With International Day of Music falling on Oct. 1, music fans have numerous ways to explore how improve personal wellness through music. A song can positively affect everything from mental health to athletic performance.
If you’ve ever been to a sporting event or religious service, there’s a scientific effect the power of the communal hymn or national anthem has over us as a community. The evolutionary theory believes that early primates utilized calls while dwelling in trees, using music and sounds to communicate. As humans evolved, music became more enjoyable and a tool for connectivity.
You might have heard how music can help your focus and concentration; scientific evidence backs up this notion. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine conducted brain stimulation tests to see how we reacted to certain types of music.
They found that it boosted creativity levels and formed a stronger desire to learn. One study in 2019 found that people were more motivated to study when their favorite music was viewed as a reward.
A National Institutes of Health study revealed how music helps memory function. Experiment participants were given passages to read and then recite from memory. Researchers found that those who listened to classical music outperformed those who didn’t listen to anything or listened to white noise. The same study also concluded that listening to Mozart profoundly affected simple processing tasks like matching numbers to shape.
While music can’t reverse the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s, it does help slow the decline rate of normal brain function. The Mayo Clinic introduced research that found music helped people with dementia remember significant episodes in their life. Caregivers use music to help calm patients and build trust.
Music’s effect on the brain is significant, so much so that it can release several neurochemicals to improve emotional health and mental function. Music can release dopamine, the chemical associated with the “reward” and pleasure systems, stress hormones like cortisol, serotonin for mood boosters, oxytocin that helps build connections with other people, and other hormones that help improve immunity.
A number of studies show that music can lower anxiety and depression in adults. Findings proved that music combined with nature sounds reduces feelings of anxiety.
Meanwhile, classical music combined with jazz was found to lower depression seriously. A group of board-certified music therapists completed the study and found these types of music released dopamine in the brain and made people happier. On the flip side, sad or nostalgic tunes can make you feel more melancholy. Music choice is essential here.
You probably listen to music during gym sessions because it fires you up and gets the blood flowing. A research review published in 2020 found that music improved people’s mood and helped people exercise more efficiently. It can also help you work out for longer periods. Faster music helps motivate people to perform better and be more competitive.
Be sure to grab your favorite albums, playlists, or singles on Oct. 1. The International Day of Music is perfect for developing a greater understanding of your emotional response to it. You might even find some new tunes to improve your mood.