You know that feeling you get when *your jam* comes on? You can’t help but smile and start to bop around. Hey, it’s natural and happens to all of us, but is there a way to harness those feelings and use them when you need it most? Yes, there is!
Music can be super beneficial, mentally and physically. Just knowing this gives you the power to start creating your own health-based soundtracks. Customize different playlists to suit your needs at the time, and you’re on your way to a healthier life.
1. Boosts Mood
While many studies have proven that music does affect your mood, you don’t need a study to know this is true. Play a song from your childhood, and you feel your mood shift. Pick a sad song that reminds you of a bad relationship, and you feel another shift. Carefully selected music can do a lot to elevate your mood.
2. Improves Cognitive Function
There’s something called the Mozart Effect, which is based on the idea that musicians have enhanced spatial-temporal reasoning.
To test this theory, students from the University of California at Irvine studied IQs before and after participants listened to Mozart. They found there was a boost in IQ for a short time after listening to the composer’s pieces.
3. Reduce Epilepsy
Another interesting bit of data came from the study on the Mozart Effect. It was found that epilepsy patients who listened to the Mozart piano sonata K448 showed a significant decrease in epilepsy activity in their brains.
4. Reduces Stress
Music doesn’t just reduce the stress you feel in your day-to-day life, it can also be a powerful tool when you’re undergoing surgery.
As detailed in an article in Harvard Health Publishing, patients in a study undergoing cataract surgery experienced lower blood pressures after surgery when they listened to music.
5. Hastens Recovery
Not only does listening to music during surgery have the potential to make the experience less stressful, but it can also help you heal faster. One study played preferred music and random music while surgeons practiced closing wounds. The preferred music showed improved time and quality of wound closures.
Additionally, several studies have been done on using music to speed recovery. One study published in The Lancet discovered that therapeutically using music after surgery can aid in pain relief and improve recovery.
6. Enhances Exercise
Make your workout mean more by giving your ears a workout too. Listening to music doesn’t just refresh the activity and make it seem less boring, it can also boost your stamina to help you exercise longer.
An article in The National Center for Health Research explains how music can enhance your performance. While there is some science involved in picking a fast tempo, you might reap the rewards by simply selecting music you enjoy to accompany your next workout.
7. Improves Memory
Do you ever feel like you can sing the lyrics to every song you listened to in high school but can’t remember the name of the person you met 10 minutes ago? If so, you have experienced the remarkable way singing can create memory pathways in your brain that are hard to lose.
But you don’t have to sing to get a memory boost from music. Music induces a state of relaxation in the brain that helps you let go of intruding thoughts and helps you focus on the task at hand.
While the Mozart Effect gets a lot of lip service, there’s a Vivaldi Effect that can play a significant role in memory.
8. Helps Alzheimer’s Patients
The Mayo Clinic advises using music to help Alzheimer’s patients. Research suggests that music can have emotional and behavioral benefits for patients and also for their caregivers.
9. Provides Sense of Belonging
In a world where actual, physical contact can be limited and, at times, totally absent, the human need to have social bonds can be missing. Music is a good way to recapture that sense of belonging.
An article in Greater Good Magazine lists four ways music strengthens these bonds: by increasing contact, an oxytocin boost, increased empathy, and more cultural cohesion.
Get More Benefits from Music
If you’re inspired by the potential health benefits you can get from just listening to music, imagine how much more you can gain by learning how to play music.
Music is everywhere and doesn’t need to slip into the background of your life. By making it an important part of your day, you can turn it into a tool to aid in your journey of health-lightenment. Following LiveWell on Facebook @livewelllabsnutrition and Instagram @livewelllabs can also help in that journey.
Have you switched on your playlist yet? If not, what are you waiting for? The fact that music can play such an important role in living a healthier and happier life is remarkable.
When you look back across history, you can see the significance that’s always been placed on music, from tribal storytelling traditions to majestic halls filled with the greatest musicians in the world. Music clearly inspires, and now science is showing how it heals as well.
Start making those playlists for relaxation, exercise, study and more, and try to harness your own lyrical miracle.
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