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Music is Good for the Soul: The Science Behind Music's Calming Effect

February 28, 2019

 

“Music is an important part of our physical and emotional well-being, ever since we were babies in our mother’s womb listening to her heartbeat and breathing rhythms.” –Franz Wendtner

 

Music has a unique way of eliciting soothing feelings of joy, inspiration, or awe. We can be moved to tears by a symphony, lifted out of heartbreak by an empowering ballad, or comforted with a song from our childhood. And it’s not just in our heads; music has a deep impact on our emotional and physical wellbeing, and as countless studies have shown, it’s no wonder we keep our favorite tracks on repeat. Here are our top three favorite reasons why music is truly good for the soul.

 

Music Reduces Stress Hormones

 

The next time you find yourself wound up in a ball of stress, take a deep breath and plug into your music app of choice. Countless studies have noted that listening to music decreases levels of the hormone called cortisol, otherwise known as “the stress hormone.” One German study examined the stress levels of patients undergoing a total hip joint replacement to see if music had any beneficial effect. Wouldn’t you know, patients that listened to calming instrumental music before and during surgery had lower levels of cortisol, and even required less anesthesia to achieve the minimum state of sedation required for surgery.  

 

Music Improves our Memory, Focus and Performance

 

A strong memory helps us access the information needed for us to succeed at work or school, recall important moments of our life, and the how-to for our favorite activities. A study from Finland shows that listening to your favorite music increases the release of dopamine in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter associated with rewards and pleasure. This particular study had people listen to music they preferred while doing various tasks, and the researchers found that musical pleasure indeed had a direct impact on one’s ability to perform well. The next time you’re struggling to complete a task, plug those headphones in!

 

Music Helps with Healing

 

Any form of healing, whether emotional or physical, takes time, energy, and commitment. While there’s no easy fix to moving from a place of pain to one of happiness and health, incorporating music in a wellness routine is known to reap clear benefits. The American Cancer Society actually recommends music therapy, a method of using music as a therapeutic technique, as a way to reduce nausea often experienced during chemotherapy treatment. Not only that, but music has also been found to lower blood pressure and heart rates.

 

Our bodies and our emotions are inseparable, and incorporating a wide variety of therapeutic methods, including music, into our healing practices can have dramatic benefits. Have you thought about how music can help you on your journey toward wellness?

 

At the Strength in Motion wellness community, we believe in a mind-body and soul approach towards finding and sustaining balance. We feel honored to be on your path in some way and are here to support you in living to your greatest potential. Click here to find out more information about who we are and how we may be a support to you.

 

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