Have you ever noticed that you feel more pumped up after listening to some really groovin’ music? Or feel more tired and down after listening to something sad? That’s because music can actually have an affect on our moods! One study found that people who listened to happy music perceived more people smiling, and adversely, people who listened to sad music perceived more people with sad faces. Music even affects how much shoppers spend or how quickly people eat, and I’m sure you’ve noticed that sometimes it’s easier to do a fast-paced workout when accompanied by high-energy music.
Sure, dancing to Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again” is a great way to liven up any old day, but did you know that music can also be a healer? Studies have shown that music can relieve stress, pain, anxiety, and depression, and can enhance concentration, creativity, and mood balance. In one hospital, patients who listened to music felt more relaxed, while those who listened to silence felt more tense. It doesn’t even matter what kind of music it is— as long as it makes the person feel good. Music diverts focus from pain or stress to jammin’ tunes, which releases dopamine and stimulates the mind in a positive way.
So the next time you’re feeling blah or have a headache, try listening to a song that you really like or that reminds you of something happy— you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel!
Do you have music on when you work with clients? Do you use music in your practice? What do you think about the healing powers of music?
Harrar, Sari N. “The Best Music to Heal You.” Prevention, Nov. 2011. http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/how-music-heals
“Music for Health & Wellbeing.” http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/music.htm
University of Groningen. “Music changes perception, research shows.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2011. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427101606.htm.
American Pain Society. “Listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2012. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105161750.htm.