As an outpouring of the spirit of man, music is a universal language capable of touching people’s inner being in ways that words often cannot. A line from The Mourning Bride, a play by William Congreve is “Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” Indeed, music is a universal language that all understand and react to positively.
Research has shown that music frequently has the power to inspire, console, soothe and restore. Here are some of the healthful benefits of listening to music:
1. Music releases dopamine.
As people listen to music, their brains release a “feel-good” transmitter called dopamine, a substance that induces emotions such as joy and excitement. This result was found to take place after only 15 minutes of listening.
2. Music acts as a stress reliever.
Music reduces stress, thus improving a person’s health. Studies demonstrate that when people listen to music, there is a release of cortisol, a hormone that counteracts the detrimental effects of stress. This result is a boon to a person’s health since stress causes 60% of people’s illnesses and diseases.
3. Music provides a restful sleep.
Listening to music relaxes people and helps them have a more restful sleep. Studies have demonstrated that participants who listened to classical music for 45 minutes before retiring for the night slept much better than those who did nothing or who listened to an audiobook or watched television. Many a new mother has used music to lull her baby to sleep.
4. Music helps to reduce depression.
Research has revealed that depression is a condition from which millions of people suffer, and frequently these people have trouble sleeping. Studies have shown that insomnia is reduced in those who are depressed if they listen to soothing instrumental music or meditative sounds.
5. Music can lead to safer driving.
For those who must endure heavy traffic on the way to and from work, listening to soothing music in the car helps to reduce cortisol, the hormone that causes stress and anxiety.
6. Music has been proven to reduce pain.
Studies have revealed that listening to meditative or classical music mitigates pain, whether the person suffers minor sports injuries or suffering from cancer.
7. Music exercises the brain.
An organization known as Music & Memory employs music to exercise the brains of patients who have Alzheimer’s to regain a part of their memories.