How Music Can Improve Your Mental Health

Person playing piano with guitar
 

Do you have a favorite radio station or music playlist? Do you ever choose a song based on how you are feeling? We do that too!  The type of music you listen to has a big impact on your mental and physical health. There are many ways music is amazing for your health.

Expression

Music is a simple, yet significant, way to express yourself. Listening to or singing music and playing musical instruments can help enhance your mood and act as an outlet for bottled emotions. Releasing built-up stress or tension by musical expression is a recognized form of therapy that you may practice on your own or with the help of a professional. 

Music therapy is known to aid in combating anxiety, depression, PTSD, and insomnia. Keeping your mood regulated through singing, dancing, music meditation, or even songwriting, is a wonderful way to reduce stress and built-up tension.

In addition to aiding emotional regulation, music can benefit individuals in the process of learning. Individuals learning new languages often give credit to music for helping them learn at a faster pace. Singing, rhyming, and rhythm are well known in American culture and are introduced to children at a young age to help them learn things like The Alphabet or the names of the States.

Genres

Listening to different genres of music may have specific benefits and can assist in increasing motivation. If you're feeling a little down on yourself, Metal may help to boost your confidence and sense of self-worth. Rap music is often used during workouts to increase endurance or utilized for motivation. Jazz and Classical music are very popular for concentration and relaxation and Pop music can boost your mood and increase workout intensity. Whichever type of music you like to listen to or relate to, there are many mental health benefits. 

Prevention

Experiencing music through its various channels naturally releases dopamine, the pleasure and reward hormone of the brain. Dopamine is proven to improve mood and mental wellbeing, and it even boosts your immunity, helping to prevent illness as well as fight off negative emotions. Raising dopamine levels can slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and fight off chronic illnesses.

Aging

Regularly listening to music stimulates and exercises your brain. As we age, our learning and cognitive centers need stimulation to thrive and enjoying music can even improve memory. One example of the benefits of music through aging is that there is evidence of benefits for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimers.

Music can support the recollection of memories. This is a particularly special gift for those with cognitive difficulties. Group therapy sessions are very popular and there is an obvious reason! Not only does group therapy encourage a sense of community and belonging, but the addition of music in a daily routine improves motor function, which is known to decline as we age.

What does this mean for you? 

Introducing healthy habits into your everyday routine, like listening to music that brings you joy and gives you energy and relaxing music when you are stressed, can be a life changer. Add in some movement, positive affirmations, confidence socks, and a quick walk outdoors each day and you’ve got a recipe for happiness!

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