5 Reasons Music Can Improve Your Health

5 Reasons Music Can Improve Your Health

If you enjoy music on a regular basis you may be doing your health a favor without even knowing it. If you just listen in the car, chances are your mind and body are appreciating every note. However, you may just be the type that doesn’t care too much about music and can take it or leave it.

Whether you’re a connoisseur, a dabbler of music or even a non-interested party these 5 reasons music can improve your health may encourage you to start tuning in. Music is an easy way to enhance your quality of life without having to succumb to Big Pharma fixes and it’s also a way to heal yourself while enjoying it at the same time. No bitter medicine here, just good old rock, pop, classical, jazz, country, new age and many other genres to stoke your inner fire.

Hormone Replacement

The current buzz therapy is synthetic hormone replacement where women seek to alleviate menopausal symptoms and men search for more vigor to combat age related conditions. There is valid science behind synthetic hormone therapies, particularly for those struggling with issues that require aggressive treatment. However, for those that just need a mild boost of natural hormones, music may be the key, especially if Alzheimer’s is present or runs in the family.

In a study published in the International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it was concluded that,

“As it was seen in this study, the increases in 17β-estradiol and testosterone levels observed in the patients with Alzheimer’s with diminishing hormones suggest that music therapy may contribute to decelerate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease or even to delay its onset. It is considered that music therapy restores normal hormone levels and suppresses nerve cell damage and protects nerve cells, thus terminating the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”

If music therapy can affect the hormone production of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s, think what it might be able to do for you.

Dopamine Boost

The feel good neurotransmitter dopamine has shown to increase when subjects listened to a variety of music. Playing a crucial role in the brain’s reward and pleasure center, dopamine can increase your positive mood resulting in less stress and more gratification.

A study of cognitive pleasure derived from music offered a candid conclusion published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America (PNAS),

“We have shown here that music recruits neural systems of reward and emotion similar to those known to respond specifically to biologically relevant stimuli, such as food and sex, and those that are artificially activated by drugs of abuse. This is quite remarkable, because music is neither strictly necessary for biological survival or reproduction, nor is it a pharmacological substance.”

Improve Your Mood

Of course, with the release of more dopamine by listening to music, your mood should inevitably improve. However, even more factors come into play when it comes to beneficial mood enhancement as a result of positive music exposure. If you intentionally want to improve your mood, choosing positive music just may do the trick.

Published in the Journal of Positive Psychology,

“participants who were instructed to intentionally try to become happier (vs. not trying) reported higher increases in subjective happiness after listening to positively valenced music during five separate lab visits over a two-week period. These studies demonstrate that listening to positive music may be an effective way to improve happiness, particularly when it is combined with an intention to become happier.”

Less Pain

Pain management has spiraled into a current opioid epidemic that has involved Congress in trying to backpedal to safer applications. In the meantime, alternative therapies such as marijuana, yoga and meditation are becoming more embraced in place of attempted, now dangerous, pharmaceutical fixes.

Music may be another choice according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing which researched the effects of music on “anxiety, postoperative pain and physiological reactions to emotional and physical distress in patients undergoing spinal surgery”. The study concluded that music had a significant impact in reducing pain.

Auditory Fitness

You might have been accused of not being a good listener or maybe you don’t find yourself as attuned to your auditory surroundings as you’d like to be. Well, studies show that listening to music may peripherally train your ears to focus on sounds you may have not heard otherwise. Researchers from the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory and the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences at Northwestern University studied how music may enhance auditory skills.

Published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, it was stated that,

“This effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness. Therefore, the role of music in shaping individual development deserves consideration.”

Overall, even if you are not a music lover, it can be agreed upon that music has positively touched your life in one way or another. Whether it was a song playing during your first kiss, a particular tune played to commemorate a special occasion, or even the effect of music on your childhood these 5 reasons music can improve your health are a small example of the many ways this art form can be highly beneficial.