6 surprising and powerful ways listening to music boosts mental health

By HarperLees

Picture the following. You’re working at your desk with the radio providing background noise. Then a song comes onto the radio, and suddenly you’re transported to another time and place in your life.

Hopefully it’s a happy one, such as a particularly enjoyable holiday, meeting your spouse or a night out with friends that still makes you smile.

The ability of music and songs to trigger memories is something that has long been recognised. More recently though, a study revealed in an article by the Independent reveals music has helped boost people’s mental wellbeing through the Covid lockdown.

The study, carried out by global music discovery service DICE and Populous, found that 23% of the 2,000 people asked said music had been the biggest support to their mental health during the pandemic.

So read on to discover six amazing ways music can boost mental health, and also boost emotional and psychological wellbeing.

1. Music can be therapeutic

Like many other creative activities, such as art and drama, music can be used as therapy. This includes helping those living with dementia and children or adults with mental health or developmental needs.

This is because it can help lift your mood and relieve stress and depression. According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2013, regularly listening to music could increase happiness in just two weeks.

2. Music can help us process emotions

In 2016, a study led by Durham University and the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, revealed that listening to sad music can provide a sense of comfort. It also found that doing this could help regulate our mood and provide relief and enjoyment.

This means music can be an important way of dealing with loss, as it could help you express and process your emotions.

3. Classical music helps you focus

Listening to Mozart, Beethoven or Bach could help boost your levels of concentration. This is because classical music can help you filter out distractions and help provide a sense of calm.

A study in 2007 at Stanford University study also found that listening to classical music could help you absorb new information more easily.

4. Heavy metal allows us to express anger

One study at the University of Queensland, Australia, found that music also allows us to express anger and aggression, something that then helps improve your mood.

Perhaps ironically, it also found that listening to heavy metal, punk or hardcore music could help calm you down. This is because it allows us to express anger that means we can relax afterwards.

5. Music boosts motivation

Whether you’re suffering from a slow start to the day or need some energy to go out for a run, music can help get you motivated. As musical tones and lyrics help elevate your mood, you feel more optimistic and positive, which can then help you feel more motivated.

Researchers have also found that listening to fast-paced music helps get your brain and your body moving, not only priming you for the day ahead but also boosting feelings of enjoyment.

6. Music boosts other treatments

When music therapy has been used in combination with other more traditional treatments for mental health, patients experience fewer depressive symptoms than with the treatment alone.

It has been found that those struggling with depression reported lower levels of anxiety and improved functioning when music became a part of their treatment.

And dancing can be good for you too

According to studies, dancing is another way music can benefit mental health, albeit indirectly.

In 2003, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine showed that dancing is the only type of physical activity associated with a reduced risk of dementia. In further scientific studies, dancers themselves reported multiple cognitive benefits of their activity.

Get in touch

If music is a major part of your life, you’re in good company with HarperLees. So much so that every member of the team compiled their own Desert Island Discs, in which they share the tunes that mean the most to them.

Feel free to have a listen, you’ll find an eclectic mix from many of the great artists including Prince, Ed Sheeran, Queen and Gerry Rafferty.

We hope you found this blog interesting and informative. If you would like some financial peace of mind, whether it’s your general wealth, taxation or investment strategy, please email info@harperlees.co.uk or call us on 01277 350560.