Music is a resource that has been used throughout time to communicate, tell stories and bring communities together. Research also proves that music can spark memories of the past, motivate us at the gym, and can help our productivity and change our mood.
Recently a group of scientists even created a song specifically designed to lower anxiety. To craft this relaxing masterpiece composers combined with therapists worked together “with the goal of lowering a listener’s blood pressure, stress levels and heart rate, the song utilizes a peaceful production landscape filled with dreamy rhythms, melodies and complementary instruments (featuring piano, guitar and electronic samples of natural soundscapes).” The result is the song they created is proven to lower anxiety by 65%! You can listen to the specially crafted song other tunes proven to relax listeners here.
Your Brain (and Body) on Music
Not only can music relax listeners, but a review of 23 studies by Bradt & Dileo (in 2009) involving almost 1,500 people found music helped to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety in heart disease patients.
Music can also counter relaxation motivate and even energize listeners. Researchers at Kellogg, Columbia Business School, and the University of Hong Kong conducted a study on specific types of music and affects particular songs have on athletes. Their study concluded that songs with the bass-heavy versions were more empowering than the low-bass ones, both consciously and unconsciously. Why is this the case? Perhaps we are hardwired to associate booming tones with large, powerful objects and experiences.
Your Mental Health On Music
As referenced music can improve our physical health and in a recent study conducted at the University of Missouri, participants successfully improved their moods in the short term and boosted their overall happiness over a two-week period when they intentionally listened to upbeat music.
Just imagine with zero medication or any other controlled factors within two weeks your mood can improve just by choosing upbeat music. Zero side effects with this dosage!
How Music Affects Your Work:
Perhaps you have a meeting scheduled with your boss or an important client, or even a job interview. Previous research by Rucker and colleagues found that feelings of power lead to better performance in interview situations. “Empowering music might be used strategically to get us in the right frame of mind.” Researchers found.
Additionally, Music has been shown to boost memory recall in particular if the task is paired with similar music at the time of learning.
So before you sit at your desk for work choosing your playlist is just as important as which monitor you are looking at.
How To Add Some More Tunes To Your Day:
- Use Music to Get in the Right Frame of Mind: before a big pitch, meeting or even a dinner with your in-laws, music can help set the tone for your next encounter. Wanna get pumped up, pick a song with heavy base, need to relax? Consider the lulling cadence of windchimes
- Start your Day With Music: there is lot of attention on a morning ritual which doesn’t always work in everyone’s schedule. But what about using music during your morning shower or primping session to get you motivated or relaxed for your day ahead.
- Use Music At the Gym: Experts from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, USA, say listening to music during exercise can help to release endorphins to increase your endurance, boost your mood and distract you from the discomfort you may feel during your exercise session. Their research found these three songs the most motivating for exercise:
- “We Will Rock You” by Queen
- “Get Ready for This” by Unlimited
- “In Da Club” by 50 Cent
- Pick music to suit the situation. Any type of classical music, such as pieces by Mozart or Beethoven, can help relieve muscle pain. For an effective, beneficial workout, researchers say the best music is high energy, high tempo music such as hip-hop or dance.
- Join a choir, a band or pick up an instrument Research has found musicians, compared with non-musicians, there is more gray matter in the part of the frontal cortex known to accommodate neural networks that are involved in several important working memory processes.
- Listen to music while working or studying. If you’re trying hard to crack that difficult report or you’re struggling with the final touches of a dissertation, music could help get your brain in gear. A study of children ages eight to 11 found that those who took extracurricular music classes, developed higher verbal IQ, and visual abilities, in comparison to those with no musical training (Forgeard et al., 2008).
Do you listen to music while you are at work? Have you ever considered how you feel after listening to certain types of music? Would you ever consider using music to address a health problem? How can you incorporate more melodies into your everyday? We’d love to hear from you, email us your thoughts to [email protected].
Originally published at carriedclarke.com
About Carrie D Clarke
Carrie D. Clarke, J.D. is lawyer turned business coach and personal strategist. Carrie collaborates with small business owners, high achievers and authors to increase their profits and accomplish goals by focusing on values, applying evidence-based strategies and enhancing their strengths. Carrie is available for speaking engagements, 1:1 coaching and custom workshops