It’s common knowledge that losing yourself in a good song is a fantastic way to boost your mood, and help clear your mind of the day’s chaos. By immersing yourself in your favourite collection of soulful, rhythmic tunes you can refocus your mind, find the motivation to complete the extra ten minutes on the treadmill and reach a sense of calm to help you drift off to sleep.
Significantly, a number of recent studies have highlighted just how effective music can be for relieving a number of emotional and physical symptoms.
In particular, one study conducted in 2012 by the University of Utah Pain Research, US, found that music actually helped to heal a range of medical conditions. This was greatly due to its ability to distract the mind, therefore serving as an effective source of pain control.
Additionally, studies have proven the link between music and endurance. Listening to upbeat tracks while exercising can boost endurance by as much as 15%, according to the findings reached in a study conducted at the Brunel University, London. Energy efficiency is also improved, typically by one to three percent.
As for its sleep improving benefits, in 2008 a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing showed that music leads to better sleep quality – particularly among students. The research involved a number of participants suffering from sleep problems, and those who listened to classical music before bed benefitted far more than those who listened to audio books or nothing at all. In fact, they achieved a better muscle relaxation, decreased anxiety and reduced respiratory and heart rate among other positive results.
Stress relief is another celebrated benefit of music, and a psychology dissertation from The University of Gothenburg showed that listening to music on a daily basis can help reduce the stress hormone, Cortisol. Those who took part in the research – and whom tuned in to their favourite songs every day – showed the most positive results in stress relief.
Reduced anxiety levels too tend to be linked to the listening of music, and a study published in the Depression and Anxiety journal found that lying down and listening to music has the same effect as ten one-hour massage sessions. Music is also shown to help relax patients before surgery and help students to perform better in exams.
Other documented evidence has shown a link between music and the release of the feel-good chemical, Dopamine, and it also helps to speed up post exercise recovery and aids long-term heart health.
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