7 Ways Listening to Music Physically Benefits Your Heart, Mind & Body

From New York City to Papua New Guinea, music is at the heart of human culture. We consume music everyday without a moment’s thought and in doing so we are actually improving our physical, mental and spiritual health. No matter your taste in music the simple act of listening and enjoying music is a health boost for your entire being.

This article charts seven of the major benefits that music has on each and every one of us…

Music reduces stress

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Cortisol is the hormone that causes us to feel stressed and anxious. Music has been proven to lower the levels of cortisol, although it is preference specific.

Stress is only reduced by music that you enjoy and music that you don’t like can actually have the adverse effect. So when stress is getting to you listening to your favourite music will have a strongly positive effect.

Music improves immune system 

Another impact that an increased cortisol level has on your body is a weakening of your immune system ­ as stress is a factor in 60% of all illnesses and diseases. Music’s ability to reduce the body’s production of cortisol actually helps you fight off infection and disease!

shutterstock_249726484Music reduces pain

If you’re struggling with a short ­term injury or chronic pain, research has shown that listening to classical or meditative music both lessens the pain and increases your tolerance to it.

Research has been done on a wide variety of different individuals from mild sports injuries to cancer sufferers, all of which show the positive power of music.

Music increases memory 

If you’re ever studying for a test or preparing a presentation listening to music is a proven way to improve memory and brain activity. People who listen to music regularly have been shown to be able to remember more complex patterns and characters than those who don’t.

shutterstock_289396541Music keeps you young

Listening and playing music both are both considered to be an exercise for the brain and exercising your brain is critical as you get older. Studies have shown that playing music in particular, keeps the brain healthy well into your 70s.

Additionally, an organization called Music & Memory work with patients suffering with alzheimer’s in order to regain parts of their memory.

By playing music that has played an important role in the individuals lives many of the patients are able to remember and recount stories from their lives for a short period.

Music boosts your workout

Once you’ve thrown on your workout gear, the next step for any workout is plugging in your headphones and picking the ultimate workout playlist.

shutterstock_300328370Once you’ve got that you feel like you can lift more and run further and the beauty is that you actually can!

When people were tested with inspirational music, non-­inspirational and no music it was shown that the people listening to any type of music could run further than those that didn’t.

Inspirational music had the most significant results, so make sure you fill your workout playlist with music that inspires you and you’ll be an athlete in no time.

Music aids your emotional development 

Music has a clear and positive impact on our bodies and minds but it is the impact that music has on our hearts and souls that draw us to it as naturally as a moth to a flame. It is in our emotional development that music can have a profound impact. Science has shown that meaningful musical experiences such as listening to a song that you find moving can influence both current and future behaviour.

As well as showing that the habit of listening to sad music when you’re feeling sad enhances our understanding of art and beauty, all of which improves our overall happiness. So next time you’re singing in the shower or dancing the night away try and sing that little bit louder and dance that little bit wilder, your body, mind and heart will thank you for it.

 

Sources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the­athletes­way/201301/cortisol­why­the­stress­ hormone­is­public­enemy­no­1

http://www.lifehack.org/317747/scientists­find­15­amazing­benefits­listening­music

http://pom.sagepub.com/content/39/3/307.short

http://msx.sagepub.com/content/20/1/11.abstract

http://news.health.com/2011/08/12/music­eases­cancer­patients­anxiety­study/

http://health.usnews.com/health­news/family­health/brain­and­ behavior/articles/2011/04/25/music­training­may­help­keep­aging­brain­healthy