Have you ever wondered why is music our go-to friend?
If you are sad, you hear sad music; if you want to be happy, you hear upbeat music; and if you are searching for motivation, you hear strong and loud music. Well, you love your playlist; it is your entire mood board.
Have you wondered why you have such a close connection with music?
Because music alters the brain and makes us feel good and relaxed. It makes your brain feel exactly what it wants to feel. If you are frustrated with your day, a 10-minute calm music can help you calm yourself down.
Music relaxes your muscles and makes you groove. Who doesn’t like to dance to their favorite music?
Music hypes you, just like a friend.
When you want the motivation to work out or run that extra mile, you blast up your favorite music to complete your task. They act like an energy booster and increase your efficiency.
The melodies of any music have the power to make you smile, and that is why they are becoming your best friend. Music is that non-judgemental friend that helps you express yourself in extreme situations and ease your body and mind. The choice of music is different for everyone; finding the right music for mental health is the key.
Music is like a superfood for your brain.
Let’s understand the influence of music on mental health.
Influence of Music on mental health
Music and mental health is a relationship that goes way back in time. During ancient times kings used music to ease depression and anxiety. The influence of music on mental health is powerful, as it changes how you perceive things. The impact of music can be both positive and negative.
Suppose we discuss the positive aspects of music. In that case, it helps increase your cognitive function, keep you happy, motivated and calm, and decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Listening to a positive melody makes you feel better and motivated to enjoy the rest of the day. Music makes the world a happy place for you. The duration when the beautiful lyrics and songs engulf you, you feel like heaven. Listening to music helps you open up about your emotions and help you acknowledge them. Go for it if you want to learn to play or create music. It helps in developing a sense of accomplishment and increases creativity.
But certain genres of music are found to be provoking and influence negative emotions and thought processes in you—these types of music influence hate, crime, and rage. Avoiding them will keep you away from stress and negativity.
We know that you want a scientific backup on how the phenomenon of music and mental health works. So let’s dive into the science behind it.
Understanding the Science: Music a therapeutic tool
Music is omnipresent. Everybody listens to music. They make tough days easier. But what’s the science behind this? How does music affect our mood? How does it change our emotions?
According to research, music affects the different parts of the brain.
- Music enhances decision-making and the ability to think properly by affecting the brain’s frontal lobe.
- Music helps our brain process effectively by affecting the brain’s temporal lobe.
- Music enhances communication skills by enhancing the brain’s Broca’s Area.
- Music releases dopamine and makes you happy by affecting the Nucleus Accumbens part of the brain.
- Music regulates our emotions, making us sad, happy, or energized by affecting the amygdala part of the brain.
- Music improves memory by affecting the neurons of the Hippocampus part of the brain.
- Music controls the heart and blood pressure by affecting the Hypothalamus part of the brain.
The vibrations of the music go through your eardrum and transmit an electric signal to your brain, thus affecting your mind and thoughts.
Research has proven that music has mathematical, structural, and architectural elements; our brains can process and make sense of it. Due to the effects of music on our mental health, music is largely being used in therapy. So, let’s dive into the benefits of music on your mental health.
Music and mental health: The benefits
Music triggers dopamine in your brain and helps you feel happy and energized. Listening to music can help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress and boost your mental health. So let’s discuss the amazing benefits of music on your mental health:
1. Music can skyrocket your cognitive performance
Why do you play music while cleaning your house, doing your work, or even sometimes while studying?
It helps you concentrate, isn’t it? Music has the magical power to enhance brain function and increase productivity. Music helps mental health by improving focus, by which we can do our work more quickly. You can use Slow beats, low sound, and simple music to enhance your cognitive performance. It helps clear your mind and gives you the space for more creativity.
2. Music is your stress reliever
What is better than lying on your bed and playing soothing songs after a long stressful day?
Music can stimulate your brain to decrease stress by regulating the cortisol hormone. Music helps mental health by calming you down and helping you think properly. Gives a fresh perspective on any situation. Even if you are stuck in any kind of stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to some music. It will help you make proper decisions.
3. Music enhances your memory
Do you also listen to music while studying or memorizing something? Is it helpful?
The relationship between music and memory varies between the type of music one listens to. Some people tend to listen to neutral music to help them memorize things quickly, while some rely on positive music beats to help them concentrate while studying or doing their work. Music has the power to bring back a memory from the past. This is why you feel nostalgic when you hear your favorite childhood music.
4. Music can be your painkiller
Cn music be your painkiller?
In some cases, yes.
Pain can be either mental or physical or even both. In such case studies, music can be an effective tool for feeling better. While dealing with any kind of mental health issue, emotional pain is quite challenging to handle. In such a case, music helps mental health and makes you feel better. Music stimulates endorphins, natural painkillers that can promote happiness and well-being.
