August 24, 2021
Think about the last time you heard your favorite song. You may have started tapping your feet and singing along, or perhaps you smiled because it brought back a fond memory with friends or family.
If you’re the type of person who has a playlist for every occasion, you’re providing more than just entertainment — music has plenty of tangible health benefits as well!
Music can help keep your brain in shape. Playing an instrument stimulates many parts of the brain at once and helps improve learning ability and skills like reading and writing in children. This impact on your brain stays with you as you age; even listening to music affects the parts of your brain associated with memory.
Sound is the sense most connected to emotion, giving music a powerful ability to impact your mood. The love many people have for holiday music is an example of this connection. Because music is so connected to memory, listening to music can cause you to remember happy times in the past, which can lead to an improved mental state.
Music is often a social activity. Whether you participate in a band, a choir, or just enjoy a good dance party, music can help you create connections with others. Listening to or performing music can also improve your mental health by forming friendships, building self-confidence, and stimulating creativity.
Speaking of dance parties, music gets you moving. Music can be an easy way to promote physical fitness — just put on your favorite playlist, and move along with it. The beat in music naturally stimulates movement, and dancing itself can be a great form of aerobic exercise.
Each of these benefits can be instrumental in keeping you healthy, but music can also be used to help when you’re sick. Music therapy uses music to treat certain health conditions. A music therapist might use whole or parts of songs to help people gain or restore abilities lost to brain injury or disabilities. Music therapy is also used to help with mood and behavior.
Listening to music, singing, or playing an instrument can all help your health in ways that go far beyond just enjoyment. And if you don’t sing or play an instrument, maybe now’s the time to pick up something new and begin reaping the benefits that come with music.