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Living the musical life

Music: Not mere entertainment, it can improve your well-being

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06 Sep '23
4 min read


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Have you seen babies’ faces light up when they hear a certain song or when you adoringly sing to them? Or do you listen to your favourite song when you're feeling low? 

Music has the power to alter moods and transport you to your happy place. 

Music does not merely have entertainment value, it can improve your well-being, learning, cognitive function, quality of life and even happiness. 

Music is known to activate some of the most diverse networks of the brain. It activates the parts of the brain involved in emotion and it also activates memory regions. Haven't you noticed that sometimes you relate a certain song or music to a certain incident that happened in your life? Music helps release neurotransmitters and hormones that can evoke emotional reactions, memories and feelings and promote social bonds. 

Research has also proven that music can have a beneficial effect on increasing dopamine (feelings of pleasure) and oxytocin (love-hormone) and it is also proven that music can lower cortisol, the stress hormone to some extent.  

It is proven by research that music can improve cognitive performance too. Try playing some instrumental music in the background while you're working on something. It has shown to improve your concentration towards the task you’re working on. Make sure you don’t play music with complicated lyrics which can end up more distracting than useful. 

Music has even proven to be useful in managing pain. People who listened to music before surgery have shown more tolerance to pain and less anxiety aiding in easier recovery. It is shown that people who listen to music regularly can improve their sleeping patterns with a soothing playlist. Singing is also a way of self-expression of emotions. It is a perfect non-verbal way of expression. 

Music therapy

Music Therapy is a clinical and research-based practice in which music is used to enhance a person’s overall mood and well-being. They use various techniques and instruments to enhance healing and improve the mental health of people trying to recover from negative events or those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Nidhi Nahata who conducts sound healing sessions in Bangalore explains that sound can enrich every single cell in your body. She uses a comprehensive range of instruments curated from across the globe to make your body enter into a deep state of relaxation in her Sound Bath sessions. 

Learning an instrument

Learning an instrument is the best way to keep your mind active and improve your cognitive function. It stimulates memory retention. It can also help you feel calm and relaxed in times of extreme stress. Another benefit of learning an instrument is that you feel proud of yourself when you make progress.  Being able to flawlessly play a piece of music will make you swell with pride and in turn it will make you feel happier. This in turn will improve your confidence and help you trust in your abilities. Learning an instrument also requires patience. In this fast-paced world, patience is a quality that will take you far. It takes years to master an instrument. So qualities of patience and perseverance are inculcated when you decide to learn an instrument. The biggest positive about learning an instrument is expression of creativity. Creativity is an essential element that can add value to your life and musical creativity can add happiness to your life. 

Music for motivation

Music can improve motivation too. Playing an upbeat song when you’re running or working out can help you put in that little extra effort. So on those days that you don't feel motivated enough to exercise, plug those earphones on and get moving! DO you want to know the reason for this? It’s simple! Listening to music while working out lowers a person's perception of exertion. You're working harder, but it doesn't seem like you're putting forth more effort. Since you are concentrating on the music during a workout, you tend to ignore signs of exertion like sweating, heavier breathing and muscle soreness. 

So, overall music is a great deal to invest in for your overall happiness and better mental health. So, next time you feel stressed at your workplace or feel like you need to take a minute away from your crying child, plug those earphones in and listen to your favourite number. Trust me, it works wonders!

Category : Music


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Written by Parvathy Jayakrishnan