Though music cannot take your entire pain, it can occasionally act as a relief medication. With other treatments, you can use music as your personal relief system. Listen to your favorite music and let that heart and mind enjoy it.
5. Music can give you sound sleep
A maximum of us don’t have a proper sleep schedule. Now keep this phone away and stop scrolling. Put on some music. Slow, soothing music, and try to sleep. This will help clear your mind, and you’ll enjoy a sound sleep.
6. Music is always your cheerleader
You are on your last set, you need the motivation, and then your favorite workout song plays in the background; you feel energized and motivated, and you finally complete your workout.
Music helps mental health by motivating your mind to complete your tasks. It stimulates our brain and helps us feel energized. Listening to speed songs can enhance your performance. Research stated that with the music’s tempo increase, productivity increased by 10%.
7. Music can make you happier
Another amazing benefit of music is it makes you happier. Many studies prove that if you listen to positive songs, your mind and body will become light and calm, and you will feel happy.
Listening to your favorite music helps mental health by making you forget about all your tension and frustration. Music increases the dopamine level in your body, and that makes you happier and energized. It helps by distracting you from negative thoughts and emotions.
8. Music has its magic over depression
Music is also a great tool to help with depression effectively. Music helps mental health of patients suffering from neurological disorders feel calm and relaxed.
While suffering from depression, it’s normal to feel tired and frustrated. Music can give you hope and the ability to be productive. But an important thing that needs to be remembered is that music alone cannot treat depression. You can use music therapy with other treatments to feel better.
9. Music has the power to lower your anxiety
Music helps mental health by calming you down when you are anxious or stressed. The cortisol levels are lowered when you listen to your favorite song. Music gives you a soothing effect by lowering your blood pressure and heart rates.
Try listening to music with soft tones or instrumental music, including classical music. Playing and creating music are also effective methods to reduce anxiety. They also increase creativity and productivity.
10. Music builds stronger relationships and social connections
The social impacts of music may boost people’s well-being due to brain chemical changes, such as an increase in oxytocin. The “love hormone,” oxytocin, increases our propensity for social contact and fosters interpersonal trust.
You may have noticed how people connect just with one question, “What kind of music do you like?” If you find someone with the same taste, you feel the happiest.
11. Music can be your emotional outlet
Music helps mental health by effectively regulating your emotions and feeling. Music enables you to express yourself. Playing an instrument can release many emotions that might have bottled up in you. Music comforts you and helps you acknowledge your feelings better.
Choosing the right type of music for your emotions is important. Sometimes, some kinds of music negatively affect how your emotions reflect. Choosing music that is positive for your mental health is essential.
Types of Music for mental health
Now that you have learned about mental health and its relationship with music, we have a list of songs you can listen to and experiment with if they make you feel better.
1. For anxiety
The music should be of a moderate tempo, with a straightforward melody, and should not contain a lot of complex harmonies and beats. This type of music helps mental health by making you feel relaxed and calming your nerves.
Listen to this: Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for Airports [Full Album]
2. For Depression
Binaural Beats with alpha, delta, or theta music helps mental health by providing the following advantages for reducing the signs of depression: Profound relaxation, improved motivation, improved sleep, increased focus, and less anxiety are all benefits.
3. For stress
When performed at a moderate volume, Native American, Celtic, and Indian stringed instruments, drums, and flutes are quite efficient at calming the mind. Rain, thunder, and other natural noises can also be calming, especially if combined with other types of music, like light jazz and classical, and are the best music for mental health.
Listen to this: R. Carlos Nakai – Echoes Of Time (Canyon Trilogy Track 4)
To achieve a sound sleep, you can try music with solfeggio frequencies, instrumental music, nature sounds, or binaural beats. This music helps heal your physical, mental, and emotional health. These music are not generally vocal but include sounds with high frequency and are very effective music for mental health.
5. For ADHD
Some music may aid in promoting concentration for helping with the symptoms of ADHD. Choose music that is soothing with a medium tempo and simple rhythms. White noise can also be effective in ADHD.
6. For OCD
The therapeutic benefits of music can also be used to treat OCD symptoms and anxiety and depression symptoms in OCD sufferers. Receptive music therapy, for instance, reduced the compulsive symptoms accompanying comorbid anxiety and sadness.
So as you can see, music and mental health are a match made in heaven!
Sometimes all we need is good music and a cup of tea to shake the day’s stress off. You can hear any kind of music, be it pop, classical, jazz, or rock. Music for mental health can change your thoughts and emotions and regulate your mental health. The therapeutic use of music for mental health has become common nowadays as music therapy. There are many types of music therapy; to learn more about it, click here.
You should also keep in mind that music is not a substitute for the other treatments. They can be combined with other therapies for better results.
Did you like the blog post? Comment down below what type of music you enjoy. Until then, subscribe to your mental health pal for more blogs on mental health issues and their treatments.