Music is everywhere. We all use our car’s pre-set radio stations (or upgrade to satellite radio), music is piped into every store and restaurant, and most everyone owns some form of mp3 player.
We are surrounded by music and we can all explain our musical preferences and their justifications with very little difficulty. However, what most people do not realize is that music has a number of real health benefits including stress relief, sound processing protection, pain relief and memory improvement.
Relieve Stress with Music
After a bad day, many people reach for their favorite song or album. In times of extreme stress (like a looming work deadline), many people find that listening to music helps them take care of business. Certainly, their feelings of stress relief when listening to music are not unfounded.
In fact, a study published by the University of Gothenburg shows that listening to music daily lowers stress.
Furthermore, not only will listening to music help you react more calmly to a stressful situation, but daily listeners reported less overall stress and increased general happiness.
Keep Your Ears in Shape
Hearing, like all natural abilities, should be used correctly and often in order to ensure continued optimum performance. People who listen to or play music regularly have been shown to maintain better sound processing abilities over the course of their lifetimes.
To put it concisely, if you would like to protect your hearing over the course of your lifetime, you should be listening to and playing more music (at an appropriate volume, of course).
Pain Relief is an Album Away
Music therapy has become incredibly popular for everything from pediatric oncology to getting kindergarteners to settle down for rest time. The benefits of music therapy are not hocus pocus, there is neuroscience behind it all.
In fact, studies have shown that listening to music stimulates the parts of the brain that “light up” when receiving rewards or pleasure. Subsequently, listening to music has a demonstrable effect as a pain reliever.
Boost Your Memory with Music
Have you ever noticed that you have a remarkable knack for remembering song lyrics or jingles, even if you can barely remember where you put your keys last night? That is a result of music’s powers as a memory booster.
A number of very compelling studies have documented the relationship between children’s music lessons and memory test scores as well as verbal capabilities.
Even though it may be a little late for you to pick up mastery of an instrument, there is no reason why you cannot harness music’s memory boosting powers. Try putting important things to a tune as a memory hook and you will be shocked at what you can remember.
Music has a number of very real effects on health. From alleviating stress and relieving pain to boosting memory and protecting your sound processing abilities, it is shocking what music can do for you. The next time you are in the car, skip the phone call and listen to some music! Your health will certainly benefit.
What is your go-to album during stressful times? Tell us how music has positively affected your health in the comments.