You might enjoy listening to music because of how it makes you feel, but did you also know it can have big impacts on your health and well-being?
When you’re listening to that song you’ve loved for years or even decades, and it makes you feel good, it’s not a coincidence. The music coming through your audio player or speakers is more than simply entertainment, and below are some of the primary ways it can improve your sense of health and wellness.
Waking Up Your Brain
Have you ever tried to wake up to music and experienced how different it felt than waking up in silence? When you wake up listening to music you likely feel more alert and alive more quickly, and less groggy and like you’re dragging yourself out of bed.
That’s for a reason.
When you listen to music with a beat, it activates the neurons in your brain in response to what’s being heard. It can help you wake up feeling more alert and your brain more activated than you would otherwise.
Pain, particularly chronic pain, is something a lot of people face right now and as a result, the country is facing a painkiller opioid epidemic. What a lot of people don’t realize is that music can change how you perceive pain, and it serves as an analgesic as a result.
It can be great to listen to music during childbirth to help alleviate the feelings of pain, following surgery, when you have a headache, or really any time you’re experiencing some degree of pain.
Life is stressful, and many of us feel anxious as a result. If you listen to music, it can help you avoid rises in your heart rate and blood pressure, and also reduce cortisol levels, all of which are indicators the body is experiencing stress.
Listening to music can make you feel generally calmer, and ease the level of stress you might be feeling in your life.
The power of music as a stress reliever is so profound research has even been done in the neonatal ICU, where babies who were exposed to music during their time there seemed to have an improved level of function.
Don’t just whistle while you work. Listen to music while you work. When you listen to music, it can make tasks ranging from household chores to professional work go by faster, and feel easier. When you listen to up-tempo music, in particular, it can increase the blood flow to your brain.
Finally, it can be tough to convince yourself to exercise as regularly as you should, but when you do, it can make your workout fly by. People who listen to tunes while running or biking as an example use less oxygen and exert less effort according to some research. When you have music playing during a workout it can also reduce discomfort you might experience, and since listening to music can release endorphins that make us feel good, we might be motivated to work out for longer.