Music can improve mood, decrease pain and anxiety, and facilitate opportunities for emotional expression. Research suggests that music can benefit our physical and mental health in numerous ways.
While the effects of music on people are not fully understood, studies have shown that when you hear music to your liking, the brain actually releases a chemical called dopamine that has positive effects on mood.
Though more studies are needed to confirm the potential health benefits of music, some studies suggest that listening to music can have the following positive effects on health.
Helps To Keep The Heart Healthy
Research has shown that blood flows more easily when music is played. It can also reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and increase serotonin and endorphin levels in the blood.
Increases Workout Endurance
Studies suggest that music can enhance aerobic exercise, boost mental and physical stimulation, and increase overall performance. Listening to those top workout tracks can boost physical performance and increase endurance during a tough exercise session.
Helps Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Studies of children with autism spectrum disorder who received music therapy showed improvement in social responses, communication skills, and attention skills.
Soothes Premature Babies
Live music and lullabies may impact vital signs, improve feeding behaviors and sucking patterns in premature infants, and may increase prolonged periods of quiet–alert states.
Listening to ‘relaxing’ music (generally considered to have slow tempo, low pitch, and no lyrics) has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in healthy people and in people undergoing medical procedures (e.g., surgery, dental, colonoscopy).
Research has shown that the repetitive elements of rhythm and melody help our brains form patterns that enhance memory. In a study of stroke survivors, listening to music helped them experience more verbal memory, less confusion, and better-focused attention. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia but music therapy has been shown to relieve some of its symptoms. Music therapy can relax an agitated patient, improve the mood, and open communication in patients.
In studies of patients recovering from surgery, those who listened to music before, during, or after surgery had less pain and more overall satisfaction compared with patients who did not listen to music as part of their care.