Music is everywhere, all the time. Go to the supermarket, the mall, even outside on the streets, and you will hear some form of music, be it ambient music, background music, or popular songs. Look around you and you will see people tuned into their iPods or smartphones. There’s even a backpack that has speakers attached to it out in the market.
There are many known benefits of listening to music. It can lift your spirits up when feeling down and it can help you tune out noise when you want to concentrate. So let us delve deeper into the science behind its benefits.
Music Can Make You Happier
When you listen to music, the brain releases dopamine into the bloodstream. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate emotions. In a study performed by Valorie Salimpoor, a radioactive substance was injected into eight music enthusiasts after listening to their favorite music. This substance binds to dopamine receptors, which then allows dopamine to be viewable in a PET scan. Results showed increased amounts of dopamine, which caused the participants to feel happiness and excitement.
Music Relieves Stress and Strengthens the Immune System
Stress is the root cause of 60% of diseases. When the body encounters stressors, the fight or flight response is activated. The nervous system signals the adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Cortisol increases glucose levels in the bloodstream to enable the body to boost its energy and fight the stress that it is experiencing. When the body’s stress response is frequently activated, the immune system becomes weak and this may put your health at risk.
A study shows that listening to your favorite music decreases cortisol levels in your body. In addition, active participation in making music, such as singing and playing musical instruments, boosts the body’s immune system more than passive listening.
Music Speeds Recovery in Stroke Patients
Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States. A study at the University of Helsinki revealed that stroke patients who listened to their favorite songs two hours a day had faster recovery of cognitive function than patients who did not listen to any form of music or patients who listened to audio books. This suggests that the lyrics and melody boosts the patients’ auditory and verbal memories.
Music Increases Quality of Sleep
A study showed that listening to classical music for 45 minutes can help induce sleep in students. The subjects slept better than the students who did not deviate from their normal bedtime routine and those who listened to audiobooks.
Music Can Help You Eat Less and Enjoy Your Food More
There is a connection between eating and music. A Georgia Tech University research showed that softer lighting and music helps people consume less calories and enjoy their food better. Another study from Cornell University uncovered the same results. People in the fine dining area (where lighting was dimmer and the music was softer) stayed longer, ordered more food, but ate less as opposed to those in the fast food environment. Despite eating less food, people in the fine dining area reported to have enjoyed the food more.
Generally, music helps maintain the overall health and well-being of a person. If you are a music lover, then you are on the right track to keeping your body healthy. So, grab your music players (you might even want to get a speaker backpack) and tune in to your favorite music.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Michelle Gonzalez has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education.