Music to Boost Your Health
Music has the power to improve our well-being and health in many ways. Studies have shown that listening to music can reduce stress and blood pressure, improve sleep quality, and even help us focus. Research has also linked certain types of music with improved moods and a reduction in anxiety levels. Music may even help reduce symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions.
How Listening to Music Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Listening to music can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Studies have shown that people who listened to relaxing music experienced a decrease in cortisol, a hormone associated with stress response, while those who listened to upbeat tunes had an increase in dopamine, the hormone that’s called the “feel good” chemical, and overall found their moods elevated. Music can also help calm the mind and focus our thoughts on something more positive. If you’re wanting to lower your stress levels, and just “feel good”, I would recommend listening to some of these songs:
- “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
- Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard this song by now. And it certainly delivers in never failing to make me feel better.
2. “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
- A little bit of an oldie, but a goodie in my opinion. And of course, the message is there in the title, be happy!
3. “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys
- This one might be a little cheesy because I know it was included in “Hotel Transylvania 3,” but who can resist these vibrations?
4. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & the Waves
- Fun and upbeat, this tune is sure to lift your spirits with its cheerful message and catchy beat. Get ready to start dancing and singing along as soon as you hear it.
5. “Firework” by Katy Perry
- This is probably the feel-good anthem. And it’s sure to get you out of your seat and singing along!
The Impact of Music on Mental Health
Music doesn’t just help with stress and anxiety levels. Research has also shown that listening to music can help reduce symptoms of depression. Music can act as an outlet for emotions, helping to express feelings that may be too difficult to put into words. Listening to and playing music has also been linked to improved self-esteem and increased levels of optimism. Music can even be used as a form of therapy, allowing individuals to express themselves in new ways or even create positive changes in their lives. If you are looking for some songs that can help when you’re feeling down, I would recommend these:
1. “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
- This song’s simple lyrics highlight the beauty and wonder in everyday life, encouraging us to take time to appreciate the little things that often go overlooked.
2. “You Are Not Alone” by Michael Jackson
- What a great reminder that we are never alone, no matter how dark our days may seem. And even though it’s important of having someone to turn to, this song encourages us to maintain faith in ourselves and in others when times are tough.
3. “Brave” by Sara Bareilles
- This song is an inspirational anthem for anyone struggling to find the courage within themselves. It encourages us to be brave enough to take risks and step out of our comfort zones.
4. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson
- It’s not always easy, but this song reminds us that even in the toughest of times, we can come out stronger.
5. “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
- A feel-good reminder that there is comfort in knowing that our true home lies within ourselves.
Music to Help You Focus, When You Need More Focus
Furthermore, listening to music has been shown to improve concentration and focus, as well as increase self-awareness. There are tons of playlists on streaming services that can help when you’re feeling distracted, or just don’t quite have the motivation to get started. But if you’re wanting to put off studying, writing a paper, or working on a creative project, for just a little bit longer until you find the right song, here are some to help get you in the zone:
1. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
- From the “Rocky” training scene to the hilarious addition in “Big Hero 6” when Hiro tries to come up with ideas, this song has become synonymous with buckling down and getting to work.
2. “Believer” by Imagine Dragons
- A great song, with a killer beat for those moments when you just need a little bit of extra motivation to get going.
3. “The Final Countdown” by Europe
- Some may find this one cheesy, but can you really go wrong with the classic rocker? It’s sure to get your blood pumping and ready to take on any task at hand.
4. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
- This upbeat number is the perfect background music for those moments of intense focus and productivity. You’ll feel like you can take on anything!
5. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
- This is a great reminder to stay focused and in the moment. It’s especially effective when you need an extra boost of confidence.
Music That Can Also Improve Sleep
A good night’s sleep is essential for a healthy mind and body, yet many of us struggle to get the rest we need. Evidence suggests that music can help improve sleep quality, with some research indicating that those who listen to calming tunes before bedtime fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. If you’re having a hard time winding down for the night, why not give one of these tunes a try:
1. “Weightless” by Marconi Union
- As I’ve mentioned before, this song is actually scientifically designed to calm an overactive mind and relax your body with its gentle tones and soothing rhythms.
2. “Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig van Beethoven
- The peaceful melody of this classical masterpiece is sure to help you drift off in no time. And there are so many different versions that you could literally make just a playlist of this song. I love this song so much, that’s why I’m mentioning it again.
3. “Breathe” by Telepopmusik
- If trance music is your thing, then the soothing piano and light percussion of this song are guaranteed to help you fall asleep.
4. “Watermark” by Enya
- This peaceful and gentle piece was written to evoke a sense of tranquility, so it’s perfect when you need to relax.
5. “Finale” by Danny Elfman
- Featured in a couple of movies, like “The Kingdom” and “Rango” the soft and airy nature of this instrumental piece will help lull you into an easy sleep.
Tips for Incorporating More Music into Your Life
To get the most out of music and reap its many benefits for health, it’s essential to incorporate more music into our daily lives. Start by creating a playlist of songs that will help set the mood or atmosphere you want to achieve—whether that’s calming or energizing. Set aside time each day to listen to music, and make sure you choose songs that will lift your mood, or help you relax.