“My music isn’t just music — it’s medicine”
Guess who said this. If you guessed Kanye West (and who else would you guess?) then you are correct. But there is actually a lot of truth hidden in Kanye’s braggadocio. In a lot of ways music is medicine: it does everything from decreasing your anxiety to helping you fall asleep at night. So go ahead and play The Life of Pablo while you read our list of the top 10 benefits of listening to music.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
Raises IQ and Academic Functioning:
Research shows that young children who take music lessons often perform higher academic performance. In a study, 6-year-olds who took piano or singing lessons had significantly increasing IQ and better academic performance than children who didn’t take lessons.
Increase workout endurance:
Studies show that listening to those top workout tracks can enhance physical performance and increase workout endurance during a tough session. When we’re focusing on our favorite album, we’re not noticing that we’ve just ran an extra mile or increase our reps.
Speed up post-workout recovery:
A study found that listening to music after a workout can help recovery your body quicker. Regardless if it’s slow music that helps set a relaxing effect, any music can really help.
Reduce stress and anxiety:
Listening to music can help you decrease stress level hormone called cortisol, which counteracts effects of chronic stress. This is a crucial finding because stress causes 60% of all our diseases and illnesses. A study found that if people participated in making music by conducting multiple percussion instruments and singing, their immune system was actually bumped up even more than if they passively listened.
Research shows that music therapy and pre-recorded music reduced pain more than typical treatments for cancer patients. Other research indicates that it can also reduce pain in intensive care patients. But the selection of music needs to be classical, meditative, or the patient’s choice. “One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.” Bob Marley.
Make you happier:
When you listen to music, you release a chemical in your brain called dopamine– a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter. Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University injected eight music addictors with a radioactive substance that binds with dopamine receptors after they listened to their favorite music. A PET scan showed that large amounts of dopamine were being released, which caused the participants to feel certain emotions like happiness.
Can help with memory:
Researchers have found that music can help you acknowledge and remember information better. Participants tried to memorize Japanese characters while listening to music that seemed either neutral or positive to them. The results showed that participants who were musicians learned better with neutral music but tested better with pleasurable music. Nonmusicians learned better with positive music but tested better with neutral music.
Helps you sleep better:
Over 30% of Americans suffer from insomnia. A study indicated that students who listening to calm music for 45 minutes before going to sleep showed significant better sleep than students who listened to an audiobook or did nothing different.
Decreases road rage:
A study in the Netherlands found that listening to music can set a positive impact on your mood while driving, which leads to safer behavior.
Helps Alzheimer’s patients remember:
Music and Memory, a non-profit organization of patients with Alzheimer’s and other age-related dementias remember who they are or even certain memories of their past life by having them listen to some old and meaningful tracks. Dr. Mosqueda is a director of Geriatrics at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine and elaborates that because music touches so many areas of the brain, it stimulates pathways that may still be healthy.