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How Music Helps Mental Health

Music goes beyond giving us something nice to listen to; Did you know music can actually benefit your mental health? This article talks about the scientifically proven benefits that music brings to your mental well-being!

Posted By the Voyager Team on: Nov 5, 2020

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2020 has been a particularly tough year for everyone. 1 in 5 people deal with some type of mental health issue within their lifetime which is a concerningly high percentage. We all love music and whilst we listen to it every day, many of us don't know the benefits it has on our mental health! Here we have compiled a list of just what benefits it can bring with some scientific studies added to show it really works!

Increases Your Overall Mood And Motivation

A part of being holistically healthy within your mental well-being is closely linked with positive thinking and your level of optimism. Music is helpful with this because when you’re having a bad day, putting on an uplifting, high tempo song can do wonders to your mood and motivation. The powerful song lyrics and tonality of the music elevate your mood and dopamine levels. Researchers have claimed classical and ambient music have the best mood-boosting benefits, while metal and hard electronic music were considered to have the opposite effect.

Reduces Stress

We all lead very busy lives that sometimes feels like it never stops. Whether you’re a school student, an adult with a hectic work schedule, or a parent running 4 kids around, stress levels can seem uncontrollable. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress next time, take 3 minutes to listen to your favorite song. In 2013, a study took place where participants took part in one of three conditions before being exposed to a stressor and then taking a psychosocial stress test. Some participants listened to relaxing music, others listened to the sound of rippling water, and the rest received no auditory stimulation. The results of this study suggested that listening to music had an impact on the human stress response, particularly the autonomic nervous system. The people that listened to music during this, tended to recover more quickly following a stressor.

Reduces Feelings Of Anxiety And Depression

The prevalence of anxiety and depression within our society is worryingly high and it feels like the statistics keep rising. In the past few years, Music Therapy has become a popular form of treatment to help anxiety and depressions. It’s an exercise in listening and composing therapeutic music to promote physical and mental rehabilitation. In fact, a recent study by Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International has shown instrumental, classical, or ambient music can help reduce anxiety by up to 65%.

Can Help Manage Pain

Research has shown that music can be very helpful in the management of pain. One study of fibromyalgia patients found that those who listened to music for just one hour a day experienced a significant reduction in pain compared to those in a control group. At the end of the four-week study period, participants who had listened to music each day experienced significant reductions in feelings of pain and depression. Such results suggest that music therapy could be an important tool in the treatment of chronic pain. Then in 2015, a study found that patients who listened to music before, during, and after surgery experienced less pain and anxiety than those who did not listen to music at all. The study looked at data from more than 7,000 patients and found that music listeners also required less medication to manage their pain.

Improves Sleep Quality

We all have gone through periods where we are not sleeping well. You constantly feel lethargic, tired and in a slump during the day, and then when you try to sleep, your brain is going at a million miles per minute. Insomnia affects all age groups and whilst there are treatments out there to help sleep, research has demonstrated that listening to relaxing classical music can be a safe, effective, and affordable remedy. A study once looked at a group of college students where participants listen to classical music, audiobooks, or nothing at all just before they went to bed, for 3 weeks. The study found that participants who had listened to music had significantly better sleep quality than those who had listened to the audiobook or received no intervention. Even sounds of nature can help improve your sleep quality, dramatically!

If you or anyone else you know is struggling right now, there are great platforms to ask for or get help.

  • or call 13 11 14
  • or call 1300 22 4636

With 💜,

~Bella, The Voyager Team

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