The Health Value of Music
Most people enjoy listening to music, but did you know that it can improve your health? In fact, there is an entire specialty devoted to music therapy. These therapists use music as a tool to promote wellness, alleviate pain, reduce stress, and improve cognitive function. Here are some ways to promote your health with music:
- Exercise to the beat. Without a doubt, you will have a better workout when energized with music.
- Elevate your mood. Sometimes our lives need a short break from the chaos or the mundane. Music can whisk you away without taking a single step. We have all had a song take us back to a specific time and place.
- Reduce stress with meditation. A relaxing instrumental will transcend you.
- Reduce stress with stimulation. Interestingly, an upbeat tempo can encourage endorphin release that will reduce cortisol levels. Although necessary for survival, cortisol can often be the enemy when it comes to unhealthy stress.
- Sleep better. Listen to relaxing music in the evening just prior to going to bed (put away the computer and turn off the TV).
- Drive more safely. A good mood on the road leads to safer behavior.
- Become a musician at any level. People who participate in music on a regular basis will improve both their intelligence level and memory.
Music is not all fun and games. There are some risks. First and foremost, protect your hearing. Watch the volume, especially while using headphones. If you turn up the volume for one of your favorite songs, don’t forget to turn it back down for the next one. We have all turned on the car, only to be greeted by the radio blaring from the previous ride. When in a loud environment, use approved earplugs. And of course, don’t allow music to become a distraction during potentially dangerous activities such as driving or jogging.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato