The Psychological Benefits of Music
Updated: Sep 10, 2021
Music has the ability to help clear our minds, as well as give us a method to express our emotions. Most individuals tune in to music when they are feeling a strong emotion because various pieces provide a sense of comfort, and the individual can relate to the words in the song. Music therapy is an intervention often used to help individuals cope with emotional stress, and has the ability to boost psychological wellbeing. Music provides us with many benefits, some of them being -
Music can improve cognitive performance:
Research suggests that any kind of background music, or music that is played while an individual is primarily focused on another task, can improve cognitive performances during tasks. It is also said that upbeat music improves an individual's processing speed, whereas downbeat music helps in retaining memory.
Music can reduce stress:
It has been suggested that music has the ability to control/reduce stress. Listening to music has a positive impact on the stress response, particularly the autonomic nervous system.
Music can improve one's sleep:
Insomnia is a condition faced by many individuals, and one of a safe and effective technique to keep this under control is to listen to soothing, classical music. Researchers conducted a study where individuals were put into three groups - 1) a group which has individuals who went to sleep listening to music, 2) a group of individuals who had listened to an audiobook before going to sleep, 3) a group of individuals who had no intervention. The results showed that the individuals in the experiment who want to sleep while listening to music showed significantly better sleeping patterns compared to the other two groups.
Music can improve motivation:
People often exercise while listening to music, and they do so because it helps to keep them motivated. Researchers conducted a study where a group of individuals listened to music while exercising and a group of individuals who exercised without music. It was found that those who were exercising while listening to music showed better results when it came to speed, and the time they took to complete their exercise routine.
Music can enhance mood:
Another science-backed benefit of music is that it improves one's mood. Researchers found that music has a large impact on emotions, mood, and arousal. A study was conducted which showed that if individuals intentionally tried to better their mood by listening to music every time they felt low, it slowly started to become evident that it was working. Many claimed their moods had become better in just 2 weeks after they started this activity.
Writer: Maya Kale
Illustration: Rhea Rangarajan