Most people have come home from work or an outing felling stressed and angry. You may find that when you put on some music, these powerful emotions begin to fade the more you listen to the upbeat tune.
Chemically, music has an intense impact on the brain and overall mood. This is because music has been found to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which are associated with feeling good and more relaxed; however, some tunes can also get your adrenaline pumping.
When it comes to music and mental health, there is an intrinsic link between listening to music regularly and improvements in mood, and in this article, you can explore five benefits that music can have on your mental health.
There is a reason why when you attend yoga sessions at your community hall. There is ambient music playing in the background. Researchers have found that this kind of music, alongside classical pieces performed by orchestras, has the largest impact on somebody’s mood.
If you want to test this theory, luckily, there are plenty of orchestras touring at present. You can purchase Trans-Siberian Orchestra tickets for a relaxing night out to see how a live performance of classical music will impact your mood.
As briefly mentioned earlier, some forms of music do increase adrenaline, but other kinds of music reduced stress.
This is because when a person feels stressed, their heart rate accelerates, and being exposed to a soft pounding rhythm will naturally slow their heartbeat, which in turn reduces stress and decreases adrenaline. If you’re feeling stressed, try to avoid listening to heavy metal, as this will likely make you more pumped and feel more stressed out.
While listening adrenaline-boosting music may negatively affect you when you’re stressed, it can be beneficial to listen to while exercising. Listening to your favourite band while going for a run or doing some sort of physical activity can help to release endorphins. I personally like listening to Wheatus when I take long walks, but what you listen to is up to you.
Once again, ambient and classical music lead the way when it comes to improving focus, but other types of very targeted music are aimed at increasing beta waves in the brain. Beta waves are associated with better cognitive function and a calmer mood, so if you are having difficulty with revising for an exam or focusing on work, try to listen to beta wave-boosting music.
As mentioned, music helps with relaxation because it has been found to naturally elevate levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, both of which are associated with feeling more positive add more relaxed. Serotonin is also associated with sleep and meditation, so by listening to soft, gentle ambient music every day when you come home from work, you will feel more relaxed.
Anxiety, Depression, and Music
It should be no surprise that the majority of musicians who play classical music have reported that at some point in their life, they have suffered from anxiety, depression, or both and have found that music has helped to boost their mood.
Classical music reduces depression and anxiety symptoms by up to 65%, according to research conducted by Dr. Hodgson of Mindlab International. So, if you are feeling depressed or anxious, aim to listen to classical or easy-going music.
Image Credits: Hammy Havoc