Music is definitely a great source of entertainment, but did you know that music has a similar effect as exercise? A new research shows that music promotes wellbeing and has positive effects on our mental health.
One of the most important benefits that music brings is stress relief, especially soft ambient music, which provides calming stimulation and a sense of relaxation, releasing tension from your muscles, helping to slow your breathing and unwind after facing a stressful situation.
Music also helps reduce anxiety and depression, having therapeutic benefits and helping you deal with intrusive and negative thoughts.
The study was based on a meta-analysis of 26 previous studies, totaling 779 participants, and finding increasing evidence that proves the effectiveness of music to broadly promote wellbeing and health-related quality of life, in comparison to those who have dedicated themselves to exercise and weight loss programs.
Music has also been shown to release brain chemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin, linked to feelings of pleasure, and effectively lowering levels of cortisol.
“There are so many mechanisms that explain the powerful impact that listening to a piece of music can have,” says president of the International Association for Music & Medicine and professor of music therapy at Berklee College of Music, Suzanne Hansert, to AARP.
Hansert explains that “Music that was played at your wedding or in a religious service, or even at a concert you attended or a dance you were at — that music remains preserved for those neuropathways that connect that music with really positive feelings.”