If you are looking for an easy way to transform your mood, cue music.
Music is magical, it is true, but it is not all smoke and mirrors. Behind the mystical healing powers of music are scientific reasons for why it holds such an influence over our minds. Music is really a combination of many different elements, such as pitch, tempo, and dynamics. How fast, slow, or loud music is, differently impacts our brains. When these elements work in combination, we see dramatic changes in both physiology and behaviour.
The effects of music have been documented by scientists and researchers for years, and despite its mysteries, one thing is certain; listening to music activates our brain, creating the potential for us to use music to improve the way we think, behave, and feel.
Let us take a look at the health benefits of how music can improve both our physical and mental wellbeing.
1) Improves mood
When you listen to music, you release a chemical in your brain called dopamine, a ‘feel good neurotransmitter. Studies have shown that listening to music can benefit overall well-being, help regulate emotions, and create happiness and relaxation in everyday life.
2) Reduces stress
Listening to relaxing music has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, especially for people undergoing medical procedures. Listening to music can help you decrease the stress level hormone called cortisol, which counteracts the effects of chronic stress. This is a crucial finding because stress causes 60% of all our diseases and illnesses. A study found that if people participated in making music by conducting multiple percussion instruments and singing, their immune system was actually bumped up even more than if they passively listened.
3) Lessens anxiety
4) Improves exercise
Music has also been shown to enhance the aerobic exercise, boost mental and physical stimulation, and increase overall performance.
Studies show that listening to those top workout tracks can enhance physical performance and increase workout endurance during a tough session. When we are focusing on our favourite album, we did not notice that we have just run an extra mile or increased our reps.
5) Improves memory
The repetitive elements of rhythm and melody help our brains form patterns that enhance memory. In a study of stroke survivors, listening to music helped them experience more verbal memory, less confusion, and better-focused attention. the areas of the brain associated with processing music and memory are heavily connected.
By listening to music, you open up pandora’s box of memories. As music activates the auditory cortex, it simultaneously stimulates the hippocampus (the birthplace and home of memories). Studies exploring the impact of familiar songs on brain activity show that several brain regions activate, including those associated with memory, language, and emotion.
As you hear a memorable song, your brain instantly brings that memory to mind, in part because emotions help form long-term memories. Meanwhile, the activation of the hippocampus strengthens, resulting in better memory.