Have you ever wondered whether listening to music is good for your mental health? Music has been proven to have a positive effect on both physical and emotional wellness. It promotes relaxation, lifts your mood, and can even boost your immunity. While it isn’t a substitute for medical treatment, music is a simple way to reduce stress, express your feelings, and stay focused. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of listening to music and how you can use it to improve your mental health!
Music Can Help Manage Anxiety
There is a lot of research that points to the benefits of music for reducing anxiety. Studies show that music helps moderate the effects of stress. It can lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and the level of stress hormones in your body. If you’d like to use music to cope with stress, try listening to classical music or any song that includes piano and string instruments. These sounds have been proven to help with relaxation. Listening to music that includes nature sounds is also effective.
Creating and Listening to Music Allows You to Express Your Emotions
Music can serve as an emotional outlet, especially when you’re having a hard time talking about how you feel. Listening to a song that you resonate with – and reflecting on why you relate to the lyrics – can help you find the words to communicate how you’re feeling to others. You can also listen to songs about mental health specifically that make you feel less alone. Composing music or writing lyrics is another great way to express yourself. According to Harvard Health, playing an instrument improves mental health by providing a distraction and can even reduce pain. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your playlist or songs you’ve created yourself, you can always choose to keep them private.
Music for Focus and Motivation
Music helps you boost your cognitive performance and stay focused. If you’re a student looking for music to listen to while you study, try choosing songs that are 60 beats per minute. This tempo helps you process and memorize information more effectively. Listening to music while you exercise has also been shown to increase endurance. As you may have guessed, songs with fast tempos and strong beats are best for workouts!
Connecting with Others
Social connection plays a major role in mental health. Research shows that when people listen to music together, it helps them form close bonds more quickly. Listening to music with friends or attending events where there’s music can facilitate stronger social connections. Even if it’s not in person, sharing songs or playlists you like can help you connect on an emotional level and open up deeper conversations. In addition, relating to an artist’s lyrics can make you feel connected to them and give you a sense that you’re going through a shared experience.
Music is a simple and valuable tool for well-being. But like most coping strategies, it might work better for some people than others. It’s important to find the techniques that are most effective for you! If you’re looking for more ideas on how to care for your mental health, feel free to browse our Stigma-Free blog. Check out our article on mindfulness and DBT, and learn about the benefits of exercise for mental health here.