Music has been the subject of numerous academic studies around the world, investigating its beneficial effects on health and mental wellness. While you may be aware of these effects first-hand, research has consistently proven that listening to music can often make a more powerful impact than medication on your health and well-being. Here are four ways that listening to music is good for your health.
Boosts Your Happiness
While you may have experienced the effects anecdotally, listening to your favorite music is a proven, easy way to elevate your mood. A study from McGill University showed that large amounts of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine were released after participants listened to music they like, causing them to feel happy and excited. You can experience this natural high after hearing your favorite songs for at least 15 minutes.
Enhances Your Immune System
Listening to certain genres of music elevates your immune system function, possibly helping you recover from colds and other seasonal illnesses more quickly. A Wilkes University study demonstrated that soothing music increases the levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the immune system, an antibody that plays an important role in defending against bacterial and viral invaders. Upbeat dance music and smooth jazz also have the same positive effect on IgA levels.
Maximizes Your Workout
According to recent research, your favorite fast-tempo music may inspire you to work out more intensely, increasing your heart rate while making the exercise feel like less effort. While the effect is greater with endurance exercises such as biking or jogging, it also has a positive impact on high-intensity workouts like swimming laps and jumping rope. Add songs with at least 170 beats per minute to your exercise playlist to turbo-charge your workout.
Improves Sleep Quality
While upbeat music boosts workout performance, soothing music can calm you down and help you sleep better at night. Research has shown that listening to relaxing classical music reduces anxiety and decreases respiration, blood pressure, and heart rate, helping to relax muscles and distract you from your thoughts. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try some soothing music as a natural and safe alternative to medication.