RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT MUSIC CAN.....Help Physically:
1. Ease pain. Music can meaningfully reduce the perceived intensity of
pain, especially in geriatric care, intensive care, or palliative medicine
(an area of healthcare that focuses on preventing and relieving the
suffering of patients).
2. Motivate people to bike harder. A study of healthy male college
students found that, while riding stationary bicycles, the participants worked
harder while listening to fast music. Extra bonus: They also enjoyed the
3. Improve running motivation and performance. Here's an easy
way to beat your best time if you're a runner: Listen to your favorite
"pump-up" music. Listening to music may help people run faster, boost
their workout motivation, and enhance their endurance.
4. Increase workout endurance. Listening to those top workout tracks
can boostphysical performance and increase endurance during a tough
exercise session. This works partly through the power of distraction: When
we're focusing on a favorite album, we may not notice that we just ran
an extra mile.
5. Speed up post-workout recovery. One study found that listening to
music after a workout can help the body recover faster. While slow music
produced a greater relaxation effect post-exercise, it seems that any kind
of music can help the physical recovery process.
6. Improve sleep quality. Listening to classical music has been shown
to effectively treat insomnia in college students, making it a safe, cheap
alternative to sleep-inducing meds.
7. Help people eat less. One study found that playing soft music (and
dimming the lights) during a meal can help people slow down while eating
and ultimately consume less food in one sitting (perhaps because slowing
down helps them to be more mindful of fullness cues).
8. Enhance blood vessel function.
Scientists have found that the emotions patients experience while listening
to music have a healthy effect on blood vessel function. Music both made
study participants feel happier and resulted in increased blood flow in their
10. Induce a meditative state. Listening to slow musical beats can alter
brainwave speed, creating brainwave activity similar to when a person is
meditating or in a hypnotic state. Some research suggests that using rhythmic
stimuli (such as music) toinduce these states can have a therapeutic effect,
easing symptoms of migraines, PMS, and even behavioral issues.
11. Relieve symptoms of depression. When you're feeling down in the
dumps, music can help pick you up (much like exercise). Research suggests
the kind of music matters: Classical and meditative sounds seem to be
particularly uplifting, whereas heavy metal and techno can actually make
depressive symptoms worse.
12. Elevate mood. A 2013 study found that music helped put people in a
better mood and get in touch with their feelings. Study participants rated
"arousal and mood regulation" and "self-awareness" as the two most important
benefits of listening to music.
13. Improve cognitive performance. Background music may enhance
performance on cognitive tasks. One older study found that listening to
music allowed test takers to complete more questions in the time allotted,
and get more answers right. More recent research suggests that whether
or not music improves cognitive function depends on whether the music
first improves a person's emotional state.
14. Help people perform better in high-pressure situations. Want to
sink the game-winning shot when the pressure's on? Listen to some upbeat
tunes before the big game. One study found that basketball players prone
to performing poorly under pressure during games were significantly better
during high-pressure free-throw shooting if they first listened to catchy,
upbeat music and lyrics.
15. Reduce anxiety as much as a massage. One study found that music's
effect on anxiety levels is similar to the effect of getting a massage.
16. Relax patients before surgery. One study found that listening to music
helped put cardiovascular surgery patients at ease as they awaited their
operations. That's a major benefit for the nearly four million people who get
heart surgery each year in the U.S.
17. Ease stress after surgery. Music isn't only helpful pre-surgery. Another
studyrevealed that listening to music while resting in bed after open heart
surgery helped relax patients and decrease their stress levels.
18. Elevate mood while driving. Listening to music while driving can positively
impact mood. So when you're feeling cranky in the car, try cranking some of
your favorite tunes.
19. Help cancer patients manage stress and anxiety. Music has been found
to help cancer patients communicate their feelings, manage stress, and ease
physical pain and discomfort. It can also reduce anxiety and improve their quality
20. Ease recovery in stroke patients. Researchers in Finland concluded that
when stroke patients listened to music for two hours a day, their verbal memory
and attention improved and they had a more positive mood compared to patients
who didn't listen to music or who listened to audio books.