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Music: the tune-up your body and mind just might need

May-03-2019

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While music can often seem like an afterthought or just something to fill the silence, it can be a powerful player in your journey to a healthier you. Research suggests links between the use of music, and improved mental and physical health.


During National Music Week (May 5–12, 2019), you can take advantage of some of the ways music can help you feel better, inside and out. These include:


Reducing stress. Try to be mindful of the music you play during your morning commute to work. Play an old favorite or opt for something slow and soothing, which can help keep you calm and take your mind off your “to-do” list for the day.


Improving motivation. Are you looking to boost your workout? Research has shown that listening to fast-paced music motivates people to work out harder and longer. In turn, those more productive and longer workouts can translate to improved well-being.


Improving your cognitive performance. According to one study, more upbeat music led to improvements in processing speed, and both upbeat and downbeat music led to improved memory function. So, next time you’re studying for a test or even just brushing up on current events in the news, try throwing some music on in the background.


Serving as a weight-loss tool. Though the connection might not be evident, one study found that those who dined at low-lit restaurants, with soft background music playing, consumed 18 percent less food than those who ate in other restaurants. With a more relaxed setting, participants may have consumed their food at a slower pace and been more aware of when they started to feel full.


Helping you manage—or even reduce—pain. As we mentioned earlier, music can reduce stress levels. What we didn’t mention is that it also creates a competing stimulus to pain signals trying to enter the brain. Because of this, music therapy can be an effective tool for pain management. Music has also been shown to minimize the perceived intensity of pain, most notably in geriatric care, intensive care or palliative medicine.


Whether it’s music week or another time of year, just tune in, listen up and feel better enjoying some of your favorite bands and performers. Here’s to a healthier you!


*This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as medical advice.