How music can impact your mental health

Woman listening to music on couch.

Music plays a big role in everyone’s life, even if you don’t listen to it all the time or play any instruments yourself. According to studies, music has an impact on our emotional states, and it can even help improve your mental health by reducing anxiety and stress. In this article, we will explore some of the ways that music can affect your emotional well-being, and how you can incorporate music into your daily life in order to improve your mental health.

The therapeutic value of listening to music

Listening to music is one of our most powerful and universal methods of relieving stress. In fact, research has shown that playing or listening to music reduces anxiety and depression, improves sleep quality, enhances creativity and even sharpens verbal skills. Whether it’s hearing your favorite band live or rocking out at home with some headphones, everyone loves a good beat! Of course, you don’t have to be a connoisseur to get in on some of that healing power; studies suggest anyone who listens to music regularly finds greater enjoyment in life. It’s definitely worth experimenting with different genres if you haven’t already – if nothing else, you might just discover a new favorite song!

Music helps people feel less pain

When you hear a song that reminds you of a specific person or event, it brings back all sorts of emotions. Just hearing a lyric or melody that was once familiar to you is enough to bring about positive feelings and nostalgia. Music’s ability to tap into emotions (both negative and positive) is part of what makes it so powerful. In fact, listening to certain types of music has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function, not to mention its ability to help us fall asleep faster! When it comes down to it, we listen to music because it helps us feel less pain, whether physical or emotional. The memories we associate with certain songs might allow us to escape our present-day worries and rekindle good memories from our past.

Music has been proven beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Music therapy helps alleviate feelings of anxiety, restlessness and depression by stimulating brain activity. Music has a powerful effect on memory, emotions and sensory perception and it can help those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia retain cognitive skills longer. One study found that people with Alzheimer’s disease who participated in listening to music training for just 15 minutes a day retained more short-term memory than patients who did not receive training. Another study showed that listening to pleasant music resulted in better performance on some tasks related to cognition. Overall, these findings suggest that listening to pleasant music may enhance cognitive function of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

There are different types of songs for different moods

It’s a common belief that certain types of music make you feel a certain way. If you’re feeling happy, go ahead and crank up some upbeat House Music! However, if you’re feeling down in the dumps, try some softer tunes. Regardless of what style of music it is, it’s important to remember that listening to whatever makes you feel good will always be more helpful than listening to bad things. So don’t go overboard with country-western on a day when all you want to do is lay in bed! Have fun with these different genres and see what fits for each mood!

Research suggests that music therapy enhances cognitive function in stroke patients

Music therapy proved effective at reducing anxiety and pain, as well as boosting communication and mood among stroke patients. By improving mood, researchers found that music enhances physical recovery among stroke patients. It could be that just listening to happy songs causes us to feel good, making us walk better or even talk better. One theory suggests that specific types of music trigger activity in areas of our brain associated with movement.

Listening to music boosts the activity of neurotransmitters responsible for releasing endorphins which make us happy

Listening to music that has a beat with a tempo of 120 to 130 beats per minute (BPM) increases levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that make us feel happy. In fact, listening to just half an hour of upbeat music can raise our level of norepinephrine and dopamine. Listening to soothing sounds has a similar effect. For example, listening to 60 minutes of nature-based sounds—such as rain or waves—can raise levels of serotonin (one of our feel-good hormones).  And simply listening to instrumental or classical music releases melatonin, another hormone associated with relaxation.


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