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9 surprising, science-backed health benefits of music

Music has touched people all over the world. Some can bring up our moods, some tells us a story, and some even bring us down.

But did you know music can affect our health? Here are 9 amazing scientifically-proven benefits of being hooked on music:

1. Music can reduce depression

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” – Maya Angelou

It is a fact that more than 350 million people suffer from depression around the world. According to a study, a whopping 90% of them experience sleep disturbances. Indeed, the link between sleep disorder and depression has been proven.

Another study shows that meditative music can benefit patients with depressive symptoms. The study shows that classical music lifted people up. However, those who listened to techno and heavy metal became more depressed.

So, the next time you feel low, listen to classical or meditative music to lift your spirits.

2. Music can make you happy

Research shows that when you listen to music you like, your brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is a “feel-good” neurotransmitter that can make you feel better.

The study was conducted by researchers at McGill University in Canada. They injected eight music-lovers with a radioactive substance. This substance will then bind to dopamine receptors.

The researchers concluded that large amounts of dopamine were released while listening to music. During this time, the participants feel emotions like happiness, excitement, and joy.

3. Music can lower stress

Stress is killing us. According to a study on stress, it is the cause of 60% of all human illness and disease.

It’s a good thing music can lower one’s stress levels. A study states that if people actively participated in making music, their immune system was boosted. What is more surprising is that people who had active participation in musical activity showed a greater immunity boost.

If you find yourself having a stressful day, sing along and tap your feet to the beat to get the maximum healing benefit of music.

4. Music can help you sleep better

Data shows that over 30% of Americans suffer from insomnia. People today sleep 20% less than they did a hundred years ago. When worse comes to worst, individuals need to seek immediate treatment because of insomnia.

Because of this, a study was made about sleep and what can make you sleep better. It turns out that participants who listened to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes before turning in slept significantly better.

Among its benefits, music can reduce sympathetic nervous system activity, decrease anxiety, blood pressure, heart, and respiratory rate. It can also have positive effects on sleep via muscle relaxation and distraction from thoughts.

Try listening to a little Bach or Mozart before bedtime to catch some sleep.

5. Music can make you eat less

Recent research shows that environmental cues such as lighting and music affect how we eat. According to the same study, softer music led people to eat less, to rate the food as more enjoyable, and to spend just as much.

So if want to curb your appetite, listen to soft music the next time you sit down for a meal.

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6. Music can help you drive more safely

A recent study about the influence of music on driving performance shows an increase in mental effort. Furthermore, music can positively impact your mood while driving.

Contrary to the belief that music can be a distracting auditory stimulus while driving, the study proves otherwise. It is because the researchers observed significant improvements in driving performance for those drivers who listened to music while driving.

7. Music can strengthen learning

According to Jodi Picoult, music is the language of memory.

According to researchers, pleasurable music affects reinforcement learning. Music can help you learn and recall information better but it depends on two factors — whether you like the music and whether or not you’re a musician.

In the study, the participants memorized Japanese characters while listening to music that either seemed positive or neutral to them. The results suggested that those who were musicians learned better when they listened to neutral music. However, the musicians tested better when pleasurable music was playing.

On the other hand, non-musicians learned better when positive music was playing but tested better with neutral music.

If you are a student, then use this strategy to study more effectively for your next test.

8. Music can relax patients

A study shows that patients who listened to relaxing music before surgery decreased their anxiety. In fact, music is more effective than being orally administered Midazolam, a medication often used to help pre-op patients feel sleepy.

After surgery, patients who listened to soothing music while resting in bed after open heart surgery increased their relaxation.

So if you know someone who’s going into surgery or has been into the surgery room, don’t forget to bring soothing music when you visit.

9. Music can keep your brain healthy

According to a research from the University of Kansas Medical Center, music training may help keep aging brain healthy.

In this study, 70 healthy adults were divided into three groups based on their amount of musical experience. Their age ranges from 60 to 83 and the categories are no musical training, one to nine years of music lessons, and at least 10 years of musical study.

The study found that those with ten or more years of musical experience scored higher on cognitive tests. On the other hand, those with one to nine years of musical study scored lower while those with no training scored the lowest.

“Since studying an instrument requires years of practice and learning, it may create alternate connections in the brain that could compensate for cognitive declines as we get older,” says lead researcher Brenda Hanna-Pladdy.

According to Warren Buffet, he stays sharp at age 84 by playing the ukulele.

This proves that it’s never too late to play an instrument to keep you on top of your game.

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Written by Jude Paler

I am a poet with a positive outlook in life and a writer with a purpose in mind. I write to express my thoughts so that others will be inspired.

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