? It is known to reduce the blood pressure, slower the high heart rates and reduce the stress in patients.

5. Music Helps You Sleep Better

With so many people who turn to music for some help with their sleep, it is not surprising that music boosts our sleep quality, too. Since it reduces the heart rates and the stress, which are some of the biggest culprits for insomnia, it can be used as a tool for sleep improvement.

Because of the many health benefits it offers, music can be used to promote and build a better sleep pattern, as well as maintain a restful sleep. In some cases, it is even used to treat the insomnia.

6. Music Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Since it does wonders for our heart and reduces stress, music also eliminates depression. It is often used during therapy for depression and anxiety because of these characteristics. Music is known to boost the mood, psyche and general quality of life.

7. Music Reduces Pain and Boosts the Immune System

Did you know that music can be used to reduce pain? Music helps people reduce the amount of cortisol in their body, a hormone responsible for many diseases and weakening of the immune system in general. Too big of an amount of cortisol in your body puts you at risk for heart disease, blood pressure, can interfere with your memory and lower your bone density. Interestingly, music can change all this.

According to research, listening to uplifting music provides the body with antibodies that boost the immune system and even reduces pain.  

Did you know of the health benefits music offers? It is more than just a hobby or something you listen to while driving in your car – music has tremendous benefits for your health that you can’t overlook.

Change Your State of Mind Through the Music You Listen to

Change Your State of Mind Through the Music You Listen to

Have you ever listened to a song and your mood was lifted? Or heard a ballad that made you tear up? Music has a way of integrating within our soul, allowing us to feel emotions, be it happy or sad. With the help of music, you can easily change your state of mind. Listening to particular genres or types of music can help you control your mood, creating a positive outlook on life each and every day.

Music can be used in a variety of ways as a mood lifter. You can incorporate music into your daily schedule as a well-being strategy or you can learn more about the connection between music and mental health.

How Does Music Improve Your Mental Health?

It is the general consensus that listening and creating music can have a positive effect on the mood and mental health of an individual. By incorporating music into your everyday life, you can see an increase in motivation and an elevation of mood. Music can help aid in relaxation which can alleviate stress and feelings of anxiety. Music can also be used to increase the efficiency of brain processing.

Music is not just a form of entertainment. There is a proven link between music and mental health. So, how can you use it in your daily schedule?

Increasing Your Focus

By listening to classical music, you can increase your focus at work if needed. If you suffer from anxiety or stress, classical music can be used to increase the processing function of your brain. At 60 beats per minute, playing the music softly in the background while at work can help you to focus much better on the task at hand.

Expressing Yourself

Do you find yourself frustrated when trying to explain yourself to others? If you are having difficulty explaining how you feel or expressing your emotions, use music. Create your own music with lyrics or strum a tune on the guitar. Express yourself with sound. You can choose to share what you create with others or keep it to yourself as a way of healing.

Connecting with Others

Sometimes a mental health issue can cause social anxiety or other social issues. You may have trouble connecting with others on a social level. You can use music as a connector. Go to shows where the music you enjoy will be featured. Find friends who enjoy the same type of music to help you feel less socially awkward and make new friends.

On a Deeper Level

Music can be used by anyone as a form of personal therapy. Some people feel better by simply belting out a tune while in the car with the windows rolled down. If you suffer from a more debilitating mental condition and need deeper treatment, music can still be of use.

There are aspects of therapy that use music as a tool to help one express themselves as well as work on any issues they have. Examples of music therapy can be found below.

Analysis of Lyrics

Mental health professionals often suggest talk therapy as a way for a patient to express themselves and get out what is bothering them. But sometimes, sensitive topics can be difficult to discuss.

With lyric analysis, the individual has a less threatening approach to talk therapy. A therapist may ask a patient to think of a song that reminds them of their situation. By analyzing the lyrics, more information is presented that helps the professional understand the patient and what they are dealing with.

Finding a song that correlates with the experience can also help the patient work through their mental condition.

Playing Music

While not everyone is a musician, it can be beneficial to play an instrument and focus on musical creativity. Oftentimes, group therapy will include musical instruments. Drums, rain sticks, and other instruments can be provided so a storm sound can be created. The group can escalate the situation as they see fit, letting out emotions as the sound of the storm takes over the room.

The highs and lows created with the music can be discussed and dissected, helping everyone to see how they are feeling with the presentation of music.

Songwriting

Another option for therapy is songwriting. With this outlet, the patient has the ability to express themselves however they like. Creating lyrics can be very therapeutic and reflect the thoughts and experiences of the individual. Instruments and sounds can be used to reflect the emotion of the song with the entire process providing a sense of validation to the patient. Self-worth can be built upon as the patient is able to express themselves in a way that is revealing and raw, letting go of any anger, sadness or other feelings that are contributing to the mental condition.

Once ready, the song can be shared with others, providing a sense of validation in what the patient is feeling and seeing how it affects others. The process of creating a song can be very healing and a great way to let go of major feelings that are being held on to, stopping the healing process from going further.

Recognizing the Power of Listening

It is important for therapy patients to recognize the power of listening to music. Listening to music can help to regulate your mood due to the rhythmic and repetitive aspects of the melody. The brain is calmed, and impulses are reduced. A patient can easily become calm or escape a depressive state by listening to music that affects the brain in a positive way. A music therapist will suggest playing music to match the current mood of the patient and then shift the music to create a calm or positive state of mind.

