For decades now, scientists and regular people have tried to understand the effects of music on the human body and its mood. Although we still need to understand why certain types of music trigger certain memories or feelings inside our bodies, one thing is for sure – living without music would be just as sad as not being able to enjoy the beautiful colors of spring blooming or the delicious smell of home-cooked food.
So, next time you’re listening to your favorite tune on the radio or even trying to write the notes for a new love song, keep in mind the actual health benefits of music and why it is so important for us all.
Music improves sleeping
According to recent studies, about 30% of the total number of American adults suffer from one form of sleeping disorder or insomnia. Daily stress, personal struggles, and the blue light coming from tech devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablets can seriously disrupt sleeping patterns, leading to insomnia or trouble falling asleep.
However, listening to classical or relaxing music before going to bed has proved to significantly improve the brain’s capacity to unplug, allowing it to rest properly. Scientists compared the effects of classical music to the ones of a glass of warm milk or a glass of wine before going to bed, two natural remedies that are known to induce sleep and allow the brain to relax.
Music improves running performances
While relaxing music may help you fall asleep, loud or fast music can actually improve your athletic performances. Studies conducted on thousands of people have shown that runners who listen to stimulating or loud music before a race will perform, on average, 15-20% better than those who listen to calm or soft music.
The type of music we listen to directly influences our brain, which is responsible for sending signals all over our bodies. With the right set of tracks, we can increase our athletic performances, run faster, and even win a race.
Music can reduce depression and anxiety
Music is also responsible for our state of mind. Since it has a direct effect on our hormones, it comes as no surprise that a certain song can trigger good or bad memories and influence our mood.
According to official statistics, more than 350 million people around the world suffer from depression, and 90% of them also deal with anxiety and lack of sleep.
Psychologists and psychiatrists found out that listening to the right type of music can have a therapeutic and beneficial effect on patients. It helps them channel their deepest thoughts and memories, bringing to prominence old wounds that need to be healed.
However, music alone can’t help people cure depression. This condition is more complicated than it may seem at first and only the right treatment, combined with therapy can work in the long term.
Nevertheless, listening to classical music may improve your mood and even help you deal with negative emotions better. On the contrary, techno or heavy metal music can bring you down even more, similar to old songs that are attributed to strong, negative emotions.
Music can help you eat less
As opposed to the fast-food society we live in, the concept of slow food encourages people to take smaller bites and enjoy the entire dining experience more. On average, an American adult doesn’t spend more than 18 minutes eating lunch and around 35 minutes for dinner.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time for meaningful conversations or connecting with your dear ones during meal time, which may lead to frustration and negative emotions in the long run. By spending more time at the dinner table we will not only focus more on our beloved ones but will also end up eating less and enjoying each bite to the maximum.
The combination of soft music and lighting at the table, together with the concept of slow food, seems to have a positive impact on our health, determining us to eat less and to be pickier when it comes to the ingredients in our meal.
Music increases verbal intelligence
If you need any more proof that music does make you more intelligent, there are several studies conducted in the field of verbal intelligence. According to them, 90% of children aged 4-6 increased their verbal intelligence after taking just one month of music lessons that included notions of melody, rhythm, pitch, and voice.
Scientists suggested that music training had a form of “transfer effect” that helped children understand and explain words better.
The same happens with all those who listen to the lyrics of a song. Depending on each person’s memory, the lyrics to a song can be learned by heart in less than one day and help to expand one’s vocabulary or verbal intelligence.
Moreover, elementary notions of music can help people learn to play an instrument easier and even write their own songs. If you have a passion for guitars and want to improve your playing skills, you’ll find this a nice read.
Music improves driving skills
How many people like driving without listening to anything at all? According to a scientific study conducted in the Netherlands, those who listen to music while driving improve their skills in the long term.
As we previously mentioned, music has a major impact on one’s mood so, by listening to the right tunes, you can become more cheerful and happier. Consequently, this will lead to safer driving.
After decades if not centuries of studies and millions of people getting involved, the conclusions are rather simple – music does play an important role in one’s development and can become an antidote for various affections.
Calm and relaxing music allows you to find inner peace and, combined with meditation or a mild form of exercising, it will improve your mood and battle anxiety, depression, and negative thoughts.
Music also plays a crucial role in your diet habits as it can actually help you to eat less and, thus, lose a few pounds in time.