Music does more than just encourage you to bust a move. Find out 10 surprising benefits of music below.
1. Pain Relief
Music can help reduce the perceived level of pain by reducing anxiety and acting as a diversion. It’s also known to be an effective tool in the recovery of patients who have undergone various surgeries.
2. Decrease Food Intake
A study by researchers at Cornell University found that soft music and dim lighting help people eat more slowly and enjoy their food more, ultimately consuming fewer calories. Slowing down helps one be more mindful and notice being full.
3. Boost Immune Functions
A research group led by Prof. Daniel J. Levitin of McGill University’s Psychology Department found that people who listened to music had an increase in their levels of Immunoglobulin, a type of antibody that is crucial to the mucous system and works in places such as the digestive tract and lungs to help prevent infections. This research group also found that music listeners had higher counts of natural killer cells, the cells that attack bacteria, infected cells, and cancerous cells.
4. Improve Memory
A study done at UC Irvine showed that scores on memory tests of Alzheimer’s patients improved when they listened to classical music.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Emma Gray found that students who listen to classical music with 60-70 beats per minute while studying score on average 12% higher.
5. Reduce Stress
Music-listening produces significant decreases in blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, and helps decrease cortisol levels.
6. Enhance Concentration and Improve Focus
A Stanford study showed that music engages the areas of the brain that are involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating events in memory.
Enjoy our Spotify playlist “Focus” below.
7. Increase Happiness
Listening to music causes the brain to release dopamine, the chemical that makes you feel good.
8. Increase Endurance During Exercise
Listening to music can pump you up! A 2010 study found that cyclists pedaled harder and faster while listening to music at faster tempos. Music gives you something else to focus on, so that you can forget about the burn in your muscles and concentrate on your favorite workout song.
9. Strengthen Social Bonds
Music boosts oxytocin levels, the chemicals that play an important role in increasing bonding and trust between people. Music has also been found to increase cultural cohesion and strengthens one’s sense of belonging.
“If I’m a performer and you’re a listener, and what I’m playing really moves you, I’ve basically synchronized your brain rhythm with mine,” says Ed Large, a music psychologist at the University of Connecticut, “That’s how I communicate with you”.
10. Sleep Aid
Relaxing, classical music has shown to be an effective solution in reducing sleeping problems. A study that was done on older adults showed that listening to relaxing music before going to bed resulted in better perceived sleep quality, longer sleep duration, greater sleep efficiency, shorter sleep latency, less sleep disturbance and less daytime dysfunction.