Everyone loves listening to good music. Research has even shown us that listening to music keeps you in a good mental state and can even boost your physical health. If you learn to play music as well it can boost your IQ and help you stay sharp as you age. Here are ten of the most amazing scientifically proven benefits of listening to music.
1. Music Makes you Happier
Research has proven that listening to music makes your brain release dopamine, which leaves you feeling good. There was a study wherein 8 music lovers were injected with radioactive substances that tracked their dopamine receptors. They listened to their favourite songs and the PET scan showed that they received a lot of dopamine. This left the participants feeling happy and excited.
2. Music Makes You Run Faster and Longer
There was another study that showed runners who were listening to fast or slow motivation music were able to run 800 meters faster than people who listened to either calming music, or no music at all. When you want to run better grab some headphones and listen to some inspiring music.
3. Music Improves Your Health and Lowers Stress
Listening to the music you love reduces the amount of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is behind chronic stress. This is important because stress is the leading cause of 60% of all the illness and disease a person suffers. If you also create music by playing percussion instruments and singing then you receive an even bigger boost to your immune system than if you were just playing.
4. Music Can Help You Sleep Better
Currently over 30% of Americans are insomniacs. A study has shown that when students listened to classical music for 45 minutes before bed they slept much better than the students who listened to audiobooks or just kept up their regular routine. So if you find sleeping difficult try listening to Mozart or Bach before bedtime.
5. Music Reduces Depression
There are more than 350 million people worldwide who suffer from depression. A massive 90% of these depression sufferers also have insomnia. Research has shown that listening to classical music before bedtime drastically reduces the symptoms of depression. A German study also showed how different types of music have different effects on depressive symptoms. Listening to meditative sounds and classical music enhanced mood while listening to techno and heavy metal left people more depressed. So the next time you feel a little down try listening to some classical music.
6. Music Can Help You Eat Less
Research done at Georgia Tech University showed that bringing down the lights and playing soft music while people ate made them eat less and enjoy their food more. So if you want to control your appetite try dimming down the lights and putting on some soft music when you eat.
7. Music Keeps Your Spirits Up While Driving
Studies done in the Netherlands showed that listening to music can have a positive impact on your mood when driving. This means you drive safer than if you weren’t listening to music. So the next time traffic leaves you frustrated turn up the volume on your music and let it wash over you. It doesn’t even impact your driving performance. If anything it may make you drive safer.
8. Music Improves Your Learning and Memory
Research has shown that listening to music helps you store and recall information better. It does depend on how much you like the music and if you’re a musician or not though. Subjects were better able to remember Japanese characters while they listened to music that was either positive or neutral. When the participants were also musicians they learned better with neutral music, but tested better when listening to pleasurable music. People who weren’t musicians, meanwhile, learned better with positive music but tested better when listening to neutral music.
9. Music Relaxes Patients Before and After Surgery
Research found that listening to relaxing music before going under the knife reduces stress and anxiety. It’s actually been proven more effective than being given Midazolam, which is a medication used to help patients feel sleepy. Unfortunately it has unpleasant side effects such as coughing and vomiting. Another study shows that listening to soothing music after surgery helps people relax and recover.
10. Music Makes Us Feel Less Pain
Researchers at the Drexel University in Philadelphia discovered that music therapy and playing pre-recorded music reduced pain in cancer patients more effectively than regular medicine. Other research showed that it can decrease the pain felt by patients in intensive care and geriatric care. The music does have to be the right choice though. The best choices are classical pieces, meditative music, or music chosen by the patients.