It’s safe to say that almost everyone loves music. There are so many different genres and styles that it’s easy to find songs as unique as you are. It’s hard to imagine life without music; it’s all around us – in the car, over speakers at stores, at a restaurant, in the background of movies and TV shows – you can’t escape it, and that’s a good thing! Aside from being enjoyable, music has proven benefits to help our minds and bodies. Read on to learn about the benefits of listening to music.
Did you know that music can improve your memory? In a study conducted by Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, people were asked to read and recall short lists of words while some people listened to music and some didn’t. The participants listening to music outperformed those reading with silence or white noise. So don’t be afraid to put on some instrumental music while you read; it might help your comprehension. Mayo Clinic also notes that, while music unfortunately hasn’t been proved to reverse memory loss experienced by people with Alzheimer’s disease, it has been shown to slow cognitive decline with interventions like music therapy.
It makes sense that, as music improves memory function, it also helps us learn better. It is typically easier for people to remember words and phrases that are paired with melodies. That’s why children often learn new things in song, such as the ABCs, a list of presidents or the 50 states. The same trick works for all ages. You can probably still remember a song to this day that you sang as a child to help you learn and retain information.
Have you ever turned on one of your favorite songs at the end of a stressful day? That’s a natural response as music is known to relieve stress. In addition to relieving stress, music can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Music is even used in rehabilitation facilities to assist patients who have suffered a stroke or heart attack. While any music you enjoy is probably relaxing for you, classical and jazz music have shown the most positive clinical results. It never hurts to be less stressed!
In addition to improving cognitive functions, music can have positive effects on the body as well. Music makes us want to move. Have you ever been to an exercise class without music? That would be fairly awkward and boring; music makes exercise fun! Even if it’s as simple as dancing to an upbeat song, listening to music is an enjoyable way to get your heart rate up and stay active.
We hope this encourages you to listen to music even more than you already do. Maybe it encourages you to explore music outside of your typical genre or intentionally use it as a tool to boost your memory, reduce stress and stay active. Here is a link to a playlist curated by a music therapist to get you started. Happy listening!