Listen to Music. It’s Good For You!

By The Valor Team
Friday, April 17, 2020 at 11:18 am in
Orchestra and choir performing

 

If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week . . . Charles Darwin

It's almost impossible to find someone who doesn't feel a strong connection to music. Even if you can't carry a tune or play an instrument, you can probably reel off a list of songs that evoke happy memories and raise your spirits.  

For those who have experienced trauma, depression, grief, addiction and more, music can provide the opportunity for healthy emotional expression and for experiencing safety, peace and comfort.

Research shows the benefits of music for various mental health conditions, including depression and trauma (to name a few) and can also be a calming agent for anxiety – a feeling many of us are having now while we deal with the fear and isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Listening to music can improve our mental well-being and boost our physical health in many ways. Here are some of the benefits:

Music makes you happier -- Research proves that when you listen to music you like, your brain releases dopamine, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter. 
Music lowers stress and improves health -- Listening to music you enjoy decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, which counteracts the effects of chronic stress.

Music helps you sleep better -- If you’re having trouble sleeping, try listening to a little Bach or Mozart before bedtime to catch some Zs.

Music reduces depression -- Music can benefit patients with depressive symptoms, depending on the type of music. Meditative sounds and classical music lifted people up, but techno and heavy metal brought people down even more. So the next time you feel low, put on some classical or meditative music to lift your spirits.

Music relaxes patients before and after surgery -- If you or someone you know is going into surgery, be sure to bring some soothing tunes to ease anxiety. It may work better, and will certainly have fewer adverse side effects, than the meds they dispense.

Music helps Alzheimer’s patients remember -- One in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s Disease or another dementia, so odds are you know someone who has it. To connect with loved ones who suffer from age-related dementia, try playing some of their best-loved music. It may help them remember good times.

Music increases verbal intelligence -- After only one month of music lessons (in rhythm, pitch, melody and voice), a study at York University showed that 90% of children between the ages of 4 and 6 had a significant increase in verbal intelligence.

Music keeps your brain healthy in old age -- Business magnate Warren Buffet stays sharp at age 84 by playing ukulele. It’s never too late to play an instrument to keep you on top of your game.

These may be considered fun facts, but they are based on various studies performed by reputable organizations and universities.

Plato had it right when he said, "Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.” 

No matter whether you’re young or old, healthy or sick, happy or sad, music can improve the quality of your life in numerous ways. It reduces stress and anxiety, lifts your mood, boosts your health, helps you sleep better, and may even make you smarter.