What miracles can music do for you? It’s no secret that music has the ability to alter a person’s mood. While a heavy metal song may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it could help a teenager blow off some much-needed steam after a stressful day at high school. Conversely, an anxious soul may put on a piece of classical music to help calm their mind. Party-goers could put on some hip-hop to get in the mood for the high-energy occurrences of the evening.
But new studies now reveal that music can have legitimate benefits for its listeners—and in certain instances, can perform what could almost be considered downright miracles. Take a look at the list we’ve compiled of some of the amazing benefits music can offer listeners.
- Stress reduction.
People today are riddled with anxiety, whether it’s derived from a stressful job, a marriage that’s falling apart, financial troubles, or the like. It doesn’t take much to throw someone out of the loop. After all, humans are complicated creatures. When bouts of anxiety hit us, there’s hardly a better coping mechanism than putting on a song that calms us down or gets our mind off the situation. It could be an old favorite that reminds us of happier times, or it might be a classical selection possessing a combination of instruments that serve to ease our minds. Regardless, after a few minutes of listening, we have sorted through our thoughts and, at least while the music is playing, come to grips with our situation. This is a very real power that music has, and chances are, you’re already aware of it.
- Increased effectiveness of immune system.
We realize that this one sounds farfetched, but it’s actually quite true: recent studies reveal that consistent, repeated listening of soothing tunes can increase the functionality of a person’s immune system, which helps fight off the toxins of our everyday environments. Scientists in one study concluded that music can increase levels of IgA in our bodies, one of the most important antibodies in our immune system’s fight against disease. After just half an hour of listening, the test group had their levels of IgA tested, and every single member of the group registered levels that were significantly higher than those recorded prior to listening. This left researchers with one simple and very obvious conclusion: the music accounted for the increased levels, and thus, at least temporarily, increased immune system function. You heard it here first: when you have a cold, it’s fluids, rest, and music!
- Increased recall ability.
It’s common practice for people to listen to music while they’re studying—go into any college library and you’ll see amid the desks and cubicles that almost every student’s head is adorned with a set of headphones. While music can offer a great distraction from the outside world, it can also be benificial to listen to during studying because of the fact that it can increase the function of our memory. That’s right: music will help you as you attempt to cram for that last-minute chemistry test, or will even help you recall the words of that important business presentation you have tomorrow. The reasons behind it are a sort of chain reaction: music causes dopamine to be released in the brain, a chemical that’s associated with increased motivation. Subsequently, the increase in motivation leads to a boost in memory and comprehension. This phenomenon, which was initially just a theory, was put to the test in an experiment conducted with patients who had experienced strokes, resulting in memory loss. After six months, it was determined that those patients who had been given music to listen to consistently throughout the period had significantly improved their verbal recall skills—not to mention, they were in significantly improved moods than they had been previously, which as we know is another beautiful benefit of music.
- Increased physical fitness.
If you’re heading off to the gym, chances are you won’t be going without a fresh playlist of tunes loaded on to your phone. Regardless of music app, most people wouldn’t think twice about trying to work out without their favorite songs playing loudly in their ears. This is because music provides us with significant more motivation than we would have otherwise when we want to work out. In much the same way that it helps with our recall, the dopamine released in our brain as a result of listening to music leads to significantly more willpower in the gym, on the trails, or—if you have a waterproof phone case and earphones—in the pool. Don’t think about trying to knock out that last set without first making sure your rock anthem is playing, in tune with your favorite part.
- Sleep aid.
Sometimes all we want to do is shut our eyes and fall asleep, but our minds have different eyes, torturing us and making us run through all the thoughts of the day while evading sleep. While insomnia is very real and people experience it to varying degrees, techniques such as hypnosis and products like sleep aids are not always necessary. Music can be a great, natural way to help one fall asleep. Classical music has been scientifically proven to help people calm their frazzled brains and finally get some rest. An hour or so before bedtime, make sure you have a playlist prepared with a few soothing numbers. From there, all you have to do is crawl into bed, put it on, and give in to the tunes.
Okay, so perhaps “magic” or “miracles” may be too strong of adjectives here, but it’s certainly clear by now how simply powerful music can be for a person. In this frenetic, dog-eat-dog world, music has always been a constant. Sure, there are as many variations are there are shades of colors in the rainbow, but it is something that has been enjoyed by mankind since the beginning of time—and, as we now know, it’s improving mankind every single day.