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Music is an important part of daily life for many. Music is in the background of movies and television shows we watch, the focal point of religious or ceremonial experiences we attend, and a reliable resource that we use during stressful times in our lives. 

While the use of music in our lives is common, most of us neglect to realize the immense benefits that music can bring to our physical, emotional, and mental health. Although we might feel better from listening to our favorite tunes, there are deeper physiological benefits that music can produce that we may not be aware of. 

The Benefits Of Music On Health

Music has the potential to produce benefits in nearly every category of health. Let’s take a look at some examples of benefits that music has on physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing:

Physical

  • Music can help enhance our immune system. Our immune system is essential in keeping us healthy from sickness and disease. While stress and anxiety can harm our immune systems, music can aid in stress relief and in turn, strengthen our immune systems. 
  • Music can help lower and balance our blood pressure. It can reduce heart rate and improve our cardiovascular health overall.
  • Music can produce wonderful benefits for our physical functioning, especially with sleep. Listening to calming genres can aid in better sleep and improve sleep habits overall. 
  • Music can improve exercise. Upbeat music can enhance aerobic and cardiac exercises as it boosts physical stimulation. It also has the ability to increase performance because of stimulation. 
  • Music can ease chronic pain. Pain relief occurs from releases of endorphins, which music can produce. Pain relief might also happen as a result of listening to music because music can provide a distraction away from physical sensations of pain. 

Mental/Cognitive 

  • Music can have a profound effect on memory. Listening to music and performing music can reactivate different areas of the brain associated with memory, alongside many other cognitive processes. You may notice this in your own life if you have a certain song that connects you back to a memory or an emotion. 
  • Music can help improve overall learning. Music is stimulating to the mind, activating both the left and right sides of the brain at the same time. This can maximize an individual’s ability to learn and pay attention to new material. 
  • Music can aid in preventing mental illness, such as depression.
  • Music can enhance social connection. Every musical piece produces different rhythms and melodies. When a piece or song is played out loud, it can help peoples brain’s to synchronize because of how the music is producing connections in the brain. Music can influence how we connect with others, but also how we are able to connect with ourselves.

Emotional

  • Music can help people to regulate their emotions. For example, it can encourage people to process their feelings through lyrics or melodies, which can be especially helpful for people that struggle to verbalize their feelings. 
  • Music can improve mood. Music is known to have incredible benefits to a person’s overall wellbeing, fostering feelings of happiness and contentment. You may notice this if you have a certain playlist you lean towards when you need a pick-me-up. 
  • Music can reduce anxiety and stress. Certain genres of music, such as classical or low-tempo melodies, are known to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. While faster music might increase alertness and energy, slower music can help to calm and settle the mind. 
  • Music can help people process distressing emotions. Music therapy is a popular therapeutic intervention that can help people use music as a tool to process emotions, trauma, and grief. 

Getting Connected With the Right Tunes

If you are the type of person that has never experienced a deep tie to music, that’s okay! It is likely that you haven’t found your niche genre or style. The good thing is, there are endless different styles of music, you just have to do your own research to find a style that connects to you. 

Utilize one of the many music applications or online resources available to you and shuffle through some already-curated playlists. If you know a certain song or artist that you have connected with in the past, many music applications allow you to search for the song or artist with the option of going to that artist’s radio. From there, songs will shuffle based on your chosen artist or song. 

Listen to all different styles from all different years. This is because even certain genres sound different through the years. For example, pop music does not sound very similar to the pop music that was played in the early 2000s. Listen to songs that you might like and might not like, and compile your own list of how each song makes you feel. 

Remember to be patient with yourself as you try to find your own music style. Consider making different playlists that you can rely on when you feel a certain way. If a song makes you feel relaxed, put it into your own “relaxation” playlist that you can turn on during the times you feel stressed or overwhelmed. As you find yourself turning to music more and more, notice how your mental health is affected.

Although music is a focal point in many lives, most people neglect to understand the physiological benefits that music can have on health. Music can produce profound benefits to physical, mental, and emotional health because of how it stimulates and activates different areas of the brain. Music can enhance exercise and sleep, improve learning and social connection, and help people to regulate and process their emotions. West Coast Recovery Center recognizes the importance that music has on improving health and overall wellbeing. We offer music therapy as one of our many therapeutic interventions available at our treatment facility. We believe that music therapy is an invaluable tool that can help our clients to reflect, process, and move beyond painful experiences of grief, trauma, loss, and general mental health distress. Seek out the benefits that music can have on your health and wellbeing today. To learn more, call West Coast (760) 492-6509

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