Health benefits of music

We all know that listening to music can lift our mood, relax or invigorate us. Recent studies have now found that music can do more for you than just lift your spirits. It also has a variety of measurable health benefits.

Music and Health

Music works on the part of the nervous system responsible for controlling our blood pressure, heartbeat and brain function and the part of the brain that controls feelings and emotions. When slow rhythms are played, our blood pressure and heartbeat slow down, helps us breathe more slowly thus reducing muscle tension and experts say that apart from physical tension; music also reduces psychological tension in our mind.

Below are just some of the health benefits of listening to music that recent studies have identified.

Reducing blood pressure

According to research reported at the American Society of Hypertension in 2012, listening to just 30 minutes of classical, music every day may significantly reduce high blood pressure.

Headaches & migraine remedy

Music can help migraine and chronic headache sufferers reduce the intensity, frequency, and duration of the headaches.

Pain relief

Overall, music does have positive effects on pain management. Music can help reduce both the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and post-operative pain. No matter how anxious you may feel, getting absorbed in music can help with pain. There are several theories about how music positively affects perceived pain. It is thought that music causes the body to release endorphins to counteract pain and that slow music relaxes us by slowing our breathing and heart rate down.

Music boosts immunity

Scientists also go on to explain that a particular type of music can create a positive and emotional experience that leads to a secretion of immune-boosting hormones, which helps contribute to a reduction in the factors responsible for illness. Listening to music or singing can also decrease levels of the stress-related hormone Cortisol.

Music improves concentration and attention

Easy listening music or relaxing classics improves the duration and intensity of concentration in all age groups and ability levels. Many studies have shown significant effects.

Music helps us exercise

Experts say listening to music during exercise can give us a better workout. A study by America’s Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked at the effects of 12 men riding a bicycle for ten minutes while listening to music on one day and compared it to the same men riding bicycles without music for ten minutes, the following day.

On the days that the men exercised listening to music, they travelled 11 per cent further, compared to the days they didn’t listen to music. Researchers also found that the men’s levels of exertion were at their lowest when listening to music.

Other studies show that listening to music releases endorphins, our natural ‘feel good’ hormones that lift our mood and give us motivation to carry on longer with exercise.

5 Feb, 2014

8 thoughts on “Health benefits of music

  1. Yes, music is great for a ton of stuff.

    When I listen to my playlist while I’m doing housework, I get a lot of energy and keep it for the rest of the day.

    1. That’s great Lisa. It’s nice to know that something we like to listen to is also good for us.

      Music always gives me that feel good factor.

  2. I didn’t really know what kind of music was my favorite until a new alternative station went on the air and I was hooked! I jokingly say sometimes that the music matches the noise in my head, but there are days when that isn’t so far from the truth.

    I’m guessing it would probably help if I listened more during the day when I am stressed out. The only time I usually listen is when I’m driving and I’m not going too far when I do.

    I have a great stereo sitting on my bureau and it’s not even plugged in, so I don’t have an excuse as to why I can’t!

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes I’m sure you would find it helpful if your stereo was plugged in! Joking apart though, I know when I listen to music how much better I feel about things I’m dealing with.

      I also think it depends on the music. Matching the music to our moods helps. Listening to rock wouldn’t be the same as listening to soft ballad music.

  3. It’s interesting that it is now possible to demonstrate why and how listening to music is good for us. I have a wide range in music taste and play different genres according to my mood, so the music complements my mood.

    I know friends who play loud rock in their cars when driving but I’m the opposite and play classical music to relax me.

    1. I’ve always believed that music is good for the soul. Like you I would rather play classical music.

      I’m not sure it’s a good idea for anyone to be playing loud rock in their cars. We’re supposed to be relaxed when we’re driving!

    1. We cannot be responsible for the record companies, but we are responsible for ourselves. It’s up to us to make sensible choices, when it comes to listening to music in the car and on the move.

      If what you say is the case, then perhaps record companies should be a little more responsible too for what they put out there. All companies have a responsibility to the user.

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