Have you ever felt pumped up while listening to your favorite rock anthem or shed a tear to a love song playing at a church wedding? That’s the power of music. It can energize your body or impact your mood. Here are the other benefits of music for your brain and body:
1. Music can elevate your mood and make you happy.
Except for sad, weepy songs, music can elevate your mood by boosting the production of dopamine or the “happy hormone” in your brain. So whenever you’re having a rough day, open your Spotify and play some soft, soothing music. Fast-paced pop and rock songs work, too. If you merely want to laugh, play and mess with Otamatone to produce quirky sounds!
2. It can boost your motivation.
In one study, researchers explored how music could affect the motivation levels of cyclists on static bikes. They changed the tempo of the music without telling the cyclists. They found that increasing tempo by ten percent led to cyclists pedaling faster and exerting more power. Decreasing the tempo by the same amount had the opposite effect. The results suggested that higher-tempo music could increase an individual’s level of motivation.
So if you’re struggling to finish a task, blast your favorite dance tracks or rock anthems on the speakers. That could help you get over your hump and complete a job or chore quicker.
3. Music can help improve your memory.
Have you ever wondered why children are taught nursery rhymes? That’s because rhythm and rhymes help kids retain sounds and syllables when learning a language. Many researchers agree that music can help improve your memory—and it isn’t only in terms of language. Even when studying Maths or Economics, music can boost your memory of the said lessons. That’s probably why high school & university students tend to put their earbuds on when reading academic articles or reviewing for an upcoming test.
4. Music can slow cognitive decline.
Music doesn’t improve only the memory of younger individuals—it also helps older patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. While music can’t reverse the memory loss of such patients, it still can help slow their cognitive decline. Music therapy can also stimulate the brains of those with mild or moderate dementia, helping them recover salient memories.
5. It might help you eat a little less.
One surprising benefit of music to your brain and body is it might help you lose weight. Researchers found that diners in restaurants with dimmed lighting and soft ambient music consumed 18% less food than those who ate in restaurants with different settings.
The study suggests that lighting and music help create a relaxed environment for diners. When people are relaxed and comfortable, they are likely to eat more slowly and feel full sooner than those who eat in a different setting. So if you’re trying to lose weight, try to dim the lights and play some mellow music, as it might help you achieve your weight loss goals.
6. Music helps keep your heart healthy.
Science says listening to relaxing music can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure, making your blood flow more easily. One study even found that music therapy could increase the efficacy of blood pressure medication. And if you switch to a more fast-paced track, your body would want to move and groove—and that’s exercise!
7. It can improve your sleep quality.
The relaxing power of music can help you fall asleep more easily. So if you struggle with insomnia, try to reset your body clock by sleeping with the help of your favorite songs. You can also play tracks with binaural beats, as they’re specifically made for deep relaxation.
8. Music can help manage pain.
Multiple studies have found that listening to music can help people feel less pain after surgery, during geriatric care, or even after a breakup. Music gives people’s brains another stimulus to focus on, distracting them from the pain. And as mentioned, it also has relaxing properties that can help boost your brain’s dopamine production and elevate your mood.
9. It boosts your creativity.
Listening to happy music or classical music can enhance your creativity. That explains why many writers, painters, and artists play some tracks while writing or painting. But music doesn’t only allow people to be creative in the traditional sense—it also helps them be more focused and creative in navigating multiple problems and coming up with workarounds. So if you’re at work and want to focus on thinking of different ways to approach a task, put on your headphones and play several tracks from your favorite band.