All form of music can have a therapeutic effect, but it is important to note that every individual will be affected differently by every song. Some people may be calmed by classical music while another might be reminded of a traumatic experience. Upbeat music might put some patients in a cheery and positive mood, while others might feel anxious and stressed. It’s all about finding a balance. A music therapist knows how to work with each patient to find the best form of music treatment that will work based on the individual.

Conclusion

It may take a great deal of time and effort to find the right form of treatment, but once the right path is found, music can be used to heal the mind and body. A patient will begin to feel calm and at ease, learning how to use music to feel at ease, when anxiety or stress becomes overwhelming. No matter the mental health condition, music can be used as a form of treatment to see lasting results.

We can all relate to music in some form or fashion. When you suffer from a mental condition, finding a treatment facility or professional who focuses on music as a form of therapy will help you to feel better and see a noticeable difference in your mental condition.

Learn more about how such therapy can be of assistance by contacting a therapist who specializes in this practice.

How Music Can Help You Recover From Drug Addiction

Do you believe in the healing power of music? I know I do. In this post, Jonathan Richardson shares how music can help you recover from drug addiction.Now, here’s Jonathan!

It has been described as “the first and only recovery orchestra in the world.” Comprising about 14 members, the New Note Orchestra in the English seaside town of Brighton helps recovering addicts stay clean through music.

The orchestra composes their own music and holds public concerts throughout the year. Singing in the orchestra brought Jo Barnett – a recovering alcoholic – back to life; as she described collaborating with the orchestra, “Doing this is like becoming awake.”

And Dan Blomfield – also a recovering alcoholic – credits the orchestra with saving his life. Told by doctors that he might never make it to the age of 40 if he continued “drinking to excess,” Blomfield is now healthy and clean, and he celebrated his 40th birthday this past May.

Music is a powerful force. But, how can music help you recover from drug addiction?

First, let us better understand what music therapy is and what it looks like in the context of drug rehab. Then, we will consider what scientific research has to say about how music therapy can help those recovering from drug addiction.

Music Therapy: What It is and What it Looks Like

When a trained musical therapist engages with individuals to listen to, create, discuss, or perform music “within a therapeutic relationship,” this is considered music therapy.

Music therapists are trained not only in music but also in medicine and psychology so that they can create therapy plans for patients having dementia, movement disorders, asthma, and substance abuse disorders.

Because music therapy is tailored to each individual, there is no standard program for individuals recovering from addiction. Music therapy sessions meet an individual’s current needs and then adapt over time in response to the individual’s “needs and readiness.” Music therapy sessions may be conducted one-on-one, in groups, or in entire communities.

A music therapy program provided at an “inpatient treatment facility” in Ohio serves as an example of what music therapy within the setting of drug rehab might look like.

At the facility, 16 women received “nine, twice-weekly 60- to 90-minute music therapy sessions.” For each session, the women gathered in a large room to form a circle around musical instruments, including triangles, drums, and a xylophone.

Pre-recorded music was also played at sessions. Participants could sing, perform on the musical instruments, and play musical games. As musical therapist Amy Dunlap describes these sessions, “A typical group consisted of an assessment check-in, a small ‘warm up’ intervention, two substantial, interactive interventions, music-assisted relaxation, a brief closing statement or check-out, before ending with group singing.” The general aims of these sessions were to help individuals express themselves, lessen anxiety, and improve “coping skills and communication.”

Research on Music Therapy for Drug Addiction

Music therapy has been used as part of addiction treatment since around the 1970s. However, there is relatively little research on how it helps those recovering from addiction.

More studies on music therapy and drug addiction are needed. Here is what we know so far and what we are learning from current research on the benefits of music therapy for those in recovery:

What We Know so Far:

  • Neuroimaging studies from the 1980s showed that listening to music produces endorphins or the chemicals manufactured by the body that induce “pain relief and a sense of well-being.”
  • A study by Winkelman in 2003 showed that drumming can induce positive feelings and even provide “emotional healing” for those in recovery.
  • In 2005, Cevasco and others demonstrated that music therapy for women in drug rehab lessened their feelings of “depression, stress, anxiety, and anger.”
  • And a neuroimaging study published the same year found that listening to music “modulates activity” in the areas of the brain that get hijacked by drugs of abuse, leading to addiction.
  • Individuals in rehab in a study by Baker and others in 2007 reported that music therapy allowed them to explore their emotions “without the need for substance use.”
  • A 2009 study discovered that music therapy helped those recovering feel more willing to engage in rehab.
  • And Amy Dunlap’s study in 2017 that was discussed above met with positive results; the women with whom Dunlap worked reported that “music therapy improved their overall treatment experience [. . .] and personal recovery process.”

Future Avenues of Research:

  • Kim and others in 2018 studied the effects of Korean music on rats that had been trained to inject themselves with morphine. Music therapy appeared to reduce “morphine-seeking behavior” as well as anxiety in the rats that were studied.

Conclusion

Scientific research is uncertain about how well music works when used as an adjunct to drug rehabilitation. However, as is evident from the stories shared above, many individuals have been able to get clean and stay clean with the help of music.

If you are or someone you know is battling addiction, help is just a phone call away.