Feeling sad? Listen to some music. In love? There’s music for that too.
Music is a very powerful tool that can help boost your mood or even mend a broken heart. For centuries it has played an integral role in helping us cope with the highs and lows of life. But only in recent years, it has been discovered that music can help with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Music has the ability to influence our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. That’s why we like listening to pump-up music for an extra burst of energy at the gym. But there’s more to the picture than we can see.
Music has various psychological benefits as well. Here, we list some benefits of listening to music.
Improves Cognitive Performance
According to research, listening to music while focusing on other primary activities can improve your cognitive performance. Listening to upbeat music improves processing speed, while listening to both upbeat and downbeat music has beneficial effects on the memory. So next time when you’re working on a task that seems difficult to remember, try playing some music in the background to boost your mental performance. It’s best to choose instrumental music without any complex lyrics to prevent distraction.
It has been suggested that music can help manage or reduce stress for a long time. For example, when we want to relax or meditate, we listen to calm music that helps soothe our minds.
Participants in a study in 2013 were exposed to a stressor in three different conditions. Some listened to relaxing music, some listened to rippling water, and others received no auditory stimulation. The results suggested that the group listening to music experienced a positive impact on their stress response.
Helps Eat Less
Another surprising psychological benefit of music is that it can be used as a helpful weight-loss tool. For those aiming to lose weight, dim lights and mellow music can help them lose some weight. This is backed by a study where those who ate in a restaurant in low lights consumed 18% less food than those in other settings. That’s because lighting and music help create a relaxed setting that allows participants to eat food slowly and mindfully. This gives them the cue to stop eating as soon as they start feeling full.
Many students enjoy playing music in the background while studying, but we might often find them being scolded for how it’s a bad idea. However, some people feel that playing their favorite music while doing a task allows them to remember things better.
Upon researching, it was discovered that, music can help improve your memory. However, there are many other factors to consider, such as the type of music and how much the listener enjoys listening to it.
In another study, musically naïve students responded better to learning when listening to uplifting music. This happens due to the positive emotions songs evoke that helped with memory formation.
Research suggests that music can be quite helpful in managing pain. A study on fibromyalgia patients discovered that participants who listened to music for an hour every day experienced reduced pain compared to the other control group. At the end of the four-week study, participants that listened to music felt less pain and depressed than when they had started. This is why music can be an essential tool in helping people with chronic pain.
Ensures Better Sleep
Insomnia is a condition that affects nearly 70 million people in the US. While there are many different treatment options for this problem, listening to relaxing and classical music can be one of the safest, most effective, and affordable remedy of them all.
A study where participants had listened to music before bedtime said they experienced better sleep quality than those who listened to an audiobook or no music.
Ever wonder why you feel so good when listening to music while working out? That’s because research shows that listening to fast-paced music helps increase our motivation.
An experiment was designed with 12 healthy males who cycled on a stationary bike at a self-paced speed. Participants cycled for 25 minutes on three different trials while listening to a playlist with six other popular songs. Speeding up the music helped improve the participants’ performance by increasing their speed and the power exerted to paddle the stationary bikes. This means that listening to fast-paced songs during tasks can boost your motivation significantly.
Music can help you feel happier when you’re feeling low or depressed, and science agrees. A study to determine why people listen to music discovered that it played an integral role in participants’ mood and arousal. Another study found that if you intentionally listen to music to boost your mood, it can positively impact your health within two weeks.
Learn Different Types of Music at TYMMI
Music has proven beneficial for us in many ways. When used right, it can be quite a helpful tool. If you have a knack for music and want to explore what you’re good at, get in touch with The Young Musician Music Institute (TYMMI). This music institute in Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of music-related services. From Trinity music diploma to music instrument lessons, vocal lessons, and music courses for beginners, TYMMI has a lot to offer.
Visit their website now to learn more.
About the Author
Andy M. is a research specialist whose aim is to discover healthcare alternatives to medicines. Thanks to her passion for music, she is leading a team to discover how music can affect our health. Andy has attained her Master’s in Healthcare from the University of California San Francisco, after which she worked for some outstanding research facilities until leading her team.