Crank up your radios, get out your headphones and charge up your Bluetooth speakers because we are about to explain all the wonderful things listening to music can do for your health! This goes above and beyond the usual feel good vibes. It turns out music is an effective remedy for several different health issues. Here is our list of 10 surprising health benefits of music.
1. Music enhances your exercise endurance as well as your recovery. Have you ever noticed when you find a song on your iPod that you like, its suddenly easier to finish the last few minutes of your workout? Its science – or rather the power of distraction that music provides, which can help you focus less on your energy level and more on the finish line! Studies have shown that listening to music after your workout is over can also help your body recover faster.
2. Music has been proven to greatly decrease a person’s perceived intensity for pain. Many people find that when they stop concentrating on the pain they are feeling and listen to soothing music, the pain begins to ease.
3. Did you know that music can help you sleep better? Classical music in particular has been proven to help improve the sleep habits of college students suffering from insomnia. If you want to get a better quality of sleep, try tuning in to some Bach or Tchaikovsky.
4. Scientific research has found that music can also improve your blood vessel function. According to the American Heart Association, the positive emotions from music that participants felt during a study was actually able to increase blood flow in their blood vessels.
5. Music can lower your stress levels. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that music is an effective stress reliever for people who are perfectly healthy as well as those with medical problems. They have also found that it can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels in heart patients.
6. More than simply reducing stress, music can go as far as to relieve symptoms of depression and elevate mood, but the type of music you choose to listen to matters. Research has shown that classical and meditative sounds can be uplifting while heavy metal and techno can have the ability to make symptoms of depression more severe.
As far as your mood is concerned, you should turn on some of your favorite tunes the next time you are feeling a little bit cranky. According to the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, people can regulate arousal and mood as well as achieve self-awareness while listening to music. What that basically means is that you are less likely to let your anger or sad feelings get the best of you. Here’s a tip for drivers: Listen to music to avoid the onset of road rage.
7. Another amazing reason to keep listening to music is its ability to improve cognitive abilities, especially for people in high-pressure situations. A recent study at the University of Toronto has shown that as long as music has the ability to improve a person’s emotional state, as has been proven, it can improve cognitive function as well. This improved cognitive function could help in a learning and examination environment as well as an athletic one. The Journal of Applied Sport Psychology published a study that shows athletes in a high pressure sport are less likely to “choke” when they listen to upbeat music before a game.
8. Did you know that music can reduce your anxiety just as much as a professional massage can? In a study on the effectiveness of therapeutic massage on people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder a group of people were treated with what is called relaxing room treatment, which consists of relaxing music in a calm environment, while others were treated with massage. Both groups showed an improvement in their anxiety disorder at identical levels.
9. Many cancer patients have difficulty managing stress and anxiety, and with good reason. The mood elevating, stress lowering, anxiety reducing and pain alleviating power of music makes it ideal for cancer patient therapy.
10. Music can improve the verbal memory and attention capacity in stroke patients. Researchers in Finland found that after having stroke patients listen to music for 2 hours a day this phenomena occurred as well as an improved mood, in comparison to patients to did not listen to music.
So there you have it. Music is not only good for the soul, but its great for health! The next time you are enjoying your favorite relaxing sounds, give yourself a pat on the back for doing your body some good.