“Would you take off those headphones already?!” I hear my mom standing at the door with her hands on her hips. With a jolt, I pause the music and look up at her, wearing a sheepish smile.
If this isn’t a daily occurrence in all of your homes, I’m pretty sure that’s a bluff. Music lives in every part of our life. Everything in nature has a rhythm. Our hearts beating in sync, our breathing sounds, the soft pitter-patter of our footsteps, our menstrual cycles, etc., are rhythmic. That explains why music has us all hooked to it. Its cadence and harmony appeal to our inner desires and thoughts.
Stressed out and want to loosen up? Bob your head to the pop. Going through a bad breakup? Close your eyes to the melody. Tired of poring over your books constantly? Crank up the stereo. Need to pump up your adrenaline to complete a 3-hour training session? Blast those beats.
When we listen to the music of our liking, our brain releases dopamine that positively affects our mood. In contrast, listening to the wrong kind of music can trigger negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, anger and uneasiness.
The syncopated rhythm of jazz and tracks with a slow tempo can be calming, whereas upbeat songs with a lively tempo tend to have the opposite effect. But this does not hold good for everyone.
Music is subjective. What I might find soothing may not tickle your pickle. So, how do you discover music that relaxes your mood? You could start by exploring various genres of music and identifying which ones you like.
Not only does music sway our mood, but it also has a plethora of profound benefits on our health.
Music improves memory. Unique memories are associated with certain music. Perhaps you were an intense lover of hip-hop in the past. By playing the songs you listened to at that time, you could remember your memories. Music could help anyone who wants a walk down memory lane or someone suffering from memory loss.
Music boosts creativity. We often listen to songs of our time. Why not switch it up and jam the songs that our grandparents enjoy for a change? Even though it may cause discomfort at first, doing so challenges the brain to get out of its comfort zone.
Music heals. According to a study, when patients recovering from back surgery listened to calm, relaxing, self-chosen music, it increased the rate of healing and eased their pain. A similar study found that stroke patients who listened to music a few hours a day recovered with better verbal memory and focused attention.
Music enhances the quality of sleep. In recent years, many experience sleeplessness at night or a lack of sleep quality. In such cases, listening to classical or relaxing music for a few minutes before bedtime can lead to improved sleep and fewer depressive symptoms.
Next time your mom scolds you for always listening to music, why not persuade her to have a jam session with you? After all, the perks of listening to music could be music to her ears as well!