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We Know That Music Can Improve Our Mood, But What is the Evidence Behind This?

By Eleanor and Zoe

Ah, the sound of music… it is truly music to my ears. I mean, my head feels lighter, my heart beats faster, and my feet feel like they’re walking on clouds… what is the euphoria? Is it my brain responding to the vibes of a good song, or is it my body receiving music and transmitting it into this feeling of ecstasy? What would I do to solve such a specific qualm? WELL, FELLOW TRAVELLER, if you’ve been wondering the same thing, you’ve come to the right place! This ‘ere piece of musical writing will detail to you not just the PSYCHOLOGICAL benefits of listening to music; but the PHYSICAL benefits too!! LET’S GO!

The psychological benefits of music come rather intuitively. We often feel and recognise how music can positively impact our mood, mental health, and energy. These are some reasons we customise various playlists or albums for different occasions. Music can make us feel motivated and relaxed! However, the significance of music reaches far beyond that. Research conducted by cognitive psychologist Lauri Ferrari from Lyon University suggests that “listening to the music you love makes your brain release more dopamine, a crucial neurotransmitter for humans’ emotional and cognitive functioning.”

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (also called a chemical messenger) made by our brains. Our nervous system utilises dopamine to send messages between neurons (nerve cells). Another study shows that listening to classical music for 45 minutes before bedtime enhances the quality of your sleep. Other cognitive benefits of taking part in musical performance include: strengthening social connections, improving processing ability, reducing stress, boosting mood, enhances focus and self-discipline. Playing music improves one’s linguistic ability too. It’s known that there is a strong connection between speech development and music in children.

The benefits of music are not limited to psychological health, it also improves our physical health! Research has shown that blood flows better when music is playing. It has been proven to reduce heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Interestingly, music stimulates memories and can relieve some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Moreover, it manages pain by lowering stress levels by providing a strong stimulus that competes with pain signals that enter the brain.

There are a high number of medical and scientific reasons why your head feels lighter, your heart beats faster, and your feet feel like they’re walking on clouds. Your brain is responding to both the good vibes of a catchy song making your brain release neurotransmitters such as dopamine, improving your mood! Listening to your favourite playlist can also provide benefits towards your physical health!

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