Wellness MusicMelissa Dugan
Music can have a profound impact on the way you think and feel. Most of us have a favorite song – some of us have many. Music triggers profound emotions, stimulates brain activity, and even enhances our productivity.
Surprisingly, our connection to music is intimately linked to the brain, which then sends signals to the rest of our body. There are several ways that music can influence our overall wellness and benefit us in ways we never thought possible.
Tune in for Your Health
There is a reason why certain songs make you feel like dancing, while others can help allow you to drift into a relaxing sleep. Some melodies trigger feelings of love and romance, while others seem to commiserate with you when you are feeling low. This deep connection is no accident.
Particular sounds, melodies, and cadences interact uniquely with the brain and can impact many aspects of life. Here are just a few ways that music can impact your general wellness.
Music Can Make You More Productive.
Listening to music can actually increase your overall productivity in just about anything you do.
When you exercise…
If you need the motivation to exercise, listening to energy-inducing music can motivate you to work out and increase your exercise performance by up to 15%. There is a stark difference between individuals who go for a run with and without music. Those who run with music tend to report feeling more motivated and are more likely to enjoy an overall better workout.
While working, listening to the right type of music can make you more productive with your tasks. Classical music, for example, is known to stimulate the brain. It is believed that the sounds put one in a heightened emotional state, making them more receptive to information while drowning out distractions, providing the ability to focus on the work at hand without interruption. The simple instrumental cadences act to improve concentration and lower general stress and make you more productive at work.
Music can help you retain information better by engaging the brain and improving one’s memory and cognitive agility. Having music (especially instrumental music), playing quietly in the background while you read or study can help you make long-lasting connections as you learn, helping you remember the information more thoroughly and accurately. Similarly, music is capable of triggering mental associations, helping one remember a specific place, time, person, or event in just a few familiar sounds.
Music Can Make You Feel Emotionally Supported
In many of life’s big moments, there is a song that is often associated with it. Whether intentionally or not, music has a way of interacting with our emotions, providing a deep sense of connection and nostalgia.
For life’s happy moments…
Your wedding song, the first concert you attended with a loved one, the song that was playing when you got good news – these melodies all hold a dear place in your heart. The moment you hear the first few notes, in a remarkable fashion, you engage in emotional time-travel. Music helps you feel connected to specific moments in time, and simply hearing a song associated with a positive memory can spark genuine happiness and be good for your soul.
When you experience challenges…
Sometimes, in difficult situations, there’s nothing like finding the support you need in music. It engages several brain receptors that can help the brain feel comforted while releasing chemicals that act to soothe you when you feel low. Of course, like with happy moments, we often remember the songs associated with our negative memories, too. But as a whole, music acts to soothe us and helps us heal.
Why Do We Respond This Way to Music?
The receptors in our brains are naturally prone to responding to auditory stimuli. The brain is triggered to release certain chemicals, depending on the way we perceive varying tones, pitches, rhythms, and cadences. Most often, music stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that essentially makes you feel happy.
Because the simple act of listening to music can have such long-reaching wellness benefits, consider intentionally adding more music into your daily routine to see the way it influences how you feel. If you are like most people, you are likely to feel generally happier, more motivated, and for some, you may feel more mentally agile.
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