5 Ways Music Can Make You Healthier
We all get told that meditation is the best way to focus our mind but did you know that listening to music has just as many health benefits?!
Whether you use music to distract yourself from stressful situations or to keep yourself motivated while studying or working out, a carefully chosen set of songs can have an instant and lasting effect on both our mood and how our brain and body works!
Here’s 5 ways that listening to music can actually make you healthier!
We did a quick poll in the Geko Case office and the verdict was completely 50/50… half of us find listening to music distracting when trying to study, and others find it actually helps them remember things better! So, who’s right!?
Well, listening to music releases the ‘happy hormone’ dopamine, and this is linked to increased motivation. So scientifically you’re likely to study longer if you have some tunes on in the background.
And it’s not just students whose memory can benefit from music. In a recent study, some people with dementia were given 10 weeks of music listening coaching. In the testing afterwards, it was clear that the people who were given the music listening coaching had improved mood, physical-orientation, and memory skills than the people who didn’t have the coaching. Studies like this have kick-started lots more care facilities to include music in their patients' care for dementia.
Researchers have found that listening to music with a slow tempo and low pitch, without lyrics, calms people down even during highly stressful or painful events. The science behind it is that music stops your heart rate and blood pressure from increasing, and also decreases cortisol levels.
By putting on the right soundtrack at the right time we can control our mood and calm our anxieties. The trick is to listen to music to match the mood you want to be in, rather than match the mood you are currently experiencing. So if you are feeling slow and need to get energised, skip the jazz music and throw on some 80s dance music instead. Feeling anxious? Turn off any fast paced music and switch on some classical or jazz music at a low volume.
It’s not just mental stress that music can combat, but even physical pain too! In one study, researchers found that patients required significantly less morphine to manage their pain when they listened to music after surgery.
So if you are recovering from a surgery, illness or have pain in your body, don’t just rely on medication, as music can have powerful benefits for your recovery too.
Can listening to music actually help prevent disease? Some researchers think so.
Wilkes University researchers tested people's immune system antibodies before and after 30 minutes of either listening to soothing music, listening to the radio, listening to a ticking sound or listening to silence. They found that the group who listened to the soothing music had a significant improvement in their antibodies than the other 3 groups!
Don’t just take it from us! Scientist Daniel Levitin says “I think the promise of music as medicine is that it’s natural and it’s cheap and it doesn’t have the unwanted side effects that many pharmaceutical products do.”
How many of us struggle to find motivation to workout or move our bodies!? Most of us at one point or another! If that’s you right now, then don’t underestimate the power of music.
Make a point to listen to music not only during, but before and after your sweat sesh as well. Putting on your favourite tunes before you start working out will get you in a happy head space and remind you of who you are and that you deserve to be fit and healthy.
During a workout, it’s recommended to listen to music that is at a synchronised tempo to your movements. Scientists tested different rhythms of music on people who were working out on an exercise bike. They found that the group who listened to music with a beat that was faster and synchronous with their movement used oxygen more efficiently, and actually worked out for longer before reaching exhaustion.
So how does it work?
Scientists have proven that listening to music triggers activity in the ‘reward centers’ of our brain, which basically means it gives us a hit of dopamine that can make us feel good, or even overjoyed! Listening to music also lights up other areas of the brain - in fact, almost no brain center is left untouched - which means there are widespread benefits and potential uses for music as therapy.
Put it into action!
Grab yourself a Geko Case so you can listen to music no matter what you’re doing. In the shower? Stick your phone to the bathroom tiles to listen to a smooth jazz playlist to get you ready for the day. Working out? Stick it to your mirror so you can listen to music and check your workout form at the same time! Cooking? Use your Geko Case to stick your phone to the kitchen cupboard so you can listen to music whilst following your recipe!
If you want to take it even further, there are charities you can support like MUSIC & MEMORY which help people with dementia have access to music therapy. Go you!