The Power of Music

Music has a feeling, a rhythm, a quality that takes us to varying degrees of consciousness. It has always fascinated me how a specific song can take you directly into a memory. I have songs that take me back to specific boyfriends or memories of my youth. My younger brother has always had a fascination, almost an obsession with music. He is the individual that has his record player, his albums, collects speakers, and in some sense almost lives in the past with his songs that take him back to ‘seemingly’ better times in his life.

I think we are all at some degree influenced by what pulses rhythmically around us. Music has been scientifically proven to be able to help depression. Other studies have shown that music helps reduce pain and anxiety, it relieves stress, helps with memory, physical ailments, improves mood, improves sleep quality, improves immune function, improves learning…

DEPRESSION: A 2011 study by researchers from McGill University in Canada found that listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain – a mood-enhancing chemical, making it a feasible treatment for depression.

STRESS: Just like listening to slow music to calm the body, music can also have a relaxing effect on the mind. Researchers at Stanford University found that listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication. Since music is so widely available and inexpensive, it’s an easy stress reduction option. -science of people article

BRAIN: Scientific studies – ranging from investigations of the brain at a cellular level, to psychiatric assessments of schizophrenics, to linguistic scores in stroke patients – are all leading to the same conclusion: music isn’t just a form of entertainment, it is evolutionarily significant. And the more we learn about the impact of music on the brain, the more we understand how it can be employed as a therapeutic intervention. -sciencefocus

“One of the things that makes music so interesting is that it’s pleasant but at the same time cognitively demanding,” says Särkämö. “This is one of the few therapeutic interventions we have that is both soothing as well as challenging.” -sciencefocus

HEALTH: Another study from Massachusetts General Hospital found that listening to Mozart’s piano sonatas helped relax critically ill patients by lowering stress hormone levels, but the music also decreased blood levels of interleukin-6—a protein that has been implicated in higher mortality rates, diabetes, and heart problems. -greatergood article

LEARNING: Music enjoyment elicits dopamine release, and dopamine release has been tied to motivation, which in turn is implicated in learning and memory. In a study published last year, adult students studying Hungarian were asked to speak, or speak in a rhythmic fashion, or sing phrases in the unfamiliar language. Afterwards, when asked to recall the foreign phrases, the singing group fared significantly better than the other two groups in recall accuracy. -greatergood

EXERCISE: Researchers in the United Kingdom recruitedthirty participants to listen to motivational synchronized music, non-motivational synchronized music, or no music while they walked on a treadmill until they reached exhaustion levels. Measurements showed that both music conditions increased the length of time participants worked out (though motivational music increased it significantly more) when compared to controls. The participants who listened to motivational music also said they felt better during their work out than those in the other two conditions. -greatergood

Music literally accesses every part of your brain. It is so good for you. It lights you up, it calms, it stirs action, movement, eases pain, heals illness, it truly is a miracle drug on many levels. We need to take high, daily doses of this good stuff. Listen to the music that seems to stirs your soul, that inspires, that seems to take you to levels of good health and happiness.

Here are a few ‘feel good’ songs from my music list:

To CALM

 

To FEEL PEACE

 

To FEEL HAPPY

Some of my other favorites (that I usually ask Alexa to play) include: Lights and Motion or Hammock to calm or play while working on projects. I do however smile and dance every time I play “Work this Body” by Walk the Moon. It is just FUN!

Hope you feel even better today.

Peace and Love to you.  -H

Advertisements